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removing labels easily

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Jal5

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After washing in the dishwasher the label glue still didn't fully come off. I tried a cooking spray and sprinkled some baking soda on a scrubbing pad and that did the job. Easy and just needed a brief soap and water cleaning after that step. No solvents for me and this is not hard to do and cheap too.

Joe
 

mainshipfred

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I haven't tried it yet but my wife and I were talking about it on Christmas. She recommended Coke. She said it takes acid off batteries and cleans pennies, why wouldn't it remove labels. I couldn't agrue the point. I don't think anyone has ever come up with an easy way to remove labels just easier. One of these days the light is going to come on for someone.
 

Mismost

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someone asked me what I would do if I won the Lottery. I said I don't know what I would do....but I know what I would not do. I would never reload another shotgun shell or scrape a label off a wine or beer bottle!

Strictly new cases of shells and bottles. Problem solved....except the part about winning the Lottery!
 

Amanda660

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I just soak in hot water and use a razor blade with a plastic shell thing so my fingers are safe and cramp free. I'm pretty good at label removal but anything that requires too much time gets recycled. Lucky for us we have a winery close by and they use the best bottles and their labels just slip right off after 10 minutes so that is my dumpster diving place of choice - they recycle so its like diva dumpster diving!
 

tjgaul

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Just chiming in with an opinion on the Labelnator. I've used it a few times. I think it works fairly well, better than any other scraper I've tried on wine bottles. However, it's very easy to over shoot on the upward motion and nick the hand holding the neck of the bottle. So far I have yet to make it through a bottle cleaning session without a few nicks and cuts. I may have to resort to wearing a glove on the left hand. Plus, you're still stuck with removing the glue on those bottles with the extra thick & rubbery globs of adhesive.

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cmason1957

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Just chiming in with an opinion on the Labelnator. I've used it a few times. I think it works fairly well, better than any other scraper I've tried on wine bottles. However, it's very easy to over shoot on the upward motion and nick the hand holding the neck of the bottle. So far I have yet to make it through a bottle cleaning session without a few nicks and cuts. I may have to resort to wearing a glove on the left hand. Plus, you're still stuck with removing the glue on those bottles with the extra thick & rubbery globs of adhesive.
One way to avoid nicking your hands is to hold the top of the bottle, rest the bottle on something solid and push the labelnator DOWN, pull up not removing. I never knick my hands.
 
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wildhair

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I have a 6 gallon bucket and fill it about 2/3 - 3/4 full with water, so Zep degreaser/cleaner & cup of washing soda. I submerge the bottles for a few days and many of the labels are off when I pull the bottle out. Most of the rest, the labels just wipe off by hand. Metallic ones and a few with some kind of super-strong alien glue - I use a 3" wide putty knife that's ground into a concave semi-circle. Couple of scrapes - all gone. Any glue residue comes of with Barkeepers Friend. Rinse 'em with hot water.
 

Mismost

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so far, the easiest way for me is a razor blade scraper...rest the bottle on a folded up towel or non-slip surface. Scrape across the bottle NOT up and down.
Soaking just made a mess of soggy labels.
I clamp a heat gun into a vice and stand a bottle in front of it....heat softens the glue.
scrape one bottle while another is heat treating....goes pretty quick.

By far the easiest way is to just buy new bottles! Just bottled a batch for a friens....she (OCD) wanted all new bottles. Nice bottling day resulted!
 

mainshipfred

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so far, the easiest way for me is a razor blade scraper...rest the bottle on a folded up towel or non-slip surface. Scrape across the bottle NOT up and down.
Soaking just made a mess of soggy labels.
I clamp a heat gun into a vice and stand a bottle in front of it....heat softens the glue.
scrape one bottle while another is heat treating....goes pretty quick.

By far the easiest way is to just buy new bottles! Just bottled a batch for a friens....she (OCD) wanted all new bottles. Nice bottling day resulted!
I'm with you on the new bottles, there is no easy way to remove labels, only easier.
 

CDrew

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The easiest way by far, for me, is to stack a bunch of bottles in the oven and heat to 225F for about 30 minutes. Then pull them out one at a time and while holding with a welding glove, peel off the label. Most of the lables will come off fully intact and leave just a bit of residual glue. Then, let the bottle cool and brillo off the bit of glue that remains under warm water.

It seems that about 99% of wine labels are heat activated, and the ones that aren't can usually be soaked off. If, for some reason I have a difficult one, I'll just send it straight to the recycle pile.
 

tjgaul

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It seems that about 99% of wine labels are heat activated, and the ones that aren't can usually be soaked off. If, for some reason I have a difficult one, I'll just send it straight to the recycle pile.
I used to struggle to save every empty I got my hands on. Now that I have many cases of empties cleaned, sorted and stacked it's a heck of a lot easier to let the PIA messy bottles go into the bin. Definitely the simplest process!
 

sour_grapes

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I used to struggle to save every empty I got my hands on. Now that I have many cases of empties cleaned, sorted and stacked it's a heck of a lot easier to let the PIA messy bottles go into the bin. Definitely the simplest process!
Agreed! I am at that point now myself, thankfully! I probably should bottle some wine just to reduce the pile of empties.
 
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wildhair

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That's the difference between just starting this adventure and being farther down the trail - the acquisition of essentials. The new one ARE easier - but it sure adds to the cost. So I'm still thankful for friends that save them & still removing labels. And honestly - soaking them like I do, is very little effort to clean them up.
 

kyle5434

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When I need to scrape (which is most of the time) I use a flooring knife.

 

Jal5

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Terrific idea on the flooring knife! I will try that one. And barkeepers friend to remove the glue. Love this forum for the good ideas
 

tjgaul

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I have not tried the oven method and probably will not since my oven does not vent outdoors. For the tough glue left behind after scraping I generally use Acetone which does a reasonable efficient job of getting off the the gummy stuff. However, I ran out this weekend and substituted Mineral Spirits (because I had a can on hand). The mineral spirits seemed to actually do a better job than the acetone, but it left behind a slightly greasy film that needed additional wiping to remove.

I think I like the spirits better, but I would like some other folk's opinions. After de-labeling, my bottles usually sit for a good period of time and will get a complete wash/sanitize before being put back into service.

Is there anything I should be concerned about by using mineral spirits?
 

kyle5434

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Not sure about potential problems with the solvents. After scraping with the flooring knife I've just been using an SOS pad to get any remaining stuff off the bottle. It sometimes takes a bit of elbow grease, but works well.
 
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