Label Remover

Hubby and I are in the midst of making our first batch of wine.  That being said, we have been saving wine bottles in preparation for bottling for quite some time.  Of course that means we need to remove the old labels.  I’ve had labels that have peeled right off or soaked right off, but not all label adhesive is created equal.  There are stubborn adhesives that simply do not want to end the relationship with their bottle.  Some of them will yield to alcohol.  Others to things like “Goof Off”.  I’ve also learned that a plastic scraper can go a long way.  Regardless of what I use, it’s still a lot of work.  And then there are the bottles I have just given up on.  Nothing seems to work, so into the recycling bin they go.

My big project for 2015 has been decluttering my life.  I have been working to rid my house of at least one item a day.  I have also been trying to clean up my computer files, emails and internet short cuts.  While working on the latter today, somehow I ended up on Pinterest.  Actually that’s not terribly shocking as I frequently find that working on my computer results in what I call “Internet ADD”. Even though it wasn’t necessary (or productive), I may or may not have started browsing for new pins.

I couldn’t pass up this one:

The No Sweat, Chemical-Free Way to Remove Labels and Glue Residue from Your Jars

As luck would have it, there were three empty wine bottles sitting on my counter.  There is no time like the present!  My “Internet ADD” was in full swing.

I jumped up and filled my dishpan with warm soapy water and plunged the bottles right in.  Label #1 came off cleanly — today, and today only, that was a disappointment.  The next two labels weren’t so cooperative, so that meant I could give my new found discovery a try.  Using canola oil, I mixed in the baking soda (equal parts) and got busy slathering the concoction all over the bottles.

It was about this time that my son walked in.

Darling Son: WHAT are you doing?
Me: I’m Pinteresting. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Darling Son: Mom, you are too old for Pinterest.
Me: Oh? (Just imagine the tone and inflection when I said that.)
Darling Son: Yeah, it’s for teenagers and girls in their early 20s. I know you’re only like 27 or so, but that’s still too old.
Me: Nice save.

Yeah, he’s pretty smart and apparently values his life.  I posted this conversation on Facebook and his Darling Sister was ever so quick to fact check him on that, pointing out, with citations of course, that the majority of Pinterest users are above age 35.  (It’s amazing how far the lengths to which they will go in the name of sibling rivalry.)

The conversation continued.

Darling Son:  What is that goop?
Me:  It’s not goop, it’s science.
Darling Son:  It is not.  (This would be a good time to point out he is planning to major in Chemistry.)
Me:  Yes it is.  I’m using Sodium Bicarbonate.
Darling Son:  Oooooh!  You know that?  (I know it’s shocking and incredible, but yes, yes I do!)

Anyway, back to the bottles.

I let them sit about 30-40 minutes while I did other things.  I came back to them and put them in the soapy water.  Using the scrubber side of my dishcloth, I gave the first bottle a quick scrub.  Adhesive still remained.  I used the plastic scraper.  Some of the adhesive came off but a layer still remained.  That was disappointing.

I moved on to the second bottle.  Again, using the scrubber side of the dishcloth, I gave it a quick scrubbing.  The adhesive was coming off.  I went back over the places where there was still some adhesive and it came right off.  This stuff DOES work!

I went back to the first bottle.  Normally, this would have been the type of adhesive that would assigned the bottle to recycling.  I still had some of the oil and baking soda mixture left so I decided to give the bottle another treatment.

After another 30-40 minutes, I came back and found that the remaining adhesive came off relatively easily!

I’m pretty amazed at how easy and effective it was, even with having to do a second application.  I will definitely be using this as my go to method for removing labels from now on!  A big shout out to The Creek Line House!

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