Two Easy Ways To Remove Jar Labels

Find out just how easy it is to remove those pesky labels from jars! Here are two easy ways to remove jar labels!

Two Easy Ways To Remove Labels From Jars |

The holidays are just around the corner and to me that means more crafts.  Glass jars are a great way to recycle for not only craft projects but are wonderfully useful for storage, rustic vases, and even for cleaning solutions.

Cleaning the labels and the sticky residue off of jars can be an intimidating and time-consuming process.  I’m sure we’ve all tried peanut butter, vinegar, hot water, soap, dishwasher, oils, etc.  The list goes on and on when you ask people how they remove their labels.  I’ve tried a variety of methods and have narrowed it down to the two that I find most effective and efficient.  You pick which one works for you!

Gather up several jars at a time to be more efficient.   I like to do lots of different sizes and shapes  – some of the jars even have really beautiful designs on them.

For each method, remove as much of the label as possible first.  An easy way to get the adhesive to release is to fill the jar with really hot water.  Be careful when handling the jar and don’t burn yourself!

Let the jar sit for a few minutes so the adhesive can turn more to a liquid and then start gently peeling off the label.
First Method: Olive Oil
Olive Oil is my favorite method because it’s eco-friendly and is super easy.  Pour a couple drops of oil onto a paper towel and rub at the remaining residue from the label.  Keep rubbing until all residue is gone.  This should only take a minute or two.  Make sure to wash your jar afterward to get the oil off.  I just run mine through the dishwasher. 

Second Method: Polish Remover

This method is actually a little faster than the olive oil but you have to deal with the fumes from the nail polish remover.  (You can see here that I combat this issue with “cucumber melon” scented remover :) )  Pour the polish remover onto a paper towel or use the applicator if yours came with one.  Scrub away at that label and adhesive and it will just slide right off.  Quick and easy!  Again, make sure to wash the jar afterwards. 

These two methods are fail-proof.  I have never had a jar label that I couldn’t remove using one of these two methods.  Next time you are about to throw out a glass jar think of how easy it is to re-use it and try one of these methods.  Let me know what you think.

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  1. Thanks. Labels drive me nuts.

  2. Great tips! I go with the hot water one but the other way would also get rid of the goo left behind. Love it!

  3. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  4. these are fantastic, those labels can be so so annoying I’d love it if you’d link it up at my party at

  5. Great Tip! I am going to try it!

  6. Very timely! I have been stashing my jars all year to use at Christmas for neighbor gifts, but I haven’t managed to get all the labels off yet. Thanks!

  7. Great tips! I’m just kicking myself for not thinking to save my jars earlier in the year. :)

  8. great tips, I love to reuse jars but labels make me nutty.

  9. These are great tips, I sometimes really despair when I cannot get the glue off completely!

  10. Do either/both of these methods work on plastic?

  11. @LisaYes Lisa – this should definitely work on plastic. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s the adhesive that you’re removing so it shouldn’t matter what surface the glue is on. Let me know if you give it a try.

  12. Thanks for the tips. My son plastered his car window with stickers and we’ve been trying various methods to remove them. :)

  13. Great tips! Thank you!
    Karah @ thespacebetweenblog

  14. Huh, olive oil? I would’ve never known. I’ll totally give this a try the next time.

  15. Oh wow, I needed these tips!! I have some old jars that are really cute and I knew I could use them for storing but I couldn’t get the sticky labels off!! I would love for you to come link up at our link party…

  16. My favorite is Goo Gone. It has a nice citrus smell, so no harsh fumes. It works on everything and fast. Although I wouldn’t recommend it on fabric. It sometimes leaves an oily residue that doesn’t come out well. You can use rubbing alcohol on other items to get the oily residue off.

  17. This was very useful information. is having a party please come and share.

  18. Awesome… such needed information! Thank you for sharing! I’m a new follower!

  19. Thanks for the great solutions! I have several spice jars to try this on.

  20. Woohoo!! Now I can use glass jars over! Take the labels off and paint the lids.:) Thanks so much:)

  21. I love the olive oil method. Going to need to try this!

  22. A much easier way to get the labels off is cold water. Don’t peel any of the label off . Just make sure to soak the entire jar in cold water. Leave it there for several hours. The labels will come right off. Somethimes there will be a little bit of glue left on the jar – brush it away imidiately – still with cold water. This works on most jars an labels. There are some that won’t come off with this metod, but then I just recicle the hole thing as is.

  23. Oh, I forgot to say: For my cold water label solution it is very important to NOT heat the jar in any way before attempting to remove the label. It won’t work on jars if you have tried to remove the label with hot water first. It seems like hot water makes the labels stick even better.
    When we have emptied a jar I know I will delabel, I simply fill a deep bowl with cold water and put my jar into it, making sure the jar is fully soaked. I usually dont rince the glass first, if I do I make sure to use cold water.

  24. Hi trish, I have made a post in blog featuring this idea.
    tks for sharing it.
    rgds, dalys at

  25. Thanks! I usually just soak it off in how water then rub, rub, rub the gunk off with my fingers. Olive Oil sounds much easier.

