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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Best way to clean used bottles
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default Best way to clean used bottles

I have a bunch of used craft beer bottles I just finished. How do I get them clean for my home brew?


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Old 07-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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depends how dirty they are.. if they are just wet you can give them a good rinse and then sanitize them like you do your regular brewing equipment.. if there is some dried stuff you may need to use a brush to get out any stuff in there with some oxy.. i like to rinse out bottles right after i pour them or before i got to bed (if i remember to and i'm not too tipsy) then i don't really have to clean them much, just sanitize them

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Old 07-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #3
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There are tons of great threads on this...just search for "clean bottles"

For just-drank bottles, a quick rinse with water is all that's needed.
If there's dried-on gunk, you have a variety of options...scrubbing, oxiclean, etc.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:28 AM   #4
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Another effective method is a run through the dishwasher withought detergent. Let it go through the sanatize drying phase and once it cools you should be ok to bottle.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:42 AM   #5
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I clean them when I'm done drinking from them or when I pour into a glass. Usually just a rinse or two with a couple shakes and make sure they're clean. Just prior to bottling I dip in a bucket of sanitizer for a couple seconds, give it a shake and drain, repeat in clean water and bottle away.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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If I'm doing a bunch of bottles, I'll make a bucket of oxyclean free solution in a big tub and soak the bottles in there. If just a few bottles, I have a bottle scrubbie that attaches to a drill. It's okay for bottles since it's kind of a pain to get it and out of the bottle...but it's amazing for cleaning yeast starter flasks.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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I like the Oxiclean route, especially for the first-time-used-for-homebrew bottles, for a couple of reasons:

1. It'll help remove the labels, but you'll still have to do a little scrubbing. Soak them in Oxiclean and hot water for an hour or so, then come back and peel off the labels and scrub the remaining glue residue off. (Some labels come off much easier than others.)
2. If the bottles weren't rinsed shortly after emptying them of their initial contents, it'll get rid of any build-up.

I'd make sure to rinse them several times consecutively after this initial cleaning, especially if you are using regular Oxiclean vs. the unscented stuff (Oxiclean Free). I now use the Oxiclean Free. Then just before bottling, I use a bucket of Starsan to sanitize them. I actually put my bottling tree in my kitchen sink, then have a bucket of Starsan right next to the sink. I'll take my spray bottle of Starsan and douse the bottle tree, then dunk about a case of clean bottles, one-by-one, into the bucket of Starsan and place them on the freshly sanitized bottling tree. I let them drain for a minute or two, then begin filling and capping them.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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Oxyclean, hot water, long soak (overnight or more), heavy rinse. No muss, no fuss, and the labels will fall off too.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:46 PM   #9
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There's noting in a glass bottle that Oxiclean is going to damage. Fill them up and soak them in a tub. Put them in this weekend, leave them to soak, get back to them next weekend. Why do it the hard way when you can just be lazy and let nature take it's course?

Yes it's probably best to shake out bugs that happen to be living in the bottle before starting the soak.

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Old 07-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Dishwasher on high heat no detergent. I do it everytime. Never had a problem. Then I dip in a bucket of starsan right before I bottle. Could be overkill but I don't have to worry.

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