How do you clean your beer bottles?

My father swears you need to boil your bottles. I’m convienced they just need to soak in cleaner and dipped in sanitizer for a minute before bottling.

What do you do to clean your beer bottles before bottling?

Soak in PBW or Oxiclean and sanitize with StarSan.

I clean with dishsoap and water, inspect to make sure no visible deposits are left, then give a quick rinse with Star San.

Boiling will work, but it is a pain. When I first started, I baked my bottles (carefully, with no sudden temperature changes that would cause thermal cracking). Eventually realized that bottles only need to be sanitary, not sterile. 8)

I have never heard about boiling bottles.

1st, it would take forever to boil enough bottles for a 5 gallon batch.

2nd, each batch would need to be boiled for a long time (15-20 minutes maybe) to accomplish a decent job of sanitizing them. We sanitize a plate chiller by circulating boiling water through it for about that long.

If you can fit 10 bottles in a pot, that would be ~5 batches. 5 X 15 minutes is 1hr 15 minutes. Plus the time to get the water up to temp when you add new bottles.

To much work. :slight_smile:

If you have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, put the bottles in the night before so they have time to cool. No detergent and no “jet dry” products.

Same for me.

I soak in oxyclean, then run thru dishwasher with no detergent and heat dry and finally sanitize with StarSan…the dishwasher is probably an unnecessary extra step…but I do it anyways.


If I soak them in PBW in a stainless steel sink will the PBW pit the sink? SWMBO would not be happy if I damage her sink…

Buy a big plastic tub. SWMBO will not appreciate having her sink tied up for very long.

My routine now is to rinse each bottle as soon as I pour a brew.

When the wife gets tired of seeing them on the counter awaiting washing, I wash a batch in the sink and then let them airdry before storing them upside down in the original 12 pack box.

When I’m ready to bottle a batch, I run them through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle, no soap and heated dry.

Next day they are waiting nice an clean. So far, so good.

Nope. I’ve been doing it for years.

Nope. I’ve been doing it for years.[/quote]

Thanks Denny!

[quote]P.B.W. is a buffered alkaline detergent that has been proven to be more than an
effective substitute for caustic soda cleaners. Because of its unique formulation
of buffers and mild alkalis, it is safe on skin as well as soft metals such as
stainless steel, aluminum, and on plastics. P.B.W. uses active oxygen to penetrate carbon
or protein soils and is not effected by hard water. The oxygen also helps in
reducing B.O.D. and C.O.D. in wastewater, which is an added environmental
[/quote] ... BWTech.pdf

I was them 7-10 at a time in a sink full of hot water and oxyclean using a bottle brush. I then line them up on the kitchen counter to air dry. Once I have enough clean to bottle my batch of beer I give each bottle 4-5 squirts of StarSan from a spray bottle and then dump the excess StarSan before I fill each bottle.

I generally will soak them in Oxiclean Free in a large storage bin and then sanitize before bottling. I use the same scenario when harvesting “free” beer bottles as well. It seems to loosen the labels and the adhesive quite well.

I give them a quick rinse as soon as they’re emptied. I soak them in hot water and oxiclean (which also works great for removing labels), and rinse well. I never have to use a bottle brush. I use an inverted milk crate as a drying rack, and once they’re dry I store them upside down in boxes so they don’t get dust in them. Sanitize with Star San on bottling day and I’m good to go.

A very easy system. Since I rinse them immediately, they aren’t that dirty to begin with. Since my kitchen counter will only hold so many before I need to take them downstairs to soak, it’s not a huge chore to wash them a few at a time.

I use OxiClean if I need to remove labels, otherwise bottles simply get several rinses of hot water and are stored (dry and covered) until bottling day.

My sanitization process is to run a rinse cycle on my empty dishwasher (to rinse off any remaining detergent residue), then a rinse cycle with the bottles loaded (for my peace of mind and nothing more), then the sanitize cycle.

I’m with everyone here that rinses immediately then puts them away. No problems yet and all I do is star san on bottling day.

I rinse out the bottles after use. Failure to do so will result in caked on junk and the occasional fungus growing inside the bottles.

I then wash them in the dishwasher.

On the day I bottle something, I’ll run them through the dishwasher again and use a sanitizing rinse. I’ll bottle once they’re roughly room temperature.

With bottles I’ve emptied personally, I rinse x 3 , then store upside down. With bottles I get back from friends I might actually use a little Dawn before rinsing x3. Removing labels, I use the Oxyclean soak trick.
On bottling day I run them through the dishwasher with one scoop of B-brite in the 1st cycle, nothing in the 2nd cycle,then heated dry. Never had an infection- at least not yet, knock on wood.

Same thing I use to clean everything else- an oz of bleach and an oz of vinegar in 5 gallons of water. just DON’T PUT THEM IN TOGETHER!!! this has a sanitation time of 30 seconds, but I leave my bottles in for ten minutes and then let them dry, no rinse. Better results than any commercial version.