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Sep 16, 2012 08:55 AM

Used Canning Jars need heavy duty cleaning.

I have 8 regular Ball canning jars that held candles. Bought them in a store. The metal wick thing is very tough to get out of the bottom and the paper label left residue on the outside bottom and front.
I boiled them for 7 minutes and they aren't clean looking.
Any advice? I was told to either try a weak bleach solution or GOOP.
Planning to do a huge batch this weekend and need the jars!!!

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  1. I would pour boiling water *into* the jars to warm and loosen the wax holding the wick clip in place, then Goop, Goof-off, or plain old vegetable oil to loosen the paper. Don't sweat it too much if the paper doesn't come off -- the problem arises if the wick clip was glued in place.

    Bleach isn't going to dislodge much of anything.

    1. agree with what sunshine said and it should work.
      maybe try something with a sharp tip or even a flathead screwdriver to get under the pesky wic tin thing. it may only take a small amount of effort. a little oil in each jar like a tsp, set the jars in simmering water in a saucepan with about an inch of water. that may work to help loosen.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iL Divo

        I'd put boiling water, not warm oil, inside the jars -- all you want to do is loosen whatever-it-is that's keeping the clip in the jar - it* should* just be wax, but you can never be sure!

        If it's actually cement, you'll need acetone or nail polish remover and some hope that it will work.

        1. re: sunshine842

          yea or toss the jars and buy new ones.

      2. Look...(trying not to yell)...I just spent 15 minutes and got 3 stupid metal things off...Glue still there. One STILL has the metal part....I tried a phillips and even bent a cheap paring knife into an "L"....I have accepted that the paper labels on the outside are OK....But, I can't use these 4 jars...The last time I put jars in a cast iron skillet and boiled 1 inch of water and only got the wax out.....Plus I broke 2 jars..
        Getting cranky here.....What kind of glue did this person use?!? Nail polish remover didn't work...Grrrrr Pant PANT PANT...

        2 Replies
        1. re: annfaulkner

          then give up. Throw them in the recycle bin. Go to Walmart/Target/KMart/FarmFleet/whatever and buy new jars.

          If the glue is that persistent, you probably don't want the residue in your food anyway.

          1. re: annfaulkner

            If it's not just stuck on with wax, I wouldn't use it. You don't want either glue or solvents in your canning jars.

          2. Don't put anything in them you wouldn't want in your food. The boiling should help, but I expect you will have to do it several times.

            1. Freezing them for a few hours may be of some help...