How to Easily (and Naturally) Remove Label Glue From Glass

I have an assortment of glass bottles and jars that I’ve been saving and buying up at yard sales over the past month so I can store my homemade limoncello. Some of the jars I’ve saved had labels affixed with glue that came right off; some had glue that was very stubborn.

I had one particular glass salad dressing bottle that would not give up its glue. I let it soak in hot water for a long time then rubbed with steel wool. Nothing. I tried an old bottle of Goo Gone that was ineffective. I even tried nail polish remover. That didn’t work either. Everything just smeared the glue around.

I wasn’t so happy with the chemical alternatives I was trying (and they weren’t even working), so I decided to do some research to find a natural, effective method. (Yes, I should have done that first. Sometimes, I try to take the easy way out.)

After reading several suggestions on various blogs and discussion boards, I decided to try a method I found on The Creek Line House blog that called for baking soda, cooking oil and an abrasive scrubbie. It worked!

The method is so simple.

  1. Mix together equal amounts of baking soda and cooking oil — for one small jar, a tablespoon of each will be plenty.
  2. Rub the mixture all over the sticky parts of the glass jar.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  4. Rub with an abrasive scrubbie (I used steel wool)
  5. Wash really well with soap and water

My bottle came out glue-free and ready to use to store limoncello. I’m not sure why this method worked, but I don’t need to know why. I just need to know it’s a non-chemical way to remove label glue from glass bottles. Next time I have a sticker stuck to the glass on a picture frame, I’ll try this method. That price tag sticker glue is always difficult to remove.

Do you have a natural method for removing stubborn label glue from glass bottles?

By Robin Shreeves, MNN



Heidi D
Heidi Dabout a month ago

I soak them in hot water, peel any paper out of the way, and then scrape the softened glue off with an old credit card.

Carol C
Carol Cabout a month ago

Many thanks for this great info!

Margie FOURIEabout a month ago

I alway need to remove labels from Jars. Thank you so much.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

Where was this at the beginning of the week... when I needed it!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

Where was this at the beginning of the week...

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan H2 years ago


Briony Coote
Briony C2 years ago

Equal parts of cooking oil and baking soda? I'd better keep that in mind. Thanks for the tip!

Teresa W.
Teresa W2 years ago

thank you

Irene M.
Irene M2 years ago

I have never used chemicals to remove a sticker from a reusable bottle or glass, but I will take note of this method. Some times we buy a delicious flavoured chocolate spread (only one million calories a spoonful) and save the jars they come into to use as a regular drinking glasses. Well, they have the most stubborn stickers ever. I wonder if they use the same adhesive to glue space rocket pieces together. I will definately try this one next time.