One thing that jam makers are very good at is finding jars to use to make their jams. Whether it is getting them from friends or the local op-shop, there is always one little problem that has to be dealt with. Removing the label from the jar before you sterilise it and make use of it yourself. One of Mum’s knives, instead of the slight curve down on the sharp edge, had a slight curve up, from scraping those stubborn labels off the glass jars. I use a simple plastic scraper.
Glass Jars – a mixture of new and old
I now buy my jars new and in bulk, but I still like to recycle so some of my customers return the jars to me so that I can use it again.
Removing Labels – lessons learned
I have learnt a few lessons over the years. I have learnt not to put the jar through the dishwasher before removing my label. The dishwasher has the tendency to “cook” the label onto the jar, making it harder to remove. I put the jar into the sink of hot water with some dishwashing liquid in it. The dishwashing liquid helps to “soften” the glue holding the label to the jar. If it got a bit stubborn I would use a knife, steel wool, and finally eucalyptus oil.
And then I found this amazing little tool, called Fusionbrands thumb scraper tool. The blurb about it talked about how it would save your nails when you need to remove stickers from the bottom of your shoes, slice through packing tape on boxes, and gunk (yes they used that word) and grime in corners of your kitchen. The removal of stickers caught my eye, and I bought one.
Step 1 – Soak
This part remains the almost the same as my mother, and her mother did – I put the jar into the sink of hot water with some dishwashing liquid in it. Grandma used to lather up some soap – dishwashing liquid is much easier.
Step 2 – Scrape
You can see from the photos how easy it makes the labels come off and it is a lot easier to hold than a knife with the dent created especially made for your thumb and, being made of nylon, it does not scratch anything.
I still have to do a bit more work if someone has put the jar through the dishwasher before returning it to me, but not as much as I used to.