How to Get the Labels Off Jars
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How to Get the Labels Off Jars

Have you ever wondered how to get the labels off jars so you can use the jars for canning or craft projects? Here are a few easy methods that you can do at home.

When choosing jars for canning it is best to check the lids to make sure the seal is in good condition (the ring around the inside edge of the lid) and that there are no dints or rust in the lid or chips in the glass jar.

Lids for canning

I personally prefer lids that have the pop indentation in the middle which lets you know if the jar has sealed properly. Always use jars that have heat tempered glass such as pasta sauce jars.

Some labels will come off easier than others. When I find a brand who’s jar meets my requirements for canning (correct lid and the label comes off easily) I tend to stick to buying that brand until I have enough jars to get me through the canning season.


Time needed: 5 minutes.

How to Get the Labels Off Jars

  1. Dish Detergent

    Soak the jar and lid in warm soapy water. The dish detergent will soften up the label. After a few minutes use your thumb to rub the label back. The top of the label will come off first then let it soak a minute more and rub off the remaining glue.
    You might need to use a non-scratch sponge to rub off the glue. Wash inside and out then rinse and let air dry completely before storing.

  2. Nail Polish Remover

    After soaking the label and peeling off what you can, dab nail polish remover over the remaining glue and leave for a few minutes. Use a non-scratch scrubber to scrub off the label or if it is stubborn use a razor blade being careful not to scratch the glass or yourself!

  3. Eucalyptus Oil

    Apply eucalyptus oil on remaining glue and leave for a few minutes then wipe off with a non-scratch sponge or scrubber.

    Label removed from the jar.

Removing Odours from Jars and Bottles

Bicarbonate of Soda

Fill with hot water then mix in 1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda (paid link) and leave for 2 hours.

Mustard Powder

Fill halfway with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of powdered mustard (paid link). Put the lid on then shake and leave for 30 minutes. Wash out thoroughly.

Tea Leaves

Fill with warm water then mix in 1 tablespoon of tea leaves and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Leave 4 hours or overnight and rinse out.

Are you getting ready for the canning season and still don’t have enough jars? Try these top rated jars from Amazon. (Paid link)

For information on sterilizing jars for canning, see this guide on Sterilizing Jars.

To save or print this guide on how to get the labels off jars, here is the PDF Version.

Do you love preserving food from your garden?  Try this guide on freezing spinach or silverbeet, canning jalapenos or old fashioned tomato relish.

For more information on canning, freezing and drying food try this guide to Food Preservation.

Do you love growing your own food? Try this free Homesteading guide to save money at home.

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