Tuesday, October 8, 2013

7 Ways to Remove Sticky Jar Labels

 When I told Husband about my plan to pest proof the rest of our pantry and kitchen because a photo of a friend’s pantry moth invasion skeeved me out he finished my sentence for me, “by putting everything in jars like a crazy person?”

He knows me.

Because I’m taking everything out of  boxes and bags and putting it into jars like a crazy person.

I clean out and consolidate as time and empty jars permit. I like to reuse empty food jars as much as I can to free up my mason jars for canning. It is cheaper too.


Glass jars are my favorite because they don’t absorb odor. I don’t have to check and double check if they are BPA free either. Fortunately, our salsa habit is helping us with this recycled jar organization and moth proofing project.
I can fit more food in my cabinets too!


How to Remove a Label from a Glass Jar

What kind of evil genius developed label adhesive? I have broken my fingernails down to the nub using them to scrap off jar labels. 


I’m using some repurposed BPA free plastic jars to store food until I figure out what is working and what is not.

1. Stick the jar in the dishwasher. My laziness extends to washing dishes too. If the dishwasher doesn’t remove the entire label, it makes it easy to remove after the wash and dry cycle when the jar is still warm and damp.  Be sure to clean the filters more often because they may become clogged with bits of label.

2. Heat the label with a hair dryer. I don’t like to remove the labels from BPA free plastic jars using the dishwasher because the heat cycle can warp the jar and makes it useless for food storage. Instead I remove the jar label by heating it with a hair dryer to soften the glue and peel off the label. This is my favorite method because it is the least likely to leave sticky glue on the jar.

Be careful that you don't burn the label or the melt plastic 


3. Goo Gone. I have better luck using Goo Gone to remove paper labels and leftover adhesive on a glass jar. Goo Gone doesn't always work for me when I’m removing a paper label from a plastic jar. Sometimes Goo Gone messes with the finish too.

4. Soak the label off in hot water. 

How to Remove Glue and Sticky Adhesive From a Jar




Some of my the jar labels are easy to peel off but leave the sticky glue behind. I used to deal with semi sticky jars until I found three ways to remove label glue from a jar.

Sometimes using one of these methods works. Other times, I have to use a combination of one or more of these methods.

1. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or towel and some elbow grease. Nail polish remover doesn’t work and it discolors plastic bottles.

2. Vinegar. Some people soak the jar in vinegar and let the acid work on the sticky stuff enough to rub it off with a towel. I keep a spray bottle of vinegar for cleaning, and spray it on the label instead.

3. Peanut butter! I would not have believed this one if I hadn’t tried it yesterday. I spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the adhesive and allowed it to sit. I scrubbed the peanut butter with a damp towel to remove the glue. It was a little messy but it worked!

How do you remove labels from jars?

Did you like this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Lazy Budget Chef RSS feed or by subscribing to Lazy Budget Chef by email.