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Re-using glass jars: how to easily remove the sticky labels

Re-using glass jars: how to easily remove the sticky labels | casaveneracion.com

This is a story that begins with mojito and ends with dulce de leche with a murder video in between. Yes, there is a direct and incontrovertible connection between them. The mojito story, I’ve shared with friends on Facebook before. But because it has spawned the dulce de leche story, I have to re-tell the mojito story here first for proper context.

On Christmas Eve, after we have had our fill of the simple meal I prepared, we opened the bottle of Bacardi mixed mojito that Speedy had bought especially for that evening. We don’t normally buy pre-mixed drinks but Speedy wanted everything to be less work on Christmas Eve so we could have more time to relax. As it turned out, one bottle was not enough. Worse, it was bland. Speedy makes much better mojito, truth be told.

Speedy handed me my glass of mojito, and I stared at it wondering if I was so drunk that I was imagining things. Did he really hand me my drink in a Lily’s Peanut Butter jar without removing the label?

Still hankering for more, I asked Speedy to pick limes from the tree in the garden. Understand that, after dark, picking anything from the garden is not exactly the most simple task. Insects and critters abound in this part of the boondock and there’s the occasional toad and, sometimes, even some gecko. Speedy, already slightly inebriated, dilly-dallied.

Finally, he stepped out. Who picked the mint leaves by the front door, I have no idea. It could have been Alex. Several minutes later, Speedy handed me my glass of mojito, and I stared at it wondering if I was so drunk that I was imagining things. Did he really hand me my drink in a Lily’s Peanut Butter jar without removing the label? The girls burst out laughing, and I asked Sam to take photos to immortalize the moment.

I’ve written a post before about how we re-use empty jars. With most jars, the moment they get wet, it is easy to peel off the labels. Not so with others. And this is where the murder video story begins.

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When re-using glass jars with super sticky labels, it is best to soak them first in hot soapy water. The hot water softens the adhesive and makes it easier to scrub off. With plastic jars that cannot withstand very hot water, warm water will suffice although the soaking time will naturally be longer, and you might need to replenish the warm water. Allowing the adhesive to soften before scrubbing means you don’t need to use anything abrasive which can scratch and damage the glass or plastic.

Now, in case you’re wondering why the soapy water in the photo looks red, that’s quite another story. A few weeks earlier, Alex made a video for a class project and the video was about a murder. She mixed food color into the dishwashing liquid to make “blood” with the consistency and color of real blood. We later used the excess “blood” for dishwashing. Naturally — why throw it away? And, if you must know, Speedy and I were the actors in the video (no talent fee, Alex said). Never mind what we did.

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Once you’ve scrubbed off the sticky labels on the jars, wash inside and out, and rinse well. Dry completely before filling with anything. You can see from the photo above that my label-free jar, now filled with dulce de leche, is free from scratches.

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For convenience, you can re-label your jars. A strip of paper and transparent tape are all you need. When you’re ready to re-use the jar again, peel off the tape before washing. If some of the tape adhesive sticks on the jar, just soak in hot soapy water as before, scrub, wash, rinse and dry.

If you want to make dulce de leche, click here.

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