The best way to remove labels from jars! We’ll show you how to remove glue from glass without using harsh chemicals so your jars will be ready for a new life!
I always save my jars, but never end up using them because I always dread having to get all the little pieces of labels and glue off of them, so they just sit in my cupboard. This last weekend though, I needed some for a little craft we were doing at Kennedy’s Halloween party, so I needed to suck it up and get the job done. Of course, you could just buy a pack of smooth mason jars, but it’s a little more satisfying to reuse old jars, isn’t it?
Inspiration: 3 Ways to Paint Mason Jars
I’ve read that a lot of people swear by using nail polish remover when they try to remove labels, but since I had quite a few jars to do, and since I’m really paranoid about inhaling chemicals for any length of time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to find a better way.
And I did! Yay!
How to Remove Glue From Glass
I started with an assortment of different jars. (Side note: Is it totally weird for people from the US to see that one side of our labels is in French here in Canada? It seems like that would be weird if you weren’t used to it.)
First, I dropped them into a sink of hot soapy water to get them extra clean and to help remove the paper part of the labels.
You can see that on some jars, this pretty much took off all of the label and glue. On others…not so much.
Here’s what finally did the trick for me: I made a paste of equal parts baking soda and oil. I used olive oil just because that’s what was sitting out on my counter. I’m sure any oil would do, though.
I took a clean cloth and started wiping the paste away, along with the glue underneath it. The oil softened the glue up and the baking soda added a little bit of abrasiveness. This was one of the tougher gluey jars and it just came right off.
Because there are so many different types of glues on jars, it’s hard to find something that will work to remove labels on absolutely everything all the time. If you need a little extra oomph, don’t reach for a stronger chemical! Grab one of these little green scrubbies instead! Because it’s just olive oil and baking soda, you can feel free to use your regular everyday dish scrubby and just rinse it out afterwards. You can see mine is very well-used around here.
Your Jars are Ready for a New Life
The result was this: perfectly clean jars, all ready for crafting! And I got to spend the rest of the afternoon not worrying about if I had poisoned myself and whether I should open a few more windows.
It’s pretty neat! Give it a try! Now that you know how to remove glue from glass the safest and easiest way, you’ll have no problem prepping enough jars for all your amazing ideas.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.