Raise your hand if you have bought a glass bottle because you loved the shape & planned to reuse it but then couldn’t remove the dang printed label. Right there with you!
Exhibit A: These super cute milk bottles.
Hangry and not thinking at full capacity, I bought them without realizing the label was printed on the glass. Not just screen printed either. Oh no. These things were on there tight. Nothing suggested online worked. The labels just laughed and laughed at all my attempts.
Steel wool & soap: Nope
Acetone: Go paint your nails lady
Polishing paste: stinky but nada
“My fumes will definitely kill you” paint remover: flipped me the bird
That’s until I stumbled on a video where the gentleman was able to remove the printed label on glass by soaking it in apple cider vinegar over several hours.
Acid is the solution.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have experimented with a lot of acidic solutions to quickly rust my new galvanized bucket and watering pail.
I know my acids, let me tell ya.
Knowing that apple cider vinegar is quite a weak acid meant I could get the same results faster if I used a stronger acid.
BUT, it couldn’t be so strong that it was dangerous for me to handle or etched the glass into a hazy mess. So hydrochloric acid was definitely out.
How to Remove Ink Label from Glass
This is where the Little Red Riding Hood of acids comes in.
This is what my bottle looked like before using citric acid to remove the digitally printed ink from the back. There is some removal already going on towards the bottom from when I used the citric acid to take off the front label & logo.
In a small non metallic bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of citric acid in 2 tablespoons of very hot water. Mix in just enough flour to make a thick paste.
Apply to desired area and let sit 5-10 minutes.
After the paste has hardened and dried a bit, scrape or rinse the paste off the glass surface. Then wipe the printed ink away with a damp paper towel or microfiber cloth. The ink should come away immediately and completely within a minute of scrubbing.
Now go forth and remove all those ugly logos!
Let me know how it goes for you and how many bottles/jar you saved! If you have any questions, comment below.