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PaulO

Removing Painted Labels From Bottles?

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PaulO

I know some of us decant 1.75L bottles into smaller bottles, or use empties for vatting blends. My question has to do with removing labels. Has anyone successfully removed a painted on label? I'm thinking for example the writing on a Sazerac Rye bottle or Buffalo Trace bottle?

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Richnimrod
I know some of us decant 1.75L bottles into smaller bottles, or use empties for vatting blends. My question has to do with removing labels. Has anyone successfully removed a painted on label? I'm thinking for example the writing on a Sazerac Rye bottle or Buffalo Trace bottle?

Never tried. I just make a paper label and paste or tape it over the existing.... but, if aesthetics are that important in your case, you might try a strong commercial paint & varnish remover. A little goes a long way. It shouldn't harm glass in the least. Be sure to do it outdoors over some newspaper, or such; it can be messy; also rubber gloves are a must, and maybe some steel wool. Good luck!

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dcbt

Never tried either. I specifically only use paper label bottles that I can easily scrape off after soaking in water.

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Infidel

Kleen-strip from home-depot removes everything I've run across. I usually get the spray but there is a gel which thickens into an unusable chunk. Spray cans rust until they are too scary to store or use .

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Joe K.

I had pretty good luck with a solution of water and CLR.

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dSculptor

Just get it wet, and use a razor blade it'll take it off.

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PaulO

Ok, I worked on this and here's what I found. Soaking in hot water got the glued on labels off Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare bottles. I was surprised that the eagle that looks painted or etched on the ER bottle also came off very easily. It appears to be a decal. The words on the BT bottle came off easily with a razor. The writing on the Sazerac bottle was something else. Razor or nail polish remover didn't work. I tried fine sandpaper and ended up frosting the surface, so it got recycled. The good news is I have some clean 375ml ER bottles now to decant into.

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Darwin

There is a thread on this somewhere,(here I think). It seems some of the decorations are baked on ceramic "ink" and are very resistant to normal methods.

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PaulO

Yes, I think that is exactly what I discovered with the Saz bottle. I forgot what it's called. It's like a ceramic glaze with powdered glass in it. It melts and reforms after being fired. Then it's like part of the bottle.

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fishnbowljoe

I had to give this thread a bump. I've been experimenting lately with cutting down bourbon bottles. The bottles need to have the labels removed and be clean before using a bottle cutter. The best way I've found to remove  etched and decal type labels is with a little Goo Gone (Un Do will probably work too) and a razor blade scraper. 

 

Directions: Clean the bottle and remove any paper labels. Dry the bottle, then apply a small amount of Goo Gone along one edge of the label. Work the blade slowly back and forth scraping along the edge. Move your blade  farther into the label a little at a time. Work one side of the label for a while, then move on to the other side. Keep going back and forth on each side till you're done. Give it another quick going over once you're done just for good measure, then clean your bottle using soapy water. A bit of advice here, do this over some old newspaper or cardboard, and  have a roll of paper towels handy. This can get just a wee bit messy. Some labels just won't come off very easy. You may have to keep scraping and scraping a little at a time. What comes off at first can be a bit flakey, but if you have to use more Goo Gone, you get gooey, sticky globs.

 

FWIW, Paper labels peel back pretty easy when you use Goo Gone. If you use the water soaking method and have trouble getting paper labels off, just use Goo Gone.

 

Biba! Joe

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