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How to remove labels from jars

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Spread

Most producer and manufacturers are obliging and their labels are easy to remove leaving no residue and no frustrated jam maker. You simply soak in soapy water and peel off. But there are a few, and sods law says they are the ones which are an unusal shape and you really want, which have really stubbon labels that just will not shift. Or if they do they leave a white, glue residue. I’ve tried alcohol (for the label, not myself), soaking in soapy water over night, scraping with a knife – all without success. So How to remove labels from jars?

Then I tried baking powder – after all it worked shelling hazelnuts so why not? And it worked.

Score the label a few times to allow water to seep in.

Get a big pan, put in the jar(s), cover with boiling water and add 1 table spoon baking powder or bicarb. It will froth up like a vulcano so be warned – thus the big pan.

Leave to boil for around 5 mins.

Remove, test a corner. If it needs more then put it back.

Once ready remove and peel off as soon as it’s bareable to touch. Do not leave it to dry out otherwise you will have to begin again.

1 more jar saved from recycling and ready for potting.

About the Author:

Ruth Tott is the publisher of Home Farmer Magazine, and together with her husband, Paul Melnyczuk, Editor,is founder of the company. But her background is far removed having specialised in Costume History with a Post-Grad diploma in Museum Studies to boot. A far cry from looking after chickens, growing veg and making bread!

4 Comments on "How to remove labels from jars"

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  1. this is Really useful !!!
    “: How to remove labels from jars –”

  2. Janet Woodyatt says:

    Some labels will peel off if you fill the jar with very hot water, keeping the label dry, and wait for a couple of minutes. Any Remaining sticky bits come off if you dab them with the sticky side of the removed label.

    • Ruth Tott says:

      Thanks Janet. Will try this. Typcially, since putting this post up we have had very well behaved labels that have come off with no bother. Mr Sod and his law. But I will try this one for next time. Cheers

  3. Dawn McHugh says:

    I often use wd40 for stubborn lables and glue it works a treat.

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