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Old 12-14-2006, 07:29 PM   #1
sigaas
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Anyone have tips on cleaning bottles?

Typically I will rinse the bottles thoroughly after I've poured a brew and then drain them upside down. Then I store them upside down in a box until needed. To sterilize, I just put them in the dishwasher before I bottle.

At one point or another I used a bottle washer to scrub out the bottles I have, so I'm pretty certain they were all clean to begin with. The rinsing after emptying should be enough since I know they haven't had anything else in them since they were thoroughly cleaned.

But I'm about to get another 50 dirty bottles (empties from a party a friend recently had) and I'm not really relishing the idea of scrubbing out that many bottles. I'd prefer to buy something like oxy-clean or b-bright to use, but I'm not sure if they would be as effective or if they would save me time over what I do now.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:19 PM   #2
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Get a large tub/cooler and soak them in hot water and oxyclean for 24 hrs
Rinse with a water yet, dry then sanitise.

Works for me. Gets the labels off too.

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigaas
Anyone have tips on cleaning bottles?

Typically I will rinse the bottles thoroughly after I've poured a brew and then drain them upside down. Then I store them upside down in a box until needed. To sterilize, I just put them in the dishwasher before I bottle.

At one point or another I used a bottle washer to scrub out the bottles I have, so I'm pretty certain they were all clean to begin with. The rinsing after emptying should be enough since I know they haven't had anything else in them since they were thoroughly cleaned.

But I'm about to get another 50 dirty bottles (empties from a party a friend recently had) and I'm not really relishing the idea of scrubbing out that many bottles. I'd prefer to buy something like oxy-clean or b-bright to use, but I'm not sure if they would be as effective or if they would save me time over what I do now.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?
A grungy bottle may very well require a little more effort than just soaking it in some kind of cleaner. A little investment in time/muscle is something that will pay off big in the end.

A side note: you can't 'sterilize' anything in a dishwasher; it doesn't get anywhere near hot enough. Some folks have got lucky SANITIZING in them (I don't and will never trust a home dishwasher to do this no matter what anybody tells me) but nobody will ever sterilize anyting in one.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #4
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I have 3 bottle/carboy brushes and they are still in their wrappers.

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Old 12-14-2006, 10:53 PM   #5
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My lazy (energy efficient) process :

1. Look in bottle for signs of mould. If mould, put too one side for "later"
2. Jet wash (very good investment) insuring all insides cleaned
3. Scrub with brush
4. Jet wash again
5. Drain

6. Fill a 5 gallon barrel with sterilisation solution.
7. Dunk bottles in four at a time fill them up and put in plastic crates (in bath)
8. Leave for required time (dependant on solution used)
9. Put bottle tree in bath and put bottles straight on.
10. Bottle the lovely liquid.
11. store
12. drink
13. goto 1.

P.S. I leave the lables on.

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Old 12-15-2006, 12:11 AM   #6
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Typically I soak in Oxyclean shortly after emptying the bottle, usually only for an hour or so (Oxyclean loses its effectiveness after that). This cleans it pretty well and takes all but the most stubborn labels off. Then I store the bottles in a box until botttling day.

On bottling day I fill my bucket with water and Iodophor and let the bottle sit in the solution for 3 minutes each (I typically have 6 in the bucket at a time). Then I place them upside down on paper towels in sanitized dish washing trays I bought just for bottling (only a few dollars at Target, much cheaper than a bottling tree, check my pics). By the time the last bottles are coming out of the bucket the first ones are dry and ready to be filled. So far it has worked out great.

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:19 AM   #7
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If you have a large basement sink or a plastic tub fill it about 3/4 full and add 2 TBS of bleach. Take each bottle and hold it under water until it's full. Add water as necessary until the tub if filled with bottles. Let soak overnight.

I cut the loop off of one of my bottle washers and inserted the brush into my drill. I use this to scrub nasty returns I get from my friends (even though I ask them to rinse them 3 times...they insist they did and I know they lied...).

Rinse with hot water and use a bottle washer to rinse out the insides. Place bottle on drying tree.

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Get a large tub/cooler and soak them in hot water and oxyclean for 24 hrs
Rinse with a water yet, dry then sanitise.

Works for me. Gets the labels off too.
Oxyclean works for me. It will also remove labels. On bottling day I will still wash them in the sink with dish soap, rinse, put in sanitizer for a couple minutes, then stand up in dishwasher. I bottle on the open dishwasher door.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
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All I do is add a tiny drop of detergent into a freshly emptied bottle, swirl (and shake) with some water, empty and then run the hot tap water into it until all the suds come out (you'll see them progress up the neck until the whole bottle is just filled with clear water). I then drain them and give a sniff to make sure no residue is left. The day before brew day I load the dishwasher (without soap) and run the sanitize cycle (bottles facing down). It works great imo. Everything comes out when it hasn't had the chance to dry or grow molds.

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Old 12-15-2006, 11:44 PM   #10
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I'd soak in a good cleaner like oxy clean for a day or so and then use the jet wash on any bottles that aren't clean already to remove any loosened material. If anything is left after the jet wash use your bottle brush.

I'd never use dish soap as it is very difficult to get off and the oxy clean will do just as good a job of removing organic junk. Use a no rinse sanitizer before bottling and you're way ahead of anyone using soap or detergent, plus you'll have better head and we all like that.

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