Jars are so popular right now aren’t they? I’m talking about standard Mason jars, of course, but also jars of all shapes and sizes. People are re-using them for crafts, storage, and pretty much anything you can imagine.
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.
I’ve read that a lot of people swear by using nail polish remover, 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!
Here’s how it goes:
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.)
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, and 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, but I’m sure any oil would do.
I rubbed the paste all over the jars and left it on for a few minutes. I think I went and folded half a load of laundry or something. You can see I wasn’t careful to keep the counter clean during this process… at all.
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 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 scrubbie and just rinse it out afterwards. You can see mine is very well-used around here.
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!
If you’re looking for more handy cleaning tips and tricks like how to clean really stubborn carpet stains or the secret to polishing stainless steel appliances, you can find a whole bunch in my cleaning archives!