Advice About Removing Wine Labels

Wine Label Remover
Wine Label Remover

Wine label remover sheets are a far less labor-intensive way to remove wine labels.

About the Wine Label Remover

Wine label removers are used to gently remove the wine label from the bottle without destroying the label itself. These label removers are similar to wide sheets of tape and work by simply placing the sheets over the wine label, rubbing the label to ensure the remover is thoroughly adhered and then peeling it back. The printed label comes off, while the paper backing coated with adhesive remains on the bottle.

Here is a list of where you can find wine label remover sheets offered in packs anywhere from 10 to 100.

Mixed Results

No matter what brand name the wine label remover, those whom have tried them have experienced mixed results. The biggest complaint about using the sheets is the cost, right around one-dollar a sheet. If you plan on starting a large collection of wine labels, using the removal sheets will get a bit pricey, but they are perfect for saving the occasional label here and there. Aside from the cost, the most common problems are:

  • The adhesive on the label remover sheet is not strong enough to completely peel off the wine label.
  • Holes or tears occur in the label when removing the adhesive sheet.
  • Problems also arise when the wine label is laminated due to the fact that the label remover will only remove the laminated sheet and not the actual printed label.

Other Ways to Remove Wine Labels

Yes, the following methods are much more labor intensive but they are far less expensive.


Soak the empty wine bottle in hot water with a bit of mild detergent for about 20 to 30 minutes. The combination of the hot water and the detergent will loosen the adhesive, allowing you to peel it off intact. Be patient though, not soaking the bottle for long enough or attempting to peel the label off too quickly will only result in a tearing.

Using Hot Water

A different way to use hot water to remove your wine label is to fill the empty wine bottle with hot water and wait for the heat to loosen the adhesive. This will take longer than soaking your wine bottle in a sink full of hot water, but you won't have to worry about the label puckering or becoming discolored, which can sometimes happen when soaking the outside entire bottle.


The best way to use steam to remove your wine labels is by using a teakettle. Heat the water in the kettle and hold the bottle over the spout as it begins to produce steam. The steam will then loosen the adhesive backing on the label. Periodically pull the bottle away from the heat and pull up a corner of the label to see if it has loosened enough. Be sure to use an oven mitt to protect your hands from getting burned by the steam.

Final Advice

Whatever method you choose to remove your wine labels, none of them are foolproof. Here are a few final words of advice to keep in mind when removing wine labels.

  • Steer clear of adhesive removers - Many adhesive removal products on the market are oil based and will discolor your wine label.
  • Be careful - If you are using a straight-edged razor to remove your wine labels, be sure to move the razor under the label very slowly.
  • Wine labels on American wines generally take longer to remove than those made in Europe, so give the bottle some extra soaking time.
  • If the label becomes shriveled or puckered after removal, let it dry and place it in a book to flatten out.

Finally, don't forget a wine journal or scrapbook to store all of your wine labels in!

Advice About Removing Wine Labels