  26. Ps-found you at Sunday’s Best Party

  27. Hi, Trish – great post, I have never tried either thing and always have a hard time w/labels. thanks!

  28. What an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing. Love your space.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  29. I usually use goo gone, but I don’t like to use that if I am going to be using the jar for food. Thanks for the olive oil tip!

  30. I have used baby oil before, but found charcoal lighter fluid to be even easier. However, I haven’t removed all that many labels.

  31. This is a great post – please consider linking to the Success U – Wednesday Linkup Party at

    Also, my favorite method is to use a hair dryer. Simply put it on the hottest setting for about 2 minutes over the label (longer if it is a large label) and peel off as soon as it isn’t too hot to touch.

  32. This is great, I swear they don’t want you to get the labels off, I think they sitting therein corporate world laughing at us knowning we are struggling with the labels. But alas, now we know how to remove them. thanks for sharing at Sunday’s Best, you come up with the best stuff.

  33. Thanks for the tips, I am definitely going to try them! Visiting from Creative Bloggers Party Hop!

  34. Great tips! I will definitely put them to some use. I just had to go to Goodwill this week to get jars because I didn’t have any ‘clean’ ones at home.

  35. This is great tip, wish I would of known this when I was taking off wine labels for our wedding and putting ours on. It was a process. I would love for you to share this at Totally Inspired Tuesdays at The Inspired Collection!


  36. Awesome tips! Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday’s Best =)

  37. I needed this! Thanks! Shay :)

  38. Olive oil, of course, yet I never thought of it on my own! Thank you!

  39. This is perfect:) I am seriously loving your post! It is so informative and I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable ( I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Here’s the link:

  40. wow this was so helpful! thank u so much!

  41. Just to let you know that this is the fave blog post of the week at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop :) This will be featured tomorrow. Really appreciate you linking up to CBPH.

  42. Great tips to remember! I HATE removing labels from jars (and price tags from purchases!) Thanks so much for sharing at The Creative Spark. I’ll be featuring this on my facebook page. Enjoy your Sunday!
    Jenn :)

  43. Great tip! Thanks!

  44. I’ve tried a bunch of cumbersome methods but never the 2 you described! Definitely going to try the olive oil. Thanks for sharing!!

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  45. Hi there – hopped over from More The Merrier! I love re-purposing glass jars, but it seems the labels are really tough to get out these days. So, thanks for the tips. I can’t wait to use the gazillion jars that await me…..

  46. ooohhh I like the olive oil idea – I’ll have to try it. I just found you from fireflies&jellybeans linky. I did a memory jar recently and had to stick some coloured paper over a bit of label glue that wouldn’t budge!

    If you have time to hit ‘follow’ it would be great to get to 30 followers and then my husband might shush!

  47. Anonymous says:

    I usually just use water, but on the hard to remove residue I usually use a little WD-40. Of course, you want to wash the jar well after, but it gets rid of the glue. WD-40 is also great for getting bumper skickers, and the like, off of cars/etc.

  48. Fabulous tips, thank you for sharing!!! Upcycled jars are perfect for organizing and storing all of my craft supplies! I love to spray paint my lids to match my room decor as well.

  49. I had no idea those tricks would remove labels. Great tips!

  50. “Goo Gone” works like a charm!

  51. Great tips…will try them out..thanks :)

  52. Thank you so much! I love jars and have the worst time getting the sticky off. Love your bog!

  53. Awesome! Thanks! :-) I never thought about using nail polish remover for removing labels.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I pull the labels off as much as possible…score with a fork and let soak in hot soapy water..then i spray with cooking spray and use a staineless steel pot scratcher…works great….

  55. Something I have been meaning to look up. I thought Olive Oil would work, but have not had much luck with it. I think I’ve been missing the hot water trick first. Thanks!


  57. Yep, that’s how I do it. I love reusing jars and bottles. Thanks for sharing this great tip.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Great idea, I will have to try this

  59. “Goo Gone” removes labels and residue splendidly!

  60. You’ve been featured!

    Thanks for joining the Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party!

    Hope to see you again this Thurs-Sat.


  61. Dunking the jars in water, any temperature, for a period of time will remove the adhesive as well.

  62. Interesting! I’ll have to give that a whirl.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I use rubbing alcohol. Works like a charm!!!

  64. What great ideas…thank you!

    I’d love for you to come link up with my Homemaking Link-Up Weekend! You can link any homemaking post—and as many as you want!

    Have a great weekend!

  65. Your link-up caught my eye over at 504 Main. Great tutorial! I’ll definitely be trying the olive oil method!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  66. @Jenn Erickson Oh great! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  67. Excellent tip! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  68. Anonymous says:

    Great tips..Thanks for sharing.

  69. Anonymous says:

    I’ve used lamp oil on glass items. Works great!

  70. Great tip! I am using a big plastic pretzel container for my daughter’s valentine’s day box and used baby oil to take the label off. I’ll have to remember your tips the next time.

    I’m a new follower. :)

  71. Am adding this to my to-do right now. Remove labels of jars with olive oil. Yes! Thanks for the tip!

  72. Anonymous says:

    GOO GONE!!!

