How To Easily Remove Labels

Are you ready to have your socks rocked off?  I am not even kidding.  I have the magic ingredients on How to Easily Remove Labels from jars and containers without leaving that annoying adhesive residue behind!  Hands down this is the best way to remove labels and I have tried them all!

The Best Way to Remove Labels from Jars! Sharing my secret ingredients!

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If you are like me you are always thinking “I could use that for something!” when I empty out a jar.  (or peanut butter container!)  And I do use them.  In my craft room to store all my little supplies!  I simply spray paint all the lids and voila…I have cute jars for next to nothing compared to the ones sold in the craft stores!

That glue on jar labels drives me nuts! I can peel the paper layer off and then I am left with this: Yucky, sticky glue residue.

The best way to remove labels and this sticky goo.

Well not any more my friends!!

What you Need to Easily Remove Labels:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vegetable Oil

That’s it!!  Mix equal parts of the two to form a runny paste.

All Natural Goo Gone Recipe! Easily remove labels using what's in your pantry.

Once I remove the paper part of the label, I mixed up my magic paste.  I apply a thick layer of it to the jar and smear it all over the gluey sticky part.

The BEST way to remove labels using no chemicals at all!

I let it sit on there about 10 minutes or so.  That number is not exact.  I slapped it on the jar and then got distracted a few times with the kids and remembered to come back to it as I passed by.  I took a paper towel and then wiped away the paste from the jar.  All the adhesive that was left on the jar was now wiping away with my paste mixture!  I gave the jar a good wash with soap to get rid of the oil residue and I was left with this crystal clear jar!  Hands down this is the best way to remove labels that I have found using no harmful chemicals.

The Best Way to remove labels and get crystal clear jars!

best way to remove labels

I am going to start using this method to easily remove labels every time I need to remove labels for my Decorated Soap Dispensers and if I ever need to make a chalkbaord labled bottle or any more of my wine bottle luminaries I will remove labels with ease!  I wish I had this back when I was still using vinegar to get the gunk off!  This method doesn’t make my house smell like we are dying Easter Eggs :)

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How to Easily Remove Labels from Jars, Bottles, almost anything with what you have in your pantry!

This would also be perfect to remove labels from some Mason Jars and make a set of my DIY Mason Jar Straw Lids!
DIY Mason Jar Straw Lids Tutorial at thatswhatchesaid

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116 Responses
  • Laura
    July 31, 2013

    Thank you! I have tried a ton of methods and none seem to work that well. I will definitely try this one. :)

    • Renee
      December 22, 2015

      Thankyou SSsooo MUCH! I was just thinking about it 3-4X’s this week!
      Renee

  • Cyndi Valerino
    July 31, 2013

    Awesome!!! Thanks!

  • Liz
    July 31, 2013

    I have a pile of bottles and jars out in my patio waiting to be cleaned. Definitely trying this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jezz
    July 31, 2013

    Thank you, Cheryl!

  • Thanks for this helpful hint. I often want to reuse a jar and sometimes give up trying to take the label off completely. and I like that the remover is natural ingredients. Thanks.

  • dana
    July 31, 2013

    I use Goo Gone on most everything. It takes the sticky off. Like this too though! Nice to have an alternative.

    • Pam
      February 2, 2015

      Please be careful If you have a Gas range be aware the pilot light can ignite the fumes from goo gone. It happened to my sister-in-law.

  • GrannyB.
    July 31, 2013

    Brilliant! I save some fantastic raw honey jars from the local farmer’s market and now I have an easy and less toxic way to remove the labels. Oh the jar possibilities are endless now. Thank you for sharing.

    Best Wishes and Happy Crafting
    GrannyB.

  • Alana
    August 1, 2013

    It works! Just tried it. Thanks :)

  • Laura
    August 1, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this! I love to keep empty jars too and always find myself taking ages to get the sticky off – I will definitely give this a go.

