Will a dishwasher sanitize bottles?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

howardbeach

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
15
Reaction score
1
If I put my dishwasher on high heat, will that be enough to sanitize the bottles?
 

llazy_llama

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
2,832
Reaction score
92
Location
Rapid City, South Dakota
Assuming you don't use soap, haven't used Jet Dry or similar agents in the last 20+ washes, and your dishwasher gets hot enough for long enough (has a Sanitize setting) it'll work.
 

Nurmey

I love making Beer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
3,970
Reaction score
37
Location
Omaha, NE
I've never trusted my dishwasher to get bottles clean or hot enough to sanitize nor have I wanted to risk $50 worth of beer when StarSan is so easy to use. Lots of folks have done it with apparent success.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,940
Reaction score
12,872
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
My hot water heater doesn't get above 130, and my dishwasher is older so it doesn't have the "sanitize" setting. If yours gets hot enough, that will work. Remember to start with scrupulously clean bottles, because the water won't clean them inside them as the bottle necks are too narrow.
 

the_merlin

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
34
Reaction score
2
I have brewed 5 batches by putting my bottles in the dishwasher with dishwasher soap, with and without the high heat setting. I haven't had an issue with infection or a reduction in head. I have now moved to the kegging setup, but don't let others scare you, you'll be fine. But I did use good practices to keep mildew and other build up out of the bottles during storage by immediately rinsing them and storing them upside down. But, if you want to be a real bottler, just use star san :)
 

zac

Thread Killer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 28, 2007
Messages
3,754
Reaction score
161
Location
Marion. Va
I have brewed 100's of batches of beer only using my dishwasher on the "sanitize" setting to give them the final cleaning, and have had exaclty ZERO problems.

I'm not saying its the right way, but it works for me.
 

woollybugger2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
3
I find that using The Vinator with Star San much quicker that using the dishwasher.

I still use the dishwasher rack for holding bottles (after spraying with Star San).
 

HOP-HEAD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
503
Reaction score
11
Location
West Michigan
I use my dishwasher every time... first, I make sure to rinse all my bottles when I empty them then soak in oxy before storing them upside down in their boxes. If they're new, I soak 'em in oxy to clean and remove labels, then I again rinse well and store upside down prior to use... sometimes weeks. Then, I just plop them in the dishwasher on the antibacterial setting and heated dry... no soap or rinse agents..... No issues to date.
 

BA_from_GA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2009
Messages
459
Reaction score
3
Location
Buford, GA
I soak in Oxy clean to de-label and clean, then in bleach and vinegar to sanitize, then in the dishwasher with high heat dry immediately before bottling.
 

Homercidal

Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
33,269
Reaction score
5,695
Location
Reed City, MI
I think it would take longer run the cycle than to simply dip in starsan and swirl and then place on top rack. But, I started using the rinse aid in my dishwasher again after getting spots all over everything. I just wash beer glasses by hand when I want goo head. (and I do all the dishes when I want some really good head...)

However, if you don't use rinse aid, AND you have a sanitize setting, then you may want to run the cycle while you set up the bottling assembly line.
 

sparkyaber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
Messages
404
Reaction score
2
Location
Andover, MN
I have used the dishwasher to sanitize every beer I have ever bottled (about 40 cases), and have not had one problem. But I make sure the bottles are clean before I sanitize them.
 

tavern

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
The dishwasher will sanitize your bottles, but don't use any soap, and make sure it is on a HEAT DRY cycle.

The heat drying/steaming is really what sanitizes the bottles not so much the warm water that is used to wash the bottles.
 

Boodlemania

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
593
Reaction score
7
Location
East TN
+1 for the dishwasher IF:

1. The bottles are clean to start with, especially inside.
2. Your dishwasher is clean.
3. You do not use soap.
4. You use the proper settings on the dishwasher.

I rinse my bottles thoroughly immediately after pouring, inspect them for crud, then let them air-dry upside down. I then store them in boxes/milk crates until bottling time. At bottling time, I rinse the bottles twice in hot water then load them into the washer. I let the washer site for an hour or so (closed) after the cycle is over to dissipate some of the heat, then bottle away on the dishwasher door.
 

menschmaschine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
51
Location
Delaware
Remember that heat sanitizing is temperature AND time dependent. I don't recall the exact numbers without looking on the FDAs website, but 180°F for 30 seconds is considered santizing and so is 145°F for 1 hour (something like that). All the temperatures in between have corresponding times in between.

