Glass jars from pasta sauces, aromatics and preserves make free, durable containers for all around the house. Want to store dry ingredients? Simple! Pot a little plant? Of course! As versatile as they are cute, glass jars are the ultimate storage staple.
But to reuse them, you’ll need to remove their labels to preserve sanitary standards and aesthetic appeal. Sometimes, label adhesive can be particularly sticky. That’s why TikTok DIYer and food creator Nicole Keshishian Modic (@kalejunkie) offers label removal wizardry for us all to implement.
@kalejunkie How to remove labels and that sticky glue from your glass jars so you can reuse them! #sustainability #nowaste #kitchenhacks #upcycling ♬ original sound – Nicole Modic, JD
How to Remove Labels from Glass Jars
To start, you’ll need a few basic pieces of kitchen equipment, as well as classic non-toxic cleaning staples you likely already have in your pantry.
- Large stock pot;
- Long-handled heat kitchen utensils (metal tongs are good);
- Scrub brush.
- White vinegar;
- Dish soap.
- Place your glass jars in the stock pot without their lids.
- Add approximately two cups of white vinegar to the pot, as well as a generous squeeze of dish soap.
- Fill the pot with water until all the glass jars are covered.
- Bring the vinegar-soap mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, turn the heat off and let the jars sit in the hot vinegar-soap mixture for 20 minutes.
- Carefully extract the jars with the kitchen utensil — they may be hot. The labels should peel right off.
- If any glue residue remains on the jars, scrub it off with a scrub brush and the vinegar-soap mixture.
How to Remove Super Heavy-Duty Glue
According to Modic, the above method should work on “99% of jars.” However, those with an intense glue mixture may not respond to the vinegar-soap method. For those pesky jars, try this special treatment.
- Medium-sized bowl;
- Scrub brush.
- Cooking oil (avocado, olive or vegetable);
- Baking soda
- In the bowl, add approximately equal parts oil and baking soda.
- Stir together until a loose paste forms.
- Spoon the paste over the glue on the jars and rub it in with your hands.
- Let rest for 20 minutes.
- Remove the paste with the scrub brush and rinse in cold water.
Putting Those Clean Jars to Use
Now that your collection of glass jars is rid of all that icky glue, let’s talk about how to use them. Beyond the storage hacks provided earlier, there are numerous other eco-friendly ways to make the most of your jars.
Consider taking them grocery shopping to purchase bulk ingredients without plastic. Or make a simple but heartfelt gift for a friend without all that packing material.
Remember: Each repurposed jar isn’t just a buck saved for you; it also saves our oceans from dangerous plastics. So keep calm and recycle on, Planeteers!