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Old 03-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
ghostbrewer's Avatar
Mar 2009
Virginia Beach
Posts: 44

Looking to find what the best techniques are others have found for removing the labels from your empties so you can use them to bottle your first batch. Primary concern is gumming up the dishwasher with label paper when I sterilize the bottles.

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Old 03-14-2009, 06:03 PM   #2
Sep 2008
Denver, CO
Posts: 1,082
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

soak in oxyclean and hot water for a few hours or overnight in the bathtub. All of the labels will fall off in the morning. And most if not all of the glue will wipe off with no effort.

You'll figure out the brands with the stubborn labels and learn to not even try on those anymore.

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Old 03-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #3
ChshreCat's Avatar
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
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+1 on oxyclean. The only trouble I have is with bottles that have glossy, plasticy labels instead of paper. All the paper ones fall off in just a couple hours. The other ones, I go back after an hour or so and peel off the top layer of the label to expose the paper underneath and the rest comes off easily an hour or two later.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
Mar 2009
Posts: 7

I use a wall paper remover thingie that puts small holes in the label(or wall paper) this allows the Oxyclean solution to get to the glue and they come off easily (even the glossy ones)

A picture of the tool is here (scroll down a bit.)
Stripping Wallpaper - Now it is Easy!
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #5
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zac's Avatar
Dec 2007
Marion. Va
Posts: 3,757
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Another vote for Oxyclean. If it can't take off the label, then chances are you shouldnt be drinking it.

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Old 03-16-2009, 02:56 PM   #6
slykwilli's Avatar
Sep 2008
Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 147
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I get some TSP (paint and gunk remover - sold in the paint area) from Home Depot. Little bit of that and bleach in water and sit overnight.. all the glue and labels will slide right off.

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
Nov 2005
Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 681
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I've used Joy of Homebrew spec of 1 cup (I think) ammonia in 5 gallons of water. Most labels fall off and you'll only need to simply wipe off the glue. I really think it is the soak in water that separates the labels but like most posts, no matter what you use, some brands are just plain hell to get off!

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:08 AM   #8
Feb 2009
Stephens City, VA
Posts: 111
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+1 for Oxyclean.

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Old 03-17-2009, 03:39 AM   #9
Mar 2009
Posts: 63

I've just been soaking in hot tap water for a few minutes, peel off the labels and scrub for a few seconds with some nylon mesh dish washing thing (~$1).

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:49 AM   #10
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
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A bleach soak in hot water works also, if you don't have oxyclean. A scotch brite pad will make quick work of any paper or glue that's left on the bottle. Either way once the labels are off you want to rinse the bottles well in warm water - I always rinse them 3 times before storing them.
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