Taking labels off wine bottles 101

After my year here, I’ve accumulated several wine bottles that I wish I could bring back with me. But I cannot imagine my dad’s face when he finds out that instead of shipping things I need back home, I decide to ship empty wine bottles. So I’ve decided that I would keep the labels.

Taking the labels off wine bottles is actually a pain in the ass…I’ve already done several runs and still somehow manage to screw up.

There are two methods to taking off wine labels – the heat method and the soak method. To decide which method to use, all you have to do is use a razor/knife and try to scrap off the tips of a wine label. if the knife/razor sticks to the label, then you have to use the heat method. If the razor/knife can move away from the label easier, then it’s probably the soak method.

With the heat method, you need a steamer…which I unfortunately do not have, so I have to resort to the soak method either way. However, I’ve found a pretty good way for those wine labels that may be harder to come off. I soak them in cold water overnight (make sure water has seeped through the label), then the next day I rinse it with hot water while simultaneously trying to peel it off. This takes a while and can probably give you a sore back after standing over the sink for a while. I’ve also definitely burned myself several times attempting to do this…




I bet there are several other ways to do this that make your life much easier, but this is just what I have found to work with my experiments. I’ll be sure to drink more so I can have more labels to take back now 🙂


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