How to remove labels from bottles

If you want to display a bottle or reuse it with different contents, you likely want to remove the original label. Whether a beer bottle, wine bottle or any other type of glass bottle, removing bottle labels takes patience. Trying to remove bottle labels in a hurry can actually make the process more difficult. With the right products and methods, you can successfully remove labels from bottles with ease.

Empty out the contents of the bottle. Fill the sink with very warm water and add two to three drops of liquid dish detergent. If you want to preserve the label, do not use hot water or you may discolour the print on the label.

Submerge the bottle in the water. Let it sit for 20 minutes.

Remove the bottle from the water and lay it on a dry towel with the label facing up. Use a razor blade to gently pry up the corner of the label. Begin peeling the label slowly off of the bottle.

Use the razor blade again if the label is stubborn and not peeling off easily. Start at the top of the label and situate the razor blade under the label. Use full, even strokes to scrape the label from the bottle.

Saturate a rag with ammonia if the label is still not coming off. Fold the rag in half and place it right on top of the label. Secure the rag to the bottle with masking tape.

Let the ammonia-soaked rag sit on the label for two hours. Remove the tape and the rag, start in the corner and peel the label from the bottle slowly. Apply the ammonia-soaked rag for another hour if the label is particularly stubborn.


If you are removing the label for the purpose of reusing or displaying the bottle, scrub the bottle with a rag and soapy water after removing the label to remove any adhesive.


Wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using ammonia.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 to 3 drops liquid dish detergent
  • Towel
  • Razor blade
  • Rag
  • Ammonia
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About the Author

Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.