Cleaning Labels Off Jars

Alright, so we have all of these amazing projects and crafts that we can do to recycle glass jars and create some awesome things. Problem – taking the label off leaves a sticky residue that isn’t very attractive and is difficult to work around. It’s just annoying. We want nice, smooth, clean glass for a work area. How do you get the sticky glue off the jar??? Many people use Goo-Gone, which works, but I personally don’t like it. It’s messy, takes up too much time rubbing and smells awful. Ugh. So, I was sitting here thinking “There has to be an easier way to do this. Right? Right?!” Of course there is. Momma got her grey cells working and churning and I started a thought process. What is Goo-Gone essentially? It’s like oil, it counteracts the stickiness. But what could I put with the oil to help it get the glue off faster? Then it hit me, vinegar. Vinegar is a great cleaning product for all around the house!

For test one I combined some olive oil and vinegar in a bowl, used a rag with the combination on it and rubbed the label off the jar. Wait – flashback, this is turning out a lot like Goo-Gone. It works, but it’s messy and time consuming. Think. Think. Think. Well, let’s see. I know that vinegar works wonders at stripping things down. So, what if I went with just straight vinegar?

Test two – I used straight vinegar on the rag to rub off the label. Again, it worked. Less mess but still time consuming. Think. Think. Think.

Test Three worked amazingly well. I was standing at the sink going “No Way!!” It’s impossibly easy. Okay, here we go. I’ll share with you the solution to getting the sticky residue off of your jars without the mess and with less work.


Test Three

Test Subject – One Spaghetti Jar


1. Peel off the label as best you can. You want to get as much of the paper off as possible, otherwise it’ll just be in your way later and it can get frustrating.



2. Fill your sink or a large bowl with hot water. Add at least a cup of vinegar to the water. Place the jar into the water/vinegar mixture with the glue fully submerged.



3. Let the jar soak in the solution for at least 30 min. Go walk the dog, put the baby down for a nap, pull weeds in the garden or read the next chapter in that book.

4. Take a cloth or sponge and rub at the affected area. The sticky will begin to come off. If it’s a thicker layer run some hot water and hold the jar under it as you rub the glue off (be careful not to burn yourself).

* Note * – This process works in layers. If the jar had a thin layer of glue on it, the glue will rub off easily. If the jar had rather thick glue it will come off gradually in layers. But it is still a much quicker process than anything else I have tried.

5. Enjoy your clean jar and create some amazing projects with them!!



Let me know in the comments below how this process worked for you and if you have perfected it!

A video tutorial will be available soon at if you’d like to watch this process before trying it yourself!

Check out these beautiful glowing candle holders I made with these spaghetti jars!!