How To Remove Labels From Glass Jars: 9 Different Ways

Do you like to reuse glass jars? Do you work with your hands to turn glass jars into crafts? We all want to save empty glass jars, large and small, for reuse. Unfortunately, the paper labels and sticky glues on glass jars cannot be removed from the dishwasher. Fortunately, removing the labels from glass jars is very easy and skillful.

Why reuse glass jars and remove labels?

In order to achieve the goal of zero waste, it is necessary and meaningful to reuse glass jars. Because glass takes a long time to decompose, a glass jar may take a million years to decompose in the environment. It may take even longer to decompose if it is transported to a landfill.

Glass has a long life cycle and doesn't leach any chemicals, so you can reuse it repeatedly. Remove sticker residue to make your jars look shiny and attractive before reusing them.

How to remove glass jar labels?

How to get stickers off glass jars? The label feels great when it peels off without leaving any sticky residue. However, as far as normal conditions are concerned, it will not come off naturally. Use one of these ten sticky label removal strategies to clean your glass jars.

1.  Use hot soapy water, baking soda and cooking oil 

  • Tear off as many labels as possible. Firstly, do your best to tear off as many labels as possible. Soak the jar in hot soapy water for labels that are firmly stuck to the jar. Wait a few minutes and peel off the labels. You may still be left with many areas of paper labels or glue residue, don't worry!
  • Mix baking soda and oil. You can use any cooking oil, whether rapeseed oil, vegetable oil or olive oil. If removing the label of a small glass jar, you will need a tablespoon of oil and a tablespoon of baking soda to mix them.
  • Apply the mixed paste to the glass jar. Apply the paste to the area with the most residue as much as possible and wipe it off with your fingers, a paper towel or a rag.
  • Wait a while before wiping. Leave for 10 to 30 minutes for the oil to penetrate the glue residue and dissolve them. When the time is up, use a wire cleaning ball or scrubbing sponge to wipe off the paste by circular movements.
  • Clean the jars and dry them. Wash the pot with soapy water or water and dry it with a towel. If you see any residue left halfway through, use a paper towel or a few drops of oil to remove it.

2.  Use detergent and white vinegar

  • Mix the detergent and white vinegar with hot water. Fill your glass bowl or other containers with hot water. The container chosen must be able to submerge your glass jar. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and half a cup of white vinegar to the hot water. The detergent will remove the paper label from the glass jar, while the vinegar will remove the sticky glue.
  • Biding time. Place your glass mason jar into the mixed water, ensuring that your label is completely submerged. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes for the detergent and vinegar to react on the label.
  • Removal of labels. Take your glass jar out of the water and peel these labels off easily with a paper towel or your fingers. If there is still glue or paper label residue, apply a mixture of equal parts oil and baking soda. Leave for a few minutes, and all residue will be easily removed.
  • Wash and dry the glass jar. Wash the pot with the residue removed in fresh water and dry it with a cloth. Now you have a clean glass jar to use!

3.  Use a hairdryer or microwave oven

  • Heat the glass jar. Set the hair dryer to high temperature and blow on the label on the glass jar for 45 seconds. The hair dryer will make the glue on the label dry and brittle. Alternatively, heat your glass jar in the microwave for a few minutes, which will also make the glue dry and brittle. Provided that your glass jar is microwave safe to avoid breakage.
  • Try peeling off the label. The heated glue becomes dry and brittle, and the label will peel off easily. If necessary, use your fingernails or a razor blade to help you remove the label. If it is still difficult to remove the label, apply heat again.
  • Remove the residue and clean. Drip olive oil onto a paper towel and wipe off any residue from the glass jar. Afterwards, wash the oil stain with warm soapy water and dry it with a towel or paper towel.

4.  Using Nail Polish Remover

  • Remove as many labels as possible. Firstly, remove as many labels as you can from glass jars. If the label is too difficult to remove, soak your jar in warm soapy water and wait 10 minutes. If there is any residue left on the glass jar, don't worry!
  • Apply nail polish remover. Pour the nail polish remover onto a paper towel or scrubbing sponge and wipe the residue with a circular motion. The chemicals in the nail polish remover will dissolve any glue.
  • Clean and dry the glass jar. Wash your glass jar with soapy water and wipe it with a clean paper towel or washcloth.

