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How To Remove Sticky Labels

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How To Remove Sticky Labels

Last summer, when I knew a proposal was imminent, I began collecting jars and bottles. Some items common to my diet include salsa, jam, and occasionally wine, all of which lead to many thrown-away glass containers. By simply washing out and keeping all of the glass containers that I already use, I was able to store up a number of jars to use in our wedding decor!

The other day as I walked through a craft store, I enjoyed walking through the aisle filled with various sizes and shapes of glass jars, each for between $1-$10 apiece! One of the major ways we want to decorate is by having the jars on the tables for the reception and filling them with fresh flowers that we buy in bulk, so I’m excited to cut costs in this way! Making upcycled wedding decor is going to save us a bundle on our wedding budget.

If you search Pinterest, you’ll find lots of different suggestions for taking labels off of the glass. I researched a number of ways, searching for reasonably cheap and not terribly time-consuming options. Below is what I discovered worked best for me for removing labels from various glass jars and bottles:

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This can be done as long as you have:

  • a water source
  • a bucket
  • dish soap
  • baking soda
  • a brush/sponge
  • jars/bottles/etc that need de-labeling!
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I put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda and a few more tablespoons of dish soap into the bottom of the pitcher (rough numbers, just do what feels right!) and filled the pitcher about halfway with lukewarm water. Then I dunked the empty glass container. If the glass is shorter, you can dunk it under the water and it’ll fill up with some water, which will prevent it from floating. If it is a taller container, you can keep it weighed down under the water by covering it with another container of similar weight. After several tries, I found that leaving the glass in the water for at least 5 minutes yielded the best results.

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However, sometimes you will find the residue of the paper and glue sticks stubbornly to the glass. A great way to help remedy this is to scrub the glass with a brush or sponge. If you’re still having trouble, you can soak the glass for a few more minutes!

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I’ve found that this method works for me and requires a minimal amount of water waste, time waste, and effort waste. And I’m very happy with the result! It will be fun to have so many different kinds of glasses to use as flower vases for my wedding. I like to use glass containers for different things around the house, such as overnight oatmeal, storing dry goods, and using essential oils, so I’ll be using many of these jars after the wedding as well! It’s a great combination of sustainability and affordability!

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More Homemade Cleaner Recipes

Inspired by the cost savings and ease in making your own label remover? Pop on over to DIY Candy for 18 additional household cleaning tips!


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is a bride blogger who got married in 2015. You can read her wedding planning posts here.