If you brew your own beer or wine, you can save yourself some money and reuse the bottles from commercial beer or wine, rather than buying brand new bottles. Other people may want to remove labels from glass bottles and jars so that they can repurpose them as flower vases, craft projects or for bulk food storage. If you’re lucky, the label will peel off easily with a fingernail, but too often it’s glued onto the bottle pretty securely. You can still get that label off so that you can reuse the jar, but it’ll take a bit of time and work.

Things You'll Need

Fill a tea kettle with water and set it heating on the stove.

Hold the empty bottle over the steam that emits from the hot tea kettle. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands. Hold the bottle about 6 to 12 inches from the spout–close enough so the steam will weaken the glue, but not so close that you are in danger of burning yourself on the steam or overheating the bottle.

Rotate the bottle so that the steam is directed over the entire label. Apply steam to the label for about a minute.

Remove the bottle from the heat and allow it to cool just enough so that you can safely handle it with your bare hands, about 30 seconds.

Use your fingernail or a razor blade to gently peel the label off of the bottle. This method usually preserves the label intact, which is beneficial for wine enthusiasts who like to collect wine bottle labels in a scrapbook.

Return the bottle to the steam if the label seems to be stuck.

Remove any sticky residue from the bottle with a small amount of turpentine applied with a cotton ball. Wash the bottle very thoroughly with soap and hot water if you are planning on reusing it for food storage purposes.