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Label Removal Thread

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Beard

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+1 on oxyclean. But I use 1/4 of a scoop for a 45 L cooler not a whole scoop or multiple scoops. Everything comes of in 12 to 24 hours.
 
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I soak mine in hot water - usually until the water cools - and scrape the label off with a razor blade. Once I have most of the glue off, I use mineral spirits and a paper towel to get the rest off. I then wash the bottle with dish detergent before going through the dishwasher to sanitize.
 

ubermick

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God I love you guys.

My douchey brewing partner dropped three cases of bottles on my doorstep this past weekend, which stank to high heaven. I tried running a case through the dishwasher, all that seemed to do was annoy the labels - neck labels were torn, the main labels were discoloured and scraped up, but still very much on there.

Then I read about the Oxiclean method. Given we have a Costco sized box of it in the laundry room, I tossed two scoops into a sinkful of HOT water, and was able to submerge a case of bottles at a time.

Three hours in there, the labels came right off without a problem. Wiped away any remaining glue with a sponge, and they went straight into the dishwasher to be rinsed, while another batch went into the sink. (Since I work from home, all this was done and dusted before SWMBO got home).

HUGE thanks, lads! :mug:

Oh, and based on (short) experience, best bottles in terms of label removal seemed to be the ones from the Kona Brewing Company - came off without a trace of glue on the bottle, and they're excellent bottles to boot. No etchings, name molded onto the glass, etc. (And the stuff that came in them originally wasn't bad either)
 

wscott823

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Ammonia solution (1/2c per gal water) overnight. My best results are with Magic Hat, the labels literally fall off. Second fav are Guinness draft bottles, razor and needle pliers.
 
O

OnlineLabels.com

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Hello fellow beer lovers,

Here is a video I made a couple of weeks ago that will help you remove labels from wine or beer bottle labels.


Thanks,

Matt Hamilton
 
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Ciderbarrel

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5 gallon pail filled with HOT water and some baking soda soaked for a few hours does an amazing job!!
I second that.

I did just that and filled the bucket with hot water and left it over night. I woke up with all the labels floating in the bucket and what glue didn't come off, came off easily w/ a sponge.

They were Woodchuck cider bottles, FYI.

EDIT: Check that. I loaded up some more bottles for overnight and I went back to the sink just now and in about 30 mins the labels were off. I have NO idea how much baking soda I used. Think Homer Simpson w/ lighter fluid. I just kept squirting and squirting the plastic bottle.
 

cappy

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I've had no problem with hot water and soap. Usually save some up and throw them in the dish water after the dishes are done. Schlafly labels fall off easily.
 

jclavel

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Yesterday I began cleaning bottle for the brown ale that I intend to boil next week.

All I did was fill all of the bottles with hot water, then place them in a cooler, and filled the cooler with hot water and Oxy clean. After about 20 minutes of soaking, all of the labels were floating on the surface of the water.:ban:

It was like magic. I just rinsed the bottles, and now they are ready for sanitizing.:rockin: Nice!

These were Sam Adams bottles too.
 

dummkauf

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I've managed to de-label almost all of my bottles, including Sam Adams, with warm water and an ice scraper. I just soak them in hot water in my sink, no soap, for about 20 min, then pick them up, the label peels off in one piece easily and goes into the garbage, and then take an ice scraper and easily scratch off the remaining glue. I then stick them all in the dish washer for a good cleaning before get put in the closet.

However, I don't know what the boys at Dark Horse Brewing Company are using to glue their labels to the Crooked Tree IPA, but I swear they mixed super glue with rubber cement. My usual trick got the labels off, but not the glue, my ice scraper just pushed the **** around, but didn't take anything off. I then tried soaking the bottle in rubbing alcohol, that didn't do it, finally resorted to "goo gone". Sprayed that on it in the sink, left for 5 min, and the glue wiped right off with a paper towel :)

Just thought I'd throw my $0.02 in since I'm about 2 weeks away from bottling my first batch and I've been diligently emptying bottles for the batch and have been de-labeling like crazy the last few weeks :)
 

Reddheadedstepchild

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Bakeing soda and hot water floats sam adams labels in 10 mins. It better than oxi or any of the other things I have tried.
 

mrmekon

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First batch of bottles soaking in LD Carlson "easy clean" right now, which I believe is basically Oxiclean.

