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Removing Labels from Glass Jars

Category Glass
Glass jars can be reused in a wide variety of ways from storage to crafts, but first, you will want to remove the label. This is a guide about how to remove labels and sticky residue from glass jars.
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Tips for Removing Labels from Glass Jars

Share a TipCheck out these Tips for Removing Labels from Glass Jars or, if you have something to add to this guide, click to share your own tip!

April 13, 2012

In my quest to reclaim a Mason jar (specifically Classico pasta sauce jars) I needed to soak off the labels. I submerged the jars in hot water and let them sit until the paper was easy to pull off. The best part with the Classico jars is that the glue they use is also water soluble! I was able to remove the glue with hot soapy water. With another jar, I removed the glue with Goo Gone and a paper towel. I was amazed at how well this worked!

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April 24, 20132 found this helpful
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I love vinegar and use it for everything, I have a spray bottle full. To remove a label, I simply wet the label good then I spray with vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the label, then respray the glue with vinegar and wipe.

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By 16 found this helpful
October 4, 2011

I paint glass jars and find at times the labels are nearly impossible to remove without using chemicals. I found a much easier way and it's far less frustrating. Peel as much of the paper label off as possible, then fill the jar with water and place in the microwave until the water boils.

Between the steam released from the water inside microwave and the heated water against the glass the label adhesive then scrapes right off. However, be very careful of the hot liquid inside!

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By 21 found this helpful
April 18, 2012

This tip has always worked for me. The easiest way to remove labels and sticker residue from glass jars is as follows:

  1. Peel the label. (Soaking in hot water helps.)
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  3. Rub any sticky areas with peanut butter.
  4. Rinse and enjoy, knowing that no chemicals were needed!

Not only did you avoid spending money on some sort of cleaner, you also got to play with your food!

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By 10 found this helpful
April 30, 2013

You can make a Goo Gone alternative that works very well (and doesn't smell as gross) by mixing two parts vegetable oil with one part baking soda. The oil loosens the glue, and the baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive to wipe it away. Rinse with hot water and that's it!

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By 7 found this helpful
July 4, 2011

Recently I did a project and needed to remove the sticky glue from plastic bottles. I tried soaking them in alcohol, but that didn't work. I tried lotion (this works with spray adhesive when it is on your hands). I finally tried some plain dish soap and OxiClean. None of these helped at all.

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I did not want to mar the surface so I took some WD40 and a soft cloth. I put the WD40 on the cloth, and gently rubbed until all the sticky glue was gone. I then washed my bottles and dried them to use for my craft.

By gem from VA

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September 1, 2009

I made an alarming discovery today quite by accident. I am an compulsive recycler so I save all my spaghetti sauce jars. I use the same brand all the time so they match. Yes I use them for drinking for hubby and me. I have decent glasses but these jars are sturdy.

A few weeks ago one of our sons went grocery shopping with DH, and was helping him put things away. He didn't know where the jars of sauce went so he stuck them on the door of the fridge.

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Since I am also frugal with time and effort I left them there. I got one out today to use and found that the label was loose. It only took seconds to remove. Yea! I had been placing them in the sink with a wet cloth around them till it soaked loose. Sometimes it would take hours. I'll be keeping them in the fridge from now on. An overnight stay in the fridge might work for any jar labels you have.

Source: My son Steve who didn't want to "lose" Mom's spaghetti sauce.

By Marty Dick from Houston, TX

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October 1, 2009

Do you like to save glass jars to reuse as storage, but sometimes have problems removing the labels? Using a razor blade or what I use is a razor box cutter, slice large sections of the label.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 18, 2015

I realized that if I just spray a coat of furniture polish on the jar and let it sit, the label and all the sticky glue comes right off with the wipe of a towel.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 24, 2013

After removing the label, left over glue on jars can be removed using charcoal lighter fluid. It works better than anything I have found.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 23, 2013

The best way I have found to get rid of sticker/label residue is a few drops of olbas oil. It slips off with a gentle scrape of the dull side of a knife.

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By 4 found this helpful
April 19, 2012

Slightly sand surface of label with sandpaper. Spray with WD-40. Label will come off easily. If not, put napkin on label and saturate with the WD-40. Let sit for as long as necessary.

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By 2 found this helpful
April 21, 2013

It's easy to remove labels from glass jars by taking a bit of cooking oil and slathering it on the jar's label. Let it sit undisturbed overnight and it should slide right off.

