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Scraping Is Scary — So We Try a Few Products to Help Remove Commercial Labels

If you use GrogTag labels you can remove your labels in a snap with our repositionable labels. Thrifty homebrewers collect bottles lots of ways, they save them,  reuse them and they get them from friends. Or perhaps you attempting to relabel a bottle of wine for an event, either way you will need to remove those beer labels before putting your own on. 

Is your bottle stuck with permanent label? Here are some ways to remove commercial labels from beer and wine bottles.

We will be trying out three different methods for removing paper beer and wine labels from their bottles: soaking in One-Step cleaner, soaking them in plain water, and a product called the Label-nator for scraping. 

To conduct our test we needed some bottles with labels. We decided for simplicity sake to only test paper labels. Here is our random assortment of bottles fetched from the recycle bin. We chose one bottle with a metallic label and the rest were just common looking labels of different sizes. All paper. (Yes, we drink a lot of beer.)

Preparing the Soaks: Cleaner vs Water for Removing Labels

We started by soaking the bottles for about 4 hours. We soaked one set in plain tap water and one set in a solution of One-Step. For the One-Step soak solution, we used roughly the recommended dosage for cleaning.

After 4 hours of soaking there was a visible difference between the water soak and the OneStep soak.

After OneStep

After water

Where do you get off? Then we attempted to peel the labels off by hand. 

OneStep definitely helped loosen the labels. It might be helpful to increase the dosage a bit and leave them overnight. It didn't remove all the labels but it was more effective than water alone.

Scraping with a curved blade got the bottles nearly clean.

We then scraped the rest off with the Labelnator, a curved blade with a handle designed specifically for removing bottle labels. It definitely beats a razor blade! (Earlier in the year, I spent some quality time scraping off some commercial wine bottle labels with a razor. I ended up with cuts and big blister. It was so awful that I vowed to just buy more glass bottle next time if my friends didn't return mine.)

Because if your labels will not soak off, you will have to scrape them. If you have a lot of scraping to do, you might want to consider this special blade. It was much more comfortable and easier to hold than a straight razor blade. The curve did seem to pull off more with each pass. It wasn't completely clean when done so you will still want to take the abrasive side of an all-purpose sponge (green and yellow) to the glass to completely clean it.

Get your bottle clean faster for your custom label by doubling up methods

Final advice? If you have a lot of stuck labels I would soak them overnight in a cleaner like OneStep. Then, I would use the Labelnator to scrape them off if they don't float right off. Clean up the last bits of glue with the scrubby side of a sponge. Let them dry and you are ready for some GrogTags!

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