Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > soaking bottles to get labels off
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
hurst1979olds
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Default soaking bottles to get labels off

I never did bulk bottling before and needed bottles. I bought some Abita and Dos Equis. I soaked them over night in borax and baking soda...I didn't have oxyclean. The labels were still partly on but came off with very little effort. But the bottles are now etched. They have a texture and can be seen....do I need new bottles again but use oxyclean next time.


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Old 08-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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You can see a little white hazing on the bottles in the water....that's the little pits on the bottles from the etching


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Old 08-01-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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were the bottles etched on the inside or just the outside? The only potential problem I see is if it got etched inside as wild nasties could easily hide in all the nooks and crannys.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
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When I've soaked bottles to get the labels off, I haven't used anything other than water. Just some good hot water to fill up whatever you put them in (I use a cooler), then let them sit for a day or two. Most of the time the labels come off pretty easily. Then just a quick little scrub with soapy water (I've used dish soap) to get the last bit of residue off and they are ready to go.

I don't think there is any reason to use other chemicals. There have only been a couple breweries that have had labels that were tough to get off the bottles (damn you Breckenridge!!!).

I can't help you with deciding if those etched bottles are still safe to use, but hopefully you won't have that problem in the future.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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I expect your glass is not etched; glass is fairly inert until you start using rather reactive chemicals (at two different jobs I chemically modified glass for a handful of years). Try cleaning one of the "etched" bottles with vinegar and a paper towel. I expect that it's just deposits from your water and baking soda and will rub off as the vinegar reacts with the deposits.

If the test bottle starts to come clean, just soak all of your bottles in a dilute vinegar solution.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:09 AM   #6
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I will try the vinegar tomorrow and hope it helps. I stuck my pinkey inside and I dont really feel anything inside. maybe alittle just past the bottle cap.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurst1979olds View Post
I will try the vinegar
why not try hot water and a couple drops of dish soap?
It will clean off the labels AND the borax/baking soda residue.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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My thought is you just have a film that formed from what you used with water. I don't think either product you used can be used to "etche" anything. My guess is it is just a fine layer of stuff. Rise em out and see what happens.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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Try the vinegar idea on these. I use a 5 gallon homer cheapo bucket with PBW solution to remove labels & clean the bottles by soaking a couple hours or overnight. Great lakes bottles are ones that have really tough labels. Seems like they & others that use computer labels have really tough glue. But sam adams,paulaner,franziskaner,michelobe & the like have labels that come off in an hour or so. Even the glue dissolves or is really soft.
I use a dobie & my bottle brush to clean them inside & out. They come clean very quickly.
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #10
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it was just a haze. They all cleaned up perfect....I just ran them all through the dish washer. Thanks for the help guys.


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