My sister worked for a little while at a restaurant and bar, so she saved bottles they had, and I also had all of my friends and family who drank wine (or sparkling apple cider like us) to save them. I also threw jars in to the mix for candles (and mason jars for guests to drink from, but those don't really relate to the purpose of this post).
With all of these lovely glass bottles and jars, my vision was coming together. But, those pesky labels just weren't cute.
And I was saving and collecting all kinds of bottles and jars - root beer bottles, orange soda bottles, coca cola bottles, wine bottles (all kinds), peanut jars, pickle jars, spaghetti jars...
So, here is the knowledge I gained from cleaning off all of those bottles and jars:
1. If there is a paper or plastic label, soak first. This soaking will help the glue (if its only a little) get pretty hard and the label get softer so they will pull apart. Some jars and bottles just needed this step and the label pulled right off without leaving residue.
2. If there was residue, sometimes just a little dish soap and a scrubby brush or sponge (something a little rough) can get it off.
3. If there are globs of glue (I mainly saw this on a couple of spaghetti jars), try to pull it off when its clumped up. If you try to scrub off the globs, it can make a bigger, sticky mess. I just used my finger or a razor blade (be safe with these!! Wear protective gloves, dry off the jar or bottle well first to prevent slipping, and use a razor blade holder- don't just have the razor blade in your hand).
4. If there was STILL sticky residue or discoloration, I dried the jar or bottle off completely and then sprayed goo gone (although it does have other hidden, awesome properties), let it sit for about a minute, then use a scrubby brush or sponge to get that off.
5. Because I was not being picky, I got some sticky jars - namely pickle jars. What I did with those was pour some vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda in it, sealed it with the lid, shook it up, and let it sit over night. Sometimes I even added a bit of lemon juice if it was a really stinky jar. I often use vinegar to get rid of smells and thought I was crazy for using it in a pickle jar (because the jar was stinky due to the vinegar that was in with the pickles). But it more often than not worked!
Anyone have other ways they have removed labels from glass? Used bottles and/or jars in a wedding or other event? I love how we were able to collect so many and didn't spend a penny on the ones for decor - and they were EVERYWHERE! It was awesome.