  • Bluebell
    August 1, 2013

    Oh I can’t wait to try this! I make jams and chutneys, and often am given jars…… thanks for the great post!

  • [email protected]
    August 1, 2013

    Yay! I like that it requires only 2 ingredients that are always in the cupboards. Will definitely be trying this method! :):)

  • Love this! Does it also get rid of the pickle smell as well?

    I’m going to share this on The Classroom Creative’s FB page and pin it…perfect for classroom organizing. (Which is is the time of the year for, right?)

    Have a great weekend, Che!
    N

  • Jaime Jenkins
    August 2, 2013

    This is fantastic!!

  • Emily
    August 4, 2013

    Thanks for that tip!! Totally trying it :)

  • Jenna
    August 4, 2013

    Thank you! I hope this works, I use goo gone but that stuff can kill ya!
    Jenna

  • Pfister Faucets
    August 5, 2013

    Can’t tell you how many times someone from our team has needed this post in the past. Thanks for the tips, and welcome to the Friends of Pfister community!

  • Jill
    August 5, 2013

    That looks fantastic! I’m going to ahve to pin it for later!

  • V.weiland
    August 9, 2013

    Worked like a champ…thanks so much!!!!!

  • James Tanis
    August 11, 2013

    THANK YOU!! The residue has been making me crazy!!

  • Evelyn Mayfield
    August 11, 2013

    This is great. I’m pinning it so I won’t lose it and I’m blogging about it tonight to share with others…thank you for sharing!!!

  • Bill
    August 15, 2013

    Tried this on glass works great.. Next tring it on plastic bottles.. KEEP CRAFTING…

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      August 15, 2013

      Thanks Bill! :)

      • Jean
        September 23, 2013

        W D 40 does a real GREAT job in removing all labels I use it all the time found out by accident

        • Cheryl Spangenberg
          September 29, 2013

          Good to know Jean! I’m probably going to stick to the baking soda and oil…just in case! You never know what my kids will lick! LOL!

      • sharon chapko
        October 4, 2013

        I tried this and it did not work for me; any suggestions?

        • Cheryl Spangenberg
          October 6, 2013

          Sharon just make sure all the paper or plastic from the label is removed and maybe let it sit on there longer. You might have super adhesive :)

        • ERNEST ROBERTS
          January 19, 2014

          I haveound the quickest and easiest way to remove the glue residue it to use nail polish remover it just wipes the glue off,just give it a try

          • Sue
            September 21, 2014

            Will wipe away with eucalyptus oil and paper towel towel then makes rubbish bin smell good too when disposed of.

  • Dee Brookner
    August 16, 2013

    Your recipe works great. I tried it out in case I ever need a back up. Thanks so much. I have one you may like to try, works for me every time on anything. Peanut Butter. There is always some left in the jar that I can’t scrape out. One day I scraped some out while washing a jar and smeared it on a clear plastic carryout container that I was getting ready to try and remove the goo from. I let it set a few minutes and it was amazing how easily the goo came off. I now use it for all of my goo removal and it has never let me down. Really enjoy your site, this is the first time I have ever made a comment anywhere. I’m an oldie but a newbie. :) :)

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      August 17, 2013

      Thanks for sharing that Dee!! I am totally going to try it!! I am also thrilled to be your first comment ;-)

  • Eleanore Brown
    August 17, 2013

    I can’t wait to try this! Thank you bunches!

  • Kristen Jeffery
    August 20, 2013

    Welcome to Social Fabric! What an awesome tip!!!

  • Sandy
    August 22, 2013

    Wow! Not only did this work on my jars, but I had just bought some dishes at Home Goods and they had price stickers on the front – this worked like a charm! Thanks so much :)

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      August 23, 2013

      Yay Sandy! So glad it could help you! I use it on anything sticky these days :) I have thought about apply it to my children as well *wink*!

