When you have lemons......

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Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
Yesterday I picked up a load of lemons in the reduced price section and have been a bit busy. I've made a lemon drizzle cake, lemon curd, and prepared the ingredients for a lemon chutney this afternoon. These need to rest overnight in a salt bath so that will be done tomorrow .
I'm reduced to using old recycled jars as all my others are full of goodies. My problem is how to get that horrible sticky label glue off the jars. Usualy I take it as part of the preparation but I'm sick of spending hours scraping the flipping stuff off. Life is too short!
Any tried and tested solutions out there? My aching back and fingers will love you for ever!


Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
Mid Wales
I have to do this frequently for the Missus' jam jars.
The glues are solvent based. I usually keep a number of different solvents in my workshop and try each one in turn until I find the best for that particular label - usually in the order: Isopropyl Alcohol; Meths; White Spirit; Cellulose Thinners - but sometimes (strangely) WD40 will do it!


Jan 21, 2005
S. Lanarkshire
Edit....sorry, cross posted with Broch :)

Peel off the paper, and then use either cellulose thinners (£2.99 L in Lidl's lasts a year+ ) or WD 40.... if you use the latter you need to scrub off the oily residue with washing up liquid.

Lemons....salt them and they're superb. Keep well for years too (found a forgotten jar when clearing the pantry. The lemons were very soft, but very tasty.

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Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
Brock... I need to borrow you!
I have some wd40 somewhere also meths for the trangia so I'll give both a go and see what works.
I usualy show my wares at the local flower and produce show so the jars have to be perfect. . Don't want to loose the cup again this year due to glue left on the jar as I did last year.
The lemon chutney is destined for the chutney class. Never seen it or done it before so I'm hoping this is a winner.
Thanks both of you.

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
Sorry Woody girl, I don't fancy the drive down the M5 on a wet windy Sunday afternoon :)
Owh. .( Sad face) ah well, nose to grindstone and do it myself ....as usual! (Smily face) sorry phone gone all glitchy trying to access the emojies. It's started spelling wierd words too!


Nov 25, 2014
CPC in Preston do an aerosol Label Remover which works fantastic. They post cheap, sometimes free too.


Dec 28, 2018
West Sussex
This might sound a little crazy when dealing with glass but a very gentle and patient approach with a naked flame could help.
A couple of years ago I was trying to remove the adhesive from the sides of baked beans/sweet corn tins all ready to be drilled and embellished for use as garden lamps. I tried soapy water, nail varnish remover, domestic bleach, brillo pads etc. Holding the gluey bits over a low flame on the hob worked wonders, a quick wipe with kitchen towel and as clean as a whistle. I wouldn't use gas flame myself for glass but if you have a trangia?

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
McBride, BC
Chemistry lab technique = "solvent partition." Agreed, heat is your friend.
The idea is a sequence of things which dissolve in another , maybe again and again.
Adhesive gooey crud will usually dissolve in veg oil, peanut oil is #1, peanut butter is #2.
I'm an old fart = I use olive oil which is usually an easy kitchen clean-up, yes?
Let it sit, over night if need be. Patience works here.
OK? Then you can dissolve that whole mess with hot water and dish detergent.


Oct 6, 2003
Goo Gone. Which happens to use citrus oil as the solvent. Works to remove gummy adhesives far better than acetone because it doesn't evaporate so fast, nor eat gloves. Save the acetone for the final degreasing step.


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