How to Remove Labels from Beer Bottles

Every once and a while, as a reluctant as we are, home brewers sometimes buy beer. Shocking isn’t it?  It’s not a big deal; we usually reuse those bottles for our own brew.  But there’s a problem with this.

One of the biggest pains for a home brewer is removing labels from old bottles.  

In fact, it just plain sucks. Scrubbing with steal wool. Shaving it off with a razor blade. Nothing seems to work.

Until now.  (cue the dramatic music)

The easiest and most effective way to remove labels from beer bottles is..


Removing labels is easy with OxiClean. DO try this at home!

Seriously! Just submerge your bottles in the sink, pour in a bit of dish soap, and sprinkle a small amount of OxiClean powder over the labels.  A couple hours would probably do, but I usually let them soak over night.  In the morning, you can just pull the labels off and easily remove the left over glue by wiping with an old scrubby.

There, I’ve saved you hours! Maybe even days!  (Numbers are over the course of your lifetime. Results may vary.)


Meg says:

First time brewer here and I came across this looking for a way to remove labels and it works beautifully! Thanks so much!

Cristin Hildenbrand says:

Hello Dirk, thanks for the tips on removing labels. I’m gonna give it a try tonight.
I live in milwaukee too and just thought it was funny that my web search brought me back home!
I was browsing through your blog and noticed that you know Wolfgang Schaefer, who happens to work at Alterra with my husband! Small world:)
Have a great day! -Cristin H

* Dirk Watkins says:

I’m always surprised by how many people brew at home in Milwaukee. I hope the trick works for you. The labels on Lakefront bottles usually come off the easiest for me, and the beer tastes great too. I’m sure you’ve been on that tour a few times like me.

As for Wolfgang, I think my band ( played with him at the Art Bar a long time ago. Say hi through the grapevine for me. :)

Julian Tavora says:

Nice one, thanks. Now I just need to find out what the equivalent of Oxiclean is in the UK

* Dirk Watkins says:

Julian –

According to Wikipedia, the active ingredient in OxiClean is sodium percarbonate, an adduct of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide.

I’d look for something with one of those chemicals in it. I’m sure you have something over there, otherwise I’m sure ships over the pond. :)

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