More often than not when I want to reuse a jar I can just soak it a bit to get the label off. But today the last two jars in my stash were the ones with the most stubbornly stuck labels I have ever experienced! I strive to stay away from harsh chemicals and especially didn’t want to use anything toxic on a food-storage item – I’m sure you want the same thing so here are the simple, non-toxic steps I took to get my jars label-free and ready to re-use!
What you’ll need:
- A couple jars with stubborn labels
- Baking soda
- Olive or vegetable oil
- A cloth or a paper towel
- Small bowl to mix ingredients
- Measuring spoons
The Simple Steps:
- Peel your labels as much as possible. The labels on my jars had previously been soaked and scratched at, but I only made minimal progress.
- Mix up the baking soda and oil – 1 part baking soda to 2 parts oil. For my jars I used 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of oil.
- Dip your cloth of choice into the mixture and scrub the entire label-covered surface of the jar, paying special attention to the edges – you’ll start to see the mixture making its way under the label via the edges. Leave a bit of the mixture available for the really sticky parts.
- Once the area is nice and coated, fill the jar with hot water and set it aside to be soaked in a few minutes. While the jars are set aside, fill a bowl or bin with hot soapy water. You’ll want to submerge the jars completely so choose something that will fit the whole jar (I chose a bowl over filling the sink to avoid wasting water). The hot water inside the jar is important – it begins the process of loosening the glue attaching the label as well as it keeps the jar submerged once you place it into the bowl.
- Soak the jars as long as needed, checking after 15 minutes or so. One took only 15 minutes, the other about an hour… it was REALLY stubborn! Use your thumb to peel the label – it should begin to roll away from the jar with minimal effort.
- Cover any residue in the remaining baking soda-and-oil mixture and repeat the process after a few more minutes.
- Since the jars have been soaking in soapy water they rinse clean easily and are ready to reuse immediately! Using your jar is as simple as rinse, dry, fill, and re-label!
One of these jars is now holding my latest batch of Pickled Red Onions, which is lately my FAVORITE salad topping! This recipe packs a lot of flavor into a small serving and enhances every dressing I have tried it with – from honey mustard to olive oils and lemon – yum!