DIY Home Hacks: Removing Glass Jars Labels

What’s the best way to remove used jar labels without dealing with sticky residue? We tried out one solution to check out its effectiveness.

Updated on June 09, 2017 9:06 am

Alexa Lim Xiangyun


Mason jars are great for many things: storing kitchen stuff, decorations, smoothies or DIY jar gifts, but they’re not as accessible or cheap in Singapore. A great alternative would be to reuse all the glass jars for your jams, nut butters, and even honey―but what’s the best way to remove the labels without dealing with the horrendous sticky residue? We did a little "experiment" to test one solution.

There are numerous methods touted to work: using olive oil, polish remover, hot water, plain soapy water, paste of baking soda and oil...but which really works? We chose to do the baking soda and water test: cheap, environmentally-friendly and simple―we like!

What you need:

  • Hot to warm water
  • About ½ cup Baking Soda
  • Empty Jam/Honey/Nut Butter Jars; Wine bottles


Pour baking soda into a tub of hot or warm water, and immerse the jars into the tub. Leave them for at least 30 minutes. Do your laundry, bake, read a book―it’s fine even if you forget about them and leave them on overnight.

Take the glass jars up; the labels should come right off (they did for these jars).

What it boils down to, however, is the kind of glue used for the labels. It can be water-based or oil-based, so if it doesn’t come off, try using olive oil or a baking soda and olive oil paste to scrub the gunk off.

What comes after?
You can use the jars for anything, like this wonderful invention called Bacon Jam.

Do it. Removing the labels is easy and baking soda barely makes a chink in your pocket. You’re also giving back to the environment while creating kitchen storage or awesome gift idea options.

Photos by Alexa Lim Xiangyun


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