Easy and Natural Hacks to Remove Labels From Glass Jars


Sep. 25 2023, Published 3:41 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Recycling glass jars is a sustainable practice.
  • Removing labels from glass jars can be hard.
  • There are many easy home solutions for removing labels from glass jars.

Many of the foods we buy come in glass bottles and containers. After they’re empty, you can recycle them or reuse them. However, removing the labels and the sticky residue that holds them in place can be a pain if you want to reuse them.

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Thankfully, the internet is full of hacks on removing labels from glass jars without using products like Goo Gone or other harsh chemical products. Here are five easy hacks to remove labels from glass jars.

Several empty glass bottles without labels.
Source: Getty Images
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Make DIY Goo Gone with baking soda and oil.

One of the most popular ways to get labels off glass bottles is to make your own Goo Gone-like concoction using baking soda and oil. TikTok creator @chelslikescutefood demonstrates this method in a 13-second TikTok video.

In the video, she mixes a tablespoon of baking soda with equal parts oil and then rubs the mixture on a jar label. She said you can also put the mixture on the remaining sticky residue after you’ve torn the label off. “Let it sit for a couple of hours, and then everything will just wipe off,” she said in the video.

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Soak jars in rubbing alcohol for easy label removal.

Jar labels should also come off easily if you soak the jars in rubbing alcohol for five to 10 minutes, according to the Don’t Waste The Crumbs blog. Stubborn labels may need to soak for as long as an hour, per the blog. You can also use a scrub brush or sponge soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue.

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You could also boil jars in water, vinegar and dish soap to get rid of difficult labels.

If you have several jars that you want to remove labels from, you can boil them in a large pot of water, white vinegar, and dish soap. Good Morning America shared a video on YouTube of this technique by blogger Nicole Modic of KaleJunkie.

After the pot boils, turn the heat off and wait 20 minutes, Modic said. “The labels will slide right off,” she said. Use tongs to remove the jars from the hot water so you don’t burn yourself. “If there happens to be any glue left, just brush it right off with that soapy vinegar water,” Modic said.

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Expose the jar to extreme heat or cold temperatures to remove the label.

According to Reusable Nation, you can remove sticky labels from glass jars by heating or freezing them. To heat the jar, you can put it in the microwave or oven or use a hairdryer on the label, per Reusable Nation.

You can also get the label off a glass jar by putting it in the freezer for a few hours or soaking it overnight in ice water.

Try using peanut butter to remove jar glue.

If you are able to peel off a jar label, but there is still a lot of sticky glue left on the glass, try rubbing peanut butter on the glue, suggested Jenny Leads of the Refresh Living blog. She tried this method, and after a couple of hours, the glue came right off the jar.

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