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Remove Sticky Label Residue From Glass Jars With Coconut Oil

Susan prefers to use natural ingredients, whenever possible, in the home and garden. It is usually cheaper, easier and greener.

Get rid of sticky glue on glass in minutes

Get rid of sticky glue on glass in minutes

How Do You Get Glass Jars Clean for Reusing?

I am a fan of reusing things wherever possible to help cut down on waste, to save money, and to be more resourceful. One way I do this is to use glass jars again when I can. I use them to store different foodstuff, loose screws, seeds, leftover paint, and hobby crafting materials—and there are lots of these!

The problem with reusing glass jars is that they usually come with a label stuck to them. After soaking the paper label off in water, there is a sticky residue left behind that is not easy to remove unless you know this trick.

Glue Left Behind on Glass Jars Is Difficult to Remove

It's better to get this residue off the glass if you want to reuse them.

It's better to get this residue off the glass if you want to reuse them.

6 Steps to Removing Labels From Glass Jars

Coconut oil is not difficult to get hold of. Many supermarkets sell it with cooking oil these days. Local ethnic food stores also carry it. Apart from frying and baking, this cold-pressed oil can be used in many different ways on the body and around the house.

When I buy my new jar of coconut oil, I spoon half into another clean jar for non-cooking use. This is to keep the oil I use for consuming separate and hygienic, and the other jar of oil can be freely used for rubbing into hair, onto fingernails, on skin, and for polishing leather, feeding wood, and for cleaning residue off glass.

Materials you'll need:

  • Coconut oil
  • Bowl of water
  • Cotton rag or kitchen paper
  • Dish soap

To get the sticky label glue off glass jars:

  1. Leave the jars in a sink or bowl of water for 30 minutes or so to soak the paper label off in one piece.
  2. Smear the coconut oil all over the adhesive residue that has been left on the glass. A quick application is all it needs, spreading a generous layer of oil with your fingers.
  3. Leave the oil on for approximately 10 minutes. Don't leave the jar in a very warm place, like the direct sun, because the oil will melt and run off—just leave it in a cool part of the room.
  4. Rub the oil off using a cotton rag or a piece of kitchen paper. It should not take a lot of effort to remove the oil, and it will take the sticky glue with it.
  5. Wash the jar in warm water and dish soap to remove the oil completely, or just put it in the dishwasher with the rest of your glassware.
  6. You should be left with a sparkling clean jar ready to be used again!

Smear Coconut Oil on Glass

Rub a layer of oil over the glue residue

Rub a layer of oil over the glue residue

After Using Coconut Oil: A Sparkling Clean Jar

A quick cleanup reveals a reusable jar

A quick cleanup reveals a reusable jar

Other Ways to Get the Sticky Stuff Off

As I use coconut oil a lot at home, I always have some in the cupboard. I buy the 100% oil option because then I can also use it in cooking and on my skin, but it doesn't have to be anything expensive if you plan just to use it around the home. If you don't have the oil and don't want to buy it just to clean jars, there are other household substances that you can try if you already have them.

  • Peanut butter. It sounds unlikely but some people swear by using this store cupboard favourite to get sticky residue off glass. I haven't tried this method because I don't like peanut butter!
  • Baby oil. I tried this with results on small patches of sticky residue, but it needs to be left on a long time in my experience, possibly because it is a thin oil.
  • WD40 spray oil is often used around the house for DIY purposes. Spray a layer of this and leave it to sink in, and then rub off with a rag. This worked well for me when I tried it but I prefer the coconut oil method because the smell of WD40 is quite strong.

© 2017 Susan Hambidge