I love glass bottles and store everything in them from frozen foods to dry beans. Luckily we have a plentiful supply of them. However, there is one thing I don’t like about my glass bottles. The paper label. Parts of the label come off in my dishwasher and get stuck on dried dishes. Or their partial on and off paper label look. Ugly and pathetic. And who knows when Martha could waltz into my kitchen? (It’s like wearing tattered underwear and you could wind up in the hospital.) So, off with the paper label. But can I remove them without chemicals?
I am up for the experiment. Are you?
Why the brain storm all of the sudden, Anna? (Or the insanity. Your choice.) I wanted to give my homemade holiday gifts in my excess glass jars. There is no way I was giving the teachers jars with torn labels on them. (Remember the underwear story above.)
The Internet Was No Help.
Like everyone else, I turn to those troopers before me who hopefully figured it out.
- The website Instructables says to soak them in dish washing soap. Did that and my labels must just be indestructible.
- Someone on my Facebook Page suggested coconut oil. It didn’t work for me.
- Some suggested Goo Gone but I wanted to be a purist because I am a glutton for punishment and seek days of exile in my kitchen.
Idea #1. Use Bottled Oil
Creative Jewish Mom suggested using oil. She let her bottle sit in oil. Alternatively, being impatient, I tried the clean and oil scrub method. However, note, we are talking about major elbow grease here. See the video below.
I used my handy stainless steel scrubber (which by the way is a life saver) and scrubbed off the paper. Whatever paper was left, I would rub olive oil over a portion of the bottle and then scrub some more. With over 100 bottles to do, this just seemed so tedious although it did work.
Word to the wise: Don’t use expensive olive oil for this purpose or you will have your husband yelling at you.
Also, have a few stainless steel scrubbers around. The paper takes its toll on them and you will have to switch to a new one if you have many glass bottles to do.
(And yes, my husband was yelling at me but then he finally gave up. He saw the fixated look in my eyes. Then, there is no turning back.)
#Idea 2. Use Spray Oil:
Don’t ask me why but this method seem to make it easier to scrub. I actually had spray oil leftover from Passover. (I didn’t try PAM now that I am thinking about it.)
Idea #3. Boiling Water.
Seriously. When we built the house years ago, I had a hot water tap installed so it would be easy to make tea or obtain boiling water instantly. (Mine is an InSinkErator Wave Hot Water Dispenser.) I love this creature comfort. (Anna, you are such a princess. Really? You are just figuring that out now?)
Well, the faucet looked at me and I looked at it and said why the h*ll not? (I was getting a little bit desperate with 1000s of bottles to go. I tend to exaggerate by the way. Plus, I can whine alot too.)
So I gingerly held the top of the bottle and ran steaming hot water over a portion and scrubbed immediately with my dollar scrubber. You would have thought a lightening bolt hit me. IT WORKS. No lie.
But here is the irony. You can’t kept tapping on the tap. It runs out of hot water in about 15-20 minutes. So be judicious. Luckily, I was already towards the end of my bottle debacle.
Idea #4-Razor Blade:
This would have been the easiest alternative except
- I would have cut myself.
- I would have cut myself again.
- At a certain point I might have thrown the razors. Not a good idea.
Some bottle were just so tough that I had to time them out since I started to get angry at them. I had to employ BOTH boiling water and olive oil to get the label off. (I told you I got fixated on those bottles.)
So Why Are Labels So Tough To Get Off?
Why do companies cement their labels on bottles? Honestly, I just don’t get it. If you can shed some factoids on this issue, I would be grateful.
Finally hours later, I had about a 100 gleaming “labeless” bottles. Now, I take the labels off the bottles when I first wash them rather then let them pile up.
Don’t say it. I know what you are thinking…
Join the Conversation:
- Do you remove your jar labels?
- How do you remove your jar labels.
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