Update: Removing Corona ink labels

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Aug 1, 2015
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I know that removing Corona ink labels has been addressed in previous posts but this is the simplest method I've found after having read the other posts so I thought I'd share the process.

This works for 12 oz and 7 oz Corona Extra bottles. That's the only thing I've tried it on.

I use a large-size concrete mixing tub from the big box; cost is about $12. Size is 36"L x 24"W x 8"D and holds a little over 20 gallons. I add 4 oz Star San (enough for a 20 gal sanitizing mix) to 15 gals of water, which makes it a little more concentrated than a typical mix for sanitizing.

I lay the bottles into the tub, on their side and hold them under until they quit breathing, to make sure the bottles will be covered by the liquid. I can get 36 bottles laying flat in the tub and all are completely covered by the solution.

In other posts that I've read, they say to leave in the solution for a week, take the bottles out, let them dry then come back later and scrape with a scotch brite pad. In my process, I found the long-soak to be unnecessary. I put the bottles in and let them set over night. After about 20 hours of soaking I took a bottle out to test and found that the label came off easily when wiping the bottle with a stainless steel scrubbie. I did not wait for the bottle to dry and flake, I wiped it fresh out of the tub. Practically no elbow grease, just wiped it down with the scrubbie. Some of the ink would come off just by holding the bottle in my hand.

I was not ready to bottle yet (expecting to have to soak them for a week), so I left the remaining bottles in the tub to soak for another two days. Then, taking the bottles out and wiping them immediately, ALMOST all the labels came off with very little effort. There were 4 bottles out of the 36 that would not come off completely so I put them back in the tub to soak longer. I don't know if they were from different bottlers or different batches of ink but very little of the ink would come off. I'll post another comment in a couple of days to say whether the additional soaking helped.

Also interesting to note is that the soaking tub was in a shed that was 25/35F at night and never over about 45F during the day. I thought the cold temps might make the soak take longer but it didn't seem to cause any delay in the process. The tubs never froze on the coldest nights because acid solution prevented the water from freezing.

I'm not sure how long the acid solution will continue to work but I put an additional 24 bottles in the tub tonight and I'll check them and report on that tomorrow. Star San is a bit expensive but, if the remaining labels come off, I'll have cleaned 60 bottles for about $6 worth of Star San, or about 10 cents per bottle, not counting labor. Worth it to me.

I'll be bottling 5 gals of Skeeter Pee in them tomorrow, if the remaining labels come off. Whoo Hoo!
That's exactly how I clean any bottle with painted labels, except I use very warm water to mix up the stars San. Good to know I don't actually need warm water!
The star san solution is still working. I wiped 10 bottles today that I just put into solution yesterday. Also the 5 bottles that wouldn't come completely clean yesterday, and were put back into solution overnight, came clean with an easy scrubbie wipe today.

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