How to remove painted labels from plastic containers


Table of Contents:
  1. You Will Need
  2. Steps to Remove the Painted Label
  3. Additional Tips and Advice

Kathy asked: How do you remove the painted on labels on glass bottles or jars? This is a liquor bottle, the company painted the label and scanning code onto the bottle instead of the standard sticky label. I recycle bottles for my crafts.

Labels that are painted on bottles are not meant to be removed, which can make them a bit challenging. Depending on the materials available, it may be possible to remove them with some time and effort. Here are a couple of removers that may be successful depending on how the label was applied (painted, screened on, etc.)

You Will Need:

  • Star San
  • Acetone
  • Razor
  • Water
  • Scrubbing pads

Steps to Remove the Painted Label:

  1. If the label is simply painted, it may be possible to remove it with some acetone (nail polish remover). Fill a shallow pan or dish with the acetone and lay the bottle down so the label is soaking in the acetone.
  2. Allow it to soak until the paint begins to loosen.
  3. Scrub it with a scrubbing pad or scrape it off carefully with a razor.
  4. Rinse with clean water.
  5. If the label is screen-printed on, it will likely require a stronger, acidic remover.
  6. Fill a pan or bucket with Star San. This acidic cleaner is available online from many brewery supply companies.
  7. Allow the bottle to soak in the liquid for 24-48 hours.
  8. Once the label has soaked for the sufficient amount of time it will start to fall off with a simple shake.
  9. Use a scrub brush or scrubbing pad to gently scrub any remaining label away.
  10. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Star San is an acidic cleaner. Protect yourself with gloves, mask and protective eyewear.