How to Remove Labels

By Online Labels

Finishing a custom designed label and applying it on any product, surface, or item has a certain sense of accomplishment to it. But what happens when you need to remove the label? Label removal can be tricky, and if not done properly, can be harmful to both the label and the item’s surface. offers you some tricks and tips to removing those stingy labels.

Step one in the label removal process is figuring out what material your label is, as well the type of surface it is applied to. A few things to take into account are the label material, the type of adhesive used on the label, and the surface material. Not all things are made up of the same composition which that can easily affect what method you should use when removing your label.

The adhesive properties of the label are extremely important to consider. In certain circumstances, labels will ultimately tear in half because the adhesive is so strong when applied to specific surfaces such as metal tins, glass and even wood. Keep in mind there is a big difference between removing a glass jar label and removing a metal container label. Knowing these differences can make a huge impact on what method you may choose and the difference between a clean removal and a more challenging one.

General Label Removal

Investing in a label remover application is common practice and one of the easiest methods of removing labels.

  • First, select which label removing application you want to use. Most applications come in a sheet of clear plastic with a strong adhesive on one side.
  • Using removers such as these join the label with the remover and the other side of the sheet acts as a laminate, which keeps the label intact and protects it.
  • Apply a sheet to the label you want removed. You will need to allow time for the remover and label to bond so you have a clean removal.
  • You may want to allow it to bond longer than the directions state to ensure a clean removal. Once time is up, carefully peel the label remover application away.

This is a great option for those of you that collect labels, especially wine bottle labels. Buying a common label remover is normally an inexpensive and popular way to remove labels.

Removing a Label from Glass or Metal Surfaces

Glass or metal surfaces are among the most common surfaces labels are applied to. There are a few different options for removing labels from glass or metal. With some common household items, the process can be simple.

  • A general rule of thumb before using any label removing product is to find a test area. Normally, you will want to use an area of the surface that is concealed from view. That way, if the material being used leaves a mark it will be inconspicuous to the naked eye.
  • Once you have determined the cleaner is surface safe, fold a paper towel, cloth, or pad as large as the label you are removing and apply your choice of cleaner.
  • A few recommendations are household ammonia, Fast Orange®, or Goo Gone®.
  • Lay the pad over the label and use masking tape to keep it firm in place.
  • Allow it to sit for 1-2 hours after you have applied your cleaner. After the elapsed time, the label should slide right off your surface.

Removing a Label by Soaking Methods

This method works especially well with labels on wine, beer, water, and other glass or plastic surfaces. Additionally, it is one of the easier methods of removal.

  • You will need available space in your sink or a two-liter plastic bottle that you have cut the top off. You will need to fill your sink or bottle with warm to hot water.
  • Please note, if you are using this method to remove a label from a glass bottle, such as a wine bottle, you may want to fill it with warm water also.
  • Once you have a container, basin, or bottle filled with warm water, place your item in it to soak.
  • Generally, you will want to leave the item overnight so the water can take its effects on the label. Different labels and adhesive strengths will require various soaking times so check them periodically.
  • Once it has soaked for the proper time, simply peel the label off.

With these basic methods, properly determining what kind of label, adhesive strength and what surface your label is on, removing labels can be hassle-free.

As always though, make certain you are very careful during the removal process. If you would rather not worry about removing a label, try our removable and repositionable labels. The removable labels can be applied to most surfaces and can be easily removed without leaving any adhesive residue. Best of all the label prints with the same great quality in both laser and ink jet printers.