How to Easily Remove Jar and Bottle Labels

‘Been using this little trick almost daily for a while now, and thought maybe you could get some use out of it, too. I was just reminded of this when my Lovely asked me to get a stubborn label off a nice glass bottle she wants to re-use. Mineral spirits cleanly took it off in a few minutes, and I finished up with a bit of WD-40 to take off the last of the adhesive residue and give it some sheen. 

I have a small (3-1/2 gallon) parts washer tank here in the shop,  and keep it about half filled with ordinary “Low Odor Mineral Spirits”, sold as paint thinner by our local True Value hardware store. Not only is the stuff very good for degreasing small parts like Mixmaster worm gears, spindles, etc, it does a great job loosening those irritating bottle and jar labels, too (Note: don’t try to run this stuff through a parts washer pump – it’ll kill it pretty quickly. My little tank went pump-less many years ago). 

Back when I was taking gazillions of daily meds, I accumulated a lot of pill bottles, which are really handy around the shop.  Just drop them into a container of this and let them soak for a few hours, or even overnight. You’ll often find the label lying in the bottom of the tank, completely removed from the jar or bottle. 

I’ve been surprised that this doesn’t attack the plastics I’ve tried it with so far. Even thin peanut butter jars, etc, aren’t affected by the solvent, but the adhesive used in their labels certainly is. You’ll want to experiment with small jobs with whatever brand you use, just to make sure your results are similar to mine, but the True Value branded version works great for me. 

I do recommend using rubber gloves – Nitrile ones work best – and paint thinner is somewhat flammable, so use with care. 

Hope that’s helpful! 

God bless you, and Happy Independence Day to my U. S. friends! 

Dave Harnish

John 8:32, 36

About Dave Harnish

I've been an appliance repair tech since 1972, with interests in most everything, including Bible study (I'm one of those KJV-only geezers), old Sunbeam Mixmasters, Maytag wringer washers, the outdoors, birds, hunting, metalworking, firewood cutting, and most anything going on outside on our mountain here in N. PA's 'Endless Mountains'.
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