Remove Sticky Label Glue from Glass with Homemade Goo Gone


It’s been five years already since I first wrote about how to make homemade goo gone and how it was an easy DIY strategy I like to use for cleaning the little glass jars that I love to recycle. And during the course of those five years I’ve still kept saving glass jars, and I’ve still kept using my homemade goo gone for this purpose – because it works! I use a recycled jar that I love for storing my homemade taco sauce, and another recycled jar has been perfect for my homemade mod podge. I just like to keep a stash of these little jars around for whatever homemade recipe I might want to try next!

How to remove sticky labels from glass jars with this easy homemade Goo Gone recipe

Now, removing the paper part of the label is usually no big deal. The paper will turn to mush pretty easily in water, and with some scrubbing, you can usually get all the paper off. But that sticky label residue that’s underneath? That’s a different story. Maybe you’ve gotten this far in the process too and wondered how to remove the sticky label residue on a glass jar that’s been left behind after the rest of the label is gone. It’s a frustrating situation that looks like this:

How to make homemade Goo Gone

But with two items you probably already have in the kitchen you can totally solve this problem! All it takes is some oil and some baking soda. The oil helps to dissolve the sticky glue residue (using the strategy of “like dissolves like”) and the baking soda provides some gentle abrasive scrubbing power. I’ve made this with both vegetable oil and olive oil and both have worked.

How to make homemade Goo Gone

How To Make Your Own Goo Gone

To make this easy mixture, just put some baking soda into a little bowl. Then, however much baking soda you measured out, stir in half as much oil.

So if you put 1 tablespoon of baking soda in your bowl, add in a ½ tablespoon of oil. If you put 2 teaspoons of baking soda in your bowl, add in 1 teaspoon of oil. You get the idea. (some measurement suggestions are also in the printable recipe below). The mixture should be about the consistency of glue – somewhat thick, but you want to still be able to have it pour off your spoon.

How to make homemade Goo Gone

Then the scrubbing starts. Yes, it does take a little bit of elbow grease, but no more than if you had bought commercial goo gone from the store. Just dip an edge of some paper toweling or an old cloth into your homemade goo gone mixture and start rubbing it around. You should see that the sticky residue is starting to wipe away and is coming off. Keep dipping your cloth as needed, and rubbing and scrubbing, until all the residue is gone. This should only take a few minutes, depending on the size of your jar of course.

How to make homemade Goo Gone

Then wash your jar with soap and water and dry it off. If you see any little areas that you missed, just repeat the process. When you’re done, you should have some lovely little glass jars that are all clean and shiny and ready to go if you need something for storing a homemade mixture.

How to make homemade Goo Gone

Since I first wrote about my homemade goo gone, some readers have asked me if you can make it ahead of time and store it. Honestly, I have never tried that but I suspect it probably wouldn’t work very well. It might keep for a little while, but I think it would probably start getting kind of crusty over time. I always just make a small batch as I need it. It mixes together so fast (and you could probably almost do it without measuring) that it really isn’t much trouble to just make little batches as needed.

So if you have some goo that you want to be gone, give this DIY mixture a try. A little bit of baking soda and oil will probably do the trick!

Recipe for homemade Goo Gone using easy items you already have in the kitchen

Homemade Goo Gone

This DIY alternative is a great way to remove the sticky label residue off recycled glass jars. With just some baking soda and oil, your goo will be gone!
Keyword: Homemade Cleaner
Author: Beverly


  • Baking Soda
  • Oil (vegetable, olive, etc.)


  • Place your baking soda in a small bowl. However much baking soda you measured out, stir in half as much oil.
  • Stir together the baking soda and oil. The consistency should be about that of glue, somewhat thick but still able to pour off your spoon.
  • Dip an edge of paper toweling or an old cloth into your homemade goo gone mixture, and rub it around on the sticky area, scrubbing as you go to work on removing the sticky residue. Repeat this process until you have removed all the sticky residue.
  • Then wash your item with soap and water and wipe dry. If you see any remaining spots of sticky residue, repeat the process.


Some measurement suggestions are:
1 Tbl Baking Soda + 1/2 Tbl Oil
2 tsp Baking Soda + 1 tsp Oil
1/4 cup Baking Soda + 2 Tbl Oil

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  1. I tried this but it didn’t work until I added a little lemon juice to the mixture…then it worked perfectly.

  2. Have you ever tried this on plastic containers, medicine jars etc? I have usually been able to get the residue off the glass (albeit a looong soak in water) but plastic? I get no where.

  3. Thanks Bev! This really works! I’ve been using the homemade goo gone for a couple of years now.
    One added benefit-after cleaning up, I enjoy massaging any leftover olive oil into my hands as if it were hand cream!

  4. Thank you Beverly! I too love those Better than Bouillon jars for storage but the labels are such work to remove! I have never seen this recipe before so you made my day! I was lead to you by a Pinterest Pick sent me on Making String Christmas Trees, so glad I found you!

  5. A good alternative to this approach is WD40 (will not damage plastics that are sensitive to Goo-Gone etc). Clean or peel away any pieces of label possible. Saturate the area with WD40, let remain for an hour or more, apply more and wipe with paper towel. Second and sometimes third application is necessary to throughly remove all adhesive. Wash with quality dish detergent (Dawn, etc).

    1. I too have found it takes repeat applications with WD-40. I find an old cloth like a sock works better than paper towels at pulling the adhesive free once dissolved. A lot of people use it as a lubricant on squeaky hinges and such. I would discourage that. If you have ever used it to clean grease and oil residue from your hands after working and a bicycle, car or other items you noticed how well it liquefied that gunk.. That’s what it’s doing inside your hinges and on your bicycle chain and sprockets instead of lubricating them. You may even notice black drips on your flooring or carpet below this door hinges in time after applying it as the oil from them breaks down. Don’t go there.

    1. That’s right Janice, it’s very simple to just mix them together! I hope you enjoy all the things you find around here 🙂