Do you have those bouts of consciousness where you want to do more good things for the planet? If you’re a little like me, you’ll be full of bravado and good intention, start off on a project and then get side tracked. Life is busy and that can happen.
For ages I was saving glass jars to reduce my dependence on zip-lock bags and cling-wrap. I’d soak and scrub jars and try all sorts of remedies but, was always left with bits of label and sticky residue. It meant using the jars was pretty unappealing. So my collection of ugly jars grew yet never really served any purpose.
No more! My jars are now sparkling clean with no hint of a label or glue to be seen.
How to remove labels from jars
I like to keep things pretty simple. When I have a small batch of jars to be spruced up, I get onto it. I’d all but finished my jam on toast (how good is apricot jam?!) and saw I had six jars ready to clean.
This process is so easy, you’ll be re-purposing jars in no time.
What you’ll need
- Baking Powder
- Vegetable Oil
- Grubby jars
- Metal spoon
- Measuring cup
- Optional – cuppa, snack and an episode of The Crown
Method to remove labels from jars
- Pop the jars and lids in the sink with some hot soapy water. The length of time they’ll need to soak may vary but it shouldn’t be too long. Just enough to soften the paper label, say around 10 minutes.
- Remove a jar from the water and use the metal spoon to scrape away the label. Genius, huh? How many scourers have you ruined trying to remove a paper label? The spoon makes very light work of this task. Pop the jar back in the sink. Repeat the process until all jars have the labels removed. Tip: leave the soapy water in the sink, it will help soften any extra residue and the lids are getting a good soaking.
- Mix up a paste of equal parts baking powder and vegetable oil. For this batch of jars I used an approximate quantity of half a cup each of baking powder and oil.
- Apply the mixture to any part of the jar where there is label or glue residue. For convenience, I used a basting brush for this step.
- Make yourself a cuppa, pop your feet up and watch an episode of The Crown.
The length of time needed for the mixture to work will vary depending on the amount of residue on the jars and how many episodes of The Crown you’d like to watch. There’s no set time. Whack on the mixture and forget about it until it’s convenient to go back to finish off the final step.
The final clean
- Pop the jars back in the sink of soapy water and clean off the mixture. If there is any residue remaining you can budge this with the spoon.
- Rinse and drain. Or, for extra sparkle and cleanliness put the jars in the dishwasher for a final clean.
That’s it – you now have sparkling, clean jars!
Moving to the kinda-country (we’re not in the middle of nowhere but we’re not city dwellers either), I’m spending more time on preparing my own food with farm-fresh ingredients. This means less store bought products and for that reason I’m saving as many jars as I can. This super easy way to remove labels from jars has been a game changer for me. The fact that it’s chemical free is a bonus!
Do you have an unfinished project you need inspiration to finish?