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How do you clean an "empty" peanut butter jar?

By "empty" I mean a jar that has been spent of 98% of the peanut butter but still has smears and smudges of the brown stuff adorning its walls and bottom.


- Use it as a bowl for hot oatmeal

- Use it as a bowl for Chinese sesame noodles

- Use it as a bowl for ice cream

- Use it as a bowl for milk and cereal

- Use it for a yogurt and fruit parfait

- Use it as a decanter for hot chocolate


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  1. I don't think I could come up with any better ideas than yours!

    1. Put it in the yard and let the squirrels clean it out, like those bugs they use to strip flesh from skeletons.

      1. After I can't get any more out with a finger, recycle and open a new jar.

        Or as our mice like peanut butter, I guess you could stick a trap inside the thing and let them "go" in all it's glory

        1 Reply
        1. re: autumm

          Your Plan A is close to my strategy: table knife, then finger, then recycle. Used to be religious about cleaning thoroughly, shaking with hot water and some Dawn, but realized that the glass was gonna get broken up and melted and any traces of PB would burn off early. Likewise with mayonnaise.

        2. Ipse - that is absolutely genius. I unfortunately just soak/rinse out the jar. Thank you!!

          1. I would put it in the top rack of the dishwasher.

            1 Reply
            1. At my parents home, the dog gets to lick it clean.

              2 Replies
                    1. re: treb

                      Even better, a "mayoknife". They are cheap but have just the right contouring for mayo and PB jars.

                        1. re: pinehurst

                          YESSSSSS!!!!!! This needs to be the cover photo on an Animals with Food Calendar-- to raise money for some animal organization!!

                          1. re: AreBe

                            Lucky dog! Imagine the frustration if he were a pug....

                            1. re: AreBe

                              I will not show this picture to my corgis... :-)

                              1. re: AreBe

                                Awesome!! I bet that's one happy pup!

                                1. re: AreBe

                                  So I just grabbed this Corgi photo off the internet because it fit so well. Here is my pit bull/boxer mix Ginger working the peanut butter out of her Kong toy tonight.

                                  1. re: AreBe

                                    wow she looks so much like my boy - pit-mastiff love the brindles

                                    1. re: JTPhilly

                                      My sister's favorite trick with her English Springers is to have 4 Kong toys, two for each dog. She fills them with peanut butter then puts them in the freezer -- one pair is always out and one pair is always in. The dogs go batsh*t for them.

                                  2. re: AreBe

                                    Unfortunately the cats think peanut butter is the stuff of evil... you'd never catch them doing this!

                                    1. re: Kajikit

                                      My cat will eat anything you leave within his reach which is pretty fat, but he's never shown an interest in nut butter.

                                    2. re: AreBe

                                      Unfortunately I have the only dog on earth that doesn't like peanut butter!

                                      I usually get as much out with knife and finger, then add hot water and dish soap, put the lid back on and shake hard.

                                      1. re: AmyH

                                        Not the only one. My dog won't go for it either. Tried using it for giving pills and he wouldn't touch it.

                                        1. re: pamf

                                          Glad to hear that my Max isn't alone in his peanut butter disdain!

                                      2. re: AreBe

                                        Bruin sez PB is the "cat's meow". Sadly, his tongue isn't long enough to reach the bottom of the jar.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          That's part of the fun! Keeps them occupied trying for a long time....

                                        2. re: AreBe

                                          That's my dog's special treat, although she got her head stuck in the jar once and that was pretty scary. Luckily it was peanut butter so we could slide it off w/out having to get peanut butter on it!

                                        3. To be honest I throw it in the trash when no one is looking or soak it in hot soapy water then run it through the dishwasher if someone is.

                                          1. For all but the largest jars, a blender bottom [the blades] will fit.
                                            So, toss in some milk and whirrrrr, gently.

                                            However, I'm not trying to make a reusable container -- I want allllllllllllllllll of the pb!

                                            1. Along the lines of your sesame noodles: toss hot freshly drained pasta and pepper of choice into the jar, screw the lid back on, shake well.

                                              1. those are great ideas - and better than my usual MO which is add warm water, close, shake and pour resulting peanut water over dog food (I only buy no sugar added PB)

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: JTPhilly

                                                    My dog thanks you for this suggestion.

                                                  2. Throw it in the yard for the dog during human meal time. Then, we let the dog out and have a meal without the dog stalking us.

                                                    1. I use it for overnight oats or make my chia pudding in there.
                                                      I tried to make hot oatmeal in a plastic pb jar once and used boiling water which kind of melted a hole in the jar....i tossed it since i didn't want melted plastic oatmeal for breakfast. Oops.

                                                      1. Stick it in the dishwasher after I've scraped as much peanut butter as I can out of it... you're never going to get it ALL though I came close last week when I was trying to eek a last couple of sandwiches out of it for DH...

                                                        1. You can add some chocolate syrup and a little milk, shake the hell out of it, and then microwave it for a bit to try to melt down the last of the peanut butter and then drink as a bedtime snack.

                                                          Oh crap- you just said that.

                                                          1. with my finger as a late night snack. or a piece of celery (if I'm feeling good). Or a piece of chocolate (if I'm not).

                                                              1. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a clean, empty peanut butter jar, or what I would do with one if I had one. I think peanut butter jars are why we have landfills.

                                                                1. - Use it as a shaking jar for carrot ginger salad dressing

                                                                  - Use it as a bowl for chili

                                                                  - Shake hot water in there to loosen everything and add to brown rice, farro or whatever other whole grain I'm cooking, or to Thai curry, or some kind meat I'm making in the pressure cooker.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: ninrn

                                                                    I was waiting to see if anyone would suggest using it as a shaker for salad dressing. That would've been my recommendation too.

                                                                    In my kitchen it's almond or cashew butter.

                                                                  2. I hate peanut butter jars that are near the end of their lifespan. Think about it washing with water until it is clear wastes water. I like your ideas.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                      I actually have a small spatula that fits just right and cleans the jar nearly clean. I need to get every last bit possible from food jars.

                                                                      I got these as a gift, and they are great from W-S:


                                                                    2. Hot tap water at first to get the worst (might need tongs to protect your hands). Then a cylinder brush with soap and water. Perhaps some shaking. Then a soapy water soak over night to remove the stench. I use them for all sorts of things. Great under-workbench container for nuts and bolts and etc, after lid is installed under bench with some screws. The wide threads make it easy to screw the plastic container under the lid.

                                                                      If you search within camping and survivalist forums, you'll find a billion other uses. Or maybe even use Google for "peanut butter jar uses."

                                                                      1. I only buy peanut butter for peanut sauce so I add the hot coconut milk to the jar, shake it and pour it back in the pan.

                                                                        1. I add hot water and a squirt of Ajax dish liquid and get it nice and clean. Then, I hope that when it arrives in China it gets recycled and becomes an even bigger PB jar.

                                                                          1. Historically, I've used hot water and soap in a feeble attempt to get it clean enough to recycle and then just throw it in the trash when I think I've wasted enough water.
                                                                            Now, (thanks BTW) I think I'll start with your chinese sesame noodles recipe and then work my way through the rest of these good tips.

                                                                            1. If the jar is plastic, and the goal is to get the remaining PB out (rather than repurposing the jar for other uses), consider taking a serrated knife that you don't particularly care for and cutting the jar in half. You'll find it much easier to get the remaining PB out that way.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: pchang

                                                                                No thanks. It generates shards & stringy plastic things.