How to Remove Tough Labels from Glass
The Quickest and Easiest Way to Remove Tough Labels from Glass
This article, How to Remove Tough Labels from Glass, is sponsored by Bernzomatic®. All opinions are 100% my own.
Reusing glass bottles and jars is a great way to upcycle, however sometimes the label is too hard to remove. There are so many tutorials on removing tough labels from glass and jars online. This list includes everything from freezing the bottle to soaking it in baking soda and cooking oil. How messy! One article suggests to just be lazy and leave it on, indicating that if you wash it enough times in the dishwasher it will eventually fall off. Who has time for that?
Stop searching online. I have found the quickest and easiest way to remove tough labels from glass.
What is the easiest way to remove labels from jars?
A torch. Yes, use a torch. The Bernzomatic® Maker Precision Torch (ST2200T) works well, however I prefer using the Bernzomatic® Basic Torch (TS3500T). This torch has a trigger start ignition with an ergonomic grip, allowing for tilted use. I also love that is has an adjustable flame.
Safety Precautions When Using a Torch to Remove Labels
First, it is important to discuss a few safety precautions before you decide to use a torch to remove sticky labels from jars. Here are some important notes.
- Wear safety goggles.
- Work in an open and well-ventilated area.
- Be aware of wind. It can cause the flame to catch unintended items on fire.
- Be cautious on embers. Depending on the type of label, floating embers are a possibility.
- Never ignite the torch near flammable materials.
So, how do you remove labels from glass bottles with a torch?
Watch the Video
Here is a quick video on the quickest and easiest way to remove labels. Keep scrolling for a detailed materials list and instructions.
Here’s What You Need
Time: 15-20 Minutes
- Bernzomatic TS3500T
- Bernzomatic Propane
- Safety Goggles
- Kitchen Scrapper
- Start with a clean bottle. If you are removing the label from a liquor bottle, make sure all the alcohol is completely removed.
- Attach the Bernzomatic Propane tank to the Bernzomatic torch. Turn the knob all the way to the right and ignite the flame by pushing the trigger. Adjust the flame to a low setting.
- Carefully heat the label with the flame. Turn off the torch and set it aside.
- Use a kitchen scrapper or pastry scrapper to remove the label.
- Repeat if necessary.
Once the label is removed, wash the bottle with warm soapy water and dry it completely.
Pro Tip: To dry the inside of a bottle, place a dry, rolled paper towel inside. Leave it in for several hours. The paper towel will soak up any remaining dampness inside the bottle.
Here are the bottles AFTER.
Creative Ways to Reuse Glass Bottles
Now that you have a clean glass bottle, what do you do with it? Here are some inventive upcycling ideas for bottles and jars.
- Make an interesting chandelier.
- Use them as vases for home décor or gifts.
- Spray paint them for centerpieces of storage.
- Turn them into soap dispensers.
- Use them for parties.
- Use them for kid’s crafts.
- Upcycle them into Halloween Specimen Jars.
You May Also Like
Before you go, check out these other fun tutorials using a torch.
I must say…”There are easier ways” to remove labels from bottles. I run the glass recycling collective, in our small town and I’ll not bore you with the reasons, but all glass containers must be label/metal/foil-free. We have found that boiling water, poured into the bottle, softens the glue on most containers, allowing the label to be peeled off. Some containers will need boiling water inside and out-not all glue is the same. Speaking of glue…in some cases, there will be glue left on the container, after removing the label. I have found a paste of baking soda and coconut oil, smeared on the glue, allowed to sit a few minutes, then scrape off paste (save for using again and from putting down the drain), will result in sparkling glass.
I just found your site today and I think your project is just great and inspiring. Thanks also for the detailed presentation. Please keep it up.