I've "sanitized" thousands (well, over 1000 anyway) of bottles in my dishwasher which has no sanitizer setting, but has heated rinse and heated dry settings. I've never had an infection.
 

woollybugger2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
3
don't you just have to plan way ahead with the dishwasher. so that the bottles will have cooled down by the time your ready to bottle. I tried it once, ran the dish washer first thing and then after it was finished I started racking the beer and still found that the bottles were way too hot to fill. Not saying that it won't do the job, just saying that you should perhaps run the bottles the night before your are planning to bottle.....
 

Grinder12000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
2,996
Reaction score
50
Location
Columbus WI
I use the DW and it really cuts down on the time thing. I set it up so it starts 2 hours before I get home - then when I get home from work they are just in the cooling stage. Open the door - put them in a case and by the time I have everything ready they are perfect.

DO NOT use soap. Make sure they are clean. Excellent way to cut down bottle time.
 

Powchekny

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
1
Here's my bottle cleaning regimen.

When I get empties from my friends or family, I wash them in the sink with cold water and a bottle brush (no soap). These bottles have been in circulation for a while, so the labels are long gone. Then I let them air dry, and stow them clean in a cabinet.

The day before brew day, I get out the 50 or 60 I need for the batch, and press a small piece of aluminum foil around the top of each. I reuse these foil caps from batch to batch. The actual sanitizing, which might be almost sterilizing actually, consists of me baking the bottles, with aluminum foil lids on, for 1 hour at 400 degrees F in my oven.

I let the bottles cool slowly in the oven, to avoid cracking them.

The one real strength of this method is that the bottles are well sanitized, and *stay* sanitized until you remove the foil cap from the top. I've left them capped for days before actual bottling, and never had a problem.

Anyway, I like it because it gives some flexibility with timing. Energy-wise, it might be easier on the environment than the dishwasher. Not sure about this, though.

--Pow
 

HSM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
460
Reaction score
9
Location
McMurray, PA
If you have a dishwasher and aren't using it for bottling then something's wrong with you! :)

No soap, heat cycle, heck I even put in a teaspoon of bleach in the wash cycle.

The dishwasher has a built in bottling tree, use it.
 

HorribleCatfish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
68
Reaction score
5
Location
Syracuse, NY
I thoroughly rinse my bottles after I use them and place them on a bottle tree until it's time to bottle. My dishwasher doesn't have a sanitize setting, but I have used the pots and pans setting with heat dry and haven't had a problem yet. I've only been using this technique for the last 3 batches, but for now, I have no reason to stop.
 

Stef1966

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Messages
390
Reaction score
5
Location
Quebec, Canada
I have brewed 100's of batches of beer only using my dishwasher on the "sanitize" setting to give them the final cleaning, and have had exaclty ZERO problems.

I'm not saying its the right way, but it works for me.
Same thing here, only i don't even think i have a sanitizing cycle on mine, i put it on "Pans and casseroles" and "Heat Dry" and never had any problems.

I put in a mix of my usual pink bleach soap and regular dishwasher powder soap.

Got an old HotPoint Filtra plus from the early 90's

Then when all of it is done, i just rinse every bottles with miraculous plain tap water.

Beer is way tougher than you would think.
 

PurdyGood

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
95
Reaction score
2
Will a dishwasher sanitize your bottles? She might, if you ask her very nicely.
 

roxy35

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
109
Reaction score
0
Location
hickory
So, I'm preparing to bottle this morning and have been trying to read through all these threads. My #1 question is, do you use the DW and Starsan?

I've recently purchased 2 cases of bottles from my LHBS and they are a little "dusty." Do you guys who uses a DW, just pop in them in the dishwasher on high heat/dry, then bottle directly once they've cooled?

OR, do you use Starsan once they've cooled, then bottle?

Any help would appreciated. I will bottling in the next 3-4 hours. Thanks!
 
Top