How to remove bottle labels the easy way.

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

Personal91

Landlord.
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
217
Consider tough labels punishment for being a tight git...buy new bottles :grin:

Sharp knife and steel wool, furniture polish for stubborn glue.
why buy new bottles that are empty when you can buy pre-loved bottles that come with lovey liquid refershments in them then why not....
 

Personal91

Landlord.
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
217
find yourself a friendly local pub who sell Koppaberg cider and get them to save you the bottles.

After a couple of minutes in warm water, the labels just fall off.

Also the bottles are a really nice sort of khaki colour glass.

They don't work with hand cappers though...
what about a bench capper....
 

Doglaner

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
175
Reaction score
91
Location
Tamworth
Bench capper works well with Koppaberg bottles.

I've used a lot of clear bottles from Old Speckled Hen and those labels are a joy to get off and float off after ten minutes soaking in just hot water. You can also see the beer more easily when filling and when checking clarity. Having said that, there are reports that beer in clear bottles can go a bit funny in the sunshine, but mine are either kept in the dark in the garage or don't last long enough.

Dog.
 

egsyblfc

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2016
Messages
30
Reaction score
6
Location
Surrey
Washing soda or (vanish powder) works really well in warm water and soaked
 

Obfu

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
67
Reaction score
13
Location
Hampshire
On the paper labels that don't slip off nicely once the bottles soaked for a while, or when I've been too impatient to let soak long enough, I have found a potato peeler gets the worst off and a normal sponge scourer finishes it off.
 

dad_of_jon

Beer designer
Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
3,734
Reaction score
1,596
Location
Swansea
Good tip about the Kopaberg bottles. Whilst a hand capper struggles I find doing it both sides and it works fine. Best bottles bar none are erdinger. Labels peel right off after a short soak and they are tough as anything.
agreed re: erdinger, also anything Belgian tends to come off in warm water too!

even the foil topped bottles :-)
 

Callumbo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
172
Reaction score
52
Location
Hertfordshire
I have just done the technique with the washing soda in the bath tub and what the hell was I doing with my life before Haha. Most labels were off before I'd even tried to peel then off. Some took a bit if scrubbing with a metal scourer and to make sure there wasn't any sticker residue.

I will say when you re use bottles I have found myself picking beer with an easy to remove label bottle rather than a plastic sticker which aren't worth the trouble haha
 

iamthefly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
119
Reaction score
15
Location
NULL
It's a bit hot on the fingers, but pouring hot (not boiling - safety!) water over a plastic label temporarily melts the glue making it easier to peel off. It still leaves a glue splodge on the glass, but I'm hoping oxi/dishwasher (oxi in dishwasher?) will take that of now that it can access it.
 

iamthefly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
119
Reaction score
15
Location
NULL
It didn't. Scrubbing with WD40 worked. Black Isle Brewery must be very concerned about their labels falling off.
 

Global33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
124
Reaction score
23
Location
NULL
why buy new bottles that are empty when you can buy pre-loved bottles that come with lovey liquid refershments in them then why not....
After removing the labels from my first batch of bottles I thought I'd look into buying new ones. When I saw the price I decided that emptying them myself is far more fun, even if removing the labels from some is a faff, even with steel wool.
 

Bigcol49

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
3,683
Reaction score
2,077
Location
Doncaster
Hi!
I'm lucky enough to be on t'committee at my local WMC so have an unlimited source of bottles.
Old Mout cider labels come off very easily after soaking in Wizz Oxi for 10 minutes, but the easiest of all are Zywiec - they float off during the soaking.
One tip I got from t'Interweb was not to lie the bottles down when soaking; stand them up so that they fill up - then heat is being applied from both sides of the glass.
I found plastic storage boxes are ideal for label removal.
 

sdt7618

Landlord.
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
846
Reaction score
243
Up to now the worst I've found are from St Austell brewery on Proper Job and Tribute..plastic label stuck on with glue. Hot water will not shift these..or remove the glue..peeled them off leaving a sticky patch that only solvent would clear...I'm used to resins,glues and solvents as I use them by the ton in work and even I thought these were the work of the devil...recent empties just got a good scalding out and then sterilised on bottle day..

regards

Clint
Clint,

Boil the kettle, pick the corner and pour the boiling water over it a wee bit, peel some more and repeat. did this last night and got the labels off in one piece. just take a wire wool scrubber to the glue after some more boiling water and it cleans right up.
 

foxbat

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
2,041
Reaction score
1,070
Location
Essex, UK
Boil the kettle, pick the corner and pour the boiling water over it a wee bit, peel some more and repeat. did this last night and got the labels off in one piece. just take a wire wool scrubber to the glue after some more boiling water and it cleans right up.
I'll have to try the wire wool on these myself. That tacky residue is the work of the devil.
 

sdt7618

Landlord.
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
846
Reaction score
243
I'll have to try the wire wool on these myself. That tacky residue is the work of the devil.
I find the worst bottles now are the Williams Bros ones, real PITA.

but boiling water and wire wool works on most others easily.
 

Global33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
124
Reaction score
23
Location
NULL
I'm doing a fair sized batch this afternoon I blagged out of a pubs recycling bin.

Not a total solution, but I find that some leave a residue that even the wire wool finds hard to shift. Turns out some white spirit on kitchen roll does a great job!
 

BlackIsland

An Ode to Beer
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
44
Location
Tacoma, WA
I will say when you re use bottles I have found myself picking beer with an easy to remove label bottle rather than a plastic sticker which aren't worth the trouble haha
THIS! There's a local brewery that uses those plastic labels and some others that use a petroleum​based glue, and all those bottles go right in the bin. Not worth my time...metal scrubber and furniture polish my a$$. If it ain't soaking off​ in sodium percarbonate, it ain't going in bottle rotation!
 

BlackIsland

An Ode to Beer
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
44
Location
Tacoma, WA
It didn't. Scrubbing with WD40 worked. Black Isle Brewery must be very concerned about their labels falling off.
LOL! When I first saw this, I thought you meant me! My home brewery is Black Island Brewing. Then I realized what you meant. Where are they? I think I want to see if I can visit then when we cross the pond next year for a visit to the UK.
 

Global33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
124
Reaction score
23
Location
NULL
THIS! There's a local brewery that uses those plastic labels and some others that use a petroleum​based glue, and all those bottles go right in the bin. Not worth my time...metal scrubber and furniture polish my a$$. If it ain't soaking off​ in sodium percarbonate, it ain't going in bottle rotation!
Maybe a separate thread, but if you do it in this stuff does it also sanitize the bottles at the same time?
 

BlackIsland

An Ode to Beer
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
82
Reaction score
44
Location
Tacoma, WA
Maybe a separate thread, but if you do it in this stuff does it also sanitize the bottles at the same time?
No, but it cleans without scrubbing. I soak my glass carboys with this and hot tap water, and only ever have to scrub the neck at the waterline.
I've heard some say they sanitize with it, but you'd have to rinse. I use Starsan and a vinator to sanitize.
 
2
Group Builder
Top