Natural, Healthy Living

Vials, Bottles, & Jars, Oh, My!

I can’t tell you how beyond excited I am right now. I’ve always wanted to have all kinds of glass containers to store anything and everything in. But it hasn’t been until recently that I actually started to do something about it.

Just cleaning out my glass jars. When you have a giant gallon-sized pickle jar you really can’t clean it in the sink.

And this is just a small part of the glass containers I’ve accumulated. And I can honestly say I didn’t pay for any of the jars currently residing in my bathtub. When I finally decided I was going to do something about getting glass jars my first thought was, “How in the world will I be able to pay for all the jars I want?” The answer to that was, there is no way. Thankfully, though, my next thought was, “Why don’t I just save glass jars when I get things from the grocery store?” A much more simple – and much less expensive – solution.

So that’s what I did. Whenever we would use up our spaghetti sauce, or we would use up jelly, wheat germ, baby food, I would clean out the jar and remove the label. And voila! Glass jars ready for use.

Problem is, I am constantly running out of glass jars. There never seems to be enough to store all the things I need them for. I use them for essential oils, things I make at home (laundry soap, cleaners, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair products, lotions, baby food), spices, grains and beans, fruits and veggies in the fridge, dry pasta, cereal, leftovers I share with my mom. I even used a couple jars to make a care package for my sister at college. They really can be used for everything.

Our spice shelf. Baby food jars are the perfect size for spices. 

And that’s exactly what I want. So how did I get all those jars without paying for them? And I really mean I didn’t pay for them, because they were purchased and used by family members. They were so kind and saved them for me when they finished with them. The only problem I’m running into now is that I don’t really have a good place to keep them all (as BJ likes to point out every time I tell him I’m getting more jars from someone).

But I guarantee you that I will find a way. I want ALL THE JARS! So I will make it work. Really, though, most of them will be in use a majority of the time so it’s not like we would be storing a whole bunch of empty jars everywhere.

I just wanted to share this, one, because I am so excited about ALL THE JARS!, but two, because you may be feeling the same way as me. Just remember that you don’t have to buy all the jars yourself. Ask friends and family if they would be willing to save their glass jars and pass them to you. Even if they don’t clean them before passing them on they are so easy to clean yourself.

To completely clean the inside and remove the label and glue just soak your jars in a sink (or tub) filled with hot water, as hot as it will go works best. Then pour in some baking soda, borax too if you want. I also use essential oils (lemon and tea tree) to help really clean them but a couple squirts of dish soap works great, too (I used dish soap and baking soda before I started even thinking about essential oils). Mix it all together so that it really mixes in and the baking soda (and borax) dissolve completely. Throw in your jars and let sit for as long as you want. Just remember that the longer they sit the more likely all that glue will come off.

I will say that the glue on those jars may not come off the first time, second time, or even fifth time you soak them. I haven’t found a natural way to get off that really stubborn glue yet, but if you have a magical answer for this dilemma I am all ears.

I hope you enjoy all your reused glass jars as much as I do (and I’ll tell you that’s a lot).



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