{five minute friday} The Fastest, Easiest Way to Remove Wine Bottle Labels Without Tearing or Damaging

Friday, May 29, 2015

Do you ever get on a kick where you find yourself pinning a whole bunch of ideas for one type of project? I recently started pinning ideas for craft and DIY projects to upcycle wine bottles. One thing that every one of these projects has in common is that you have to remove the label before you can get started.

Fortunately I have a super fast and easy method to remove labels from wine bottles {or any glass jar for that matter} that is totally mess free and leaves the labels perfectly in tact in case you want to use them for another project!

how to remove labels from wine bottles

Last year I did a super simple wine bottle upcycle by painting some bottles to create metallic vases that I added to my fall decor.

metallic wine bottle vases

My vases were quick and easy, but if you are feeling more ambitious, there are some seriously cool projects that you can make with wine bottles! On my Wine Bottle DIYs with Style board on Pinterest you'll find ideas for upcycling wine bottles in to chandeliers, outdoor lanterns, book shelves, divider walls, wedding guest books, and even jewelry displays!

But before you can tackle any of these projects, big or small, you first need to remove the labels from the bottles, so I'm going to show you how easy it is!

How to remove labels from wine bottles or glass jars


Begin by boiling water in the microwave or on the stove, then pour the water into the bottles to just above the level of the labels. I boiled my water in a microwave safe measuring cup with a pour spout, but if you are using a pot or bowl without a pour spout, I would recommend using a funnel to fill the bottles so that you don't spill any water on the labels. I also recommend sitting the bottles in the sink while you fill them to prevent any mess from accidental spillage.

How to remove labels from wine bottles

After filling the bottles with boiling water, wait just a couple of minutes for the heat of the water to loosen the glue that holds the labels in place. Then {with the bottles still full of water} slowly peel the labels off. I removed the labels from three bottles and all six labels {the front and back of each bottle} - came of with absolutely no tearing!

How to remove labels from wine bottles without tearing

I had no use for these labels, so I just recycled the paper - but this method would also be perfect for any project where you are wanting to save the label!

How to remove labels from wine bottles without tearing


After removing all the labels, use your favorite adhesive removal product to clean off the glue residue. I wish I could tell you to run out and buy a bottle of Thoro, because it is truly the best product I have ever used for removing anything sticky {even gum from hair!}, but sadly Thoro is no longer made. I have two bottles in one of the drawers under my sink and I treat them like liquid gold! It will be a sad, sad day when I eventually run out. All that said, Goo Gone or your adhesive remover of choice should do the trick.

Remove labels from wine bottles


It's as easy as that! With the labels and adhesive removed, quickly wash the outside of the bottles with a little dish soap and they'll be ready for any craft or DIY project you have in mind!

How to remove labels from wine bottles

QUICK TIP: Collecting Enough Wine Bottles for Your Project

We typicall only open a bottle of wine when we have company over {despite what the wine rack console table in our kitchen might suggest}, so I don't have empty bottles in our recycling bin very often. If you have a wine bottle project in mind, but don't have enough empty bottles on hand, just call a local restaurant! 

When making my metallic wine bottle vases I simply stopped in to a restaurant near our house and they were happy to give me a few bottles out of their recycle bin. I liked that these bottles are not all the same shape of height - giving more of a collected look, but if you need all the bottles to be the same size and shape, you might need to visit the same restaurant several weekends in a row to collect enough matching bottles from the same brand.

PROJECT INSPIRATION: If you need some project inspiration, be sure to follow my Wine Bottle DIYs with Style board on Pinterest.

DIY and Craft Projects to Upcycle Wine Bottles

With the weather finally warming up, I might just have to try making some wine bottle candle lanterns for our backyard. 

Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. I wish I would have known that method when I was a somelier!!!

  2. http://caselaw.findlaw.com/co-supreme-court/1045970.html

    1. Well, that explains why Thoro is out of business. Bad business practices!

  3. Olive oil works great to remove the residue. Just rub it on to loosen the residue and then wash with soap and water.

  4. Won't boiling water in these bottles instantly break them or are they tempered?

    1. If you had a container with very thin glass, or if the glass were really cold, I imagine it might break. But pouring boiling water into a wine bottle or any other glass food hat I've tried doesn't break the glass.

  5. Why it doesnt work for me? I cant remove the labels without broken it...

    1. I have not had problems with any glass breaking when I've used this method with wine bottles and condiment jars, but I imagine that very thin glass could break, or if the glass were very cold immediately before you poured the water in, that could likely cause the glass to break as well.


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