Easiest, Least Messy Way to Remove Labels From Glass Bottles!





Introduction: Easiest, Least Messy Way to Remove Labels From Glass Bottles!

About: I dig making hemp jewelry and upcycling would-be tossed items. I also run a free website that maps businesses that offer "free tire air" to the public. http://freetireair.com is the URL. Check it out before...

Product labels on bottles aren't decals so they are particularly hard to remove but scraping away with a razor or using Goo-Gone can be pain-staking and/or messy.

I recently had several wine bottles soaking in the kitchen sink and thought to myself, "what a waste of water and space". Since the sink is so wide and the bottles have a couple inches+ of girth, I end up having to fill the sink half way!

Then it dawned on me...a fitted container would require far less water! So I dug in my cabinets, found a plastic-ware container and tested it out.

Step 1: What You Need

-Water source
-Glass bottle with label
-Tall (or shaped to fit) container
-Regular dish soap

Check that your glass bottle will fit inside you container. There shouldn't be a lot of wiggle room for the bottle but there should be space enough for water to sit between the bottle and the sides of the container.

Step 2: Soap It.

Pour a small amount of soap in the bottom of the container. This will help dissolve the label's glue.

Step 3: Water Time.

Set the container down in the middle of the sink (or any area that will capture excess water and/or spillage) and make sure it is stable.

Then fill the container with water but don't fill it to the brim! Fill it with just enough water to cover the label when the bottle is sitting flush against the bottom of the container. This will save water and clean-up time.

Step 4: Check Your Water Level.

Once you have a satisfactory amount of water in your container, remove the bottle and take a gander at how much water you're not using! This is the point of this instructable, saving water when using it to craft!

Step 5: Weight the Bottle.

Now we need to get the bottle, which is full of air and thus floating, to sit flush to the bottom of the container while it soaks. Depending on the height, etc. of your bottle, you may choose a number of items to help weight it down. I have chosen to use another bottle of which I have cut the top off.

Be careful not to put an object over the bottle that might break or tilt and fall!

Step 6: Pull Off the Label.

This label literally only took enough time for me to place the weight-object over the bottle, take it's picture and then set the camera down, for it to peel off!

Bottle labels will differ in soaking-time length. The great thing about using water and soap is you can check it every so often without having to reset the whole process or clean-up everything again.

If given enough time, the label should peel off the bottle in 1 piece.

Good Luck!

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25 Discussions


1 year ago

Another way is to leave bottle out in sun on warm days to soften glue and carefully peel label. Some will come off in one piece. Use the label to pull off sticky remnants of glue from bottle or a peice of duct tape to pull off any sticky remnants of glue from bottle.


1 year ago

using the citrus base cleaners will dissolve the glue and is less toxic than most other industrial solvents. You need to apply & allow a little time for it to soak under or thru the label & it comes right off. You'll need to wipe gooey glue remains away& wash. Requires minimal water & no scraping.

I literally just used a cottonball and nail polish remover on a jack daniels bottle. Easiest. Removal. Ever.

1 reply

Well, that version only requires soap and not chemical products, so I guess that makes it automatically a better solution?

this it's the easiest method I've ever found. beats everything :


I used a 5 gal bucket to soak a bunch of beer and wine bottles all at the same time. Works great! Even on stubborn labels, though those I had to use an old dish scrubber, but even that was like scrubbing off rubbery ketchup. Thanks!

Omg!!! I combined 2 of your ideas. Oven WORKS GREAT!!! I used a thin knife with an oven mitt to hold Judy top of bottle with my hand flat, labels peeled right off, leaving minimal glue behind.
Then I tried rubbing alcohol to get excess glue off it worked but it spread the glue before removing it taking some time and elbow grease.
So then I did the lighter fluid. A dab will do!! About 5-7 drops, rub it leave it for 1-2 minutes rubs right off!!!
I tried this on a painted/frosted it baked good but glue would not fully come off with lighter fluid or rubbing alcohol. I tried makeup remove since it removed residual sticky on my hands and it removed the frost ☹️ The lighter fluid didn't. OH IMPORTANT***** Make sure bottles are completely cool. Lighter fluid still works if warm but it takes more.


2 years ago

love this remedie

Oxiclean is excellent for removing labels. They slide right off after about an hour's soak in just a pinch of Oxi in water.

2 replies

Can I tell you how well this actually worked? I have to Make 15 centerpieces for a wedding in a week and needed a quick way to get the labels off with something I already had at home. This worked so well! So, thanks for sharing!

I just put my wine bottle in the oven at 350 and let them sit for about 10-15 minutes and the labels peeled right off! YEAH!!! If you do this make sure you use an oven mitt. If there is any liquid in the bottle it turns to steam so watch out!

after much experimenting, i have found the sure fire best method to get these labels off the bottle.

youll need a bucket, or a vessel to soak in (sink, tub, etc), baking soda, and hot water.

each bottle up with the hottest water you can, placing the cap back on
if possible to keep the heat in. no need for boiling hot water, just
hot from the tap will work.

pour a generous amount of baking soda in to your bucket.

place all the bottles in the bucket and fill with same hot water.

allow to soak overnight.

on the condition of the labels, they will basically fall off the next
morning. the baking soda and hot water dissolves a good portion of the

DANGER! Please, please don't use naptha (carcinogenic, neurotoxic), WD40 (same), or any other solvent for removing bottle labels! This is completely NOT safe or sustainable in any way. Please soak the bottles in warm, soapy water to loosen the paper (just leave it overnight). Then rub with olive or any other vegetable oil to remove the glue. Finally, use soap and water to remove the oil. Three steps to keep your home healthier!

This method didn't work for the whiskey bottle I'm using; it removed the paper, but left the glue. Which does make it easier, I guess.

 Rather than weighting the bottle down, just fill it with water to a level higher than the vessel you're soaking it with.

1 reply

I thought the same, but if you see the attention he put in not wasting water, you can see why he didn't use it.

Nice ideas as I used to save wine bottle labels and press them in a book. That was long ago now but a fun memory.

I personally use lighter fluid (zippo kind, or equivalent) to remove labels and sticky residue from glass and metal containers. You can soak full labels and they slide right off, and just rub a cloth dipped in the LF to remove extra adhesive.

When soaking, use a fitted container (with a lid, to prevent evaporation) as mentioned in the 'ible, it allows you to reuse the lighter fluid a couple times... (and yes, its still flammable later on too!)

I picked this trick up from the "Things Remembered" chain of personalized merchandise stores, it's how they clean their products from adhesive before engraving.

-- obvious disclaimer! -- Be careful with open containers of lighter fluid, it is extremely flammable, so keep it away from open flames, electric sparks, heating elements, etc. etc. etc. - use common sense.

CRC and WD40, are excellent for removal, just spray on the area and rub in with finger, I then use my fingernail to scrape the glue off once it's had time to work. The disadvantage of these two products is the smell, so silicon spray might be easier on the nose.

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