Cleaning Old Bottles

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

OnDaReglah

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
23
Reaction score
2
Location
Boston
What is the easiest way to clean all these bottles I have laying around? I saw something called a "FastRack" at the local HBS, does anybody have any experience with this? Is it ok to just put all these bottles in the dishwasher and call it a day or will this not get all the sediment and off the bottom?
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
3,969
Reaction score
738
Location
Camano Island, WA
Dishwasher won't get sediment in the bottom and you need them visibly clean. If they aren't visibly clean, you can't get them sanitized.
 

jrsdws

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
93
Reaction score
7
Location
Central
I soak in a heavy dose of generic Oxiclean and hot water.....dunk them and let them fill completely and soak overnight. Do it a couple of times if necessary. Various bottle brushes are available if they're really bad. Don't forget to use HOT water and rinse well.

I just got two trays of the Fast Racks for drying. I like them. The wife loves them because I'm not hogging the dish rack.
 

rlmiller10

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Messages
1,058
Reaction score
406
Location
Northern Colorado
+1 on the oxyclean. I use hot water in a cooler and it will remain hot overnight. Seems the longer time in the hot soak gets the harder crud off.
 

FatDragon

Not actually a dragon.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
2,492
Reaction score
973
Location
Wuhan, China
Those bottle jets are supposed to be good for a quick rinse (as posted by MaxStout).

If you're dealing with really bad bottles, like my first few bottle pickups where every single bottle had mold in the bottom, you want a mixture of hot water Oxy/PBW soaks, brushing, jet washing, pretty much anything you can do to get the nasty stuff out. My first set of bottles, which was really nasty, got a hot water rinse, followed by a hot water oxy soak for a couple days, followed by brushing and another hot water rinse, followed by boiling and finally an iodaphor sanitization. That was probably more than I needed to do.

To contrast, I normally rinse bottles a couple times right after popping them open. In that case, they sit in their boxes until bottling day, when they get a quick dunk of the mouth in iodaphor, a couple squirts on the iodaphor-filled vinator, a bit of drying, and then I fill and cap them.
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
3,969
Reaction score
738
Location
Camano Island, WA
Yeah, that's pretty much why I don't accept used bottles anymore. When I decide I need more (usually after giving a bunch of 12oz out to friends/family) I buy a couple six packs of craft beer.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,724
Reaction score
5,462
Location
Edgewater
Yeah, that's pretty much why I don't accept used bottles anymore. When I decide I need more (usually after giving a bunch of 12oz out to friends/family) I buy a couple six packs of craft beer.

Wait?? You buy craft beer and use those bottles? Aren't they "used bottles"?

But really, glass does not hold onto nasty things. Oxyclean soak, bottle brush if necessary, rinse. No problems. Most of my bottles were given to me. Some had some pretty nasty stuff in them. After cleaning them I have had no issues.

Plus I did not pay anything for them. I do save my own bottles in addition. I keep as many as I can so that I don't have to make friends return bottles that I share.

Most of them are empty now since I started kegging.
 

Setesh

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,454
Reaction score
345
Location
Oklahoma City
A soak in warm PBW will lift all that crap off. What I have done in the past was a warm PBW soak overnight, then a scrub with a bottle brush. Let soak for another night if you are worried or have the time. It won't hurt the glass. Scrub again and rinse. Then visually inspect each one with a bright flashlight. I haven't found anything PBW can't get off yet. I even use it to clean my oven racks. Same method with a strong PBW solution gets them back to shiny.
 

k1ngl1ves

Well-Hung Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
2,198
Reaction score
1,136
Location
Joliet/New Lenox
Soak in hot water/oxyclean for an hour or so. Brush if necessary. Rinse. After, I put all my bottles in an empty dishwasher to dry. No need for a bottle rack!

Sanitize and fill!
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
3,969
Reaction score
738
Location
Camano Island, WA
But really, glass does not hold onto nasty things. Oxyclean soak, bottle brush if necessary, rinse. No problems. Most of my bottles were given to me. Some had some pretty nasty stuff in them. After cleaning them I have had no issues.
It was ashtray bottles I hated most of all. I don't need to clean another ashtray.
 

Dog House Brew

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 10, 2008
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
574
Location
Indiana
160 degree PBW and an overnight soak. Hot blast with the bottle blaster posted earlier. Once they are clean your good from then on. Pop, pour, rinse, and restore in box. All I did after that was sanitize and refill. Had a friend that drank a case a week of Stone IPA. Didn't even have to remove labels. :tank:
 
Top