How to Safely Remove Painted Labels from Your Glass Bottles?

few steps to remove labels from bottles

You just finished making your very own homemade ketchup and you can’t wait to show it off to your family and friends.

But first, you need to remove the old store-bought label from the glass bottle.

You’ve tried soaking it in warm water and even using a razor blade, but nothing seems to be working.

Is there a safe and easy way to remove painted labels from glass bottles?

Luckily, there is! With a little bit of elbow grease and the right tools, you can easily remove those pesky labels in no time.

But what tools and how much effort you will need will depend on the type of paint used on the label. And how strongly it is bonded.

In the article below I will show you exactly what you can do in different situations.

Light Water-Based Painted Labels

If the paint is water-based, then you can remove it with some warm water and a little bit of elbow grease.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1. Start by soaking the bottle in warm water for a few minutes. This will help to loosen up the glue and make it easier to remove the label.

Step 2. Next, use a razor blade or Exacto knife to gently scrape away the label. Be careful not to scratch the glass.

Step 3. If there are any stubborn pieces of glue left behind, use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove them.

Step 4. Finally, wash the bottle with warm soapy water and dry it off.

Now your glass bottle is label-free and ready to be used!

Stronger Oil-Based Paints as Labels

If the painted labels are a stronger oil-based type, then you will need to use a little bit more force to remove them.

You will also need to use a harsh chemical like acetone or nail polish remover.

So, if you’re going to use this method, be sure to take the necessary safety precautions.

Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the fumes.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1. Start by soaking a cotton ball in acetone or nail polish remover.

Step 2. Next, apply the soaked cotton ball to the label and let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 3. Use a razor blade or an Exacto knife to remove the label. Keep from scratching the glass by using extreme caution.

Step 4. If any stubborn remnants of glue remain, dab them away with a cotton ball soaked in acetone or nail polish remover.

Step 5. Finally, wash the bottle with warm soapy water and allow it to dry. And your glass bottle is label-free and ready to use!

how to remove labels

Label Screen-Printed on the Bottles

If the label is screen-printed like in liquor bottles, you will need to use a different method to remove it which is stronger.

Star San or oxalic acid are two strong chemicals that will quickly remove the paint without damaging the glass.

However, before using them, you will need to take the necessary safety precautions as they can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using these chemicals.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1. Start by mixing 1 part Star San or oxalic acid with 10 parts water in a bowl.

Step 2. Soak a rag in the mixture and then apply it to the label.

Step 3. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing at the label with a brush.

Step 4. Rinse the area well with water and then dry the glassware off.

Step 5. Repeat steps 2-4 if necessary.

If you have more than one glass bottle or jar to get the logos off, you can use a pan or bucket filled with Star San solution.

Soak all the bottles in the liquid solution and allow them to sit for 24-36 hours.

Once you see the label has dissolved and is falling off use a scrub brush or scrubbing pad to gently scrub any remaining label away.

Related FAQs

Can you remove wine labels with vinegar?

Yes, you can use vinegar (especially apple cider vinegar works great) to remove wine labels from your wine and beer bottles.

However, this method will take a little longer and is not as effective as using a chemical like acetone or nail polish remover.

How can you remove baked-on labels from glass?

If the label is baked on, it can be tricky to remove from glass jars and bottles.

You will need to use a thick paste made of citric acid mixed with hot water and enough flour. You can then use this paste to scrub the label off lightly.

What to use for removing ink from plastic bottles and containers?

There are a few different ways that you can use to remove ink from plastic bottles and containers.

One way is to use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Another way is to use a Magic Eraser or Goo Gone.

Finally, you can also use a toothbrush and some dish soap to scrub the ink off.

Phew! That was a lot of work. But now you know how to safely and easily remove painted labels from your glass bottles at home.

So, the next time you find a pretty glass bottle at a flea market or garage sale, you can easily remove the label and repurpose it into something new!

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