  73. Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I’m a new follower. I’ve tried white vinegar (the miracle cleaner) thinking it must certainly clean the labels right off. I usually soak the jars in hot water but never thought to just fill the inside of the jar and let it sit. I can’t wait to finish the next jar of pickles.

  74. I bet you never thought this post would be so popular? This is perfect…off to clean some jars now. Thanks a million! Found you on Pinterest. Look forward to perusing around your cute blog later. ;) Shan from Family Brings Joy

  75. Tried it–loved it. :) I was so happy to find this! I used nail polish remover for the big pieces and the little sticky patches that were left I used the olive oil. Worked perfectly. THANK YOU!

  76. I just tired this on a glass and plastic bottle and it worked like a charm, I used the olive oil. Thanks so much now I have a sink full of jars soaking in hot water so that I can use this method on them also :)

  77. Wow! Lots of comments. Another tip–and I’ve only used this once so I can’t attest to its continued efficacy–is to use a hair dryer. Do this before you try anything else. If it doesn’t work, and it did for me on a label I’ve had difficulty with in the past, then go ahead with the other steps. (Yours are the methods I normally use.)

  78. Thank you for the tips!! I’ve been trying to remove labels from Frappucino bottles (they’ll make the cutest milk bottles for my son’s milk n cookies bday party!). Filling them with hot water to “melt” the adhesive was key- then olive oil took it right off!! Thanks :)

  79. The best cleanup (imo) for label residue is the same stuff that gets chewing gum out of hair. Work a little dab of peanut butter with a paper towel into the gluey mess and wash it off with dish detergent when done. The problem of smearing around the glue with npr when the glue is particularly difficult disappears because the residue mixes into the peanut butter!

  80. It doesn’t have to be olive oil, corn oil, or canola, or vegetable, – any of them work. Don’t use your expensive olive oil for this, use the cheapest vegetable oil you have!

  81. Tried both methods. The best of the two was the olive oil. I removed jam labels, however, maybe it makes a difference with different company labels and the glue they each use. Thanks for your great tip.

  82. So glad I found your post! I just tried the olive oil method and it worked amazing! I usually don’t have a problem taking paper lables off “Classico” sauce jars. But I wanted to take the plastic lables off some Starbucks frappacino jars and nothing was getting the adhesive off…..except for this!!! Yay! Now my kids have cute “milk bottles” to drink out of for Easter.

  83. I’m so glad I found this information about removing labels. Trader Joe’s packages their items in such perfect jars and I’ve been using them for dressings, leftovers, etc. I’ve just struggle to get the labels off; attempted the soaking process before, scraping them off, trying to use rough sponges, etc. Let me tell you, nail polish remover did the job and it was effortless!

  84. jamaree says:

    I have found that just running them thru the dishwasher until the final rinse while they are hot…. the labels just slip right off…goo n all…simple!……. just make sure you get them before the dry cycle !!

  85. I just tried both methods on a couple of glass jars. Didn’t work. Any tips for that?
    Erin B. recently posted..Gilded Summer: West 18th Street Fashion Show (My Picks.)

  86. Thank you very much for the tips! I have a plastic herb jar with a cool shaker top, so I really, really wanted to reuse it. After olive oil and nail polish remover didn’t work, I tried Tide HE powder. I wet my finger with water and dipped it in Tide, then smeared it on the jar. To my surprise, the glue and residue just “melted” off after a couple swirls. Maybe the oil or remover weakened the bond? Dunno, but it worked like magic! Thinking back to all the years of scraping and rubbing…wish I would have known about this! :-)

  87. Omg! You saved me hours with the olive oil tip. I was trying to get labels off plastic bottles which is harder than glass bottles. Olive oil worked like a charm.

  88. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know the olive oil tip worked like a CHARM!!!! Thank you SOOOO MUCH!!!!


  89. I used nail polish remover and it worked. Thank you for the tip!

  90. Elizabeth Freville says:

    The fastest way I know is I usually just peel the label off after soaking the jars in hot water for an hour. Then I use lighter fluid if there is any residue left. Wipes right off. I do it on our back porch so as not to inhale the fumes. ♥ dig ♥

  91. I know eucalyptus oil will melt away the glue off glass jars and also gets tar off your car. My daughter in-law to be is getting married in March next year and we are saving glass jars for the flowers and candels so there is a lot to be cleaned thanks so much Trish for the great advise!!

  92. camperses says:

    It works! Thank you so much! :)

  93. I wanted to use a couple of used jars for night lights outside when entertaining in the evening. Soaked the jars in hot water, rubbed off with a flat wooden spoon and then used the olive oil to finish off. Perfect. Thanxx :)

  94. I couldn’t get the labels off to even proceed with the olive oil method, so I soaked them in hot water, Dawn and baking soda for an hour and scraped with a butter knife. Glided off easily and no residue!

  95. Trish, following your advice, I poured hot water into the jar and peeled off the label with ease, then polished up the jar with olive oil on a kitchen towel.
    Next time I’ll try it with a cheaper oil!

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