How to remove imprint from glass bottle?
April 13, 2013 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I buy bottles of strauss organic whipping cream, it comes it little glass bottles and looks like this: pic 1, pic 2. As you can see, on the glass bottle there is a flat black imprint with some lettering and a logo. Is there any way to safely remove that imprint? I have something in mind I'd like to reuse my bottles for and I'd prefer them not to have that imprint. Thanks!
posted by long haired child to Grab Bag (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried scraping it with a razor and maybe some GooGone?
posted by Crystalinne at 6:59 PM on April 13, 2013

on pinterest, the big hint to remove printed on labels from plastic containers is acetone (like for removing fingernail polish, among other things). It'd be worth a try.
posted by lemniskate at 7:03 PM on April 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Go to your local hardware store and buy a quart of paint remover along with a very cheap paint brush and putty knife.
posted by buggzzee23 at 7:07 PM on April 13, 2013

I would guess that any paint thinner product (e.g. acetone, MEK) would take them off.

FYI, depending on how hard it might be to get that logo off, you can buy the bottles directly in cases of 24 with no labels
posted by rockindata at 7:09 PM on April 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

I have had no luck removing silkscreened branding from bottles with acetone or any other solvent I was able to think of.

I would think mechanical ablation would be your best bed, except rockindata's link is even better.
posted by aubilenon at 7:12 PM on April 13, 2013

Except you could buy them full of high quality whipping cream for almost the same price.
posted by aubilenon at 7:14 PM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's hard to tell from the pictures, but if the markings are ACL (applied color labeling), which is pretty common for glass, you're not going to have much luck (if the label is just the pressure sensitive type, the very very careful application of an x-acto knife may do the trick). The label is essentially colored glass that is fused at high temperatures onto the bottle. You could carefully sand (or use a glass etching solution) off the markings from the surface, but it's going to leave that surface scratched and/or frosted. Sanding down or etching the whole bottle would at least give a uniform appearance, but the bottles wouldn't be clear anymore.

Some people on the internet claim that soaking the bottles for a few days in Star San (an acid sanitizer popular with home brewers) did the trick for them.

Buying a bunch of unmarked bottles directly as rockindata might be easier.
posted by zachlipton at 7:32 PM on April 13, 2013

rockindata and I agree on the MEK. Find it in PVC pipe cleaner. It will tie your chromosomes in square knots, so don't be cavalier with it, but it will dissolve damn near any pigment i have ever seen and won't touch the glass. get a putty knife and sharpen that puppy and soak/scrape and i'll bet it comes right off.
posted by FauxScot at 7:41 PM on April 13, 2013

It will tie your chromosomes in square knots

Like acetone, MEK is flammable and a strong irritant, but it is not carcinogenic, and doesn't seem to pose much of a chronic health risk. So, don't set it on fire, don't drink it, and don't inhale it, but working with it occasionally in a well-ventilated space is not a big concern.
posted by Nomyte at 8:35 PM on April 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I reuse these bottle and I've never gotten the label off, even after years of dish washing.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:48 PM on April 13, 2013

Pretty sure Straus bottles are just screenprinted. Try the razor blade, it won't scratch the glass.
posted by rhizome at 8:55 PM on April 13, 2013

On one occasion I removed a sort of enamel decoration from glass by soaking the item in Coke for a few hours, which made the decoration brittle and easier to scrape off.
posted by XMLicious at 9:06 PM on April 13, 2013

Try the razor blade, it won't scratch the glass.

That's what I meant by "mechanical ablation"
posted by aubilenon at 9:58 PM on April 13, 2013

I've read on homebrewing forums that soaking in OxyClean will do the trick with screen-printed/painted glass. I have never tried it though.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 10:12 PM on April 13, 2013

I can assure you that soaking Oxiclean won't do it. I have a four year old screenprinted Stone bottle that's been soaked and then scrubbed with a magic eraser a dozen times. Looks pristine.

Solvents haven't worked either. A razor blade is probably your best bet.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:26 PM on April 13, 2013

I used steel scrubbing pads with lots of water to remove writing on wine bottles.
posted by mercredi at 5:44 AM on April 14, 2013

Rather than the razor blade, try double-aught steel wool (#0000). Test it on a portion of the glass first, to make sure it won't scratch. It should do the trick very quickly and it's dirt cheap. (~$3.00.) I've used this on auto-glass for years. It's incredibly effective.
posted by Hylas at 4:10 PM on April 14, 2013

You can also try sugar cubes (but test it first).
posted by Hylas at 4:10 PM on April 14, 2013

just so happens i came into possession of a modern glass dairy bottle today (made by Stanpac, apparently or called stanpac... it's molded into the bottom). has what appears to be silk screened logo/info on it.

tried MEK. dremel wire brush. razor blade. knife. 1500 grit silicon carbide paper. 220 grit SC paper. the paper scratched the glass. the imprint seems completely unaffected. i am not quite out of things to try, but damn, that's some hella paint. shiz.

not sure what else, but man, SC is hard.
posted by FauxScot at 8:28 AM on April 23, 2013

dremel stones will remove the paint on mine, at the cost of heavily scratching the glass. if clarity is more of an issue than paint, this seems suboptimal. (the green stones work better than the brown stones.... (green is silicon carbide, brown is aluminum oxide)).

if you find a better way to remove it, i'm curious.
posted by FauxScot at 9:08 AM on April 23, 2013

Stanpac makes dairy bottles, among others, I am sure. Their process for labeling them is called Applied Ceramic Labeling and it appears to be silkscreened ceramic ink applied to the bottle, and then thermally fused to the glass. That's why we could not get it off with anything other than abrasives that would affect the glass substrate, too. It's glass at this point, not ink.

(Normally, I am not this compulsive, but the thing has been sitting on my desk for a few days and curiosity took over. I comment here for anyone else who looks.)
posted by FauxScot at 9:24 AM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Star San worked! Thanks so much everyone, especially zachlipton!
posted by long haired child at 2:47 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

star san is phosphoric acid and apparently, its MSDS says it'll etch glass. ( i did not verify.) may explain why it removed fused material. fascinating. now I have to try it.
posted by FauxScot at 7:09 AM on May 9, 2013

« Older Hey, Art!   |   Documentaries similar to BBC's "Toughest Place to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.