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Old 10-10-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Anyone have any decent tips or tricks for removing stubborn label adhesive?

When I go to reuse a commerical bottle I typically give them up to a 24hr soak in (starting) hot oxyclean, then rinse well and dry on the bottlerack & store.

Most labels & adhesive just come right off after less than an hour in oxy, but some brands are almost impossible to get off.

Russian River & Lost Abby bottles are two prime examples. Even after a 24hr soak in oxy, RR bottles always leave a thick adhesive layer as shown below.

I'm at the point where I've started recycling normal 12oz bottles, and have plenty of 22oz on hand. At this point the RR 500ml bottles and the Lost Abby belgian style are the only ones I care to save, and they're the hardest to get cleaned up.

Any suggestions for removing that adhesive layer?

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
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I use B-Brite. Works great !!.


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Old 05-02-2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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I know this is a dead thread, but I've got a bit of relevant info to add. First, I had one that refused to come off with OxyClean alone, just as the OP described. I ended up taking a steel wool pad, dipping it in a saucer filled with rubbing alcohol, and scrubbing it until I got it all off. Took about fifteen or twenty minutes, and lots of elbow grease.

Later I read that vegetable oil will soften adhesive enough to take it off, and then a bit of Dawn or other dish detergent will take off the oil. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to next time I have a stubborn one.

Finally, I'm hearing GooGone or ammonia might be useful. I will avoid the ammonia; I don't like that stuff and try not to use it if I can help it. But the GooGone is a good idea.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Turpentine...stinks but is the best solvent for adhesives.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #5
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I will follow-up on this as well to help anyone else looking for a solution. I read an article in Popular Mechanics that evaluated several methods for removing labels. The winner was a soak in a baking soda/water bath. I have used this successfully now for hundreds of bottles. I am usually too impatient to wait much more than an hour and I have found that is plenty of time for 99% of all labels. The stubborn ones get hit with some steel wool and all is well.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:13 AM   #6
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Soapy warm water over night and a wallpaper scorcher. Well wall paper scorcher only on those shiny water resistant ones. Next day a plastic scrubber and its all paper mash.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:25 AM   #7
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I dont bother with those stubborn bastards anymore. There are enough easy-to-remove bottles that I just recycle the uber gooey ones.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:31 AM   #8
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Goo gone still requires tons of elbow grease on the plastic labels certain Southern Tier bottles use. I usually just toss those.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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I scrape with a straight razor blade to get the thickest bits off, then use goo gone. Although in the future unless its an especially cool bottle its going to go in the recycle. Just not worth the PITA.

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Old 05-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
I dont bother with those stubborn bastards anymore. There are enough easy-to-remove bottles that I just recycle the uber gooey ones.
My answer as well. Life's too short to be scrubbing bottles all the time.

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