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SAVE THAT LABEL!

We all know how frustrating it can be trying to remove some labels from wine bottles. Removing labels used to be quite simple, but new glues have been developed to prevent labels from coming off in restaurant wine buckets. These glues make it difficult to remove the labels at all, but one of the following methods will almost always work.

Several different glues are used today and you can’t tell which one was used by looking at the label. No single technique works every time on every label, but there are some relatively safe bets. First try to peel the label off starting in a corner. If you are lucky and the winery used the new “peel and stick” type of label, the label will come right off (However, it will immediately stick to anything it comes in contact with!). Most times you will not be so lucky.

The Blow-drier Method - Some of the new glues are unaffected by water, but will melt enough to slide the label off the bottle after “toasting” the label with a blow-drier for about 5 minutes. A heat gun will work faster.

The Tape Method - This method separates the layer of the label with the image on it from the layer with the glue. 

We sell a product called Labeloff Label Saver ($8.95) which works 98% of the time. It's a package of clear plastic sheets with an aggresive glue on one side. You must follow the instructions carefully.
Or you can contact the manufacturer directly:
Pentad Group, Inc.
106 Pentad Plaza
1446 N.W. 2nd Ave.
Boca Raton, FL  33432
(561) 362-8678
e-mail: labelsaver@aol.com

You can also do it yourself. Go to any office supply store and buy a roll of clear 3” wide strapping (packing) tape.
1. Cut off two strips of tape that are about 4” wider than the label.
2. Fill the bottle with VERY hot water (trying not to get the label wet). Wipe the bottle dry.
3. Put a strip of paper about 1/2” wide across the sticky side of both ends of the tape so the ends won’t stick to the bottle.
4. Working from one side of the bottle to the other, attach the tape to the bottle so that it just extends (about 1/4”) above the label. Bring the tape across the label, using some type of straight edge to smooth it out as you go.
5. Once you have the first strip in place, if it doesn’t fully cover the label, attach the second strip right under the first.
6. Use the back of a spoon to rub hard all over the label.
7. Starting at one edge, slowly start to peel off the tape.
8. Once the label is removed, trim the edges with a scissors.

The Soaking Method - this is becoming less effective as fewer water-soluble glues are being used.
Equipment: 1 tall Igloo water jug (the picnic kind), tall enough to hold a bottle, Ivory Detergent, paper towels, wax paper, a single edged razor blade, a heavy book, a cork, and a glass of wine.
1. Fill the jug with warm water and 2-3 drops of Ivory Detergent.
2. Fill the wine bottle itself with VERY hot water and immerse it in the jug.
3. After about 30 minutes, the label should either be floating in the jug or loosely clinging to the bottle. If not, continue the soak for 2 hours or overnight.
4. If the label still isn’t off, take the bottle out of the jug and fill it again with very warm water. Cram an old cork into the top and dry the bottle well. Get the label as dry as possible.
5. Lay the bottle on a towel to steady it. Use the single edged razor blade to scrape the label off. Start working from the left side of the label, following the curve of the bottle, to about the middle of the label. Then start from the right side of the label and cut back to the center. Work back and forth until the label is off.
6. Put the label between towels to blot of as much moisture as possible. Be careful! Some of the new glues are of the “peel and stick” variety and will stick to anything. If you find one of these, press the label down on some plain white paper and trim around the label.
7. Place the label on a piece of waxed paper with paper towels on top of it and weight it down with a heavy book until the label dries.
8. The glass of wine? You know what that’s for!

The Kerosene Method - This came to us from Ross Herbert of Perth, Australia. He claims this has worked for him 99% if the time!
1. Take a single sheet of paper kitchen towel and fold it so it can cover the whole label.
2. Soak the sheet of paper in kerosene and place it over the label.
3. Wrap the label area with cling film (Saran) and leave it for a couple of hours.
4. Removing the cling film and paper towel. Llift one corner of the label gently with a fine bladed knife or scalpel to see if the glue is softened. Re-wrap with the towel and cling film if it doesn't look to be ready. In most cases paper type labels will come off easily after 2 hours.
5. Lay the label face down, and clean off any excess glue still on the label with the kerosene
soaked towel.
6. Dry it in the sun or use a hair dryer. In most cases the kerosene will totally evaporate leaving very little odor.
7. You may then wish to laminate it to ensure it stays in good condition.

Joel’s Method - Forget the darned label and buy another bottle!   


E-Mail: beekman@conversent.net

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