How To Remove Wine Labels

There are many reasons why you may want to remove wine labels. It has become a hobby of many wine connoisseurs to collect the labels of special bottles. It is a lovely way to remember a truly decadent bottle or to commemorate a special occasion. 

How to remove wine labels with hot water

If you want to keep the labels from your wine bottle then you will need to gently heat the adhesive to loosen the label. 

Boil approximately 3 cups of water on the stove. This will be enough water to fill up one empty wine bottle. It will be hard to pour water into your bottle so we advise using a funnel to prevent you from burning your hands. 

Stand the empty bottle in the sink and hold it with a hand covered in an oven glove. Gently pour the water into the bottle, taking care not to splash your skin or the label as you do so. Fill it up to above the level of the top of the label. 

Allow the wine bottle to stand in the sink for 5 to 10 minutes. This will give the heat time to melt the adhesive and loosen the label. Once this time has passed, use your gloved hand to empty the water out of the bottle. Take care not to allow any water to drip onto the label. 

Grab a craft knife and use the tip of the blade to gently prise off the label. Start from the corner and work your way gently around the edges. Once a decent amount of the label has been detached then gently pull on the exposed edge to remove the label completely. 

Take care as you hold the bottle to do this as it may still be quite hot.

How to remove wine labels in the oven

You should preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit once you have checked that it is empty. It is a good idea to place your bottle in the oven before you turn it on.

This allows you to check your bottle can stay still without assistance. If it does not stay still, place it in a casserole dish to keep it stationary. 

Place your bottle on the center rack of the oven, with the label you wish to keep facing upwards. Leave it to warm in the oven for 10 minutes to allow the adhesive backing to melt. Wearing oven gloves, transfer the bottle to a cooling rack. 

Grab a craft knife and peel off the labels from the corners, in the same manner as the method above. Use steady and constant pressure to avoid ripping through the label.

If it is not coming off easily, we do not recommend persevering. Leave the bottle to cool down and try another method. 

How to remove wine labels with steam

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil on your stove, this will likely take around 20 minutes. Hold the neck of the wine bottle in a hand protected with an oven glove. 

Hold the bottle so that the label is in the steam, but do not allow it to touch the surface of the water. Rotate the bottle regularly so that the steam warms up both sides of the bottle evenly. Try to keep the water at a consistent temperature so that the steam does not dissipate. 

Once the adhesive has melted, use the same craft knife method again. If the label does not move, hold the bottle over the steam for a further 10 to 15 minutes. 

How to remove wine labels in hot water 

Fill a large pot about ⅔ of the way up with water. Check that this is high enough to completely submerge the wine bottle label. If you wish, you can purchase some chlorinated soap from a specialist wine store. This is designed to dissolve the adhesive without damaging the label. 

Bring the water to a boil and then submerge the empty bottle. Ensure that the bottle does not have a lid or cork to prevent the pressure from building. Allow it to soak in here for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the bottle from the pan and carefully pat the outside dry with a kitchen towel. Do not rub or scrub it as this can tear the label. Take care not to damage the label, and wear oven gloves to protect your hands. 

As with all of the methods, use a craft knife to gently scrape off the label. 

What do I do with the label?

If you are planning on keeping it, we advise you to place it onto a sheet of paper to dry flat. The adhesive will still be melted and this will make it stick well to whatever you mount it on. 

If you wish to do something else with it, you can place the label face down on a sheet of parchment paper. Lay this on a flat surface and allow it to dry overnight. Once it is dry, you can weigh it down with a heavy book to flatten it out. 

How to remove the sticky residue

If you wish to use the empty wine bottle as a candle holder or vase, you will need to remove all of the sticky residues from the exterior of the bottle. There are some commercial products, such as Goo Gone that are designed to be used for this purpose.

Alternatively, you can use vodka. Grab a paper towel and douse it in vodka, before using it to scrub the residue on the glass. If the stickiness is particularly stubborn, we suggest leaving a vodka-soaked kitchen towel on the area for a few minutes. 

Another option is to use WD-40. Spray it onto the residue and allow it to sit for a few minutes before you rinse it off. Peanut butter is another highly effective substance that you are likely to have lying about your home. Any kind of liquid oil will also work.

Christina Day
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