Thomas Creek Doppelbock labels floated off by themselves after 5 minutes.

Sweetwater IPA + Happy Ending, Smuttynose Baltic Porter, and Victory Old Horizontal getting loose after 2 hours, but still sticking.

Magic Hat Howl and Sam Adams Boston Ale still stuck on as hard as ever.

Edit:
Sweetwatersm Smuttynose, and Victory came off cleanly after ~4 hours. After 12 hours, Magic Hat labels came off but the glue required quite a bit of scrubbing. I used a wash rag soaked in the oxiclean to get all the glue off, and that seemed to work very well.
 

Marsdude

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A big thank you to the posters on this thread that recommended Oxyclean!

Just had my first try at taking bottle labels off. Soaked about 55 bottles in a big Rubbermaid tub using hot water a Oxy. Labels came right off.

Although all of the labels came off very easily the easiest was the bottles from Odells. They floated right off and what little glue was left on the bottle came off by wiping it with my hands.
 

commandercool724

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i agree that new Belgium are super easy to get off same as bells. zywiec is the eassiest to remove in my opinion and I really like their pint bottles. The hardest to remove in my opinion are the Kirkland bottles (Costco brews their own beer now) its average at best but i saw it at costco and its dirt cheap so i wanted to try it. these labels are the biggest Pain to remove ever
 

Reddheadedstepchild

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What mixture? Sam's has baking soda by the 13lb bag.

I dont go by any particular mix ratio. SWMBO keeps some in the fridge to keep the oders down. I just fill my sink up with pipeing hot water and sprinkle it from the box till the water gets cloudy. Then i stir the water around a bit to get it mixed. :)
 
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After you've removed the labels, the best product by far for removing glue easily and quickly is "Goo-Gone"

A little bit on a rag and it wipes right off. Or apply a few drops directly to the glue and wipe.

It's a natural, non-toxic, great smelling product (smells like oranges)...
 

Brewkowski

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I've heard Two Brothers Brewery bottles are a pain to get off, and I've already bottled a few brews that I want to put into competition. I'm naturally carbing them, will putting them in really hot water hurt things or help to carb? Don't have oxyclean but I do have C Brite or would something like PBW work? I heard their labels are more like decals, I do have a heat gun but that worries me with them full of beer.
 

dummkauf

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I just finally picked up some oxi-clean the other day, soak some bottles in it for about an hour, went to check them and there was nothing left!! Glue was gone, labels were floating.....good bye ice scraper!!!

Thanks for the tip everyone
 

TVarmy

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I just tried baking soda and a nylon scrubber. Worked great. I used one box in five gallons of hot water (got a little overexcited while shaking it out of the box, I guess).

I was cleaning some bottles from the Sam Adam's Brewmaster Collection (variety pack) and some Sierra Nevada Torpedo bottles. The Sam Adam's labels needed a few minutes to soak (and the foil lined Boston Ale needed to be scrubbed off piece by piece). The Torpedo bottles let go of the label easily, but left behind a milky white residue, which scrubbed off equally well as the clear residue on the Sam Adam's bottles.

I wash my bottles in the dishwasher to sanitize them, so I didn't bother with rinsing. There was a little bit of baking soda residue when they dried, but that will dissolve right away when cleaning. Baking soda is a salt, after all.
 

Josephbrew

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I will not recommend using the dishwasher to remove the labels. The dishwasher will get damaged. For labels removal Oxiclean + hot water works good; some labels are very easy and my favorite bottles are from Wernesgruner, Bud American Ale, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and Red Stripe. Unfortunately Red Stripe paint is impossible to remove?:(
 

Monty420th

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with the bottles I use, Sam Adams, I just soak with warm water over night, come home from work...they seem to peel off just fine and then I use a magic pad and get rid of any film from the glue. Take an extra 3 minutes for the 12 pack but seems to work fine this way
 

Marsdude

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My favorite bottles, so far, are from Odell's and Deschutes. The labels come off easily and I really like the design of the bottles.
 

upperNY01brewer

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Ive found at least for me that a combination of bleach and baking soda in hot water work wonders on label removal. Ive got a bucket that I use just for that purpose. Place the bottles, usually about 8 or so fit in the bucket with about 3 oz. of bleach and 3-4 oz of baking soda topped off with hot water and within the hour most labels are floating or are very easy to remove. I then remove the bottles and remove the remaining glue with a kitchen scrubbing pad. Best part is you can continue using the water with the mix in it with some more bottles by just adding more hot water and abit less of the bleach/baking soda mix.
 

