How to remove labels from glass jars

Updated February 21, 2017

Glass jars can be used for many craft projects, but before you use the jar, you need to remove the label and the sticky residue left on the jar. If you have a glass jar and the label won't come off, use nail polish remover to make sure the label comes off the jar and the sticky residue is removed easily.

Pry off any part of the label that you can with your fingers. Some glass jars only have a few dots of adhesive holding the label on and some use glue on the entire label.

Place a kettle filled with water on the hob. Add the glass jar to the water. Turn on the heat to medium heat. You don't want to boil the water, but you want to simmer it so it stays hot. Leave the jar in the water for 15 to 30 minutes.

Remove the jar from the hot water. Peel away the label. Make sure to get as much as you can off the jar.

Remove the adhesive from the jar using fingernail polish remover and a rag. Pour a small amount of polish remover on the rag. Rub up and down on the adhesive until it is all removed. For stubborn adhesive, soak the rag and lay it on the adhesive for five minutes and then rub again.


Instead of simmering hot water, run hot water in a sink and add dish soap. Soak the jar for 15 minutes and remove the label and rub hard on the adhesive.

Things You'll Need

  • Kettle
  • Fingernail polish remover
  • Rag
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Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.