March 7, 2018

A Lazy Way To Remove Bottle and Jar Labels

There are so many creative and decorative ways to upcycle
bottles and jars. In most ways the bottles and jars would be
used, the labels need to be removed. Here is a lazy way to
remove labels from bottles and jars and how I used  
upcycled bottles in decorating for St. Patrick's Day.

Here's the bottles I have been saving to use for either party
or home decor one day. To be really lazy like me you can 
leave them outside and let them the weather work on the labels. 

If your bottle's labels are still intact, first run the tines 
of a regular fork over the label to scratch it up. 

Then put the bottle in water to soak. 
Let the water do the work for you of loosening the
loosening the label and glue. To keep the bottle submerged
in the water, make sure the bottle is full of water. 

After about an hour of the water working on the label, not you,
take the bottle out of the water. Use the non-serrated side of
a regular knife to scrape off any of the label that will come 
off easily. If there is still label stuck on the bottle, let it soak
longer. It is a lot less effort on your part to not keep scraping
on parts of the label that are not ready to come off. 

A part of the label that will not come with just soaking is
a metallic label on the neck of the bottle. Usually
you can just cut these off with scissors. If it is a thicker
metal, you might need to use wire cutters. 

If a label is clear and/or plastic, it may pull off in one
piece. Try to pry up a corner and pull it off slowly.

If some of the label is left even after a second soaking and 
scrape, put a little dish soap on the label, foam it up and 
let it sit while the surfactants in the dish soap have time 
to loosen the glue that is holding the label on. Scrape again.

By now, the paper part of the label should be gone.

Hopefully the glue residue is gone also. If there is still some
patterns of glue left, here are two things to apply to the bottle
and, again, let them stay in place and work while you don't.

You can try soaking a paper towel in vinegar and let that sit
on the stubborn glue for a while.

Or you can make a paste out of baking soda and olive oil then
 pat it on the bottle to soften up the glue. 

Another thing to try to get remaining glue off that is not a 
sit and soak method (so it does take a little effort) is 
rubbing the the bottle with steel wool. 

I'm going to use some of my now naked bottles to decorate
for St. Patrick's Day! It's crazy that I am putting labels back 
on the bottles I just got labels off of. 

These labels are just online printables of vintage St. Patrick's 
Day postcards. I applied them to the bottles with a water-based
craft glue so they will be easy to take off after March 17.

Here they are finished and being used a vases to hold
Spring branches from my back yard. 

The hutch behind the dining room table also holds some
upcycled bottles.

After the labels were taken off of these green bottles I did my 
best to try to make them look like vintage seltzer dispensers. 
More of the reproduction post cards where used in the hutch.
If you want to see how the tops of these bottles were made you
can click here to go to the blog post. If you would like to see how
I used the post cards last year in decorating click here. 

More St. Patrick's Day decor in the dining room...

I made this faux stained glass window with supplies from the
craft store a few years ago. I love using it every Spring.  

My boy statue gets all of the artificial shamrocks this year.

I hope my lazy label removal tips will help you when you
want to use give bottles and jars a new and useful life!


  1. Hi, I came over from Elizabeth's blog...You certainly chose a catchy name for your blog. Thanks for all the ways of getting labels off bottles. I have a bottle tree outside and collect pretty bottles and I am looking forward to some of the ways you've suggested. I have mainly just soaked them in water but sometimes it takes more effort than that. I look forward to visiting you again...

  2. Hie Gayle, love all your bottles. What works for me is to use scalding hot water (from the tap) and Dawn dishsoap. I let them soak about 30 minutes (or until the water has cooled down so I can pick the bottles out without burning my hand. You need to get the bottles out before the water completely cools. Hope this helps.

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