Hold on to attractive old jars for homemade preserves and tipples. Follow our tips on how to remove jam jar labels and start building a handy collection

Whether you make homemade drinks and preserves or simply want an attractive and cost-saving vase for blooms from the garden, learn how to remove jam jar labels. Save jars from shop-bought preserves to house your own batch of jams and chutneys. Plus a collection of jars is useful to have if you plan to make gifts of your homemade preserves. So follow The Field’s advice on how to remove jam jar labels – the first step in building a handy collection.

For inspiration on preserves to make at home follow our recipes on how to make rose petal jam or the best way to make wild fruit jam. But make sure you know how to judge the pectin levels in fruit before you start. Or if you prefer to make your own tipples rather than preserves, read how to make elderberry vodka. It will last for months if you can resist it, a homemade drink will never fail to impress your guests and this elderberry vodka will certainly get the festivities going.


QUERY: I save interestingly shaped bottles and jars for homemade drinks and preserves. My query is whether you know of an efficient way of removing their labels. At present I just soak them in hot water for an hour or so but often find that they don’t come off completely or that the glass is still sticky.
MH, by email

Soaking a glass bottle or jar in hot water with a good measure of dissolved washing powder can often help remove the label quickly. Some labels can be removed on a hot wash in the dishwasher but an effective and simple method to remove jam jar labels is using lighter fluid, which not only helps remove the label but efficiently removes adhesive from any surface. Lighter fluid quickly and easily removes sticky tape from any new appliances, stickers from book covers or stubborn labels on lids.