Recycling a beautiful old jar is the best way to store homemade preserves. Learn how to remove jam jar labels to start building your collection

Knowing how to remove jam jar labels is vital information if you make homemade drinks and preserves. Rather than buying countless jars, save up the containers from shop bought preserves for a cheap and beautiful way to store and present your jams and chutneys. Learn how to remove the shop’s labels to use your own, whether you are giving the homemade preseves as a gift or simply keeping them for your own cupboard.

For the perfect homemade addition to a leftovers feast, try our winter chutney, or for a sweeter treat learn how to make rose petal jam or the best way to make wild fruit jam. 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.