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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Removing labels from bottles
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Old 06-03-2005, 08:59 PM   #21
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I get a 100 or so Wine bottles that I scrounge from resturants etc.., fill the bathtub with the hottest water that my bioler produces, and then Dump in a whole lot of "Arm & Hammer - Washing SODA" Put bottles in bath - and then leave for a few hours. Most of the labels and glue are soaked off, though some scrubbing is needed here and there.

Rinse well, dry. Put away till ready to bottle.

Please note - it is Washing SODA, not the baking soda, or washing detergent.

I have not tried the oxyclean, but that is a possibilty later. Washing soda is considerably cheaper though

Kilroy

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Old 06-03-2005, 09:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by andre the giant
My next big project with the bottles is to weed out all the green ones and give them to friends.
HAHA!!! That's what I do too!!!
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:39 PM   #23
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just tried the oxyclean method on the last bacth and DAYUM!! does that ever work well! labels fall right off no problem

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Old 10-25-2005, 08:42 PM   #24
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Default For hard-to-remove labels, try scoring

One poster mentioned laminated labels with a hard-to-remove gum posing a problem. It might help to score the labels before soaking. Take a serrated knife, wallpaper scoring tool or some other relatively sharp tool and make a few slashes in the label, as close to the glass as you can get. This will allow the soaking solution to get underneath the paper (i.e. through the laminate), which should help.

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Old 10-25-2005, 10:45 PM   #25
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My way of removing labels is to soak them in warm water for 10 minutes, whip out a carving knife, and just run the blade along the glass. If the label has been soaking long enough then this will remove it pretty fast. Afterward, for those few spots that are left, I just hit it with a scouring pad and blammo. This saves the pads from getting fouled up with label stuff since they are only used to remove the little flecks, instead of the whole label.

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Old 10-28-2005, 08:56 PM   #26
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Default Another vote of confidence for Oxy Clean

Used the Oxy Clean method on a total of 70+ Grolsch and Fisher's Ale bottles this week. Filled the sink with hot water and a few scoops of Oxy Clean powder, let them soak for a few hours.

Worked like a charm. Labels floated off, and the glue rinsed off. Thanks, all, for the insight!

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Old 10-31-2005, 06:41 PM   #27
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Okay... got the be-all, end-all method for removing all but metallic labels from any bottle. I used this method just a couple of weeks ago:

1. Add one cup of ammonia (not bleach! - just use straight ammonia) to five gallons of cold water. I got a bottle of ammonia from the local Albertsons grocery store for a couple of bucks. (EDIT: Never combine ammonia and bleach. It creates toxic fumes. Just wanted to add that side note for safety.)

2. Submerge bottles in the solution overnight. NO scoring of the labels is required. (EDIT: unless the labels are metallic. You might need to perforate or score those to allow the solution to soak the backside of the label)

3. Next day, pick bottles out of the solution and wipe the label off with a finger. Of course, that's assuming the thing doesn't just slide off as you lift it out of the solution. It completely dissolves the glue. Rinse and store.

Ammonia isn't real easy on the sinuses, so I suggest you do this outdoors. I tell you, it can't get any easier than that.

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Old 11-04-2005, 07:44 AM   #28
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ive just started my beer bottle collecting empire a month ago, and the 100+ bottles ive done, i just fill up my wifes bathtub with hot as hell bleach water and let them soak for a couple hours. the labels come right off and i only have to scrub a little glue residue. no fancy chemicals that "use the air you breathe...."

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Old 11-05-2005, 08:06 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by subwyking
i just fill up my wifes bathtub with hot as hell bleach water and let them soak for a couple hours. the labels come right off and i only have to scrub a little glue residue. no fancy chemicals that "use the air you breathe...."
With the ammonia, there's no scrubbing at all. The glue is gone. Just wipe the label off with the side of your finger, rinse the bottle well with warm water, and then dry it with a paper towel.

Regarding the chemicals, I can't imagine a tub full of steaming hot bleach water inside the house being any easier on the respiratory tract than a mild ammonia-cold water solution sitting out on the back porch. The only time it's even noticeable outdoors is when you're pouring the straight ammonia into the water.
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:11 PM   #30
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the smell is strong, but bearable. my wife doesnt mind because it leaves her bathtub nice and white. its pretty cool though, it looks like a small "beer bottle armada" when they are floating around.

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