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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > removing labels made simple
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
gandalfiii
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Default removing labels made simple

I just discovered an incredibly simple way to remove labels from my bottles. I just boil some water in a pot and put a steamer basket in. Stand up as many bottles fit in the basket(5 for me) and wait about 5 - 10 minutes. When you pull them out the tops will be slightly warm but not hot and the labels will peel right off. Let them cool off for a couple minutes and then you can take the glue off very easily with some warm water and a light scrub with a scouring pad. Despite the neck not being hot, the little neck ring label will come off just as easily as well as the glue on the neck.

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Old 06-18-2012, 02:56 AM   #2
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A much easier (and safer) method is to just mix up a bucket or oxyclean. Most labels just fall off in the solution, other you just have to peel off and some you have to scrape off.

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Old 06-18-2012, 03:58 AM   #3
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How long do you let the bottles soak in the oxy clean? For the record, regarding safety, the bottles really don't get as hot as you might think. As long as you don't grab them by the very bottom they're fine.

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalfiii View Post
How long do you let the bottles soak in the oxy clean? For the record, regarding safety, the bottles really don't get as hot as you might think. As long as you don't grab them by the very bottom they're fine.
Ah ok! I was more worried about steam burns! I was hoping your method would also sterilize them, but I don't think they get enough time in the heat.

I used oxy clean versatile free with the neon green lid. I mix it up and if it is warm, it will de-lable the bottles within minutes. I usually use mix a batch up in a big tub (the big rubbermade one I use to control ferment temps), let the bottles sit over night then finish them off the next day then repeat as much as needed with the same batch of oxyclean solution. I still like the sounds of your method for the trickier labels...especially the ones with the foil on the neck!

Either method should work and the upside to your method is that you do them all in one sitting, and the breweries with stronger glue would not pose as much of an issue. The upside to oxyclean is it simultaneously cleans gunk out of the inside of bottles (good if they come from someone else who doesn't rinse well). Thanks for sharing, I am going to give it a shot!
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:32 AM   #5
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No I don't think this would sterilize or sanitize but that wasn't my intention anyway. I was just getting bottles ready for several weeks down the road.

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Old 06-18-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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Depends on the brand of beer. Sam Adams has relatively easy labels to remove- just soak 50 in a sink for a day, most will peel off. scrub the glue off as best you can with sponge and hot water. then soak in oxyclean.

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Old 06-18-2012, 07:04 PM   #7
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Try using ammonia and water. Let them sit overnight and they peel off quickly.

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Old 06-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
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+1 for oxyclean and let them soak. Most come right off. the tougher ones just require a wash cloth and wipe the residue off. I heard somewhere that oxyclean once mixed is only active for about 6 hours. I usually just let mine soak for a few hours and go for it.

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Old 06-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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+1 for ammonia and water

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Old 06-19-2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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I heard somewhere that oxyclean once mixed is only active for about 6 hours.
That is true if it is exposed to light. It will still make water "more slippery" and work to de-label, it just won't sanitize.

YES! Oxyclean DOES sanitize. The chemistry side of it is that it forms hydrogen peroxide before it breaks down due to light. The same reason the H202 is sold in brown bottles.
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