JakeTheHopDog

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The wife tried Oxi Clean last night. She's making a collage of beer bottle labels, so she wants them in good shape. She’s tried everything and finally tried Oxi Clean. Soaked the bottles for 5-10 minutes in hot Oxi Clean, spun the bottles in the solution, and the labels came right off. She’s convinced.
 

deprecated

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I've had pretty good luck with just hot water and stainless steel brillo type pad.

Left Hand Brewing bottles are the exception. Love their beer, hate their glue.

:drunk:
 

JakeTheHopDog

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Wife’s using Oxi Clean, which works great, but it is messing up the label from Bells Two Hearted Ale. It’s taking the red right out of the label. She’s making a collage of beer labels and this one is ugly without the red, it's just green.

Any ideas?
 

TVarmy

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Jake, I'd suggest she try very hot water and see if it comes off in about an hour. If that doesn't work, baking soda might work, but it's alkaline like Oxyclean, so maybe the red ink is soluble in alkaline chemicals.
 

TVarmy

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Ugh, I just got a couple bags of empty Heinekins on Craigslist, not realizing what a PITA plastic labels are. I peeled the labels off one by one for one bag after soaking in hot water, which was okay, but now the glue is still there. It's really sticky, as in so sticky I'll pick up one bottle and accidentally have another attached to it. I tried an OxyClean soak and a run through the dishwasher which did nothing. Goo Gone works a little bit, but it takes a lot for each bottle, and that's a lot more elbow grease than I want to waste on ~70 bottles.

Any ideas? Maybe I should just keep the labels on, and then use milk to glue my own labels over top...
 

mrmekon

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Ugh, I just got a couple bags of empty Heinekins on Craigslist, not realizing what a PITA plastic labels are. I peeled the labels off one by one for one bag after soaking in hot water, which was okay, but now the glue is still there. It's really sticky, as in so sticky I'll pick up one bottle and accidentally have another attached to it. I tried an OxyClean soak and a run through the dishwasher which did nothing. Goo Gone works a little bit, but it takes a lot for each bottle, and that's a lot more elbow grease than I want to waste on ~70 bottles.

Any ideas? Maybe I should just keep the labels on, and then use milk to glue my own labels over top...
They've always come off for me after soaking overnight in hot oxyclean water, and then scrub with a brillo pad or something really rough. Those sponges with plastic mesh over them are great.
 

TVarmy

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I have a batch in Oxyclean. If they're not better by tomorrow with a scrubber, I'm giving up and just bottling with the label still on. It won't be classy, but it's homemade.

Next time, I'll specifically ask for no Heinekins. I now consider them one of the bad labels. FWIW, Sierra Nevada, River Horse, Magic Hat and Sam Adams have been great.
 

neovox

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Did some with TSP and hot water this weekend. Labels mostly pealed off in less than 1hr. Used a scrubber sponge to take the glue off. Some Magic Hat some Sierra Nevada. No problems at all.
 

throwbookatface

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Do NOT use a dishwasher to take off the labels! It's a surefire way to end up needing repairs. The dishwasher we have at my work breaks about every 3 months when employees bring in new dishes and the small labels end up getting washed off and clog up the filtration system. If we're lucky most of the labels stay on the drainage filter's surface, but once they make their way into the cracks of the system, the glue and paper will clog or break parts inside. And it's expensive - it sucks to have to budget hundreds for dishwasher repairs every year.

I've had no problems with dish soap and a brillo pad...
 

Marsdude

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Did some with TSP and hot water this weekend. Labels mostly pealed off in less than 1hr. Used a scrubber sponge to take the glue off. Some Magic Hat some Sierra Nevada. No problems at all.
TSP is nasty stuff - I wouldn't want to put my hands into it.
 
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