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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Inherited about 100 swing-top bottles, how to clean
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:42 AM   #1
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Default Inherited about 100 swing-top bottles, how to clean

Hello folkz, I had someone at work refer me to a friend who had 8 dozen grolsh bottles to give away.

I got them home and as i usually do with bottles from an unknow n source, I run them through the dishwasher on High, using the Sanitary function with about a half cup of javex for good measure.

However, the bottles didn't come out super clean, a good percentage have some black specks at the bottom, presumably leftover sludge from the last usage, however many years ago. Not sure how to clean it out, it looks like it'll need to be scraped?

I'll be soaking them in the tub tonite with chlorine or something, just not sure about getting right in there and brushing them clean. Ideas? Is there a tool I should know about?

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Old 11-13-2011, 12:48 AM   #2
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Pbw soak, or, cordless drill with a bottle brush in the chuck, or, both.

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Old 11-13-2011, 12:53 AM   #3
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I would soak them overnight in PBW or Oxyclean. Tomorrow hit them a bottle brush.

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Old 11-13-2011, 12:59 AM   #4
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Do you have any idea what the black specks are? Try scraping one off the glass with a coat hanger wire or similar. If it won't come off, maybe it's just something in the glass. If it comes off, it could be dirt or dried beer and/or fungus.

If appears to be organic, mix up a solution of powdered dishwasher detergent (like Cascade, or similar) with hot water from the tap. I'm guessing, maybe a couple or three tablespoons per gallon of water. It should feel pretty slippery. Pour your bottles half full of that, shake them up, and let them sit for 20 or 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat if that doesn't do the trick.

You could also use PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) if you have any. A weak solution of caustic (sodium hydroxide, lye) would do the trick too, but you must be very careful when working with lye. It's caustic enough to do real harm to you if it gets in your eyes or stays in contact with your skin for too long. ... On second thought, don't take a chance with lye, just stick with PBW or powdered dishwashing detergent.

Some people might suggest oxyclean. I use it for cleaning, but not for long soaks. It tends to leave a white residue on glass if left in contact with it for very long. It's like a coating that can't be easily removed unless you soak in an acid solution (vinegar and water).

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Old 11-13-2011, 05:45 AM   #5
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The only time oxyclean leaves the white residue is if you leave part of the glass exposed and it dries. If you use oxyclean make sure the bottles are completely submerged in the water. I use both PBW and oxyclean and never have any problems...just don't get lazy and leave something soaking for days and you will be ok.

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Old 11-13-2011, 06:49 AM   #6
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This residue I'm referring to is a whitish film that cannot be rubbed off or washed off with plain water. The oxyclean residue forms all over the bottle, inside and out, if you let your bottles soak for a long time (a couple of days), even if they are completely filled and submerged. I over-soaked (due to laziness) thousands of bottles over the course of several years that way with oxyclean before I started kegging, so I know whereof I speak. Granted, there may be other variables, such as the mineral content of your water.

Soaking again in a solution of water and vinegar removes the residue.

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Old 11-13-2011, 04:01 PM   #7
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If you really can't get it out use s little sand and water in the bottle and shake it around. I had a couple old bottles with a mystery deposit inside and this got whatever it was off. I used very very fine pool sand ( it did not scratch from what I could tell)

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Old 11-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #8
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I use Oxyclean, fill them up and let them soak for a while, then pour about half of it out, add a tablespoon of dry rice, and shake the you know what out of it. Rice is just the right amount of abraisive. I usealso or carboys too. Makes quick work of krausen rings - also works really well for cleaning bongs, just sub out oxyclean & water for acetone.

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Old 11-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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dollars to donuts... soaking in oxyclean will be all that it takes. Submerge them completely and leave for at least a few days. Rinse well and you'll be done.

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Old 11-14-2011, 01:55 AM   #10
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Try some TSP (Trisodiumphosphate) from the hardware store.

This will remove anything from bottles, even the labels from Sam Adams!

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