As part of my preparation for wine, jam and chutney making later this year, I’ve started saving empty jars and bottles. The trouble is that I seem to spend ages trying to remove some of the labels.
I’ve just had a fight with the stickiest of sticky labels. The mother of all sticky labels. It put up a tremendous fight but I was determined to win. I nearly gave up but I beat the label on my last attempt.
Some labels can be removed with just detergent and hot water. Some need attacking layer by layer (top layer of shiny paper, bottom layer of white sticky paper and then the glue left stuck to the bottle). I’m determined not to buy special sticky label removing products. I’ve checked the suggestions on the internet and after trying some (which included vinegar, window cleaner, mayonnaise, baby oil) of these I decided that this is the best plan of attack.
- Elbow grease (lots of it). If you haven’t come across this term it means you need to get ready to expend some energy by scrubbing away at the glue.
- An old blunt knife
- Detergent (washing up liquid)
- Hot water
- Brillo pad (steel wool with soap impregnated – used for cleaning tough burnt on stains from dishes etc – just get the alternative available in your part of the works)
- Window and glass cleaner (the spray on kind – I used Power Force)
Removing the Label:
You may be able to peel this off straight away (just pick at the edges and pull the paper off).
If it wont come off like this then soak the bottle in hot water and detergent for 5 or ten minutes and have another go.
Soak in the hot water again. Remove the bottle from the water, lie it down on a cloth and start scraping the label and glue off with the knife. Try top down, bottom up and in from the edges. Get as much of this off as you can. Don’t leave any bits of paper in the water or you’ll block the sink.
This is where I had the problem. Place the bottle back in the hot, soapy water for a few minutes. Remove it from the water and wipe the water off the sticky stuff. Spray on some of the window cleaner and rub in circular movements with the Brillo pad. Keep wiping with the cloth and repeating the process until the gunge is removed.
Don’t forget to give the bottle a good wash in soapy water and rinse with clean water to remove all the soap etc.
Even though it doesn’t seem as though all the effort is worth it at the time, keep going. Just keep thinking about the home made elderberry wine, the homemade strawberry jam, the caramelised red onion chutney…….