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Old 12-05-2008, 05:07 PM   #1
...My Junk is Ugly...
BierMuncher's Avatar
Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
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Post your preferred methods for removing labels from beer bottles.

Content can include:
  • What methods worked best for you?
  • What methods flopped?
  • What commercial bottles are the easiest/hardest to clean?
  • How do you prefer to adhere your homebrew labels?

This is a stickied topic so off topic banter will be removed.

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Old 12-05-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
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Hot water with PBW will clean and float most labels off Sierra Nevada bottles in 30 minutes. Dos Equis bottles and most any with foil in the label are a PIA to remove.

I like to use milk or a glue stick for my labels (when I use one).

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Old 12-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
Chriso's Avatar
Oct 2007
Someplace, Nebraska
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Here are some good reference links to add to this thread:

Getting labels off:

Putting labels on:

Making labels:

Hope that helps

Also, in my personal experience, New Belgium bottles are easiest to delabel - no OxyClean needed, the labels literally fall off in hot water after about 3 minutes. Soak, slide, drain, dry. It's faster than a cheetah chasing a hare covered in delicious bacon.

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Old 12-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
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Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
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I use oxyclean and hot water, which takes anywhere from a few hours to a couple days, but usually the labels just fall right off.

Some bottles though still leave behind their adhesive on the glass. I have found that the easiest way to remove it is with a "Magic Sponge."

(There are several brands including big box store generics, and they all work fine.)

Sometimes, depending on the hardness or softness of the water there will be a "scale" or white crusty dried soapscum that may be difficult to remove even with lots of rinsing. I have found that soaking them in Starsan at regular dillution dissolves it. Other brewers have recommended a weak solution of vinegar and water. Both are weak acids, and they do the trick.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:04 PM   #5
Oct 2008
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Posts: 175
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Heineken bottles are a PIA to remove the labels.

I know most of you hate it but I happen to enjoy it once in a while, plus the green bottles add a nice touch to Apfelwein.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:08 PM   #6
Nov 2007
Valcourt, Québec, Canada
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Soak in Pink powder from the LHBS. The name is Chloriclean (I'd bet it's actually Oxyclean). Most paper type labels float off in matter of hours to a day.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
May 2008
Lubbock, Texas
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Sweetwater labels are laminated and adhered with non-soluble form of mega glue. Oxyclean and other products might help.

Bud American Ale labels fall off right out of the fridge. Good bottles despite what you think of the beer inside.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:42 PM   #8
Oct 2008
Shelton, CT
Posts: 75

The lazy mans technique: Get 1 Cooler, fill with empty beer bottles, fill empty beer bottles with warm, soapy water, fill remaining cooler with warm water, let soak.

After two or three days of soaking most of the labels have fallen off on their own.

Remember to fill the bottles first or else their just going to be a floating mess in the cooler and cut down on the amount you can fit into it.

Edit: On a sidenote, I swear that Sam Adams uses industrial glue for their labels, amazing grip.

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Old 12-05-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
Displaced MassHole
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May 2008
San Diego
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I let some sierra nevada bottles sit in an oxyclean solution for a day and when I pulled one out to clean off with a scotch brite pad the oxyclean had left scale all over the bottle. I was able to scrub it off the outside but no way was I going to get it off the inside. Had to toss the whole 6 pack in the trash.

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Old 12-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #10
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Aug 2008
Gales Ferry, CT
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Hot water and a sponge. I fill each bottle with hot water and let them sit for a minute or so as I fill others. The water softens the glue and then just use the scrubby side of the sponge to get it off or peel it off with your fingers. Doesn't take long, BTW I use this for SA bottles primarily and works great!
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