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Powered Bottle Scrubber/Cleaner

I, like others dislike trying to clean stubborn bottles. I don’t like to toss any because I’m cheap.

I put the bottle brush on my drill and it was ok, but still time consuming and it still left behind some of that white film. I didn’t like having to try and hold the bottle with one hand and the drill with the other.

If I push to hard the metal would scratch the bottle.

I looked around and found some automated cleaners… but this is crazy expensive.

I thought about the barmaid glass cleaner, but the setup wouldn’t fit inside the bottle.

I found some glass scrubber unit, that was not powered but same problem.

I found that wood dowel and rag thingy, could work but not the way I want…

So, I decided to create something for myself. Using a combination of different things(listed above) and designed a powered bottle scrubber, that has self contained cleaner and self rotating inside scrubber.

Here is the design I threw together based on these ideas:

-Powered
-Self contained
-Outside AND inside cleaning at same time
-Adjustable depth stopper for different size bottles
-Foot pedal on/off switch for both hands on operation
-Belt driven to act as a slipper clutch, just in case something goes wrong.
-Expandable, maybe a bottom(outside) of bottle scrubber off on the side, powered on same motor.

The material to be used for the construction of the brushes is to be determined.

[attachment=1]bottle scrubber.jpg[/attachment]

The motor will be mounted off to the side and use a belt setup. The speed of the brush will be adjusted by the size of the pulleys.

[attachment=0]bottle scrubber bottom.jpg[/attachment]

I was thinking that setup near the sink so it could be assembly line like, wash/scrub and rinse.

What is everyone’s thoughts?

And don’t say Keg. I want real brain storming.

I keep a tiny container of PBW by the sink. I rinse the bottle right after pouring to get 95% clean. Then I use a kitchen knife edge to put some PBW in the bottle. (maybe 1/8 tsp) add some hot water and let it soak. Next morning I rinse the PBW and have not had a problem with film build up.

+1. It’s been a while since I bottled, but when I did I would just make sure to rinse any bottles with hot water at the end of the night. Any bottles that wouldn’t rinse totally clean I would fill with PBW and let it soak over night. Next morning they would all rinse clean. No scrubbing required, and never had a problem with film or gunk. With this method I never once had to use a bottle brush either.

I like your contraption, and if you build it, definitely share pictures.

That said, I don’t mess with dirty bottles; I thoroughly rinse after use, then store. If it’s got stuff in it when I pull it out of storage, it goes in the recycling. If I need more beer bottles, I buy some Bells. Easy to remove the label & clean their bottles, and I get the beer, too.

How do you plan to seal around the shaft, and to support the shaft against the side loads it will see, due to the “free end” of the shaft?

I do rinse my bottles after I pour, but after a PBW bath when it comes time to clean the bottles, I’ve started to notice a white film, some are like a ring and that’s it. Some are perfectly fine.

I really don’t know what the white film is, and why its so difficult to remove.

As for having PBW in the kitchen waiting to be used is out of the question. My counter space is limited and my wife would not enjoy this container taking up room.

Good point on the stress on the bearing. I’m now thinking of having an additional bearing support directly under the pulley. As for the seal, I would imagine they make many different kinds of bearings that can be used as a seal too. Think of how many things have a bearing that supports a shaft that is either in water or some kind of liquid and doesn’t leak. I have no clue how much they cost and what sizes they come in. I’m pretty sure R/C car bearings would work, the sealed ones.

[quote=“Stealthcruiser”]How do you plan to seal around the shaft, and to support the shaft against the side loads it will see, due to the “free end” of the shaft?[/quote]My thoughts exactly. I’m a mechanical engineer and I love to build my own gadgets so I can appreciate your creative thoughts and ingenuity. That being said, I think this is what you should base your design on, perhaps even buying it and then modifying to make the bottle fit over the center brush.

[quote=“amxman”]I do rinse my bottles after I pour, but after a PBW bath when it comes time to clean the bottles, I’ve started to notice a white film, some are like a ring and that’s it. Some are perfectly fine.

I really don’t know what the white film is, and why its so difficult to remove.

As for having PBW in the kitchen waiting to be used is out of the question. My counter space is limited and my wife would not enjoy this container taking up room.

Good point on the stress on the bearing. I’m now thinking of having an additional bearing support directly under the pulley. As for the seal, I would imagine they make many different kinds of bearings that can be used as a seal too. Think of how many things have a bearing that supports a shaft that is either in water or some kind of liquid and doesn’t leak. I have no clue how much they cost and what sizes they come in. I’m pretty sure R/C car bearings would work, the sealed ones.[/quote]

No, I don’t think those will work, (R/C bearings), but the deal MullerBrau posted is made to sit in liquid, I believe, and the spindle is probably supported above and below the drive mechanism in the base.

The white powder you see if most likely from using too strong of a solution.

+1 That sounds like a winner theory. PBW residue is a pain to clean.

