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newbiegj

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I put enough water in the bottle to come up to the top of the label, then lay in the microwave on a plastic plate cover turned upside down. Be careful bottle not too full of water. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Use oven gloves to remove from MW. I use a sharp edge of a knife or small utensil to start the label and it peels right off. Using a funnel, I pour the hot water into another bottle, let it sit a bit. If needed can microwave again for shorter period of time. I can usually do 2-3 bottles per heating. If there is any residue, I use WD40 to spritz and let sit a few minutes, then a Mr. Clean Eraser sponge to clean off anything. May need a little dish detergent for residue also, be careful not to get detergent in the bottle. If the labels are too hard to come off, the bottle goes into the recycle bin.
 

Scooter68

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There is only one bit of caution I would mention. Keep in mind that a very through removal of the mineral spirits, bleach, WD40 or any other cleaners, has to be done. The inside of the bottle has to be WELL RINSED and absolutely clear of any residue. That's one reason I would rather toss some bottles back to the recycling bin. I don't see the urgency to save every bottle I pull out - I try to match bottle colors and shapes to for each batch but I would be conscerned if I had to use a chemical on every bottle label then use a soap or something to remove that chemical, then wash, then rinse, then sanitize.

I really understand saving money - That's really high on my priority list but... Ruining a batch of wine with tainted bottles would wipe out all that saving.

t doesn't take that long, if you value your time, to reach the point where buying new bottles might be less expensive. Sometimes we look so much at the initial idea of free bottles and forget about all the labor time, materials and risk I LOVE FREE but if I have to start buying special cleaners and removers for those cleaners PLUS all that time... I'll go buy bottles. So far I have been able to avoid that but if I reach that point - I'll skip the "Free bottles" and buy bottles.

By the way I have bought 3 cases of bottles (36 bottles total) in 5 1/2 years so I'm all about saving money. I've done 48 batches so far.
 

CDrew

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t doesn't take that long, if you value your time, to reach the point where buying new bottles might be less expensive. Sometimes we look so much at the initial idea of free bottles and forget about all the labor time, materials and risk I LOVE FREE but if I have to start buying special cleaners and removers for those cleaners PLUS all that time... I'll go buy bottles. So far I have been able to avoid that but if I reach that point - I'll skip the "Free bottles" and buy bottles.
I could not agree more. I've given up delabeling bottles, though the 1 exception is clear bottles which are harder to find cheap. But I bought 30 cases of bottles last year and plan another 30 cases or more this year. After just a few years, it will reach equilibrium and I'll only need to buy enough to replace give-away bottles.
 

faxdoctor

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I put bottles in the oven at 350° for ten minutes and the labels peel right off with absolute ease while they are still hot. The heat apparently breaks the bond of the adhesive or something like that. Just make sure to use oven mitts on both hands and be aware that the bottles take a while to cool off.

Most bottles will have residual adhesive that can be easily removed with goo gone, 90% rubbing alcohol or acetone.

Granted there are some bottles that have such stubborn adhesive residue that's not even worth the effort so I toss those in the trash.
I have tried the oven method and it works on most of the bottles I've used. Some, I will have to score the label and soak in hot water or use the goo-gone method. But the oven method seems the best. If you have metal cap covers still on be sure to remove those before placing in the over. AND WEAR THOSE OVEN MITTS.
 

Ivywoods

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Old Corker - I agree - I've found some really beautiful bottles including 10 with their original glass stoppers and shaped like a rose on the bottom. I believe it was designed by someone familar with the habit I saw in germany - You carry flowers with the bloom down to preserve their shape and then turn them upright to present to the lady. In this case turning the bottle upside down shows off the rose shaped base of the bottle.
View attachment 70512

That find had me looking into buying glass stoppers* until I realized how size sensitive they are and that won't work with using recycled bottles. Still have those bottles and I ask for those back if I give the wine away. The Red Raspberry wine in the bottle with the glass stopper has the best looking bottle but the hardest to put a label on that won't wrinkle. That's the other thing to consider when collecting bottles - will your labels fit that bottle or do you have to buy a different shape and re-design your label.

View attachment 70511
This 'group photo shows my progression through label designs from my first year, Peach on the right end to Apple Cider 3rd from the left.

* You have to buy about 400 at a time in a single size and they run about $.50-$.75 each if I remember correctly. I made a post on here little over year ago I think.
WOW Scooter68! that's is an awsome assortment of wine and your labels look very nice to me! I haven't even begun to think about a label design! I have 40+bottles cleaned, label removed and stored in sealed plastic totes until I'm ready for them. My first batch should yield about 30 bottles of gewurztraminer from a kit. I want to do several kits before I have any to harvest from my own vineyard. Being new at this I am reading and studying all I can!
 

Ivywoods

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Much cheaper options: #1 Fill bottle with hottest tap water but keep label dry. After a couple minutes, most labels peel off without sticky residue if you pull label off slowly. I use needle nose pliers to put from edges. Save water by pouring hot water into another bottle with a label.
#2 Spray label with WD-40. Leave overnight. Label should peel off easily.
#3 Totally Awesome from Dollar Tree. Spray on as with WD-40 and leave overnight.
With persistent labels, use a combination of the three.
I haven't tried any of these options but I intend to try at least two of them when I get some more bottles. Thank you!
 

Wayne Freeman

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I put a couple of tablespoons of water in the bottles and put 2 or 3 at a time in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. Pull them out using a hot pad holding them by the neck and usually the label pulls right off. A little cooking oil on a paper towel rubs the glue off easily.
 

Scooter68

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If the cooking oil works consistently that would be FAR better than all the other 'solvents' other than dish washing liquid and Oxiclean.

What brand or type of oil are you using?
 

montanarick

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so i've tried about most everything to remove commercial labels. have pretty much relied on putting bottle in oven on bake at 250 for ten minutes. this works pretty well. then recently I saw on one thread that someone put couple tablespoons of water and nuked bottles for 2-3 minutes. I thought well that's similar to how things work in the oven so thought I'd give it a whirl. Well yesterday I had to clean several cases of bottles in preparation for bottling last year's wines and it worked out quite well. I found that a little splash of water inside the bottle and nuking for only a minute loosened all but a few very stubborn labels. I sort of had a production line going - while one bottle was being nuked the one that just came out of the microwave was being pealed. timing worked out perfectly. think this will become my new go-to for future label removing.
 
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