Removing labels from glass jars?

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12 years 7 months ago #389019 by Lindeggs
Thanks for the great tips,everyone! As mentioned, some labels come off brilliantly with the boiling water methid, but others stick like concrete! We don't have a dishwasher, so I then do the soak-and-scrub. I will now try using various oils to get the remaining glue off, followed by some of the suggested solvents if needed.

Eelcat that's a good tip about not leaving the jars to soak too long first time. I need to make sure I do a progression so the easy ones come off easily and only the hard ones get the progressively harsher treatments.

Just today my neighbour gave me two babyfood jars. The Watties label peeled off easy as pie, but the organic one had to be scraped off. But at least they both came away clean and I didn't end up with a nasty sticky jar.

Meanwhile I love Barkers! Their labels always come of beautifully!

One of my problems is that I give away a lot of my produce, and people forget to save the jars to give back to me. :( So I am forever trying to get more labels off new jars, while I suspect my lovely clean jars are going into recycle bins.



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12 years 7 months ago #389205 by igor
Why bother removing the original labels? We don't. Sometimes they come off easily when we wash the jars, some survive many reuses.

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12 years 7 months ago #389208 by Lindeggs
When I'm giving them away I like to make them look as pretty as possible. :) Sometimes I even cut circles of fabric scraps and make little 'bonnets' and tie them on with recycled ribbons! Prissy I know but it makes a lovely little gift for a 'thankyou' and hardly costs anything.

Also I like to write the contents and date on the jar, which is much easier if the jar is bare to start with. And even for our own use, I don't like it when the label gradually rubs off and all that's left is the sticky glue. :(



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12 years 7 months ago #390814 by debnjohn
We soak our jars in hot soapy water until they pass the fingernail test, then peel off that which comes away easily. Back for a second (longer) soak until the glue is softened, then attack with a wire wool scourer. It makes a bit of a mess in the water, and takes a bit of elbow grease, but the jars come up sparkling.

I'd rather chuck the jars before reverting to something like CRC - the smell is pervasive and sometimes triggers a migraine

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" Albert Einstein

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12 years 7 months ago #390815 by Lindeggs
Well I think I've stumbled on the ultimate solution! I'm thrilled! :D

After reading all these tips about oils and solvents, I went looking around the house and came across my tub of Tergo Natural Hand Cleaner. It contains coconut oils and citrus oils and something slightly abrasive (pumice I think). It works brilliantly for getting grease and oil off my hands after I've been tinkering.

So today I spread a little blob of hand cleaner over the sticky remnants of adhesive on a jar, and left it to soften. Then I rubbed it with my fingertip and to my amazement, all the glue residue just came right off!

I already thoroughly recommend this as a hand cleaner, and now I will confidently recommend it as a label remover too. As far as I can tell the only solvent is citrus oil - it smells like oranges.

Added bonus: it's made in New Zealand.



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12 years 7 months ago #390816 by Lindeggs
This is the stuff (mine is just a 600ml tub though):



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12 years 7 months ago #393006 by lydiar
I use metal pan scourerers, the ones that look knitted.
I normally soak overnight in left over dishwater (nice!) to get rid of the paper then take to the jars with the scourer, this beats pretty much all glue.. works like a sponge of knives! I usually have a dedicated 'jar scourer'.. I must confess a slight enthusiasm for jar hoarding!

edt: Just realised debnjohn suggest the same method - great minds!

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12 years 7 months ago #393230 by debnjohn

lydiar;387430 wrote: I use metal pan scourerers, the ones that look knitted.
I normally soak overnight in left over dishwater (nice!) to get rid of the paper then take to the jars with the scourer, this beats pretty much all glue.. works like a sponge of knives! I usually have a dedicated 'jar scourer'.. I must confess a slight enthusiasm for jar hoarding!

edt: Just realised debnjohn suggest the same method - great minds!

UPDATE I now no longer use fingernails for the first bit of label removal - Deb was going to chuck an old potato peeler (cheap plastic one with a 'floating' blade) in the bin - I rescued it 'for future use' as I am wont to do with all manner of rubbish. Discovered that running the peeler up the flat part of a glass jar/bottle (as opposed to around the curve) effectively removes most of the label. Done underwater the blade doesn't clog, leaving a small amount of glue for the pan scourer to despatch.
Cheers,
John

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" Albert Einstein

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12 years 7 months ago #393281 by jeannielea
Where can we buy the Tergo handcreme please?

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12 years 7 months ago #393288 by Lindeggs
Sorry jeannielea, I can't help you there. I've had my tub for years and I can't remember where I got it from. Might be worth googling it.



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12 years 6 months ago #393719 by Edith McGhee
white vinegar is also really good spray labels with white vinegar leave 15 minutes comes off easy peasy.

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12 years 6 months ago #393736 by Lindeggs
Oooh thanks Edith. I have plenty of white vinegar (I use it for all kinds of other cleaning) so I will try it on the labels too. :)



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12 years 6 months ago #394309 by CEW79
Thanks for all the brilliant ideas. I tried the boiling water in the jar and hey presto, the jar is bare and just like new. Easy peasy !! No expense YAAAA !!! So simple !!!! Thanks :D :D :D :D :D

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12 years 6 months ago #396439 by canajanz
who sells this TERGO stuff .. we need a non toxic (and better smelling) hand cleaner

canajanz

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12 years 6 months ago #396458 by Lindeggs
Have you tried googling? According to the label it's made by Tergo Industries in Auckland, but they have branches all over the country. They should be able to tell you the nearest supplier, otherwise it looks like you can buy it from various on-line outlets.

I can verify that it smells great, and my hubby who gets allergic skin reactions to various soaps seems to be able to use it with no problems. Best of all, it works!



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