Thursday, June 16, 2016

Removing Labels and Glue from Bottles

Who hasn't see the perfect project with the spotlessly clean recycled bottle decorated with paint, beads, strings or so on and wanted to reproduce it.  Who else has tried to get the labels off and then finally said "forget it",  just paint over it or bought new bottles?   Yeah, me too...
Well No More, here is an easy solution for using recycled bottles with out left of bits of glue or labels.
I know there are millions of "how to" clean bottles out there but the list of ingredients to get the labels and glue off is quite extensive in most of them...."simple house hold ingredients" they say and then squeeze in that you need a scouring pad and that it will take lots of soaking and scrubbing or list some weird item that is not so common that you would have it on hand unless you doing a "How To" on bottle cleaning.....Sounds "simple" doesn't it?  Yeah, I didn't think so

I found my simple recipe with the need for clean bottles to make Hummingbird Feeders in our 4-H club. I scanned Pinterst (its my "GoTo") and found what seemed simple and easy and required only "everyday household items".  I was all set to clean the bottles only to not have one of those said "every day" ingredients, go figure....What did I do? I threw the recipe out the and just winged it because I needed those bottles very soon and wouldn't be purchasing an item for a once and only use.
Guess what that simple"winged" recipe of almost NO ingredients worked quite well so now that is my "GoTo" method for bottle and jar label remover.

When the kids are on vacation,craft projects are an almost daily thing here so I try to stay ahead of things like already clean bottles and with this easy method I set to work doing more. That is when a family member stopped by and noticed how I was doing it they said you should tell people how easy this way is so everyone knows.....

Well, Here you go - an easy way to remove glued on sticky labels and goo from bottles and Jars:

Ingredients Needed:
Dirty Bottle or Jar
Hot Water ~Our water is very hot so if you have yours at a lower temp you may want boiling water
Dish Soap ~I use Dawn but use what you have
Scouring Pad ~The steel wool kind (mine is from the dollar store)

Step 1:  Remove all plastic or metal parts that will come off.  I used Kitchen Shears and just cut the metal wrap off of the neck.

Step 2:  Clean the bottle thoroughly inside and out.  I used Dawn dish soap to clean mine.  To get deep inside the bottle a long stiff paint brush works well, I'm sure a bottle brush would work I just didn't have one at the time.  Allow bottle to soak in Hot Water as you move to the next bottle for cleaning.  By the time you have cleaned all the bottles the labels on the first bottles are ready to come off.  Most of the paper labels just rub off easily when they are wet.
I clean bottles 4-6 at a time so if you are only doing one you may want to soak it for a minute or 2 for the label to absorb the water and loosen easier.
I removed this label by simply rubbing it with my hand
Step 3:  Which in most cases is not necessary but sometimes the labels are not so "Easy, Peasy" or they are plastic which doesn't allow them to dissolve in the water, for those I use a small paring knife. It works well for scraping the stubborn paper and even better for getting under and peeling the plastic sticker.

Step 4:  This is the same part in every "How To" I have ever seen on cleaning off labels, Use of Elbow Grease and a rinse.
Take your scouring pad and simply scrub the label and any remaining glue off.  The Labels pretty much come off with ease.  Some scrubbing may be required but in most of my attempts it was easy.
The hotter your water the better for this step as it helps soften any glue.  If you have let the water cool then you should add more hot water. Keep in mind you will be touching the hot water and now hot glass so use caution as to how hot to get it. I added more hot water to mine but I was also taking pictures and talking to company though this tutorial.

Step 5: Wait there is no step 5, You are Done!
Yes You can skip the lemon juice, vinegar, Epsom Salt, baking soda or any other ingredients in in all those recipes and simply move on to enjoy making your project.

Really, there are no other ingredients needed just scouring pad and some soap.  And it works great, not to mention all the time you save skipping all the other steps like mixing paste to let set, soaking waiting and soaking again.

I know your saying what about a jar they are different, well using the same method here is my now sparkling clean relish jar.

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