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Removing Labels

I have about a dozen Red Strip bottles that I want to remove the labels from, for my homebrew. But when I recently examined them I found that the labels are painted on. Does anyone have any good techniques for removing painted on labels?


I would try nail polish remover. I am guessing that these will be difficult to remove if not impossible.

I can’t help with removing labels. I think they’re baked on.

What kind of capper do you have? IIR, Red Stripe has a short lip that requires a bench capper.

After bottling for a bit, any bottle that took too much time to clean or prep would get recycled.

I have used bottles with painted labels or embossed. Your beer won’t know the difference.

You could paint the bottles.

I would recycle them. Too much time to get the “paint off.”

At what point does the time and effort to remove the labels from these bottles make buying new bottles worth the money?

I left some painted bottles in pbw/water mix overnight and the paint just wiped off

Really?! That stuff is awesome!

If you have those painted ones you can turn them into cups instead which is a pretty fun/neat project.
It is a bit of a PITA though but the outcome is neat.

There are directions online somewhere but a basic rundown is:
Get a cotton string and tie a slip not in it
soak it in lighter fluid
put it over the bottle where the label ends and pull it tight
snip off the excess
light it
when you hear a pop put it in cold water
the glass will break right in two (or sometimes into a jagged mess)
sand it lightly to take off the hard edge
Viola you have some bitchin cups!

Soaking in a water/amonia solution may remove the paint.

I love Deschutes and Sierra Nevada’s beers, but it’s also awesome that there labels are incredibly easy to remove. 90% of the bottles I have are one or the other.

No advice for painted bottles, but I’ve found New Glarus and Sam Adams have easy to remove paper labels. Summit bottles are the most difficult, and I don’t bother scraping those anymore; I either leave the labels on or recycle them, depending on the need for bottles. New bottles really are quite affordable.

+1 with the Sam Adams bottles. Same for Victory bottles. A quick soak in oxyclean w/hot water and they generally fall right off. I quick wipe with a sponge to remove the glue and they’re good to go.

+1 with the Sam Adams bottles. Same for Victory bottles. A quick soak in oxyclean w/hot water and they generally fall right off. I quick wipe with a sponge to remove the glue and they’re good to go.[/quote]
Tröegs’ labels peel easy too. As do Weyerbacher’s

Pumking bottles need to be pre-peeled, then the oxyclean will soften the glue residue.

In my experience ≥95% of labels come off pretty easily using only an Oxiclean soak. Goo Gone will take care of the remaining ≤5%–or just recycle them unless you’re desperate.

Removing the paint from bottles seems like a huge pita and I would just use them as is. I never thought of re-using the Red Stripe bottles (probably because it’s been 10 years since I had that stuff) but they would probably look awesome if you could remove paint and add your own label. I have no problems removing paper labels with a good over night soak in oxi-clean. As posted above Sam bottles are really easy to remove as are Troegs and Dogfish. Just make sure to rinse very well after soaking and delabeling your bottles.

Good luck

For me they fall apart and leave a bunch of gunk on the bottle that I still have to deal with. How are you getting them off?

There’s a smaller Michigan brewery, North Peak, that uses the same shape bottles as Red Stripe but without the paint-on labels. I’ve been slowly accumulating empties whenever we visit my in-laws.

I like to save bottles that only have one label on it. Nothing on the back or neck. This makes de-labeling a bit easier. I soak my bottles in a homer bucket with generic oxy clean. The oxy solution just covers the label so the soon to be glue water cannot get in. Works great.

That’s my approach as well, except I don’t avoid neck labels. I just fill the bucket over the neck so just the tops stick out. Weigh the bottles down with straight tap water so the don’t bob around. And it’s only a problem if someone bumps it hard enough to tip a bottle. 8-9 at a time.

I just submerge the whole thing and rinse them really good when done. I have a 20 gallon tub that I can do two cases at one time. I soak them overnight in oxy-clean solution and scrub/rinse them good the next day.

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