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By 3 found this helpful
August 22, 2012

Just soak the jar in hot water, remove what you can, and use steel wool on the rest. It doesn't scratch the glass and you don't have to use chemicals. It's a win, win.

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Tips for Removing Labels from Glass Jars

Ask a QuestionHere are the Tips for Removing Labels from Glass Jars asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 23, 2010

How do I remove label glue from bottles?

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Answers

October 15, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use WD-40; spray it on, let it sit, peel the label off, wipe any residue with a paper towel, then wash them all in soapy water. Looks like more steps than it is. I have even used it to successfully remove sticker residue inside pricey leather shoes with no ill after effects.

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February 23, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can try scraping off what you can with your fingernail, then using fingernail polish remover. Or, another trick I have learned is to use lighter fluid. Again, scrape off what you can, then rub the area with a cotton ball soaked in lighter fluid. Comes right off!

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By 1 found this helpful
March 31, 2013

I have a Yankee Candle jar that held a large candle. I got the label peeled off, but I'm still trying to remove the glue. Any ideas? I've tried soaking and scrubbing, but some of it's still there.

By Katheryne

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Anonymous
January 20, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

GOO GONE!!! I had a similar problem and researched various options after trying many things. I tore up a sturdy paper towel into pieces that would cover the sticky residue and saturated them with Goo Gone, and then covered the sticky stuff with that. After only letting it rest for a few minutes, I then used soaked towel to scrape off the rest of the residue and it came right off!!! Hope this helps other who found this forum looking for an easy solution that wouldn't take too much time or drive them crazy scraping for hours!

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March 3, 20150 found this helpful

So how does everyone remove the digital writing, sell-by dates, etc. from the tops of jars? It's fairly easy to get if off the glass with a dry brush scrub. What I'm talking about is the caps. I have tried lots of things. Alcohol did not work.

By Vee333

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have used hairspray (also removes ink from clothes). Then there is Goof Off... a good little can product to keep around as it can do many "remove" jobs. Good luck!

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February 23, 20100 found this helpful

I have lots of empty medicine bottles. I like to use them for all kinds of things like salad dressing in a lunch box, toothpick holder for purse, etc. The one problem I have is getting all the sticky stuff off of the bottle after I remove the label. I take the label off and soak the bottle in water. I've used Goo Gone and tried scraping gently with a knife, but the outside is still sticky. Is there a good way to remove the residue?

Grandma B from Coshocton, OH

Answers:

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

Try using eucalyptus oil. I saw it on "How Clean is Your House." It worked at removing stickers, etc. (10/13/2008)

By Sara

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

A great product called Goo Gone works like a charm! You can find it at Walmart, and just recently I found it at the Dollar Tree. It has a nice smell as well. It even takes off old tape and all kinds of sticky stuff. Good luck! (10/13/2008)

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

I have had luck with using your fingernail and loosening the short end of the label a bit all the way down until you can get a little bit of a grip on it. You want it where it pulls up clean without leaving paper or traces of residue. Really slowly pull the label off. If you do it too fast it will leave more of the sticky stuff behind. (Sorry, it's harder to describe than I thought.) Then if there are a few bits of sticky residue, I have used cooking oil on a cotton ball.

Sometimes on jars with hard to remove labels, I fill the inside of the jar with hot water to loosen the glue. Sometimes it loosens the glue easily, sometimes it makes it stickier. (10/14/2008)

By KL

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

Use nail polish remover. It works great! (10/15/2008)

By my-secret

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

I wanted to share that I use a vegetable spray (Like Pam or Mazola, or any store brand) to remove the labels and sticky residue that is left. Just 'spritz' the label (mush around with your finger if you want, but just keep the label wet). Let sit about 10 min.

Scrape off the paper label, then 'spritz' again and let sit another few minutes. I've used this method many times on many things and it's much easier then the scraping. I have tried GOO GONE in the past but it never seemed to work for me. :( And the Pam spray is much cheaper and usually in the cabinet. (10/15/2008)

By Joy

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

I use a hair dryer to remove sticky labels. It usually leaves no residue. (10/15/2008)

By Pat

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

I usually use WD40; spray it on, let it sit, peel the label off, wipe any residue with a paper towel, then wash them all in soapy water. Looks like more steps than it is. I have even used it to successfully remove sticker residue inside pricey leather shoes with no ill after effects. Good luck! (10/15/2008)

By Kat

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

Lighter fluid works and has never let me down! (10/24/2008)

By Shell

Removing Label Residue On Bottles

Lighter fluid works every time. (12/11/2008)

By Lou Anne

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