How to Remove Labels From Bottles

    by Kimbry Parker

    About the Author

    Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.


    To display a bottle or to recycle it for a different purpose, you'll need to remove the original label. Whether a beer bottle, wine bottle or any other type of glass bottle, removing labels takes patience. Trying to hurry the process can actually make things more difficult and might result in broken bottles or labels damaged beyond repair. With the right products and methods, you can successfully remove labels from bottles with ease, regardless of whether your intent is to preserve the bottle or the label.

    Things You'll Need

    • 2 to 3 drops liquid dish detergent
    • Towel
    • Paper towels
    • Adhesive remover
    • Steel wool pad

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    Empty out the contents of the bottle. Fill the sink with very warm water and add two to three drops of liquid dish detergent. Submerge the bottle in the water. Let it soak overnight.

    Remove the bottle from the water and lay it on a dry towel. Use your fingers to begin slowly peeling the label off the bottle. Discard or save the removed label.

    Thoroughly dry the outside of the bottle with paper towels and examine the residue left by the label glue. Follow the instructions on the adhesive remover to coat the residue.

    Allow the adhesive remover to soak into the residue for the specified amount of time then run a steel wool pad gently over the area to remove the glue. Do not press too hard with the steel wool or you may scratch the glass. Repeat until all the residue has been removed.

    Rewash the bottle in hot, soapy water, rinse and allow it to dry overnight before repurposing it in your next project.

    • Soak the bottle for 10 to 20 minutes in a sink full of warm water with only 2 to 3 drops of dish detergent if you wish to remove and save the label intact. If the label is still attached to the bottle after soaking, use a sharp craft knife under the edge of the label to carefully work it from the bottle.