Tips for removing wine bottle labels, beer bottle labels, or any bottle labels
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There’s nothing more frustrating than looking up how to remove wine bottle labels or how to remove beer bottle labels bottles and finding some genuinely wild answers. Unfortunately, you may have also discovered that these answers did not work in your situation or even damaged the bottle you wanted to save.
In this article, we’ll offer you several ways to remove wine bottle labels, beer bottle labels, or any bottle labels you need to remove so you can relabel or recycle your containers.
Once you’re ready to start relabeling your bottles, Avery offers you three ways to order the perfect labels for your project. For professional wine bottle labels, try our custom printing service. If you want to print DIY wine labels, try our blank labels by the sheet or our in-store retail packs.
1. Use sharp tools to remove bottle labels
The best option for removing labels from bottles is with a sharp-edge knife such as an X-acto®. You may have one laying around for opening boxes. Of course, you can also use a regular knife but only if you have the blade locked in place so that there is no risk of slipping and cutting yourself.
You can also choose to use a single razor blade or open scissors. You should note that this option works but poses an unacceptable risk to your small business team. If someone is injured removing labels from bottles or glass, you and your business could be in serious financial trouble.
Regardless of the blade variety you use, you want to begin at a single corner. Work the corner free and slip the blade underneath. You can then work the blade under the label until free. If the label breaks, carefully continue the process in sections.
Note: You can also use a sharp-edged tool to score the labels you are removing before trying one of our options below for removing bottle labels. Scoring the label allows a greater surface area for the solution, which makes the job much easier.
2. Use acidic solutions to remove bottle labels
The interaction between acidic solutions such as nail polish remover and the label adhesive is well-documented. The solution dissolves the bond, and you can easily remove the label to repurpose your wine bottle or jar. It’s a great option if you have a large batch to work on.
Dip your solution of choice onto cotton balls, towels, or paper towels to make it easy to work over various parts of the label. Generally, it’s best to place the soaked material on the label for fifteen minutes before beginning to work the label off of the bottle.
Nail polish remover is more effective than rubbing alcohol on most types of labels. However, some solutions can discolor certain containers, so you want to make sure you do a test spot before you fully commit to removing the label with your solution of choice.
Other acidic solutions that can work include white vinegar, cheap vodka, and even lighter fluid. Each of these options will work, though again, you should do a test spot before committing to an entire batch. You don’t want to discolor your bottles after you put in the work to remove the labels after all.
Once you remove your label, simply swipe more solution over any leftover residue to lift it from the bottle.
3. Heat up the adhesive to remove labels
Heat is also a great option for removing wine bottle labels, as it weakens the adhesive bond between the bottle and the label. Again, be careful and reasonably sure of the container’s composition to use heat effectively.
A hairdryer provides the heat method with the most control. Turn the hairdryer on for 30 seconds at a time and slowly work to remove the label after each interval. Eventually, the label should lift off easily.
You can also use warm water to remove bottle labels (see option 5). In this option, the water should be as warm as possible without the potential for burning the user. The heat from the water will again melt the glue, and the label can often be removed in one piece.
Generally, there will be remaining adhesive that you can remove using soap and water or any solution in option 2. The adhesive should lift easily since the glue is already melted.
4. Professional label removal products
Multiple professional options also work when you want to remove bottle labels. These options are often more expensive than some of the other choices in this article, especially if you’re removing a large number of labels.
Brands like Goo Gone or Turtle Wax offer specific sticker removers that can also clean up any residual glue. These options work well on most labels but can struggle with Ultra-Duty labels like any other method.
When using a store-bought solution, place it on a towel or rag. Then, leave it in contact with the bottle labels you want to remove for about 15 minutes. After that time, the labels should be removable and you can clean up any leftover residue with your product.
5. Soak bottles in water to remove labels
Water is a reliable option for tackling many types of label glue. Fill a tub or appropriate-sized container with hot water. Again, keep the water temperature under the boiling point to avoid burns. Place the bottles inside and let them soak for at least an hour, though overnight is better. You shouldn’t need to change out the water.
If you know you’re working to remove a particularly strong adhesive, you may want to add dish soap to the mixture. The same ingredients that help you clean grease off dishes can help weaken the adhesive and make the label easier to remove.
Many businesses prefer this option since you can set and forget a tub of water. You or your employees can handle other matters and remove the labels when they are ready.
6. Bonus options: peanut butter and mayo
If you prefer, you can also use oily foods to remove labels. For best results, you should choose something like peanut butter or mayonnaise. This isn’t always practical and can be messy but for smaller jobs, it can work.
For this method, score the label with a knife as mentioned in No. 1, and then peel off as much of the wine label or beer bottle label as possible. Then, apply a layer of peanut butter or mayonnaise and wait about 15 minutes. During this time, the peanut butter or mayo will absorb into the label adhesive. Rinse off the food of choice and scrape lightly for removal.
In a small business setting, it may not make sense to use large quantities of mayo or peanut butter to remove labels. Additionally, the allergen potential is high with peanut butter and is something to consider. However, this option is there if you need something in a pinch or just want to try it out at home.
Final thoughts on how to remove bottle labels
We mentioned several options above that you can use to remove wine bottle labels, remove beer bottle labels or remove any labels from glass bottles. Some of the ideas scale well for small businesses, while others are more of an one-time option in a pinch.
In small businesses, finding the perfect solution to remove labels is another step in making your process streamlined and improving the flexibility of your brand. From mass-produced bottles to reusing returned containers, there are many options that help your small business.
If you have any ideas for removing bottle labels that have worked for you, share with our readers in the comments below. Our research team at Avery would love to hear them as well.
4 thoughts on “How to Remove Bottle Labels”
I’ve been told that hand sanitizer works very well to remove labels though I haven’t tried it yet myself yet.
Thank you for that suggestion. We haven’t tried that either, however, since it’s alcohol-based it very well could work just like the other alcohol solutions. Thanks for reading!
How about using olive oil or other vegetable oil? Would that work?
Yes, olive oil and vegetable oil can work. Coconut oil can work as well, since it comes in a solid form it’s easy to spread on labels. Then let it soak in like the peanut butter method above to remove labels. Thank you for the suggestion!
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