I like to collect jars…
And reuse them for my own purposes!
Some of my favorites include:
- spice shaker jars to refill with bulk spices
- large plastic spice shaker containers to use for homemade cleaners
- glass syrup jars that fit into small spices nicely since they are wide and narrow
- glass condiment jars with pour and/or shake lids since they have a variety of uses
- and glass bottles or wine bottles that I love to use for fun and decorations!
Now I wish I had a glass Mrs. Butterworth’s jar before they went plastic!
After finding a special jar, my next step is to remove the label. It’s super easy, and today I want to share the process with you!
How To Remove Labels From Glass Jars
As a general rule, simply use water for the paper part and oil for the gum/adhesive.
For thin paper labels, however, you can skip the water. Just rub any safe oil (such as grapeseed) on the label and allow it to soak in. After covering the label with oil, I come back later in the day and scrape the label + goo off with a butter knife.
If there’s any residue left, use a non-stick green kitchen scrub pad with soap. Scrub till all the oil and goo is gone!
Since most labels have thicker paper, use water to remove the bulk of the paper before treating with oil. Either stick your container in the dishwasher, or let it soak in the sink for at least an hour. The paper part should come off easily with a knife or fingers.
Then, use oil to get the adhesive off, just as you would with thin paper labels. If a label is proving to be a bit trickier, repeat the process.
Enjoy collecting and reusing your favorite bottles, jars, and containers!
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Dar Robles says
I’ve found the easiest way to remove labels from plastic bottles is to first soak in hot soapy water as you would for glass, peel as much of the label as you can with a paring knife or similar, then coat with mechanic’s waterless hand cleaner for about 30 minutes or so. ( I used ‘Goop’) and wow! The glue is all gone! This product can also be used to remove grease based stains from clothes that you would think are ruined. Rub into stain with an old toothbrush, let sit for a while, then wash in hot water. This works great if garment item hasn’t been washed.
i just want to take labels off wine bottles and keep the labels to put into an album
do i use the same process.
I would just soak those labels in lukewarm water and then try to gently peel them off. The way I do it actually rubs them off into pieces.
Billie Y says
If you fill the bottle with boiling water, the glue softens so much that the entire label comes off in one piece, I’ve done it many times successfully. Use an oven mitt or something, the glass will be HOT. 🙂
Mandy from California says
You can try writing to the Winery and asking for a few labels for your scrapbook. My inlaws take their teardrop trailer around wine tasting and they always try to add a wine label for every winery they go to. If you go in person, it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Plus it saves you from having to do the soaking. And keeps the label nearly prestine..
I make jams and jellies for a living, and sometimes need reuse the jars that have already been labeled. I have found that lukewarm water is better than hot because the hot sometimes ‘sets’ the glue on the label. I run the jars under the water and rub the labels off from one side with my rubber glove. Works better than my fingers. Then if there is any glue left, I use something like Goof Off to remove the rest.
I have a glass mrs butterworth bottle. Whats it worth to you?
I have several that I would gladly share one of in case Jackie only has one. e-mail me personally and I’ll mail it to you.
Jo Anne T says
I recently learned of another way to remove paper labels, from the Kombucha Kamp group I am a member of…fill the bottle with hot water, let it sit for a few minutes and the labels just peel off with no residue! I’ve tried it, it works!
That’s exactly what I do, most of the time now. This would also be the best way to remove a label you want to keep as it never gets wet.
I also let hot water sit in it, then peel it off. Any residue left over comes off easily with some baking soda, hot water, and a drop of dish soap. Goof off gives me instant headaches.
Brittany P says
My brother figured out that using a hair drier to heat the label (and soften the glue) works really well to remove labels (not on all of them, but most). After heating it, use a razor blade to scrap as you peel it off. Works much faster than most other methods (although the hot water in the jar that Jo Ann T recommended) would probably do the same thing.
I have found that lemon essential oil takes labels of all sorts right off!
WD-40 every time.
Jamie Del Balso says
A drop of lemon essential oil removes the sticky residue left by challenging labels effortlessly!
I do this too, but I use olive oil and if I need a little abrasiveness, I add a little salt or sugar. Gives it just a bit more scrubbing power.
I simply soak glass jars, with any kind of label, in warm soapy water for about 30 min. and then scrub the label off with a piece of steel wool I keep by the sink. Simple and easy!
Lindsey Brandon says
Hi Wardee, Thanks for the tip on removing labels. Just FYI, you can find Mrs. Butterworth glass bottles on ebay very reasonably priced. Here’s a link to a search I did for you:
Hope this helps. ~ LinZbee
I save glass jars/bottles too. The sticky labels were tossed after several failed attempts to remove the “stick”. I finally made a paste of crisco (we don’t eat that anymore) and baking soda. I keep the paste mixture in a plastic jar. When I need to remove the sticky residue, I drizzle a few drops of dawn liquid on the jar, then a glob of the paste and the mess rubs right off.
I pour boiling water into glass jars/bottles….let sit about 30 seconds to a minute and just peel it off. Some stronger glues take longer and occassionally you also have to take a paring knife to get all the glue off. It’s important to remove the label as soon as the glue has heated up enough to let go, so that the glue comes off ON THE LABEL. I find if I let the boiling water sit in the bottle too long that the label comes off but leaves the glue on the bottle.
I don’t usually have trouble with the labels…. but I’d love to find a way to get the smell of what was in the jar out of the lid! The metal lids that come on regular grocery store jars of spaghetti sauce, olives, salsa etc have that kind of plasticy lining that seems to really hang on to odors. Any tips?
I try to run the lids through the dishwasher a time or two, but those pickle smells really stick inside the plastic!!
I use WD-40, melts glue off right away