Clean labels off jars

The whole reason for the selfsufficientish website was to offer a place where anyone can ask, HOW DO I...? So who knows why it has taken us so long to have a HOW DO I? section, but here it is. So if you want to know how to do anything selfsufficientish then here is the place to ask.
User avatar
JuzaMum
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247422Post JuzaMum
Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:50 pm

I have made a few jams this year and also had my first go at chutney making. I reuse old jars but have trouble removing the labels on some. They sometimes leave a nasty sticky residue. Any ideas please?

JuzaMum
Happiness isn't having what you want but wanting what you have.

User avatar
spider8
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:44 am
Location: Orkney, Scotland.

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247423Post spider8
Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:09 pm

I use white spirit although it does stink and needs lots of washing to get rid of it.
Life's a bitch and then you diet.

User avatar
Davie Crockett
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 9:48 pm
latitude: 52.12292
longitude: 2.30910
Location: Malvern, UK.
Contact:

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247424Post Davie Crockett
Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:13 pm

I reuse old jars but have trouble removing the labels on some. They sometimes leave a nasty sticky residue. Any ideas please?
I have the same problem with wine bottle labels. In the main I use hot water, detergent and elbow grease, as a last resort I "borrow" some nail varnish remover. Sometimes white spirit shifts it, but you need to thoroughly clean up afterwards for food use.
Time flies like an arrow; vinegar flies like an uncovered wine must.

User avatar
JuzaMum
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247426Post JuzaMum
Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:11 pm

Thanks - I will try white spirit on the particually stubborn ones then stick them in the dishwasher after.

JuzaMum
Happiness isn't having what you want but wanting what you have.

User avatar
baldybloke
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 375
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Wiltshire

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247431Post baldybloke
Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:58 pm

Better than white spirit is metholated spirit. Dab it on and the label should scrape off easily.
Has anyone seen the plot, I seem to have lost mine?

Durgan
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:02 pm

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247433Post Durgan
Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:31 pm

I gave up on the paper labels due to the work involved in removing. I don't reuse the tops so mark the necessary information using a black marker. A quick swipe using alcohol cleans the marking off if it is desired to keep the top.

User avatar
wabbit955
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:49 am
Location: essex

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247434Post wabbit955
Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:49 pm

metal scrubbers work well after a good soak
or a quick dip in me petrol tank for those realy sticky ones
Darn that Wabbit

julie_lanteri
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247435Post julie_lanteri
Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:10 pm

Some labels peel off easier than others so it's a matter of trial and error. When I find some that are easy to remove with a soak in really hot water, I run to the shop and get some more. I also try to find jars with plain lids so it doesn't scream "I was a dolmio jar!". I know it's silly as it doesn't change what's inside but it's nicer to look at. I print my own labels on paper and stick them with a glue stick. super easy to remove and survive a season of storage in cupboard and fridge once open.

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247437Post Thomzo
Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:37 pm

Like said, try soaking overnight first. Paint brush cleaner is pretty good at removing the sticky residue.

If it's something posh for a gift, I make a tag from thin card, and tie it on, looks pretty and you can put extra information, such as the ingredients, on the back.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

Durgan
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:02 pm

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247445Post Durgan
Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:02 am

wabbit955 wrote:metal scrubbers work well after a good soak
or a quick dip in me petrol tank for those realy sticky ones
I like that. That sticky glue is sure a pain.

User avatar
wulf
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:41 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247466Post wulf
Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:38 am

I use boiling water and a plastic jug (which means I don't use a lot more water than is needed to soak the label). Some jars need two or three passes in between attempts to scrape the glue off (a blunt old knife works well here).

If a jar or bottle is very problematic at cleaning, it is better put in recycling or using a label that covers the remaining residue. On the other hand, some are very easy to clean - my first stage is often just to leave an empty jar or two sitting in the water left from washing up. It has until the next time I wash up (and perhaps a few tentative attempts at peeling away the label) to see how much of a headstart I can give it.

Wulf
:read2: Read my blog and check out my music

User avatar
Thomzo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 4287
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:42 pm
Location: Swindon, South West England

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247540Post Thomzo
Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:02 pm

Perhaps we need a list of the good, the bad and the ugly. Which brands soak off easily? Which ones don't come off at all? And which ones can be persuaded to go with a bit of elbow grease? That would help us to chose the brands to buy in the first place.

Zoe
Think globally, shop locally
Check out my blog at http://designedbyzoe.blogspot.com/
http://www.thomzo.co.uk

confused
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:19 am

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247726Post confused
Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:33 am

I've just cleaned 16 jars this morning , i give them a good soak (these ones were overnight ) then peel of as much as possible , then i use the back of an old kithen knife and just scrape it of , takes no time at all , and no nasty unpleasant smells in the jars. I wish i had tried this years ago it's so simple.

User avatar
Millymollymandy
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 17637
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 6:09 am
Location: Brittany, France

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 247736Post Millymollymandy
Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:21 pm

I use my fingernails! :lol:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

torisocks
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:27 pm
latitude: 51.86
longitude: -2.24
Location: Bristol/Gloucester

Re: Clean labels off jars

Post: # 258317Post torisocks
Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:43 pm

This is probably a few months too late, but this seems to always work well for me. I always put my jars in a big stockpot with enough water to cover them up and boil them up for a few minutes to sterilise them. I've found that you can then peel the whole label off with very little trouble with some tongs (or any other improvised method that doesn't burn you). Two jobs in one as well.
(This is my preferred method of sterilising things because you can also get all the bits left in the crease at the bottom of the jar (or bottle) that you can't get out otherwise, and you can let them cool on the stove with the water if you're only pickling etc.) I imagine it's tricky to get the timing right for jam jars though (and probably hard to fit all the ones you need in) so it's probably best done in advance and then pop them in the oven for the jam?

Post Reply