The key to this admittedly non-revolutionary method is regularly consuming something that comes in a wide-mouthed glass jar — a beloved brand of almond butter, for example, or salsa.
Once you've finished a jar of whatever it is, store it (unwashed, top on) somewhere out of sight and keep doing this until you've amassed several — enough to fit in your largest pot.
Then cover the jars with water, squeeze in a little dish soap, and cook them on high until the labels float off on their own, or with some nudging from a set of tongs. And that's it.
Repeat this over the course of a few months, and you'll have a collection of matching jar-glasses that also double as non-plastic storage containers, if you keep the lids — maybe in a cute little container nearby. (I'd share a picture of my own lid basket, except it is decidedly uncute, and looking at it now with a critical eye makes me realize how hoarder-y it has become. It works fine, though. Maybe the lids will all come in handy when I get my homemade sauerkraut business off the ground.)
Anyway, if you've already washed and dried your jars a few times (rather than initially setting them aside), the labels might be harder to remove, in which case follow the same procedure, but after you've removed the jars from the water (using tongs), rub the hot gluey areas with baking soda until the glass is completely clean, which should only take a few seconds. Revel in the jars' sparkling-ness. Magnificent.
- Other uses for glass jars at home: 5 Decorative Uses for the Versatile Glass Jar in the Kitchen
- Another method to try: How to Remove Stickers & Labels From Glass