Remove a Label, Save a Bottle!

with 5 comments

Have a sticky label situation? Don’t fret! Here are a few tricks of the trade to get glass bottles and jars de-glued:

Note: these methods are specifically meant for glass and may not be suitable for other materials like plastic or metal.

1. Try the slow peel – a little patience can save you the most hassle when it comes to removing sticky labels. Peel them off slowly and gently, and you’re likely to get the entirety of the label and its adhesive all at once. *The. best. way. period.*

2. Warm water soak – for whatever paper or stickiness is left behind, give the bottle a good soak in some warm soapy water for an hour or two (or even overnight if  it’s convenient). Give it a good scrub, and then see what you’re working with.

3. Orange oil or vinegar – for stickiness that still persists, try applying a few drops of orange essential oil (a natural solvent) or a bit of vinegar. Both are renowned for their cleaning power in eco-friendly households.

4. Razor blade scrape – if you have some stubborn goo that just wont quit, bust out the big guns: grab a safety razor and gently (and carefully) scrape it away.

These methods *should* get your glass wine bottles, beer bottles, and mason jars shining like new and ready to reuse!

(image: Toledo Wines and Vines)

Written by jmalsky

December 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Not very green, but a little acetone goes a long way. A lot of people have it sitting around in their garage, or in their purses as nail polish remover.


    December 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    • Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for reading! You’re right, being a powerful solvent, acetone would remove adhesive, but we would discourage against using it for bottle-label removal for several reasons. Acetone is considered a household hazardous waste by the EPA because it is extremely flammable. It’s also considered a water contaminant, and has a toxic effect on wildlife. Additionally, it evaporates very quickly, making it easily inhale-able and should only be used in extremely well-ventilated areas to avoid respiratory irritation. Read more about potential health risks associated with acetone here.
      In general, we would like to encourage the use of safe, natural, non-toxic remedies whenever possible and avoid unnecessary risks to human health and the environment.


      Jessica Malsky
      in.gredients team


      December 14, 2011 at 12:21 am

  2. I use a metal spatula instead of a razor. If peeling doesn’t work, soak, scrape, soak, scrape. Any glue that’s left will usually come off with steel wool or a copper scrubby (and maybe a plastic scrubby). On rare occasions, I’ll need a little alcohol for the last of the sticky residue.

    Debbie M

    December 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  3. If the slow peel gives me any resistance, I boil a little extra water when I make tea and fill the glass vessel with the unwanted label. After about ten seconds, the adhesive will weaken and the label will peel right off! Careful not to get the label wet on the outside when you fill the jar or bottle ;-)

    Claire Jain

    December 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

  4. What about the glass bottles which have prints????? Like acrylic or something like that…

    Anurag Chakraborty

    January 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm

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