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6 Ways To Remove Beer Bottle Labels (Fast & Easy)

You can put beer bottles to good use once you’ve finished drinking them all up. However, getting rid of the labels before repurposing them can be frustrating, especially when dealing with paper residue. So, what are the easiest ways to remove a beer bottle label?

Here are 6 fast and easy ways to remove a beer bottle label:

  1. Use an adhesive remover.
  2. Use a mineral spirit.
  3. Soak the bottles in water and powdered laundry detergent.
  4. Use vegetable oil.
  5. Soak the bottles in ammonia solution.
  6. Soak the bottles in water and baking soda.

This article will discuss these methods in more detail and walk you through the steps to getting clean and clear empty beer bottles.

6 Fast & Easy Ways To Remove a Beer Bottle Label

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1. Use an Adhesive Remover to Remove Beer Bottle Labels

An effective adhesive remover can make removing beer bottle labels quick and easy. Active ingredients penetrate the glue to break chemical bonds, making it easy to wipe away. Not every adhesive remover can work on all materials, so make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it’s safe to use on glass.

(available on Amazon.com) is a handy adhesive remover that works well on multiple surfaces without damaging them. It effectively removes entire bottle labels or paper residue left behind from previous attempts. 

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

  • Adhesive remover
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Hot water
  • Clean, dry cloth

How This Method Works

Here are the steps to using an adhesive remover to remove a beer label from a bottle:

  1. Apply the adhesive remover onto the label and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, after which the label should be easy to peel off.
  2. To get rid of any residue, apply a little more adhesive remover onto the clean cloth and rub off the remaining bits.
  3. Wash your bottle with hot water and dishwashing soap, then store.

2. Use a Mineral Spirit For Removing Beer Bottle Labels

Often used as paint thinners, mineral spirits can help break down the glue used to attach the label and remove any sticky remains. Exposure to mineral spirits can cause skin and eye irritation, so make sure to use appropriate protective gear. Afterward, always wash your hands and other exposed skin thoroughly.

Be careful to dispose of mineral spirits safely and properly: avoid pouring them down the drain as they can damage sewer lines and potentially seep into the soil. Your local disposal center is best placed to discard such waste appropriately.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

What’s an IPL Beer?
What’s an IPL Beer?
  • Mineral spirit
  • Butter knife
  • Rag cloth
  • Protective gear (safety gloves and goggles)
  • Clean water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Steel scrubber
  • Water

How This Method Works

Here are the steps to using a mineral spirit:

  1. Put on your protective gear and place the rag cloth in the mineral spirit to soak.
  2. Scrape off as much of the label as you can using the butter knife.
  3. Place the soaked rag cloth onto the remainder of the label and let it sit for 15 minutes to break down the adhesive.
  4. Use the steel scrubber to scrub off the paper residue.
  5. Wash your bottle thoroughly with dishwashing soap and water, then store it.

3. Soak the Bottles in Water and Powdered Laundry Detergent to Get Rid of Labels

This method works best for labels with water-based glues. The principle of “like dissolves like” applies here, this means that substances with the same chemical characteristics will dissolve in each other. For this reason, water is your best bet to break down a water-based adhesive.

Powdered laundry detergent is also a vital component of this method. You’ll particularly want to use one that contains sodium percarbonate as an active ingredient such as the (available on Amazon.com).

Also known as sodium carbonate peroxide, the sodium percarbonate in the OxiClean powder further breaks down the glue, making the labels much easier to remove.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

  • Vessel
  • Clean hot water
  • Powdered laundry detergent
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Scouring pad

How This Method Works

Here’s how to soak the bottles in water and powdered laundry detergent:

  1. Fill up your vessel with enough hot water to completely submerge the bottles you have. The vessel could be a bucket, a clean plastic bin, or a sink.
  2. Place the bottles in the water. Make sure that they’re fully immersed.
  3. Add the powdered laundry detergent to the water. Two tablespoons (28.3 g) should be enough for 10 liters (2.64 gal) of water.
  4. Leave the bottles to soak for 12 to 24 hours. The longer they stay in the water, the easier it’ll be for the labels to detach.
  5. Once the bottles have soaked, the labels should have loosened and will slide off easily.
  6. Use the scouring pad to scrub off any remaining residue.
  7. Wash your bottles with dishwashing soap and water, then store them.

