How to remove labels from jam jars

Jam jars make great little vases for informal posies of flowers. But how do you remove the labels from your jars?

Here are my 4 easy to follow steps for removing the labels from your jars:

  1. Soaking
  2. Scraping
  3. White spirit
  4. Washing


Fill a washing up bowl or bucket with water.  Unscrew your jam jar lids and set them to one side.  Submerge your jar into the water making sure its deep enough to cover your labels.  Your jars will need to stay in water until you’re ready to move on to step two.  If you take them out of water before attempting to peel off your labels they’ll dry out and stay firmly in place. You'll need to leaving your jars soaking for an hour or so.

How to remove labels from jam jars
How to remove labels from jam jars


If you’re lucky you may find your label peels off really easily.  If it doesn’t, use a table knife to scrape away at it – dipping your jar back into your water to wash off the paper debris, as needed.

White Spirit

A trick I learnt from my Dad is to soak an old cloth in a bit of white spirit and rub this onto your jar to remove the last of any gluey residue.  White spirit smells – so use it in a well-ventilated room (and store out of reach of children).

How to remove labels from jam jars
How to remove labels from jam jars


Once your jar is label free put it in the dishwasher and it’ll be ready to use as an impromptu vase.

I’d love to hear what your tips are for removing labels from your jam jars – leave me a comment in the box below.

Prefer to watch?

You can watch how I remove the labels from my jam jars.

Until next time, happy flowers! Julie

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