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How to remove lettering from glass bottles

Updated February 21, 2017

Glass bottles can be marked with a company's name and information, using a label, raised lettering or painted-on letters. You may want these markings removed from wine and beer bottles, so you can reuse the bottles for your own homemade beer and wine. Removing labels is easy if you soak the bottle in warm water. Raised lettering cannot be removed without melting down the glass and ruining the shape of the bottle. Painted-on letters can be removed with a little patience and the proper chemicals.

Fill a bucket with warm water. If the lettering on the bottle is 3 inches high, fill the bucket with 3 inches of warm water, and so forth. Add 2 tsp of acid blend to the water. Acid blend contains a blend of citric, malic, and tartaric acid.

Place the bottom of the bottle into the water and stand the bottle straight up. Do not submerge the water, as you don't want the water to enter the bottle. Soak the bottle for at least an hour. Check to see if the paint is being removed from the bottle.

Wipe the bottle with a cloth or rag, and if the paint has been removed, dry the outside of the bottle with a towel. If the paint has not been removed, continue soaking and checking the bottle hourly until the paint is removed.

Wet a rag with a medium-strength solvent.

Place the rag over the painted lettering on the bottle. Allow the solvent to soak onto the lettering through the rag for 30 minutes.

Remove the rag. Wipe away any remaining paint with the rag.

Wet a clean rag with warm water. Wipe down the bottle to remove any remaining solvent.

Warning

When working with acids and solvents, protect your hands with gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Acid blend
  • Medium-strength solvent
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About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.