Of all the cleaning tasks we have to do, there’s perhaps none more annoying than trying to get a price sticker or a label off of a new purchase. The amount of effort always seems completely out of proportion to how small a task it should be, doesn’t it?

We’ve discovered and tried lots of methods and “tricks” in the past, but most of the time, the true secret component comes down to simple elbow grease. That’s all well and good, but what if it’s a last-minute buy for a party you’re hosting, and you just don’t have the time or energy? What if you finally perfected your at-home manicure and don’t want to chip those nails? What if you’re out of – or even allergic to – the weird ingredients the method says you’ll need, like peanut butter? Or what if, frankly, you’re just feeling kind of lazy?

What we really need is a sticky-label-removing method that’s not only effective, but efficient. Thankfully, our friends and partners-in-cleaning at Food52 have come up with one that fits the bill!

So next time you get a new wine glass or serving platter home only to see those pesky stickers, don’t fear. Just follow this fool-proof method.

Sticky Label Removal


  • Oil, any kind
  • Warm-to-hot water
  • Scouring sponge


  1. Dribble a bit of your oil-of-choice onto the sticky label – you can use an eyedropper if you want to be extra careful – and use your fingers to spread it all over the label, covering it entirely.
  2. Place the oiled jar in a mixing bowl, pitcher or other container large enough to submerge it, and fill with the water. You want to cover the jar entirely, as well as fill it up so it stays submerged in the water.
    Spread oil on label and soak overnightFood52
  3. Allow the submerged jar to sit in the water and soak overnight.
  4. After its overnight soaking, remove the jar from the water, and empty it of the oily water inside it. Give it a quick rinse.
  5. Using only gentle pressure, scrub at the label with the green scouring sponge. It should come off easily— as should the oily sticky layer!
    Scrub the soaked label with a scouring spongeFood52
  6. Wash the jar or dish as you normally would in the dishwasher or, if you prefer, by hand.

Cleaner’s Tips

  • You can truly use whatever and whichever oil you prefer for this method: olive, vegetable, sesame, even eucalyptus!
  • Do not use a soft sponge nor steel wool. A basic scouring pad – they’re usually green or blue – is what you want!

So what makes this method so distinctive, and why are we so excited, especially because it has to sit overnight? Because we don’t have to repeat any of the steps! We and our friends at Food52 have found that with other “magical” methods, we usually have to repeat the application and scrubbing steps multiple times. Plus, we usually have to scrub extra hard to really get the label and the sticky layer beneath it off, and our whole goal is not to waste our time or energy. Sure, the jar needs to sit overnight, but that’s time you can use to do what you want! Much better!

Now you tell us: what do you think of this easy, efficient method? Do you use something similar, or do you prefer the other methods we’ve highlighted in the past? Do you have any tricks of your own to share to save us time and effort? Share with us, then be sure to head over to Food52 for more tips, including some more thoughts on the oils and pads you should use!