Whether you want to store dry goods from your zero-waste shopping, or make homemade jams and pickles, reusing glass jars and bottles is a fantastic way to give them a new life. But first, you need to tackle the challenge of removing those stubborn stickers.
In this simple guide, we'll reveal easy methods for peeling labels off bottles and jars, and getting the sticky residue off the glass. And just in case you’re worried about your grains, pasta or nuts smelling of pickles, we also provide tips on how to get rid of any lingering smells in your jars!
How to remove labels from jars: Unleash the magic of glass!
#1: Hot Soapy Water - Begin your label-removing adventure by immersing your jar in a sink or large bowl filled with hot, soapy water. Let it soak for about 30 minutes. The warm water will loosen the label's grip, allowing you to peel it off gently. For any lingering sticky residue, a scraper or razor blade will come to the rescue.
Tip: Use our solid dish soap instead of bottled dish detergent to cut down on plastic. To make soapy water, simply chip off a small corner of the bar and mix it with warm water.
#2: White Vinegar – Yet another use for white vinegar, which is a staple for eco-friendly cleaning in most zero waste households! Soak a rag or cloth in vinegar and lay across the sticky area. Let it soak for a few minutes to soften the residue, then wipe or scrape to remove the label.
Tip: Check out our guide to find out more about white vinegar for cleaning
#3: Freezer - The Chilling Trick: Place your jar in the freezer for a few hours. The cold temperatures will harden the glue, transforming it into a brittle enemy. With your trusty scraper or razor blade, you can peel off the label effortlessly.
#4: Oven/Heat - By applying heat to the label, either with a hairdryer or by placing the jar in the oven for a few minutes, you unleash a magical force. The heat softens the glue, making it pliable and easy to remove. Be cautious not to let the glass become too hot, and use heat-resistant gloves to handle the jar.
#5: Olive Oil - Apply a generous amount of olive oil to the label, allowing it to soak for a few hours. The oil's properties penetrate the glue, breaking it down. As if by magic, the label will surrender, leaving you with a smooth and pristine surface. Wipe away any sticky glue residue with a dish cloth or sponge.
#6: Alcohol - Got a bottle of vodka in the liquor cabinet? Apply a small amount to the label and let it rest for a few minutes. The chemical reaction dissolves the glue's bonds, allowing you to peel away the label with ease. Bid farewell to the sticky residue, and revel in your label-free jar.
#7: Razor - With a razor blade in hand, carefully wield it at a 45-degree angle and embark on an adventure of precision. Gently scrape away the label, taking care not to harm the glass. Your bravery will be rewarded with a jar ready to embark on its new purpose.
#8: Citrus - Cut a lemon or lime in half and rub it over the label. Allow the citrusy spell to work its magic for a few minutes, and then summon your scraper or razor blade. As you peel off the label, the citrus essence will dissolve the glue, leaving behind a refreshing aroma.
Removing smells from empty jars:
Now that your jar is label-free, let's tackle any lingering smells that may hinder its new purpose. To banish pickle smells, mix equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour this potion into the jar and let it rest for a few hours. Rinse the jar thoroughly with hot water, and the pickle scent will vanish like magic. Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda inside the jar, let it sit for a few hours, and rinse it out with hot water for a fresh start.
Embrace the Magic of Glass Reuse! With the secrets of label removal unveiled, you now possess the power to reuse glass jars and bottles with ease. Use your glass jars for zero waste shopping, glass pantry storage, making DIY pantry staples, bringing food to a low waste picnic, and so many other uses around the house!
How do you remove labels from jars? What do you use the glass jars for? Share and inspire us in the comments below!