  • Teresa
    September 3, 2013

    Any thoughts/ideas on how to get rid of old decals on car windows

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      September 4, 2013

      Teresa is it a vinyl decal? I took one off with a flat razor. Just scraped it right off!

  • Marilyn
    September 17, 2013

    Gave your post a shout out!

    http://www.4you-withlove.com/2013/09/the-easiest-way-to-remove-labels-from.html

  • Gypsi
    September 20, 2013

    Can’t wait to try this! I’m always so frustrated by the sticky mess! (Saw the link on 4 You with Love.) =D

  • cecil sanchez
    November 2, 2013

    marvelous idea!!..i really find your site very helpful and reccomendable..thank you so much!

  • Val
    December 20, 2013

    Works like a charm! You are amazing!

    Val

  • Lila
    December 24, 2013

    Oh my gosh!!! I’ve been trying to get the glue off of a pile of jars for MONTHS… here and there, not nonstop :) Just tried this and it worked so well!!!! No elbow grease needed!!! And I love that I didn’t have to use nasty chemicals. I need to go out and buy more things in jars now so I can do it again!!

  • Nancy
    January 19, 2014

    Oil of any kind removes sticky residue. Basic petroleum. On petroleum products…. Baby oil, cooking oil, great tip though,…love your ideas…

  • Marine1967
    March 7, 2014

    It is probably more expensive, but rubbing Peanut Butter (creamy, not crunchy) on the glue and leaving it for 10-15 minutes (again, not exact) will do the same as the formula given. Like I said though, sure seems a waste of Peanut Butter, but it works great

  • Kimberly
    March 20, 2014

    Pam spray also works wonders! I save jars all the time for Christmas presents for teachers, neighbors and so on. Perfect for peanut brittle or candied nuts :)

  • Kim
    March 22, 2014

    I have also found goo gone to work. Same idea, remove label, apply and let sit a while. I have also used magic eraser, it works really well when it’s a glass jar and very little residue left. The more tips, the better, for that gunk!

  • Ashlee
    April 4, 2014

    can’t WAIT to try it, I have a jar sitting on my counter I’ve been meaning to scrap clean!

  • Carol
    April 24, 2014

    Wow, my husband has bees so we give away honey. I have a ton of jars but they look so tacky cause the labels won’t come completely off PLUS I never thought of spray painting the lid, thank you!

  • Rosemary
    June 12, 2014

    I love this, but do you have any tips for removing those clear plastic labels that seem to be glued on with cement! They’re even hard to peel off. The paper ones are easy, just soak them in water and they peel easily, but these plastic labels don’t budge from soaking. Any ideas?

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      June 12, 2014

      Rosemary, try using a hair dryer for the clear plastic labels. Those are a huge pain! Be patient and peel back slowly while the blow dryer is heating it up. That worked pretty well once for me and I just had a bit of residual goo to clean up at the very end that the label came off!

  • Naomi
    June 12, 2014

    Thanks! Now a tip on an easy way to remove the paper label, please!!!!

  • Sherry White
    June 13, 2014

    Newsletter??

  • Bill S.
    July 28, 2014

    Just put hot water in the jar. If you are real careful use water from a kettle or put in the microwave for a minute and that softens up the glue making it easier to come off and not needing goo to remove glue. Hot water works great on removing unwanted decals from car dealers too. Hot water is better than a hair dryer because the temperature is constant and causes less breakage especially for removing decals. Doesn’t need to be boiling hot. pour it on slowly and remove.

    • Gayle
      February 21, 2015

      Yes Bill, I try this method first, it works most times & helps clean the inside of the jar at the same time.

