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Yeasty Boy

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Trying to recycle bottles I read on a forum to use OxyClean to remove the Labels. Not having a guide line I used label directions only halved the amount and then diluted it even more. Like 5 scoops for 10 gallons. It did work and the labels are off. The problem is there is now a white film on all of the bottles and I am sure the insides too. I soaked them in water in a big tub and left them outside in the heat for a week thinking it would work, but no. If I dry them off you can use a scratch pad to remove the outside and I used a bottle cleaner for the inside but am afraid it will effect the taste even after i dunked them in Star San and they look clean.
Any thoughts?

After all this work I should have just bought new.
 

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I add hot water, shake, drain and repeat a few times for each bottle and it seems to work well. Are you sure that you aren't just seeing water deposits? You could try something like 'jet dry' in the rinse water.
 

Yeasty Boy

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I did find a thread in a Home Brew Forum about someone that had the same problem. Apparently Oxyclean with Hard Water, we don't have a water softener, leave a film of minerals. So you could be on to something with the Jet Dry route. Another solution was to use Vinegar/Water solution but scared that might infect the wine even if I do get it rinsed out.
Another thing I did wrong was to leave it soak for days. I used a big mineral tub for cattle that i cleaned out and put about 50 bottles in it. I hope I can save them but I have some Amazing Gooseberry wine I need to bottle and don't want to hurt it.
 

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The vinegar is volatile. Drain upside down and sniff the bottles to make sure it is all evaporated. I use Starsan in RO water to do my final bottle prep and then put in a rack upside down to drain. That leaves the bottles pretty clean.
 

Brettanomyces

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I've had this issue when life gets in the way. On some occasions, I've just pitched bottles as getting this film off is too troublesome.

A second soak in PBW or Oxyclean, no more than 6 hours, followed by some kind of acidic rinse (vinegar, Star San, etc.) often works. Sometimes it doesn't.

It's bad enough where I live that I usually don't bother doing this anymore. The labels often don't come off, and the bottles usually get this build up if I let them go for more than a day. I just leave the labels on. I suppose this isn't terribly helpful advice, but at least you know vinegar isn't the only acid that works to get the film off. If you have a phosphoric or even lactic acid concentrates, you could try that, too, to avoid the vinegar. But really, I see no reason to avoid using vinegar here.
 

Yeasty Boy

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So I think I will try the Vinegar solution overnight and see if it comes off. Then dip them in Star San and hang them out to dry to evaporate anything volitile. I attached a picture of the bottle tree my dad made for Christmas. If you put it out on my back patio on a 90 degree day they should get dried out thoroughly. This sound ok?
I should get some PBW. Read somewhere that liquid dishwasher soap had the same ingredients.
 

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Brettanomyces

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Just make sure to rinse them real well. Getting them dry is one thing, but you don't want any dried residue on there. I'd just rinse really well after the acid treatment, then your bottle tree will do the rest.
 

Brettanomyces

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But it's not being used as a sanitizer in this case, if it is being used at all. Some kind of acid, be it vinegar, Star San, or whatever else, is being employed to help remove the film.
 

Yeasty Boy

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So should I Vinegar soak, rinse well with water, then do the Star San dip and dry?
 

Brettanomyces

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I don't see a need for multiple acid soaks/rinses, unless it just isn't working and you want to try something else.
 

Rocky

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I no longer re-claim bottles because I have a good supply and I have purchased a large quantity of new bottles recently. But when I did remove labels from bottles, I just soaked them in hot water in my laundry tub. I found that there was a great difference in the way that labels came off. The easiest (usually Italian wines) would just float off the bottle and while the worst case scenarios would require mechanical removal, i.e. scrapping with a razor blade then cleaning any residue with a Brillo or SOS pad. I attribute the differences to the material used to make the label and the type of adhesive used to attach it. Glued on paper labels were the worst and labels with some vinyl content were the easiest.

I did not add anything to the water but used as full hot water as my plumbing would produce. In the discussion above, I would be very reluctant to use vinegar for anything associated with my winemaking. I reuse my own wine bottles now and my labeling is minimal. In the majority of the cases, I use Avery 8160 mailing labels with only the name of the wine, source of the juice and the dates I pitched the yeast, started bulk aging and bottled. In rare cases (gifts, special occasions, etc.) I use a larger Avery label and create a more artistic rendition on my PC. Early on in my wine making, I did full size labels and added capsules to everything, which I came to feel added needless expense.
 

JoP

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Trying to recycle bottles I read on a forum to use OxyClean to remove the Labels. Not having a guide line I used label directions only halved the amount and then diluted it even more. Like 5 scoops for 10 gallons. It did work and the labels are off. The problem is there is now a white film on all of the bottles and I am sure the insides too. I soaked them in water in a big tub and left them outside in the heat for a week thinking it would work, but no. If I dry them off you can use a scratch pad to remove the outside and I used a bottle cleaner for the inside but am afraid it will effect the taste even after i dunked them in Star San and they look clean.
Any thoughts?

After all this work I should have just bought new.
My favorite method to remove lables is to put the bottles in a 200F oven for half hour . Most labels will peel of easyly, other need some soaking, depending on what kind of glue they used.
 

Yeasty Boy

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All this work to recycle, I should have just thrown them all in a glass smelter or whatever they call it and made my own.
 

monty

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How big is a scoop? I usually use about a tablespoon of oxyclean and fill a cooler with bottles and hot water and let it sit overnight. Water and bottles still hot the next day so it makes peaking a bit easier.

Then a curved blade to scrape and some stainless steel wool to scrub off anything left.

I think your film issue is too much oxyclean
 

Kantuckid

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I bought pure sodium percarbonate on ebay from sellers who buy it in drums then sell off in various amounts. My first use was to clean a two story log home and it flat out works too. Also great to clean wood decks-I use a dairy barn brush that's lasted nearly 40 years now. That is the active ingredient in Oxyclean which I think has like only 10%. Hot water, dish soap and a knife takes off labels and cleans my btls..
 

Scooter68

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20/20 Hindsight perhaps but in the future start your bottle hunt - very early on - when you start the wine fermentation. That way if you do run into issues like these you have plenty of time to remove labels, wash, sanitize and anything else required THEN let them sit until that batch is ready for bottling in 9-12 months. So if you do have to use some cleaners that are not good around wine, like vinegar, you have time to wash rinse and let them sit for a few months. Then just before using give them one more sanitizer rinse and bottle up.
 

jgmann67

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I had this exact problem the first time I used this method to prep bottles - left them in the oxi too long and got the dreaded white film. Found the solution was in the solution.

I used hotter water; cut my oxiclean in half; left the bottles soak for only an hour; cleaned off the remaining glue/residue; then rinsed in the hottest water I could stand. Perfectly clear.

I also have bins downstairs for my prepped bottles. It adds a little work to rinsing a second time and sanitizing. But, it’s worth it knowing I don’t need to scramble to find 30, 60 or 90 bottles of the same type.

As for your current situation. Consider how risk-averse you are and act accordingly. Personally, I might just find a source for 5 cases of brand new bottles and chalk this up to a hard lesson learned.
 

TyYoda

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I can leave bottles in softwater and oxiclean for days and have never seen a white film. Must be the hard water.

I typically soak for 3 days and then scrape off the labels with a curved carpet knife (I have left them in for two weeks at a time). I don't worry about perfection and then put the bottles back in the solution to soften the glue residues. After another day or two, the glue residues are easy to remove and then the bottles get a hot water rinse before being placed upside down in a drying rack.
 

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