On our respective refill journey’s most of us make the discovery that all those jars we go through - from pasta to salsa – make fantastic containers for our bulk refill items. However, we may also quickly learn (after spending far too much of our time pain stakingly peeling off stubborn labels or trying to get the garlic smell out of our containers), that getting the perfect label-free, scent free jar can be a daunting task.
Luckily, we at eco+amour have had plenty of practice turning the pre-loved containers our thoughtful customers donate into cute, clean jars ready for refill.
Let's clean those jars for refill shall we!
1.) Clean your jars: Empty out any food or liquid remaining in your jars. Ideally, we try not to waste any food. Realistically our busy schedules result in us forgetting that we had leftovers waiting for us in the backs of our fridges. Or we realize too late that we forgot to label when they were made and are forced to play, “does this still smell okay?” roulette. Additionally, thicker sauces can be hard to get out of the bottoms of jars and onto our plates.
So, the first step requires a simple washing out of your jars. For ultimate eco efficiency you may want to pair an Eco Coconut Dish Brush, which is naturally antibacterial, with our Dish Soap Block or one of our liquid dish soaps. I particularly like our Cedar Mint Dish Soap for this job because the mint does a good job of neutralizing the food scent.
2.) Soak your jars: In order to get rid of both the food smell and the labels its important to soak both the inside and outside of your jars overnight in soapy water. Don’t forget to also soak the lid! This can be done in your sink or in bucket.
3.) Time to peel the label off: I know for those of us with short or brittle nails this part can seem less than a-peeling (I’m sorry, I had to!). Many companies use an absurd amount of glue to affix their labels. If you are worried about breaking your nails or don’t have long enough nails, try using an Eco Coconut Scourer or steel wool to scrub off the label and glue residue.
4.) Dry Dry Dry: tap water contains all kinds of interesting things - none of which you'll likely want infiltrating your amazing refilled goods. So let them dry for a solid 24hrs.
5.) Extra Cleaning Required?: if your jars need a little extra cleaning, you can always boil them in water for about 10 minutes, or wipe them down with rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol)
Hot tip 1: Getting rid of the label/ label glue that just won’t budge: Most of us have vegetable, olive or coconut oil in our cupboards but you can use whatever you have on hand to help soften the label residue. Just cover the area and let sit for half an hour. Then scrub it off with a scourer. Apartmenttherapy.com also suggests using a hair dryer to soften the glue if it’s being particularly stubborn. However, be very careful when employing this method as the jar may get quite hot.
Hot tip 2: Getting rid of strong odours: Strong odours can be neutralized by allowing jars to sit with baking soda and vinegar inside. Here at the shop we’ve also recently made a batch of lavender infused vinegar which is a lovely lightly scented alternative to your regular vinegar.
Why it’s crucial for you to bring clean and DRY containers for your refill: We love when people are prepared with their jars when hey come in for refill (But if you forgot, don’t worry we have your back with our pre-loved sanitized selection which is free or else a selection of nicer glass containers available for purchase).
However, the biggest mistake people make when bringing in their own jars is that they bring in ones which have old product in them or have not been dried properly.
The problem with bringing containers with old product in them is that they can alter the contents and therefore the effectiveness of the products you are replacing them with. So, if your jar is questionable, you can always use on of our preloved (and sanitized jars) when you visit!