  • Marty Hamilton
    August 31, 2014

    My hubby told me to use WD40 on them one day when I was aggravated and wala …it worked taking glue off right away. No residue left and no way time just wipe time. :-)

  • Debbie
    September 9, 2014

    Great info. I’m trying it this very minute. But I have a doubt. Last summer I bought a new kitchen stove with a great big label stuck on the door. I was able to remove part of it but not all, finally a while ago I decided it was time to remove it once and for all. I’ve been trying with hot water, glass cleaning liquid and haven’t been very successful. In the end I remembered this trick and I’m trying it right now but don’t really know if it’ll work with it. If not, do you have another recipe which can save me please??? Thanks a lot

  • Kim
    September 10, 2014

    I’ve always just used a metal scrubbie (steel or copper ‘wool’) and soap; just a few strokes and it’s clean, no waiting. I’ll try this if I get something really stuck on though!

  • Linda D.
    September 20, 2014

    Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser will also get the sticky residue off of things.

  • Anna L B
    September 21, 2014

    I use clear lamp oil on a paper towel. Just a small dab and it cleaned the glue off in seconds also removes wax from old candle holders too. I have not tried it on crayon yet. Wash with soap after your done.

  • Nana
    September 21, 2014

    Will try that. Anyone know how to get the smell out of the lid for a pickle jar or salsa jar? I’ve tried baking soda and newspaper, but no go. I like to be able to reuse jars for food storage but if the lid smells it ruins the food inside.

    • Kel D
      March 11, 2015

      I’ve always used a mixture of bicarbonate of soda (not sure what that is called in the US?) and bottled lemon juice. make a paste and rub it on the lid, leave it overnight. Once it’s washed off it smells of not a lot, although perhaps faintly lemony but that does go quite quickly.

      • Ross
        February 1, 2016

        Kel, in the good ole USA Bicarbonate of Soda is called by the same title. Is one of the few places there isn’t a language barrier (like with Russians?)! LOL Bicarb of Soda = Bicarb of Soda! ((o;
        ALSO, a tip for you… if there are folks of varying ages around the neighborhood, and coupons in Sunday’s paper, swap what you DON’T use for what you DO use! LOL RecipeRoss

  • Chris
    September 25, 2014

    You can also let the jars sit overnight in a sink with any laundry soap that has Oxiclean in it. No need to pull the paper off. The next morning the labels will be off.

  • Helena (microbio)
    September 25, 2014

    Many, many thanks for this tutorial! How can we recycle if a lot of brands still give us a hard time to remove labels after we consume their products ? A “we care for our environment-remove our label easily after finishing our product” label should be created and added to those who care, to all others we now have your tutorial :)

  • mary Pruitt
    October 5, 2014

    Do u think baking powder would work?

    • dave
      March 31, 2015

      The last time I looked the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder was that the “Cream of Tartar” had been added to the soda to make the powder. Since Cream of Tartar is an acid, it should work even better. Let us know what you find out when you try it.

      • dave
        March 31, 2015

        Cream of Tartar is what you use to clean the scorch marks (carbon) off pots and pans, especially copper ones.

  • Mikaela
    January 18, 2015

    Eucalyptus oil also works wonders!

  • Kelly Lambdin
    January 19, 2015

    I use my own method:
    Hand sanitizer it’s easy, no mixing, doesn’t stain & it’s cheap plus it has an awesome smell. Can be used in hair for gum, in carpets to get gum out, windows to get the sticky off and you can add it to a cloth to clean a table with it dries fast!! But most of all it works Great in jars & other containers. Just squirt on then rub into & up & down to get into the label, wait a couple of minutes go and rub it off or use a bone folder & it peels right up

  • kiwigirl
    January 20, 2015

    Cool idea! I love reusing jars! I use a hair dryer to remove the labels….put in on high…blow on the label…heats up the glue a bit and the sticker comes clean off and doesn’t leave any residue!

  • Diane J
    February 2, 2015

    Haven’t tried this but I just spray WD40 on all my labels I need to take off & let sit for a little while…..works great for me.

  • KayDee H.
    February 2, 2015

    Another option to helping to remove the glue from jars are SOS pads & there’s no time limit to waiting for it to work or the added double wash of cleaning the baking soda oil paste….even better it cost less than a buck & you can used them more than once.

