RogueChip

Cleaning labels off of glass bottles

68 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Neverbrewedadarnthing said:

I was going to start a new thread, but will see if this question gets any traction in here first.

 

I am saving 16.9 oz. pop (soda) bottles for my Hard Cider. The labels on those are plastic, do a complete wrap around the bottle, and are glued at the seam only. The rest of the label just falls off. The seam glue they use is tough stuff. Soaking the bottles doesn't doo much good and I am reluctant to use a solvent because of the plastic bottle. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to get it off?   

the glue that is used on plastic soda bottles does not break down in water.  It will soften, but not come off.  you need a solvent cleaner or something relatively powerful to remove that.  there are certain glass bottles that use a similar glue, but with glass, you can use a scouring pad or harder bristles to physically remove the glue.  

 

Using something like Goo Gone will work, and as long as you keep it on the outside you should be fine.  Goo Gone is listed as safe for plastics, and following up with a regular cleaning with dish soap and/or sanitizer should remove any possible residue.  The solvent won't hurt the plastic any more drastically than the plastic will break down on its own.

 

beyond that, scouring pad or Brillo pad..  yeah, they will scratch the plastic, but plastic bottles don't last forever anyway.  

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Thanks. I had thought of Goo Gone but wasn't sure how the plastic would react to it. I think I'll give it a try and let the bottles set for a few days just to see what happens.

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Cleaned used bottles today. Mostly followed @RickBeer ‘s advice. Cleaned 50 bottles today. Used hot water soak to remove labels. Wanted to mention what bottles were the most friendly to home brewers trying to remove labels. This is not comprehensive, but just my top 4. 

 

1. Odell’s-hands down the most friendly. Label practically fell off in the water. 

 

2. Sam Adams-after a soak just took a light scrape and it all came off. 

 

3. Sierra Nevada-came right off after a soak

 

4. Paulaner-came off so easy. 

 

Honorable mention: deschuttes, real ale brewing, revolver (easy to peel off plastic label), modelo.

 

Had a few that were literally impossible. Some use plastic labels and probably requires a solvent of some type to remove the glue. Just gave up or left the label on. Won’t buy those again. 

 

After label removal, filled up sink with oxy clean free and hot water for another soak. Shook the poop out of them and rinsed with hot water and hung on my new bottle tree. Ready to rock. I have to admit I did calculate what my time is worth professionally vs saving $50 in not buying 2 cases of new glass. Much less satisfying buying online. Plus I do love working on anything beer related. 

 

Jdub

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I soak them overnight in bath with hot as I can get water.

Next day some fall off, most others can be scraped off with putty knife and residue removed with Dobie scourer.

Very few except plasticky ones do not work that way for me 

 

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10 hours ago, Jdub said:

Cleaned used bottles today. Mostly followed @RickBeer ‘s advice. Cleaned 50 bottles today. Used hot water soak to remove labels. Wanted to mention what bottles were the most friendly to home brewers trying to remove labels. This is not comprehensive, but just my top 4. 

 

1. Odell’s-hands down the most friendly. Label practically fell off in the water. 

 

2. Sam Adams-after a soak just took a light scrape and it all came off. 

 

3. Sierra Nevada-came right off after a soak

 

4. Paulaner-came off so easy. 

 

Honorable mention: deschuttes, real ale brewing, revolver (easy to peel off plastic label), modelo.

 

Had a few that were literally impossible. Some use plastic labels and probably requires a solvent of some type to remove the glue. Just gave up or left the label on. Won’t buy those again. 

 

After label removal, filled up sink with oxy clean free and hot water for another soak. Shook the poop out of them and rinsed with hot water and hung on my new bottle tree. Ready to rock. I have to admit I did calculate what my time is worth professionally vs saving $50 in not buying 2 cases of new glass. Much less satisfying buying online. Plus I do love working on anything beer related. 

 

Jdub

Might want to check your modelo's as they might use a different bell size, i think thats the term, than the US beers. I know Dos Equis do and won't cap with my MB hand capper. Lol, I do love my Dos Equis, but switched to Devils Backbone vienna lager a couple months ago to build up a supply.

