The Easy Way to Revive your Jars

To begin with, any donated jars we were given (AKA ‘The Lonely Jars Club’) got a 70 degree wash in the dishwasher. This does a great job of removing any residue inside and killing any potential bugs, but we found labels would usually stay put and occasionally there’d be smells hanging around too. (Obviously those jars got put away again rather than passed on!)

There’s just something so much nicer about a de-labelled jar. You can see the contents more easily and you aren’t going to be put off your sultanas by a “chilli anchovies” label staring down at you.


After a bit of research I thought I’d give a new method a go, and it worked a treat! So here it is- and you’ve got a week or two to try it before our next pop up. Don’t forget you can take your containers to the “Mini Zeros” anytime though! (I’ll list these at the bottom of the post)

  1. Make sure jars are clean and free of food residue. Any slight smell should be removed by this method.
  2. Half fill your sink with warm water and a splash of washing up liquid (we use Fill Co). Add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and stir to dissolve.
  3. Place all your jars in the water, making sure all the labels are submerged.
  4. Leave for at least an hour, you want the water to cool.
  5. Using a stainless steel scourer/wire cool, scrub each label off working from one side to the other. You will find the glue has loosened. Avoid warm water as it softens the glue and makes it smear everywhere.
  6. Some jars have a plasticky label you need to peel off first, then this method will remove the glue.
  7. Give each jar a quick rinse and leave to air dry.
  8. All done, now fill them up with your favourite products (dishwasher powder included!) at your local zero waste shop.

Permanent Zeros (opening times vary, please see our website for full details.)

Outer Coventry: Turnips Cafe, Binley Woods

Leamington: Harbury Supermarket and Post Office

Rugby: The Nest, High Street.

Banbury: Everything Usefill, Hornton.

Coming soon! Coventry City Centre- The Green Unicorn Vegan Store, Fargo Village.