TIP: Removing labels from glass bottles/jars

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One of the most annoying and universally disliked task associated with home brewing and/or bottling has to be removing the labels from bottles you are going to use. Just try to peel one off without ending up with a gooey mess on the bottle and most of the paper still stuck there. Most soaps and cleansers just don’t make even the slightest dent in the glues that are used for bottles.

Why, oh why would the makers of beers and other bottled drinks do this to us. It turns out there’s a pretty good reason they use such an aggressive adhesive in their process…and it is for your and my benefit. If those labels did come off easily they might well come off while sitting in your cooler on a hot summer day as the ice melts.

So what are we makers of homemade, bottled liquids to do?

This tip comes courtesy of my good friend Jens when we were discussing various techniques in beer making one day. OxiClean! Yep, the same stuff touted by the late Billy Mays as the miracle cleanser works its same magic on the adhesive used on beer bottles. I am always working with multiple bottles at a time so I fill up the sink with hot water, then mix in a spoonful of OxiClean (or Aldi’s store brand, Astra, which is a bit cheaper and the one I use). Let the bottles soak for a little while. I’ve found that 10-15 minutes is usually enough. Once soaked, I use the other side of my sink to rinse the bottles while using a soft bristled brush to completely remove the label and all remaining adhesive.

Click here for OxiClean website…or visit your local Aldi’s store for a cheaper alternative…

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