4. Use Vegetable Oil to Unstick Beer Bottle Labels

This approach works for labels that have been stuck with oil-based glue, which doesn’t weaken with water. Oil dilutes oil-based adhesive, thanks again to the rule of “like dissolves like.” Adding soap to this method further breaks down the oil and glue, which can then be rinsed off as suds, freeing the labels in the process.   

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

  • Clean hot water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Kitchen funnel
  • Oven mittens
  • Steel scrubber
  • Dishwashing soap

How This Method Works

Here are the steps to using vegetable oil:

  1. Put on your oven mittens and use a kitchen funnel to pour the hot water into the empty bottles. 
  2. Leave the bottles to sit for a few minutes. The heat from the water should help weaken the adhesive and make the labels easier to peel off. 
  3. If you’re dealing with thicker bottles, it might take longer for the heat to pass through to the label. In this case, you can soak the bottles in hot water for a few minutes to quicken the process.
  4. Peel off as much of the labels as you can, then scrub off any remaining paper and adhesive with the steel scrubber and generous amounts of vegetable oil.
  5. Wash the bottles with dishwashing soap and warm water to remove the oil, then store them.
Check out this video to see how to remove beer bottle labels easily and quickly.

5. Soak the Beer Bottles in Ammonia Solution to Remove the Labels

Ammonia is a popular ingredient in household cleaning products, particularly glass cleaners. It also works great as a solvent for breaking down adhesives, making it an effective tool for removing beer bottle labels. 

However, this method calls for extreme care. Direct contact with full-strength ammonia can cause skin burns, so be sure to wear protective gear. Work outside or in a well-ventilated area to prevent yourself from inhaling too many fumes. Never mix ammonia with bleach as this produces a toxic gas.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

  • Full-strength ammonia
  • Protective clothing (safety gloves and goggles)
  • Vessel
  • Water
  • Dishwashing soap

How This Method Works

Here’s how to soak the bottles in ammonia solution:

  1. Fill the vessel with enough water to submerge your bottles.
  2. Put on your protective gear and add some ammonia to the water. Half a cup (118.29 ml) of ammonia is enough for 10 liters (2.64 gal) of water.
  3. Place the bottles in the solution and allow them to soak for 24 hours.
  4. After the soaking period, put on your protective gear and remove the bottles from the solution. The labels should have slid off.
  5. Rinse the bottles inside and out thoroughly with dishwashing soap and water before storing them to eliminate any traces of ammonia.

6. Soak the Bottles in Water and Baking Soda To Remove Labels

Baking soda does a great job of breaking down glue, which is just one of the many uses of this multi-purpose household product. Also, if your bottles aren’t particularly clean, baking soda can make it easier to get rid of any dirt and grease, which is a bonus.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the things you’ll need:

  • Vessel
  • Clean hot water
  • Baking soda
  • Steel scrubber
  • Dishwashing soap

How This Method Works

Here’s how to soak the bottles in water and baking soda:

  1. Fill up your vessel with enough water to fully submerge the bottles you have.
  2. Add the baking soda to the water. 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) per 10 liters (2.64 gal) of water should do the job.
  3. Place the bottles in the water, ensuring they are completely submerged.
  4. Leave the bottles to soak for an hour. The labels should soften and slide off easily. However, you might still have some residue of paper and glue to deal with.
  5. Use the steel scrubber to scrub off any remaining residue.
  6. Wash the bottles off with dishwashing soap and water and store.

Final Thoughts

Which of the above methods you choose to remove your beer bottle labels will depend on the particular label and the adhesive used to attach it to the bottle in the first place.

Also, the number of bottles you’re dealing with will be a determining factor in which of these methods you choose.

While removing beer bottle labels can be a time-consuming task, it’s good to know that there are several methods available for completing the task as easily as possible.

BEER DROP: Boxes of beer from Award-winning microbreweries → Join The Club

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