How to Remove Labels From Jars With Barely Any Work

This weekend I decided to replace a ton of spices from my spice rack. Some of them were there when I first bought it 20 years ago! There are just some spices that I don’t really use that often so they just sit in my spice rack taking up space. Since there are about a million ways to reuse old spice jars, I really didn’t want to throw them all away! I decided to share with you how to remove labels from jars with barely any work. All you need is hot soapy water, a scrub brush and some coconut oil!

Posts feature partner companies & may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

collage of spice jars with spices and empty with label removed

How to Remove Labels From Jars

Step one:  Fill a bowl with hot, soapy water and toss in your old spice jars. Now, go to bed. Seriously…just leave them in the hot soapy water overnight to soak.

Step two:  Scrape off the label with your fingernail or the edge of a knife. It should peel right off, leaving a whole bunch of label glue behind on your jar. Getting labels off of jars is not the hard part. Now…. how do i remove sticky label residue from glass? That is a bit more work….

empty spice jar next to coconut oil being used to remove its lable

✯Don’t want to miss the next post?✯

Follow Turning the Clock Back on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Or join the private Facebook group for simple tips on going green!

Step three:  Dry your spice jar and smear coconut oil over the whole sticky label part with a paper towel. Go take a nap. Yup, just leave that thing sitting there for a while and ignore it. This post about how to remove labels from jars makes it sound pretty simple, huh?

Step four:  After  the oil has sat there for a few hours, turn on the hot water and scrub the label goo off with your scrubbie thing. I have a stiff bristled brush that I use but I’m sure there are other options out there.

Step five:  Let air dry and then find a few new uses for those old jars. Just keep reading below for a few ideas!

wine bottle and glass of wine

How do you remove labels from glass bottles without damaging them?

Ok, so this method of removing labels from jars is pretty harsh on the label itself.  It is basically destroyed.  What do you do if you want to remove labels from glass bottles without damaging them? Maybe you want to keep the label from your wedding wine bottle in your scrapbook….   That is a little trickier.  

The only method I have come across for removing labels and keeping them intact is the oven method. Put the empty jar into the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees until the bottles are hot (about 10 minutes or so). Remove the jar from the oven  very carefully.  The labels should peel right off.  Put the labels on wax paper or plastic wrap. to keep them from resticking to something else. 

collage of empty jars and jar with craft material and text Creative Ways to REUSE empty jars and bottles

Creative Uses for Old Jars After You Remove the Label

Our curbside recycling program stopped taking glass a few months ago.  While I can drive it to the recycling facility in the next town, it is a lot of work.  In an effort to cut down on glass recycling, I have been looking for creative uses for old jars around the how.  Here are a few ways to reuse empty jars once you have finished removing the label.

Painted Jar Luminaries:

Get into the holiday spirit and paint your empty jar to look like a pumpkin, flag, or Christmas tree. Place a small tea light in each one and you have attractive and creative holiday décor.

Pro Upcycling Tip: Check out my post on how to cut a glass bottle in half with string!   

hot chocolate mix in a jar with text

Make gifts in a jar:

Old jars are wonderful to hold a number of  gifts.  Whether you want to make something sweet like cookies or a savory dried soup mix just add your dry ingredients, dress up with a bow, and include the directions for use.   You can also make a homemade Christmas sugar scrub and put it in a clean, empty jar with a gift tag for a friend. 

Make it into a DIY sewing kit:

Fill the jar with all of your spools of thread, tape measure, and other small supplies.  Wrap cotton balls in a small square of cloth and glue to the top of the lid.  Screw the lid onto the jar and stick your needles into the cloth.  Now you have all of your sewing supplies in one place!

upycled mason jar with label filled with powdered sugar

Make a powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar shaker:

Fill upcycled jars with powdered sugar or mix cinnamon and sugar together in a large bowl to desired sweetness.  Add a few holes to the lid using a hammer and nail.  Now you have a convenient way to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on your toast or dust your crepes with powdered sugar.   This is a great way to repurpose old spice jars

paper straws and glass mason jars

Use to serve food or beverages to guests:

Some empty jars bring about a look of rustic nostalgia when used as part of your table setting. A delicious pudding or glass of homemade iced tea can easily be served in fancy jars to give your meal a bit of pizzazz.   

You can make homemade lemonade with slices of fresh lemon, screw the lids on, and place in a bucket full of ice the next time you are having a party.



27 thoughts on “How to Remove Labels From Jars With Barely Any Work”

  1. I remove labels by filling the jar with very hot water. Let sit till the jar and labels are hot. Label comes right off, and doesn’t leave glue.

  2. I am an avid gardener and Love to do flower pots. I use my spice jars for pellet fertilizer to sprinkle into the pot or into the garden if I have a new plant to add to my garden. Works great, space saving and sealed from moisture.

  3. I let my jars sit in hot water for 10 minutes or so, peel off the label, then wipe the sticky glue off with NON-acetone nail polish remover on a microfiber cloth. Takes two minutes max. Good to go. I do, however, run them through the dishwasher just to get the remover off the glass.

  4. I would prefer to use coconut oil for removing a label from glass. Using fingernail polish remover or goo gone involves harsh chemicals I would like to avoid whenever. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Hi:
    I use a hair dryer on low heat.
    Raise one corner of the label and peel slowly.
    Any clue remaining can be cleaned with soap/water or Goo Gone, depending on the type of glue.
    Wine bottles seem to use water-soluble glue.
    I soak them in water with a drop or two of dish detergent first.
    The dishwasher is a poor choice, labels clog the drain holes…

  6. Goo Gone is the BEST way to remove labels & glue from glass & ceramic items. Spray a little on area & rub in about 30 sec..grab a cloth & scrub off! Love this stuff!!

  7. WD40 and Goo Gone smell horrible. Fancy oils (i.e., coconut and almond) are fine, but so is plain vegetable oil. Cheapest brand. Peel off as much of label as possible. Rinse. Wash w/detergent. Rinse again. Pour or coat vegetable oil with a toothbrush over label residue and. put in plastic bag or separate location. 24 hours later….all the stuff will come off. Cheap and no smell.


Leave a Comment