How to Remove Wine Labels

In a few weeks, my brother, Kyle, and my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Madeline, will be coming up from Austin to celebrate their wedding shower.  We’re so excited to see them!  Madeline’s aunts, sisters, my mom, and I are planning the party together, and I’ve been creating some of the decorations the past few weeks.

I thought I would share a sneak preview of one of the decorations I’ve been crafting – wrapped wine bottles with Kyle and Madeline’s initials.  Their wedding reception will be at a wine bar in Austin so I thought it would be fitting. I’m not completely done, as you can see below, but I’ll finish wrapping the other two bottles in thin rope and attaching the letters and heart.  I’m thinking of placing this on the dessert or gift table at the party.

Removing Wine Labels - Final product

To make sure the rope sticks to the bottle, and make sure that the lighter wine labels don’t peak through the rope lines, I had to remove the labels.  I thought it would be helpful to share how I went about doing this.

How to remove wine labels

First, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wine bottles
  • 32 qt bucket
  • 16 tbsp (or 1 cup) baking soda
  • water

Removing Wine Labels - What You Need

I filled the bucket almost to the top, but not too much that it would overflow when the wine bottles were put in.  Next, stir in the baking soda until its mostly dissolved (doesn’t need to be completely dissolved). Then fill the bottles with water so that they won’t float and so you can make sure the labels will stay submerged.  Finally, place the bottles into the bucket and let them soak for at least 30 minutes.

Removing Wine Labels - Soaking the Bottles

I’ve done this before with varying results.  After 30 minutes, I’ve come back and the labels were floating on top of the water. I’ve also had it where the labels were still intact, but slid right off with little resistance. Of course, the time I decided to actually document the process, the labels were a little more stubborn.

Removing Wine Labels - After Soak

Take the bottles out of the water and dump the water inside the bottles out so that you don’t accidentally spill it when removing the labels (if they aren’t off already).

Removing Wine Labels - Peeling the label

The paper from the labels came off pretty easily though the glue still left some marks on the bottle.

Removing Wine Labels - No labels

Since I knew I was going to be covering the bottles with rope anyways, this wasn’t really a problem, but I decided to use a little goo gone once I got the labels off to get a cleaner surface to start from.  As I’ve done this a few times now, it really varies depending on what kind of glue the winery used to adhere the label.  Sometimes it’s a walk in the park, other times (like this time) it takes a little bit more elbow grease – either way it’s a pretty easy and pain-free method of removing wine bottle labels.

I’ve heard of other ways to remove wine labels – from baking them in the oven to soaking it in oxyclean. Do you have a go-to, easy way for removing wine labels? I’d love to hear it!


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