When living self-sufficient or partly self-sufficient canning will be part of your life. Is it a great way of preserving your produce. However, buying canning jars new is quite expensive. Therefore, it makes sense to stat canning with Twist-Off jars. Those are the jars industrial produced jam comes in. When asking friends if they can collect those jars for you, you will end up with heaps of them. They are great for beginning canning as long as you don’t reuse them too often. After some time, the lids won’t seal properly anymore. However, everybody who canned with Twist-off jars knows the most horrible part of the work is to remove the labels.
Removing those labels can be quite easy, but sometimes it can be a pain in the neck. The main reason for those differences is that producers use different kinds of glue. So, there you have:
- water-soluble glue
- oil-soluble glue
- heat-soluble glue
- alcohol-soluble glue
Unfortunately, if you are no chemist with the right equipment, there is no possibility to identify the kind of glue in advance. The only way is try and error. For the beginning, the best practise is to try it in that order:
Remove water-soluble labels off canning cars
Water-soluble sticky labels are the easiest ones to remove off your jars. Often those labels are gone by themselves after a round the dishwasher. However, take care, those labels can clog the drain of the dishwasher quite easily and you will end up with a flooded kitchen. If you have no dishwasher, put them into a bowl of hot water and soak for 10 minutes. Afterwards you should be able to peel the labels off. In case this is not working go on with the next step.
Heat-Soluble labels on canning jars
As the name suggests those labels can be removed by heat. The easiest way is to try it is, with the hair drier. After the label is hot it should come right off. In case it doesn’t, guess what… Go on with the next step.
Remove alcohol-soluble Stickers
In case your canning jars still have nasty labels on try to remove them with rubbing alcohol. For that soak a kitchen towel with the alcohol and rub it over the label. Usually those labels come off in small pieces.
Remove oil-soluble sticky labels
If everything else failed you can try oil. You can use every kind of edible oil. Pour one tablespoon of oil on a kitchen towel and wipe it over the label until its completely soaked with it. Afterwards you should be able to remove the label off your canning jar.
Labeling canning jars
Well, after canning you are probably planning to label your jars again to identify what is in there later on. You can buy really nice-looking labels in most stationary or kitchenware shops. Although they are really nice looking you will end up with the same horrible work of removing labels as soon as you want to reuse that canning jar again. My personal tip is label you canning jars (at least the ones you want to keep your yourself) simply with masking tape. It is really inexpensive, it does the job, it holds on the jar for many years and you can peel it off easily whenever your like.