Removing factory labels

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Senior Member
Nov 26, 2006
Reaction score
Since I just finished my first batch of my own wine (Cabernet Sauvignon), I used recycled bottles (sanitized of course) from our friends. I finally found a real easy method of taking off factory labels. Here is what I did:

1. I took a razor blade (you can buy these simple plastic handled razer blades at any local hardware store - used for removing excess paint off windows). I scraped off all of the old labels.
2. You are then left with some glue residue. To remove this easily without going nuts with the razor blade, find some 'Gojo hand cleaner' (this is a waterless hand/grease remover for the garage/shop). If you use this without water by rubbing this around the outside of the bottle, the rough particles that come in the cleaner will remove the glue excess without major effort. Yes, your bottles may have a smell to them, so....
3. Use hot water to rinse off the excess cleaner off the bottles and either air dry, or use a old towel or t-shirt and dry them.

Now your ready to sanitize and bottle with new/used bottles.

As seen on another forum...carpet glue remover mixed with water will remove the labels in about 30mins when soaked. Just don't let any of the stuff get inside the bottles.
I've had good luck putting bottles in the sink as I'm doing stuff in the kitchen, letting the labels get nice and wet, to loosen the glue. Some brands come off really easy with a razor after a nice soak, others are more of a pain. I usually run them through the dishwasher regardless, and have found that almost anything will come off after about 5 minutes in there! Only problem is remembering to stop it....... :)
SpinDance - I tried the soaking trick in the kitchen sink also, but still stood there forever being a perfectionist with the excess glue. I found that if I don't soak it, and razor it dry, more glue comes off and the grit in the soap I use takes off the rest almost immediately. Be careful with the dishwasher, as I thought about that and found that the drain on the bottom could clog and retain water... :)
Easiest way is soak the bottles in some hot water with a scoop of oxyclean overnight. When you take it out in the morning the labels will most times just fall off.
I soak mine in a ammonia water mix for a few hours and the labels literally fall to the bottom of the bucket.
I just use hot water to soak the bottles and a product called Goof Off to remove the left over glue
Everyone will find their perfect method for removal. The biggest trick is the glue, and as I read, some have that down too.

I just wanted to save someone from never-ending razor blade scraping!

Latest posts