Being into sustainability, you’ve probably also come across a sticky label that just won’t go! You might be familiar with glue leftovers on a Mocona jar or the price label on your new cast iron pan from the op shop that just won’t go away!
Or so they seem! I’ve tested out for you 5 products and/or methods to remove sticky labels. I found one method I’m really happy with that removed all these sticky labels:
You can read my quick review on each method, or skip to the bottom to find the DIY label remover test winner. I did this label remover test two years ago and the winning DIY has been effective to 95% of my rescue jars since then.
(Even on those darn annoying Savers stickers?! Why do op shops use super glue price labels?! Does anyone feel my frustration?)
Label Remover Methods I Tried
METHODS THAT WORKED
- SOAKING FOR EASY LABELS – soaking is tha bomb! Soaking in hot soapy water works on most labels that use water-based glue, so trying soaking first is always worth a shot.
- BAKING SODA & COCONUT OIL – the winning recipe! Its texture is easy to apply and it really does its job right (see detailed recipe and method below).
- BAKING SODA & OTHER OILS – mixing with other “liquid” oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil were as effective as the above recipe, but they were trickier to apply. Given that those oils have a droopy texture, the label remover doesn’t always “stay” in the right place.
METHODS THAT SORT OF WORKED
- NAIL POLISH REMOVER – not great since as the last thin layer of glue gunk didn’t go away until I used heaps more nail polish remover. Also, as much as I love the smell of nail polish remover, I’ve stopped buying it because of the unavoidable plastic packaging.
METHODS THAT DIDN’T WORK AT ALL
- JUST VINEGAR – didn’t work at all! Made me really wonder why some recommended this.
- VINEGAR & BAKINGS SODA – didn’t work at all either.
Tips & notes
- MAKE A BIG BATCH – I make a whole jar of label remover every time I make some so it lasts me a while. Pretty handy for a (procrastinating) neat freak with sudden urgent needs for pretty jars…
- STORAGE – Store in air tight container at room temperature.
- BAKING SODA OR BAKING POWDER? Baking powder is baking soda (also called bicarbonate soda) mixed with some acid (citric acid usually) to create the leavening effect in baking. You can use either for this recipe, I tried it with both and both work. The reason I use and recommend baking soda is because it’s cheaper and more available in bulk shops.
DIY label removerDifficulty: Easy
Easy DIY label remover paste to remove sticky labels from repurposed jars.
1 part coconut oil
1 part bi-carb
- Create label remover
- Melt the coconut oil in a pot for on medium heat, or in the microwave for 30-45 seconds..
- Mix coconut oil and bicarbonate soda together to create the gunk remover.
Keep in an airtight jar at room temperature. I’ve kept mine for months in the past.
- Full label removing process
- Soak jars (or other) in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes.
- Roughly scrub off the biggest chunks of label.
- Apply the label gunk remover with your finger. Then let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Under hot soapy water, use a cloth with soapy water to wash off gunk and gunk remover.