Dec 27 2012

How to Remove Labels from Beer Bottles

Let me be honest here: no matter how good of a homebrewer you are, if you hand me a bottle of your beer and it still has the original, commercial label on it, I am not going to be excited to try it. If you were too lazy to bother to get the label off, I have no idea what kind of sanitation is happening on the inside of the bottle.

Once upon a time the hardest part of bottling was getting the labels off the bottles, but years ago I came across a trick and product that made my life easy: OxiClean

Bottle De-Labeling - OxiClean No, I have not been compensated by Church & Dwight for this post in any way. I know. I’m disappointed, too. 

You can spend hours scrubbing your bottles and trying to make them beautiful with brute force, or you can let them soak in hot water and OxiClean.

Bottle De-Labeling: Sunken Bottles

Marvel at my amazing photography for a moment here…..

Bottle De- Labeling: Floating Labels

About an hour later you will see the labels slowly begin to float off the bottles.

There’s no scrubbing and no peeling with most of these bottles, although I do keep steel wool handy in case a few minor patches of glue remain on the glass. The key is to make sure that the bottles remain submerged during the steeping times, which is an added bonus in that the OxiClean will clean the inside of your bottles, as well.

OxiClean is cheap and safe to use, and I usually do my de-labeling in my standard-sized kitchen sink where I can clean about 12 bottles at a time, but you can do it in larger or smaller batches. I prefer the dye, perfume and chlorine free version of OxiClean for obvious reasons, and you will still need to sanitize the bottles before putting beer in them.

No, this is not rocket science, but I’m always surprised by how many homebrewers don’t know about this little trick.

Make your life easier and, at the same time, don’t give the people you are sharing your homebrew with a terrible first impression.