Label Removal Thread - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Label Display & Discussion > Label Removal Thread
Sign-up To NEW HBT Article Newsletter - Brewing Articles Direct To You!

Thread Tools
Old 12-05-2008, 05:07 PM   #1
...My Junk is Ugly...
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
BierMuncher's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 12,356
Liked 773 Times on 430 Posts
Likes Given: 312

Default Label Removal Thread

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.

BierMuncher is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 05:18 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
EdWort's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,871
Liked 334 Times on 168 Posts
Likes Given: 7


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).

EdWort is offline
RaqsBelly52 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Chriso's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Someplace, Nebraska
Posts: 4,610
Liked 75 Times on 66 Posts
Likes Given: 132


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.

Chriso || BJCP Certified || SMaSH Brewers, Unite! || Nebraska Brewers! || Lincoln Lagers Brew Club
"You have just experienced the paradigm shift that is....all grain brewing." - BierMuncher
Chriso is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Revvy's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,859
Liked 3139 Times on 1857 Posts
Likes Given: 3871


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.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew
Revvy is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:04 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Posts: 175
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


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.
Carolina Brewers

Primary: #3 Mack's Mead
Secondary: Waiting.....
Bottled: #1 Rustic Brown Ale
Bottled: #2 High Country Apfelwein
Sheep_Dog is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:08 PM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Valcourt, Québec, Canada
Posts: 94
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


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.
My Blog - My business web site - My brew log
Paco is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Posts: 1,321
Liked 7 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 1


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.
Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2003!!! Whoop!

Now, Harry you must know all about Muggles, tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?
- Arthur Weasley
Brew-Happy is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:42 PM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 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.

1st batch (Bottled): Brooklyn Brown Ale clone
2nd batch (Bottled): Spiced Winter Warmer Ale
3rd batch: hmmm...
thakoolaidkid is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
Displaced MassHole
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,108
Liked 10 Times on 8 Posts


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.
Displaced MassHole is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Gales Ferry, CT
Posts: 612
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


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!

On Tap: Heavenly Scourge Black IPA and Beecave Heffe
Primary: Empty
Secondary: Empty
Next: Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale and Pliny the Elder Clone

Mirage is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Old label removal? Riever Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 20 02-21-2012 03:03 PM
Label Removal Day - a Question SkiSoloII Bottling/Kegging 15 10-14-2010 06:01 PM
Easy label removal RichBrewer Bottling/Kegging 12 08-03-2007 04:32 PM
Label Removal Reverend JC Bottling/Kegging 7 07-31-2006 12:16 PM
Label Removal sudsmonkey Bottling/Kegging 8 01-16-2006 10:16 PM

Forum Jump