It could also be improper drying leaving hard water stains. I use a single tier from a bottle tree, as long as you have at least 2, it can balance without the base. If I only have 1 it just sits on the normal dish rack.

+1 That sounds like a winner theory. PBW residue is a pain to clean.

It could also be improper drying leaving hard water stains. I use a single tier from a bottle tree, as long as you have at least 2, it can balance without the base. If I only have 1 it just sits on the normal dish rack.[/quote]It has happened to me before, that’s why I mentioned it.

What ratio of PBW to water do you use? I use around the 1-2oz per gallon ratio that is stated on the container.

That bar glass scrubber is where I got my original idea from. I know the center brush is to big to fit a bottle. Those things are expensive to begin with so buying one to modify or copy would be out of the question.

I don’t think the glass scrubbers have any rotating parts, just a jet stream of whatever is in the sink.

I have one of those jet washers that you attach to the sink and I use it to rinse out the bottles after soaking in the PBW.

As for strong bearings… how about bearings out of a circular saw? The one that is between the “transmission” and the motor is a rubber sealed to keep the grease from running out, don’t know how well it would work with liquid. I’m not too concerned about a small leak, I’m probably going to put this thing over the utility sink when in use or a bucket could work too.

I’m thinking of mounting this whole thing to plywood while its a prototype, but maybe making it some thick plastic in the future.

If I was to use a plastic rod for the center(so its less likely to scratch), what could I use to attach scrubbers to it? I may use wood dowel for prototype, has anyone had good success with drilling the slot and inserting the rag like someone mentioned on another topic posting? Would the rag be enough to remove any residue or dried yeast at the bottom of the bottle?

Thanks for all the thinking!!
:cheers:

Has anyone used that plastic rod cleaner with those blue microfiber towels attached? How good does that work?

MullerBrau, you mention being an engineer, I wish I was an engineer, I love fixing issues with new tools and stuff. But I’m not, I’m just a Carpenter, I’ve come up with some creative things threw the years.

I’ve been toying around with the SketchUp program to draw things, is there a better program that is free or very cheap? Again I don’t want to pay a bunch for a program that I don’t have time to learn how to use, something that is simple to use and has helpful tools. SketchUp has some good tools but sometimes a pain to get things just right.

What are your thoughts? Sorry this is off topic a bit.

[quote=“amxman”]MullerBrau, you mention being an engineer, I wish I was an engineer, I love fixing issues with new tools and stuff. But I’m not, I’m just a Carpenter, I’ve come up with some creative things threw the years.

I’ve been toying around with the SketchUp program to draw things, is there a better program that is free or very cheap? Again I don’t want to pay a bunch for a program that I don’t have time to learn how to use, something that is simple to use and has helpful tools. SketchUp has some good tools but sometimes a pain to get things just right.

What are your thoughts? Sorry this is off topic a bit.[/quote]I use SketchUp all the time. Great program and the price is right. I use it mostly for carpentry work (funny eh?). See below for an example of a basement I did. One pic is a screenshot of SketchUp and the other is the actual basement.

Wow, that looks very good, how do you draw everything without having to input every darn little line? I have the free version, which is not the pro, maybe some of the options help.

Do you start in a 2D drawing or do you just draw with 3D?

[quote=“amxman”]Wow, that looks very good, how do you draw everything without having to input every darn little line? I have the free version, which is not the pro, maybe some of the options help.

Do you start in a 2D drawing or do you just draw with 3D?[/quote]I too use the free version. I draw a 2D object then extrude to 3rd dimension and copy when I need multiples. Also make good use of textures and models available to import from the google community.

Ok, I did some research.

I measured what I have and this is what I came up with.

12oz bottle:

2 3/8" outside diameter
9" tall
3/4" inside neck

22oz bottle:

2 7/8" outside diameter
11 1/4" tall
3/4" inside neck

my bottle brush from NB is a 2 1/2" diameter.

I’m guessing at about 1 1/2" bristle length for the brushes to be mounted to the outer tube that doesn’t move.

And about 2 1/2" to about 2 3/4" inner brush with a plastic rod, from a brush manufacturer.

I found a pdf list of pvc piping. It looks like a 6" white PVC schedule 80 would put me at about 5.7" inside diameter. And they sell in 1’ lengths so 1’ tall would be my starting point.

More info to follow as I think some more…

How is this any different that what is in every bar?

Your white film you’re getting is from risning colder than your soaking or using to much product

The item that is in every bar doesn’t work with bottles. It is for cleaning glasses, the plastic rod that holds the bristles is to large in diameter to fit. And not to mention how expensive they are.

I tend to rinse warmer than the cleaning solution, and my guess is that I’m using a too strong of a solution.

Sometimes I soak the bottles for more than a day, if I don’t have time to clean them at that time, this and the combination of water evaporating a bit may be the problem too. I just don’t want to toss any bottles if they can be cleaned with a simple contraption.

I can make this thing for way cheaper than one of those barmaid’s. The most expensive part will be the motor, and I have one that is not being used at the moment. It is overkill of a motor but for now it will work.

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