Upcycling is go! But don’t you hate yucky, sticky jars with weird smells, too?? I surely do. No worries, in this post I will show you how to prepare jars and make them spotless clean and non-smelly! It’s so easy and natural. With those clean jars, you can do anything, including preserving food.
Perfectly Prepare Jars – Step 1: Get rid of the labels
The good thing is that many jar labels stick with water based glue, especially if the jar contained food. You can put them in water and just sit and wait. To keep them from floating you would have to open them. I don’t do that because that way I would have to clean them out first. So I just put a wet microfiber cloth on them and let them sit. Once the paper label is soaked with water you can easily peel it off. Job done.
Some labels can turn out stubborn, though. No trouble. They have probably glue on it that rather dissolves in oily mixtures than water. So take some baking soda and vegetable oil, make a paste and put in on the jar. Let set for a few minutes. Then take a sponge, microfiber cloth or brush and wipe off paste and glue residues.
As my labels always come off with water only I have no picture of that. If you want to see the baking soda/oil mixture in action check out this post at The Creek Line House about how to remove sticky jar labels.
Perfectly Prepare Jars – Step 2: Clean them
This step is easy for anyone with a dishwasher. Just put the jars and lids into the dishwasher. Period.
If you have no dishwasher just wash them with the regular dishes.
Perfectly Prepare Jars – Step 3: Get rid of smells
If you want to use the jars for crafting you are probably already good to go. But if you want to put food in them you might want to make sure there are no yucky smells clinging to them. Or maybe you don’t want to have your new DIY candle holder smell like the garlic olives that once inherited the place?
No sweat. Take some (used) coffee grinds and put it into the jars and lids. I usually close them. Then I have them sit like this overnight and this will do. You can, however, let them sit a few days if the smell is heavy.
Tough smells that won’t vanish from the lids with coffee? Depending on the type of thing that causes the smell different means may work. Try to soak lids in oil or rubbing alcohol. You can also let baking soda sit in there for a couple of days or rub lids with a lemon peel. If you are lucky enough to live in a sunny place you can put them into direct sunlight.
After “de-smelling” clean jars and lids once again. Voilà! Perfect jars for upcycling or preserving!
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Bonus action: Sterilize jars for long-term food preserving
If you just need the jars for crafting or to put cookie mix in there you can use them right away. To preserve food for long storage you will need to make the jars sterile before using. If they contained food when you bought them chances are they are made of hardened glass that is heat-proof. Make sure to only use immaculate jars with no cracks or anything.
If you have a dishwasher wash jars and lids in the hottest program and use them right after that. In most cases this is sufficient.
However, to properly sterilize them put them in the oven and bake jars and lids for 15 minutes at 260° Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can put jars and lids into water so that they are covered, bring to boil and let boil for 10 minutes.
If you want to put hot food into the jars use them as long as they are still warm. Putting hot food in a cold jar or cold things into a hot jar can make the glass burst!
There you have them, perfect jars to do whatever you want with them.
Maybe you want to make easy marinated olives or feta cheese to bring as a gift? Or make a beautiful upcycling project with jars! What is it you want to do?