Removing labels from store bought beer bottles

I have bin saveing up all my red hook ipa bottles to use for my homebrew and now it is time to remove the lables.I did a case and a hale 2day by soaking them in hot water, removeing the lable, then scraping the glue off with a razor blade.This works but i have gotten close to cutting the palm of my hand a few times.So now i am wondering if anyone knows of a better way of doing this.

Thanks in advance for advice. You guys and gals rock. :cheers:

use an empty/spare ale pail, fill it with bottles, then a few scoops of oxyclean, mix/fill with hot water. Soak overnight. The ones that don’t just fall off can be peeled off then the remaining glue removed with a brillo pad.


I have found that using the back side of a butter knife is just as effective as a razor blade with none of the risk.

Hot OxiClean soak works for me. Plus it does a good job at cleaning the bottles at the same time. I usually fill up one half of my sink with hot water + Oxiclean and soak the bottles in there. At about 1/2 hour I start pulling out the bottles where the label fell off on its own and rub the glue off with a blue scrubby pad. Some brands peel off more easily than others.

I love Red Hook bottles, btw, because they fit in the top rack of my dishwasher.

Yep, oxiclean or PBW will do the trick. Soak hot overnight then I usually just take the rough side of the sponge to scrap off any remaining glue. Some bottles are tougher than others, not sure how difficult Red Hook is but that should do the trick.

i’ve used a butter knife or the scrubber side of the kitchen sponge

I’ve found that different techniques work best for different labels.

  • For most, oxyclean works well.
  • For others, a hot soak with a few tablespoons of baking soda seems to work better.
  • If you have a bucket of Star San that needs replacing, an overnight soak in it will take some labels off too.
  • For New Glarus, steaming them off is the only thing that seems to work. . . and even then just barely.
  • For New Belgium, pour some water from a tea kettle in to get them hot and they’ll be ready to peel off in a few seconds.
  • Some labels are really vinyl stickers; if you can get a corner up they peel right off.

I use a stiff scrub brush for this last bits of label. But if the label is too persistent after a soak, I give up and recycle.

I agree with the above mentioned PBW soak and scotchbrite method. Anything that doesn’t fall off with the soak gets recycled.

I soak all of mine in bleach and warm water, they peel right off. What glue might remain or half torn labels I just scrub it off with an iron scrubby (we call it Robot Bush 'round these parts :lol: )