  • Susa B.
    February 2, 2015

    Can you use olive oil instead?

  • Gma
    February 8, 2015

    How about removing the labels from plastic containers? Like jars, THEY DO NOT PEEL OFF!!!

  • mary
    April 12, 2015

    I hope this works on plastic. I’ve needed it recently but couldn’t get the label off so just threw the bottle away.

  • Boo
    July 5, 2015

    Or you can use rubbing alcohol which removes adhesive residue immediately.
    You can also purchase the prepackaged alcohol wipes to keep handy (they’re inexpensive).

    WD-40 also works, but imo, requires more cleanup.

  • Jeanne
    July 11, 2015

    Girls, after you spray paint the lids, try brushing on one coat of acrylic varnish. Two or three coats is even better. Let dry about 20 mins in between coats, then let sit for about 24 hrs to fully cure the varnish. This will make them more scratch-proof, etc. and the newly painted lids will hold up better.

  • Nesa
    February 10, 2016

    Oh, my Goodness!! I’ve found your post a couple of hours ago and I had to give it a try… I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!! It works GREAT!!! I had so many sticky jars laying around waiting for the day I’d discover a way to clean them… Not any more!! They are spotless now!!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! IT’S UNBELIEVABLE!! And SO easy!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Have a great day!!

    N.

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      February 10, 2016

      Oh Nesa I am so happy you love it as much as I do! Seriously this changed my life! Have a wonderful day! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  • Susan
    February 14, 2016

    Thank you so much for this valuable tip… I have been struggling for years trying to remove those pesky labels from all of my prescription bottles. Like you, I just know I can find a good use for them in my craft studio, but after soaking the paper labels off, the remaining sticky glue is impossible to remove. I can’t wait to give this a try. Again, thank you

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      February 15, 2016

      Thanks Susan! I am so glad I could help! I appreciate the comment! Have a wonderful week!

  • Mary Ann Waara
    June 5, 2016

    This worked great! Thank you for sharing .

  • Katina
    July 9, 2016

    This works A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!!!! Thanks!!!

  • Mart Ramirez
    August 12, 2016

    THANK U SO MUCH FOR THIS!! I was just yesterday trying to remove glue sticker from a pencil much and it drives me crazy! I hate to use Goo be gone cuz it’s strong odor and strength. THANK U!! I just love your blog!! XO

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      August 12, 2016

      Mart you are so very welcome! I love sharing things that make life easier and thank you for the nice compliments!

  • Tina
    November 6, 2016

    Prior to Goo Gone being on the market, my late mother taught me to use lighter fluid. She was a smoker, and had it on hand to refill her Zippo! But I tend to migraines and the smell can send me into one. (And Goo Gone is even worse, as it doesn’t evaporate like lighter fluid.)Not to mention the obvious flammability. Excited to try this. It makes sense…

  • Tina
    November 6, 2016

    Oh! and I just thought of something else to add. Why not use a small one of those jars that you have cleaned, and keep some premixed paste on hand!

  • Sadie
    December 15, 2016

    Just gotta ‘PIN’ this… crafters everywhere will just luv,luv,luv you for this tip. And all of the possible solutions supplied by your reader’s, is definitely ‘icing on the cake’. Thanx ever so much… 8o)

  • Jade
    January 14, 2017

    Wow, this is the easiest, practically no-effort removal of that sticky residue! I was shocked how easily it came off! Thank you!!!

    • Cheryl Spangenberg
      January 27, 2017

      Yay! I’m glad you love it! That’s my goal is to share practical easy tips!

  • Allyne
    April 9, 2017

    Worked perfect! Thank you!

  • Kelly
    October 21, 2017

    I do bottle crafts and I get most every label off by soaking in hot water and scraping with a razor blade and steel wool but some of them that sticky residue will not come off. I will try this. Ty.

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