5.  Use of alcohol

  • Tear off the label. First, try to remove the label yourself. If the label is difficult to remove, soak the glass jar in warm soapy water and wait 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Apply alcohol. Dampen a paper towel or a clean rag with rubbing alcohol and wipe in a circular motion. For more stubborn labels, place an alcohol-soaked rag over the area and wait a few minutes.
  • Clean and dry. After wiping off the softening residue with a rag, clean and dry the jar by placing it in water.

6.  Use of blades

  • Remove as much of the label as possible. Tear off the part of the label you can remove. Wet the glass jar with hot water to soften the label.
  • Scrape off the residue. Take a razor blade or hobby knife blade and carefully and smoothly scrape off any residue from the jar that cannot be removed by hand. You can also use a plastic scraper if you are worried that the metal blade will scratch the surface of the can.
  • Wash the glass jars and dry them. Wash your glass jar with water and dry it with a clean rag. This way, you get a clean glass jar!

7.  Use peanut butter

  • Remove as much of the label as possible. Remove as many labels as possible by soaking the glass jars in hot water or tearing them off with your bare hands. Still a lot of residues? No need to worry!
  • Spread with peanut butter. Apply a thick layer of peanut butter to the areas where the label cannot be removed. The fat content and oils in peanut butter have a huge role in dissolving the label adhesive. Then, you just need to wait 10 minutes.
  • Perform scrubbing. After the glass jar has been left to stand for a while, it is time to start the final cleaning step. Wipe off the softened residue with a cloth or brush and rinse well with water. Finally, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel, and you're done!

8.  Use hot water

  • Fill with hot water. Fill the glass jar you want to remove with hot water, and do your best to remove any labels that can be removed.
  • Immerse in hot water. Before immersing the glass jar in hot water, wipe off any hard-to-remove glue residue with oil. Then, dip the glass jar in hot water.
  • Remove the softened residue. Use a wooden or bamboo spatula to remove any residue softened by the hot water. Still, have residue? Let's continue!
  • Immerse again in hot water. Dip the glass jar into the hot water again for a minute, then continue to remove the residue with a wooden spatula. This time you will have completely removed all the glue residue.

9.  Use of essential oils

  • Remove the tags that can be removed. Pour some hot water into the glass jar and wait for a while. You can remove some labels, but there will be a lot of glue residue left. Don't worry too much. We'll move on to the next step!
  • Wipe the label. Apply a few drops of essential oil to a clean cloth. This can be eucalyptus essential oil, lemon essential oil, tea tree essential oil or orange essential oil. Wipe carefully over any sturdy label that remains, and the residue is easily removed.
  • Clean the jars. Glass jars that have been wiped with essential oils have an oily feel. Use dishwashing liquid to clean your pots. Afterwards, wipe clean with a cloth, and you'll have the perfect glass jar.

How to remove strong smells from glass jars?

After removing the labels from the glass jars, you will have clean jars. You may want to use it as a vase or a candle holder, but the glass jar had an unpleasant smell when it was previously filled with food. Cleaning the pot may also be difficult to remove the pungent smell, so you can try the following method:

  1. Place the glass jar on a windowsill or in a place where it will be exposed to direct sunlight and leave it covered for a day or two.
  2. Put a little water and baking soda in the jar. Cover the glass jar with the lid and shake it vigorously. The baking soda will soon absorb the unpleasant smell.
  3. Use a fresh lemon. Juice a lemon and wipe it down with a clean cloth dipped in lemon juice.
  4. Place the glass jar in water with white vinegar and bring it to a boil.

What should you reuse glass jars for?

Reusing glass jars is an essential step towards the goal of zero waste. Learn how to remove the glass jar labels above, and you'll be ready to use them. Some common uses are listed below:

  • Turned into a candle cover
  • Make it into a money box
  • To store spices
  • Make into a vase
  • Store leftovers
  • Add a pump to turn into a soap dispenser

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