How To Remove Wine Bottle Labels With Ease

There are a number of reasons why you might want to remove the labels from a wine bottle. Many people like to collect them in a folder or display unique labels proudly about their homes.

Others simply like to keep track of all the interesting bottles of wine they have drunk throughout their life or as a reminder of a special occasion. 

How to remove wine bottle labels with ease

Some people find the bottles more intriguing than the labels. They are commonly repurposed as home decor, in the form of vases or candle holders.

If you wish to keep the wine bottle label then you will need to remove it all in one go without causing damage. If you do not care about the label, you can be a little more aggressive with the removal message.

This article includes ways to remove the wine bottle label without damaging it,  and some faster methods if you don’t care about the label.

Once you have used any of the methods to soften and loosen the adhesive backing, you will need to carefully use the blade of a utility knife to remove the label.

Do this by slipping the blade under one corner and gradually edging it across the length and width of the label to lift it from the bottle. Take great care when doing this so that you do not injure yourself. 

Boiling Water

This is a really easy way to remove the label from a wine bottle without damaging it. Fill your kettle with around 3 cups (700 ml) of water and bring it to a rolling boil.

This is the perfect amount of water for one wine bottle, so if you need to do more then increase the volume accordingly. 

Place your wine bottle in a sink and hold it steady with an oven mitt-covered hand. Carefully pour the boiling water into the neck of the bottle and fill it up. If you struggle to do this, we advise using a funnel. Take care not to splash hot water over your exposed skin. 

Leave the water to sit in the bottle for about 10 minutes. The heat from the water should soften and melt the adhesive backing. Pour out the water carefully, and wipe up any drips to prevent them from running into the label. 

Baking

For this method, you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 180 degrees Celsius). Place your empty, uncorked bottle inside of the oven in a place where it will stay still.

If you find this difficult, we recommend placing the wine bottle in a glass casserole dish.

Ensure the label that you wish to keep is facing upwards and does not touch the oven shelf. Leave the bottle here for 10 minutes to allow the adhesive to soften. Remove the bottle from the oven and place it on a cooling rack as you slip off the label. 

Steaming

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a rolling boil on the stove. This is likely to take between 15 and 20 minutes. If you have a steamer pot, fill the base with water and use the top pot to hold the wine bottle. 

Hold the neck of your wine bottle with an oven-mitt-covered hand. Hold the label directly over the steaming pot for a minimum of 30 minutes. Take great care not to allow the label to touch any water.

You should rotate the bottle every few minutes to allow the steam to hit the front and back of the label. 

Chill And Steam 

Place the empty wine bottle in your freezer for 25 minutes, with the label facing upwards to prevent damage from being incurred. After this, remove it from the freezer and immediately hold it over a pot of boiling water. 

The contrast of the cool temperatures and the hot steam should force the wine bottle labels to sweat off so that they can be removed easily. 

Soaking 

Fill a large pot with water, until the level exceeds the height of the wine bottle label. Bring it to a boil and then submerge your empty wine bottle. It should be stood up rather than lying down. If required, add in a little more water to maintain the levels.

You can purchase chlorinated soaps from wine shops that can be added to the pot of water. This can help to dissolve the adhesive without damaging the label, but you should take care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. 

Allow the bottle to sit in the boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes before removing. Dry it very carefully and gently with a towel before lifting off the label. 

Hairdryer

Set your hairdryer to the highest heat setting and turn it on. Direct the hot air across all areas of the wine bottle label for at least 5 minutes. The hot air should weaken the adhesive. 

Baking Soda And Water

You will need a large bucket to use this method. Combine 32 cups of water with 16 tablespoons of baking soda in the bucket, and mix well to combine. Place the wine bottle inside the bucket and leave it to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes. 

After this time has passed, check the bucket again. You will likely see the label floating on the surface of the liquid, and your work is done. If not, gently peel off the label with no problems. 

Ammonia 

You will also need a bucket to use this method. Fill it with water and mix through ¼ cup of ammonia. Fill your wine bottle with water and seal the opening at the top.

Submerge this bottle in the bucket of ammonia for at least 30 minutes. Take care to cover the bucket while it sits there, as the ammonia fumes are not good for your health. 

Lift the bottle out of the bucket while wearing rubber gloves to protect your skin. Ammonia is a very strong chemical and can dissolve the label so take care when using this method. Rinse the bottle well under cool running water when you are done. 

Wine Label Removal Sheets

These are specially designed products that are intended to make the removal of wine bottle labels a breeze. They help the label to come off the bottle quickly, easily, and without causing any damage. 

The sheets are similar to a very wide strip of Scotch tape and can be used to laminate the label for display and storage once it has been removed from the bottle. 

To use these sheets you will first need to remove the non-adhesive protective backing. Press the adhesive side of the tape against the wine bottle label, ensuring that it is completely covered. 

Press firmly on the tape to ensure the label is properly affixed, and smooth the surface to eradicate any bubbles. Gently peel back the adhesive and watch in amazement as the label cleanly comes off with it. 

OxiClean

OxiClean, the stain remover powder, is highly effective when it comes to removing labels from wine bottles. Fill a bucket with a gallon of warm water and ¼ cup of OxiClean. 

Place the wine bottle in the bucket and submerge the label completely. Allow it to sit here and soak for at least 30 minutes. 

Carefully dry the exterior of the wine bottle and rinse under cool water to remove any residue from the label. 

Hot Water And Soap 

The final method is another soak. Fill the bucket with hot water and some mild dish soap or another detergent. Place the wine bottle into the bucket and allow it to soak here for between 20 and 30 minutes. 

Carefully dry the exterior of the wine bottle and rinse under cool water to remove any residue from the label. 

Emma Miller
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