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Easy ways to remove labels from jars and bottles

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    I always try to save any jars which come into our house from ending up in the recycle bin. I have quite a few friends who make preserves, but don’t buy lot of things in jars themselves (or they just use lots of jars when they preserve things) so can generally find homes for excess jars i have.

    My normal way to remove the labels is to soak them in the sink with hot water and detergent, some labels just fall off, and others are a real pain.
    Over the weekend I had the following advice given to me and thought I would give it a go with some jars that I really like but they have papery type labels and normally what happens is that the top layer of paper comes off leaving a big mess which  you have to scrub or just banish them to the too hard basket. To my surprise this method worked fantastically on them.
    Making sure you don’t get the labels wet, fill the jars with hot water, leave them to sit for a while (not until they go cold) then peel the label off.
    Seems that some jar labels are now being stuck on with some sort of “thermo” glue which softens with heat, so by not wetting the label the label keeps its strength and comes off in one go, this method worked quite well with some Beerenberg jars which I had put aside for “one day” when I could be bothered, it did still leave a bit of residue, which needed a wipe over with eucalyptus oil, but definitely much better than my soaking and scraping method.
    It didn’t work so well with a crushed garlic jar, which when soaked in water did just fall off, so I think it does depend on the jar.
    Who else has a easy way of removing labels from jars?

    I wonder if you could warm the label with a hair dryer rather than the hot water? Should be the same principle.


    Free solar hot water here ,I pay for power even with solar PV.
    Most come of with soaking in hot water,some come off in the dishwasher and I fish them out of the sieve.
    If its a great jar and the labels being a bastard I use eucalyptus oil to dissolve the glue


    I like that tip Vanessa. I’ll give it a go on the blasted Beerenberg jars which are the worst labels! Otherwise i hot soak, scrape then use Eucalyptus oil (which isn’t cheap). DH has just ordered us a pallet of new jars cos we can’t collect enough old jars


    If you can stand the smell kero will dissolve the glue that is left behind.


    That’s what I do Ballamara. A wipe with a paper towel moistened with kero then warm soapy water to remove the kero film.


    Bel, it was the Beerenberg ones (the new papery labels) which this worked fantastically with, it did leave some of the glue residue there, but it was only glue not glue and a layer of label (easy to remove with a little bit of eucalyptus oil), and even then I think if you got the water temp right (hot enough to start to melt the glue but not too much), most of it should stay on the label, I was able to remove a bit more of the glue by touching the label to the jar after it was removed (getting the glue left on the jar to stick to the label)

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