I just soak my DB bottles in hot water and unscented 7th gen dish soap. In four hours most peel right off, especially if i hold them under some hot running water while removing.

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Posted (edited)

My favorite are the Sam Adams bottles, the others on your list seem to work good too. But there's been a few that just refuse to come off. I use hot water with either a strong solution of one-step or a laundry soap mixture. I usually leave them in the bucket a day or two. I then rinse them a couple times and put them on my bottle tree to dry.

Edited by TonyKZ1
was informed that it's laundry soap not detergent.
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Be wary of using anything with a scent, i.e. laundry detergent.  Oxi-clean FREE has no scent.  

 

One step may work, but it's wasteful to use it since you don't need any sanitizing.

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Thanks, it's a homemade laundry soap (washing soda, borax) mixture with no fragrance added. The wife also adds our goat milk soap to that for the laundry, but I just use those two ingredients. I've looked for the oxi-clean free in local stores, but haven't found it yet.

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@Cato thanks. Did not know that about modelos. Never thought to try it. Will try to cap one today. I only have about 4-6 in the bunch. I have a couple of bottling days coming up and needed to get the bottles going. 

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2 hours ago, Cato said:

Might want to check your modelo's as they might use a different bell size, i think thats the term, than the US beers. I know Dos Equis do and won't cap with my MB hand capper. Lol, I do love my Dos Equis, but switched to Devils Backbone vienna lager a couple months ago to build up a supply.

I just soak my DB bottles in hot water and unscented 7th gen dish soap. In four hours most peel right off, especially if i hold them under some hot running water while removing.

It was bugging me so I just went and capped a negra modelo bottle. No leaks and seemed to fit ok. 

 

I hear ya on the devils backbone. I’ll look out for that beer here. I find myself only buying beers that I can reuse the bottle. 

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2 hours ago, Cato said:

Might want to check your modelo's as they might use a different bell size, i think thats the term, than the US beers. I know Dos Equis do and won't cap with my MB hand capper. Lol, I do love my Dos Equis, but switched to Devils Backbone vienna lager a couple months ago to build up a supply.

I just soak my DB bottles in hot water and unscented 7th gen dish soap. In four hours most peel right off, especially if i hold them under some hot running water while removing.

 

The issue is not that they need a different bell size, it's that some non-US beers have a different size cap, which requires both that cap size and a different size bell.  European caps are 29mm, while US are 26mm.  

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6 minutes ago, Jdub said:

It was bugging me so I just went and capped a negra modelo bottle. No leaks and seemed to fit ok. 

 

I hear ya on the devils backbone. I’ll look out for that beer here. I find myself only buying beers that I can reuse the bottle. 

Cool, I for some reason thought Dos Equis and Negra Modelo were produced by the same company, but after Googling they are not. Glad that the Negra Modelo capped okay and I'll have to add them back into my okay to buy list!!

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3 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

The issue is not that they need a different bell size, it's that some non-US beers have a different size cap, which requires both that cap size and a different size bell.  European caps are 29mm, while US are 26mm.  

Ah, thanks for clarifying that Rickbeer! Makes perfect sense though just like tap and dies must match.

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5 minutes ago, Cato said:

Cool, I for some reason thought Dos Equis and Negra Modelo were produced by the same company, but after Googling they are not. Glad that the Negra Modelo capped okay and I'll have to add them back into my okay to buy list!!

I bought a 4 pack of IPA’s at Costco recently partly for the beer but mostly for the cool 22 oz bottles. The labels were plastic and glued on with something impossible to get off. I gave up. Did enjoy the beer though...

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On 4/22/2018 at 8:52 AM, RickBeer said:

 

The issue is not that they need a different bell size, it's that some non-US beers have a different size cap, which requires both that cap size and a different size bell.  European caps are 29mm, while US are 26mm.  

I de-labeled and cleaned about 70 bottles today. I had a couple of paulaner bottles. Tried to cap them and it didn’t work. You’re right about the euro bottles. Bells, odell, lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, real ale (local), and most craft brews’ labels come right off after a soak. Just a few names based on what I’ve been drinking. 

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