How to Remove Sticky Labels From Glass Jars (Foolproof Method)

Glass jars are a staple in my pantry. I use them to store all sorts of ingredients, from spices to bread crumbs to kombu. Many of the glass jars in my collection are reused jars, so today I’m sharing a foolproof method for removing sticky labels from glass jars.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Removing Sticky Labels From Glass Jars

This method for removing sticky labels from glass jars doesn’t rely on specialised products. Instead, it uses items and ingredients that you probably already own. And best of all—it works!

  1. Run some water over the label to soften the paper layer of the label.
  2. Scrub the paper layer of the label off the jar, using a sponge, dishwashing liquid, and water. At this stage, you don’t need to entirely remove the label—you just need to expose the sticky residue beneath.
  3. Wash the lid and the inside of the jar. An easy way to do this is to fill the jar halfway with water, and add a couple drops of dishwashing liquid. Screw the lid onto the jar and shake well. Then pour out the soapy water and rinse the lid and the inside of the jar.
  4. Set the jar and lid aside until they are dry.
  5. Pour olive oil onto the sticky residue. The oil loosens the sticky residue, making it easier to remove.
  6. Use a sponge to scrub off the sticky residue. You will find it easier if you start from the edges of the residue and work inwards, scrubbing in back and forth motions.
  7. Wash the jar one last time, using a sponge, dishwashing liquid, and water. This removes the oil and gets rid of any last traces of sticky residue.

Bonus Tips

  • Use a gentle sponge that is suitable for cleaning glass. I like to use a delicate dishwashing sponge.
  • The olive oil can make the jar slippery, so make sure you have a firm grip on the jar when you are scrubbing the sticky residue.
  • If you have difficulty removing the sticky residue, add a bit more olive oil. The sticky residue will be easier to remove if it is saturated with olive oil.
  • You can use this method to remove sticky labels from baking pans and baking trays, too. To protect the bakeware from scratches, use a gentle sponge.
  • I use olive oil because it’s what I use for cooking. If you don’t have olive oil in your pantry, try a different cooking oil.

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