I have a degree in ancient history and a passion for reading, cooking, DIY projects, tea, science fiction, and a myriad of other subjects.
How to Get Labels Off Wine Bottles
Removing wine labels is not a terribly difficult task. Many home winemakers soak and scrub them off to reuse the bottles. But sometimes, you get a particularly fun or beautiful label, and you think it might be nice to cut out part of the design for your scrapbook, use it for a collage you're working on, or even frame it. You're in luck! The oven method of removal is free, and it works quite well on most newer wine labels.
WARNING: This method is not intended for antique or valuable labels. For old bottles and expensive/valuable vintages, use a professional wine label remover to ensure completely damage-free and perfect preservation.
Step 1: Prepare Your Label for Removal
- Enjoy your favorite wines as you normally would.
- Hang onto the bottles with attractive or funny labels that you'd like to save.
- Choose a test bottle for your first attempt. I used one that had a pretty label but that I wouldn't be torn up about (as it were) if I screwed up the process.
- It probably goes without saying, but don't attempt this process on a full or unopened bottle.
Step 2: Heat Your Wine Bottle
- Preheat your oven to between 100°F and 200°F. My oven only starts as low as 200°F, so I used the "Warm" setting. If your oven's temperature is slightly off, start with 100°F and increase the temperature by increments if the label does not come off smoothly.
- Set your wine bottle or bottles on the oven rack and bake them for about 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the bottles carefully using an oven mitt. Despite the low oven temperature, the bottles will be hot to the touch.
- Use a sharp kitchen knife to lift the edges of the label.
- Once you have peeled up the corners, the label itself should be cool enough to touch with your bare hand. Just be careful not to bump the glass with your skin, ouch!
- Carefully peel the label off. It should detach from the bottle easily and cleanly. You now have a lovely intact wine label for art projects!
- The removed label will be very sticky. Place it on a sheet of wax paper for easy reuse later.
My Wine Label Cards
A Few Final Suggestions
- Your labels may be curled from the peeling process. Once you've placed them on the wax paper, try pressing them between the pages of a large, heavy book for a week to get them to lay flat before use.
- The wine bottles should be fairly clean and free of residue once the labels are removed. Consider using them for crafting projects as well or saving them for a winemaking friend or relative.
- This process also works well with beer bottles. Think of the awesome man cave decorations you can create!
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on March 12, 2016:
LOL. I have a friend who collected wine bottles. She always took the labels off. I never thought about saving the labels. Now that I think about it some of them are very pretty. (O.o) :) You have excellent HUBs.
Treathyl FOX from Austin, Texas on March 12, 2016:
LOL. I have a friend who collected wine bottles. She always took the labels. I never thought about saving the labels. Now that I think about it some of them are very pretty. (O.o) :) You have excellent HUBs.
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 27, 2015:
Christy, this was a clever idea to remove wine labels for your art journals. Voted up for useful!
Judy Crowell on May 31, 2015:
I've been a complete failure at soaking. Can't wait to try this!
Ken Kline from Chicago, Illinois on March 24, 2015:
Very useful information. Upcycling, retaining for history - great tip!
amazmerizing from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA on January 07, 2015:
Sounds like it might work... I smell a new experiment coming on!!! TFS
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on September 16, 2014:
It shouldn't cause any problems if you only remove one of the labels. :)
cindi on September 16, 2014:
I just want one sde of label, and keep the other on. Recommend??
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on February 15, 2014:
Uh-oh, what brands of wine have you tried it on, NDW? I've never had any trouble, though if the oven is too hot it can damage the labels...
NDWineKitchen on February 14, 2014:
I have tried this 4 times now. Brand new bottles... Not having any luck :(
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on January 02, 2014:
Hi Jena, were you trying this process on a beer bottle or old wine bottle? Most beer bottles and wine bottles that are 10-15 years old or older use a different type of adhesive that will not come off with this process. You'll want to use a purchased label remover for those.
Jena on December 31, 2013:
Tried. Did not work.
Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on October 21, 2013:
Great Idea! Voted up and useful! I like to keep beer labels- usually to use as a decoration for my bar area! usually quite difficult to get off in one piece, so I will try this in future! Thanks!
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 21, 2013:
Some food labels are beautiful, too. And sometimes I just want to get the labels off easily to use the jars or bottles. Never knew about the heat & peel method. Thanks for sharing!
moonlake from America on October 21, 2013:
Once you get the label off put the wine bottle on a bottle tree. Good information I always have problems getting the labels off for my bottle tree. Even soaking sometimes won't work. Voted up.
Lena Campbell from Maryland on October 21, 2013:
I liked this idea, I'm a artsy crafty kind of girl but I never thought of this idea, very original and fun. :-)
Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on May 16, 2013:
Christy, thanks for this hub. I've been a collector of wine bottles for years, so I find this really interesting as to what you can do with the labels. And, it never would have occurred to me to heat up the bottle to help get the label off. Thanks.
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on April 03, 2013:
That's a good point, paiva25, though wine bottles use a different type of adhesive than most beer bottles (though older bottles of wine do use the same type, so if you're drinking aged wine, soaking or a label remover is best). This method is much easier and less damaging to the labels of newer wines, in my opinion.
Paiva from Goa, india on April 03, 2013:
Never thought about trying to heat a bottle up..will give it a try..
A simplier way that I have tried with beer bottles (a friend of mine gifted me some Portuguese beer) is to just leave the bottle to soak in water for a while and the label just peels of easily...
Or even condensation caused by taking a chilled bottle outta the fridge works..
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on February 17, 2013:
Thanks, Vinaya Ghimire!
And thank you, MarleneB. I hope your crafts and your wine turn out great! It will be awesome if you can reuse every part of the wine bottles. Turing "junk" into something useful or pretty is such an awesome feeling! :)
Marlene Bertrand from USA on February 16, 2013:
I had not realized it was so easy to remove the wine labels. I like the idea of using them for greeting cards. Clever idea! I just wanted to know how to remove the label for my home wine-making efforts. But, you just gave me the idea of using the label for something else. Thanks! Great instructions and accompanying photos.
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 15, 2013:
I have always wanted to do this. Thanks for the idea.