Saturday, April 18, 2015

Removing Labels

 I'm working on centerpieces for my son's upcoming wedding.  My future (and adorable!) daughter-in-law wants to use jars to hold the table flowers and candles.  Since we will need over a hundred jars, removing the labels (and the goo!) has put me on a mission to find the easiest and best way to do this.  It should be noted that I did soak all of the jars in hot, soapy dish water for at least a few hours before removing the labels.  Some labels peeled right off -- others, not so much.  Nearly EVERY jar had glue residue left behind. I tried what seemed to be the most popular removal methods and here's what I found:
 Nail polish remover was the LEAST effective. The glue didn't budge with this.
 Peanut Butter ran a close second -- while it removed a little bit of the glue -- it left most of it behind on the jar.
This method calls for filling the jar with water and bringing it to a boil in the microwave.  The combination of steam and heat DID allow the label to pull right off . . . but the glue was left behind. 
 Goof Off worked well getting the glue off of MOST jars.  However, the obvious drawback here is you have to do this outside -- the fumes are pretty strong.  And honestly, while I THOUGHT this would be the best . . . there were some jars where even Goof Off couldn't remove the glue.
 A paste of cooking oil and baking soda was nearly the best solution.  This worked quickly and easily and removed the glue well.  The oil loosens the glue and the abrasive properties of the baking soda make this a good, safe method.
And the winner is . . . Baking Soda and Steel Wool!  This removed even the toughest residue that none of the others could.  It removed it quickly and with much less effort than any of the others.  I think though that combining the oil, soda and steel wool would make an unbeatable combo!
Here's a sneak peak of what these jars are going to become!  So now that I don't have to worry about killing off more precious brain cells using stinky chemicals to remove these labels . . . I'm pretty happy!  Do you have any other methods that you've tried and really like?  If so, please share them!