Let me show you how to remove labels from glass jars quickly and easily and definitely without ruining your nails or having to soak jars for an hour.

how to remove labels from glass jars without ruining your nails

How to remove labels from glass jars

I use glass jars at lot in my house. I mean a lot. You’ll most likely find them in every room in my house. You’ll find a lot of glass jars in the kitchen.

I know that removing the labels can be the extra step that means most people just throw them in the recycling. But I’d much rather use them around the home as FREE storage.

I have a special trick though. I’m going to show you how to remove labels from glass jars quickly and easily (and without ruining your nails).

Firstly, can we talk about why I love them?

Why you should keep glass jars:

They’re free!

Seriously, what better reason to keep glass jars? You’ve already paid for the contents of the jar. Now you’re left with a perfect, free storage container that you can use in so many ways (see below for ideas).

They’re environmentally friendly

Glass, unlike plastic, can be recycled over and over and over again without decreasing in quality. This makes it a much more environmentally-friendly option.

Glass doesn’t absorb colour or smells

Again unlike plastic, glass doesn’t absorb colours or smells. You can store your curry or turmeric powder in there and after a wash it will look like new.

how to remove labels from glass jars without ruining your nails

How to use recycled glass jars:

In the kitchen

Glass jars in the pantry

As I mentioned, I use glass jars a lot in my kitchen. If you open my pantry, you won’t find anything Pinterest-perfect. You will find a large selection of random mis-matching glass jars and a couple of old plastic containers that I’m yet to switch.

I do my best to take my glass jars to the bulk food shop (I shop at The Source) and place my grocery items straight into the jars.

Not only does it save on plastic and waste, but it means I just have to put them straight into the pantry when I get home.

In the fridge

I also use them in the fridge to store nuts and seeds, homemade snacks and leftover bits and pieces like tinned tomato or coconut milk.

In the freezer

In the freezer I use glass jars to store bone broth, veggie packed tomato pasta sauce and pre-made meals like bolognaise or butter chicken.

Just make sure you leave a gap at the top of the jar (at least 2cm) when freezing liquid to allow for expansion and stop them shattering.

For growing food

I’m a big fan of free food so you’ll nearly always see something sprouting on my kitchen window sill in a glass jar. Right now it’s some shallots but growing basil from cuttings is another one of my favourites.

In the bathroom

In the bathroom I use glass jars to store my homemade bath salts, my face and body scrub (also homemade), my homemade dry shampoo and my body oil.


Our cleaning basket is all homemade cleaning products. You’ll find things like toilet pods and baking soda… you guessed it, they’re stored in glass jars.

Around the home

You’ll spot a few glass jars around my house with other little plant cuttings (mostly vines) too.

You probably get the point, glass jars are really useful.

How to remove labels from glass jars (step-by-step)

filling a glass jar with boiling water

1 Fill the jar

So your first step – fill the jar with freshly-boiled water then leave it to sit for about 2 minutes. But don’t forget about it.

This trick will only work while the water is hot.

The hot water is melting the glue that’s holding on the label.

2 Peel off the label

Peel off as much of the label as you can without having to scratch at it. If it doesn’t come away pretty easily, leave it for another minute or two.

3 Eucalyptus oil and cotton wool

Next up you will need some pure Eucalyptus oil (I use doTERRA essential oils) and a cotton wool but.

Put a few drops of oil on the cotton wool.

4 Remove the excess glue

Rub the cotton wool ball over any sticky parts that remain. This will dissolve and remove any excess glue so you’re not left with a sticky, label-less jar.

5 Clean it off

If you’ve got tough hands or you’re using an oven mitt, tip the hot water out of the jar and give it a rinse.

If there are still any stick bits, dry off the jar and repeat the eucalyptus oil process again. If not, give it a wash and your new, clean jar is ready to be used.

If you’re more of a visual person, I have also created a video explaining and showing the steps:

I hope this is as life-changing for you as it was for me!

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How to remove labels from glass jars

How to remove labels from glass jars

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • Glass jars with labels
  • Boiling water
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Cotton wool balls


  1. Fill the jar with boiling water and leave to rest for about 2 minutes.
  2. Gently peel off any parts of the label that come away easily (some glues are extra strong so you may need to wait another minute or two).
  3. Pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto the cotton wool ball.
  4. Rub the cotton wool over any sticky parts of the jar to remove the glue.
  5. Repeat until clean.
  6. Wash and dry


Make sure that the outside of the jar is dry for this to work properly.

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