5 ways to remove a label from a jar

5 ways to remove a label from a jar
5 ways to remove a label from a jar

Many people like to reuse their jars for storing things or for art projects. Unfortunately, many of them come with stubborn labels that are difficult to remove. They often leave stubborn bits of paper and glue that you just can't seem to peel off. Fortunately, if you know the right method, this is a very easy step!


Method 1 of 5: Use white vinegar

Remove a Jar Label Step 1

Step 1. Fill a sink or bucket with hot water

The water level should be deep enough to completely submerge the jar. If you need to remove the labels from more than one jar, the water should be deep enough to cover them all. The hotter it is, the better, because it will dissolve the glue under the paper.

Step 2. Add a few squirts of dish soap

If you don't have one, you can use hand soap. This will help you peel the label off and it will be easier for you to remove it.

Step 3. Add a few cups of white vinegar

Since it's acidic, it will dissolve the glue that holds the paper on the jar. It will then be much easier for you to remove the leftover label and glue.

Step 4. Immerse the jars in the sink

Take out the lids and lay the jars on their side so that they fill with water and drop to the bottom.

Remove a Jar Label Step 5

Step 5. Wait several minutes

The longer you wait, the more time you give the vinegar to dissolve the glue. Normally half an hour should be enough for stubborn labels, but you can check it every ten minutes.

Step 6. Take it out of the water and peel off the tag

It should slide easily on the glass. If there is any residue, try scraping it off with a scouring sponge.

Step 7. Rinse and wipe dry

Once you remove the tag, you can rinse the jar under running water and wipe it dry with a clean towel. It is now ready to use!

Method 2 of 5: Use washing soda

Remove a Jar Label Step 8

Step 1. Fill a sink with hot water

Make sure the water is deep enough to completely submerge the jars on their side. If you want to remove the label from multiple jars, you need to make sure that there is enough space in the sink so that they are all submerged.

Step 2. Add 100 g of washing soda

Stir the water with your hand to help the powder dissolve.

Remove a Jar Label Step 10

Step 3. Leave to act

Open the jar, immerse it in water and wait half an hour. Let the water enter it to make it flow. You don't have to wait exactly half an hour, but you should wait long enough for the water to soak up the label and dissolve the glue.

Step 4. Take out the jar and peel off the paper

It should glide easily over the surface of the glass. If you see any residue, try rubbing it with your finger. If they don't go, go to the next step.

Step 5. Use more washing soda

This should be necessary for stubborn stains. If there is residue, pour a little soda on a scouring sponge and rub gently.

Step 6. Rinse with clean water and pat dry

The jar will be clean, but there will still be soda residue on it. Once you have peeled the tag, you need to rinse it under running water and wipe it dry with a towel.

Method 3 of 5: Use nail polish remover

Step 1. Scrape off as much of the label as possible

If it's too hard to peel, soak it in hot water and soap for ten minutes first, then peel the tag. There will be traces left, but that's okay.

Avoid using nail polish remover or acetone if the jar is made of plastic. These products could warp or discolor the container. You can also try 90 degree alcohol, but it is not as effective

Step 2. Prepare the remover

Pour some on paper towels, a cloth or a scouring sponge. If there is not a lot of residue, you can use paper towels. If there are a lot of them, it is better that you attack directly with the sponge. Acetone might also work. 90 degree alcohol "might" be helpful, but it is not as effective as nail polish remover or acetone. Try it only on light streaks.

Step 3. Rub the residue in circles

The chemicals in the nail polish remover or acetone will dissolve the glue and make it easier for you to scrape off any leftovers. You may need to reapply it several times.

Step 4. Wash the jar with hot water and soap

This is even more important if you are going to put food in it. Once it's clean, wipe with a clean cloth and use it as you like.

Method 4 of 5: Use oil and baking soda

Remove a Jar Label Step 18

Step 1. Peel off the label as much as possible

If it is stuck well to the glass, first soak it in hot water and soap for a few minutes, then peel off the paper. There will probably be a lot of paper or glue residue left, but that's okay.

Step 2. Mix baking soda and oil

You can use the edible oil of your choice, for example rapeseed, olive or vegetable oil. Sweet almond oil should also work.

  • In the case of a small jar, you will need one tsp. to s. of each.
  • Pure olive oil might also work for light residue. However, you will need to add baking soda to it if there is paper.

Step 3. Rub the paste on the jar

Focus on the areas where there is the most residue. You can apply it with your fingers, a paper towel, or even a towel.

Remove a Jar Label Step 21

Step 4. Wait between 10 and 30 minutes

During this time, the oil will penetrate the glue and dissolve it. It will then be easier for you to make it leave later.

Step 5. Rub the paste

Use a scouring sponge or steel wool. Always make circles while rubbing. This allows the baking soda to scrape off the glue or paper.

Remove a Jar Label Step 23

Step 6. Wash with soap and water and wipe dry

If you still see residue, you can wipe it off with a paper towel and a few drops of oil.

Method 5 of 5: Use a hair dryer

Remove a Jar Label Step 24

Step 1. Turn it on to the maximum temperature

Be aware, however, that the results of this method are not constant. This only works if your hair dryer can produce strong heat and the tag is not too hard to remove.

Remove a Jar Label Step 25

Step 2. Hold it on for 45 seconds

The heat produced should dry out the glue and make it more crumbly. This makes it easier to peel the label.

Step 3. Try to start from a corner

If necessary, you can use your fingernail or a razor blade to help peel off the label. If it does not come off easily, heat for another 45 seconds, then try again.

Remove a Jar Label Step 27

Step 4. Use olive oil

It will remove the residue. Then wash it off with warm water and soap. Put a few drops of olive oil on a paper towel and gently rub off the residue. Wash with warm water and soap to remove the oil and wipe dry with a clean towel.


  • If you don't have a scouring sponge handy, use a soft bristle brush.
  • For stubborn labels, you can combine different methods.
  • Does the jar have a label with the date on it? Wash it off with nail polish remover or acetone.
  • You can also try the following method: pour boiling water into the jar, wait a few minutes, pour out the water and peel the label off. It also works on the jar.


  • Be careful with the hair dryer. The jar will heat up.
  • Avoid using the blow dryer method on plastic jars, as the heat will warp them.
  • Avoid nail polish remover and acetone on plastic jars.

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