Pretty jars make any kitchen look beautiful! But before you can put all that hard work into decoration, etching or decoupaging your jars to make them pretty, you first have to go through all the hard work of preparing the jars: cleaning them out and removing labels and glue to give you a lovely clean surface to work with.
I’ve become a bit of a jar hoarder of late which is becoming an issue with nothing to put in them and nowhere to put them… I just really begrudge throwing away good glass…. I really need to get more jar projects into my repertoire to clear the stash! Until then if you also have a surplus of jars consider the following:
These are the Jars I’m Recycling:
- my favourite yankee candles. They come in such lovely shaped jars and they smell amazing! I was waiting until I had 3 before emptying them out, but as my jars are piling up I think it’s best I clear the stash a little….
- A leftover pesto jar
- A mini jam jar from a local food fayre
Method for Removing Labels:
Empty Your Jar
If it’s had food in just give it a quick wash. If it was a candle jar it takes a little more work but what I like to do is heat up some water and sit the jar in the water until the wax loosens up a bit, tip out the wax (great for use in your oil burners!) and while the jar is still warm, wipe it out with some kitchen roll to get the excess wax out.
The next step is removing labels, ie. getting all that nasty paper off. Some jars don’t have too much glue on and the paper will come off fairly easy, but of course today my jars were being very stubborn.
You want to get as much paper off as you can before we start tackling the glue and the best way I’ve found for this is to score through the paper with a knife and soak the jar in hot water to loosen up the label. Once soaked you can use a blunt implement or a fingernail to scratch the surface, removing as much of the label and glue as we can.
Now once I was at this point I tried a few different things to get the glue off:
- Hot soapy water
- Boiling the jars in water
- Putting the jar in a hot dishwasher
None of these methods had much effect on the glue, it seemed pretty hopeless. Until I had a brainwave! Nail varnish remover! Simple and very effective! Depending on how much glue you have to clear you should soak a cotton pad with nail varnish remover and rub it firmly over the surface. If you have very stubborn glue this may take a couple of tries and a lot of elbow grease but the glue will come off! The barcodes on the bottom of the yankee jars was immensely stubborn. If you have particularly sticky and thick glue you can boil it for a bit to soften it, scrape as much off as you can and then nail varnish remover it. It took some time and a lot of effort but the glue finally came off!
Once you have removed all the glue you’ll need to wash your jar again to remove any traces of the nail varnish remover especially if you plan on using it for food.
This method of sticky removal can be used for many stubborn things on glass such as sellotape or pva that may occur during DIY disasters… I may or may not have had to use this method to remove pesky mod podge already….
So that is my quick tip for the day! I hope someone finds it useful and that it helps you on your glass jar hoarding adventure! Share with me your jar crafts in the comments! Or follow my Pinterest board below for some inspiration:
I’ve taken Part in the Really Craft and waste not wednesday link parties so head on over and take a look at the lovely makes!