Sanitizing Bottles?

Hi all. A noob here at the home brewing scene. Well, I have my first batch fermenting in the basement and I have just received my bottles. My question is can I sanitize my bottles in a dishwasher that has a sanitize cycle, or must I dunk all 48 bottles in Star San in a bucket? Again, I am a noob.

I load my dishwasher with all my bottles (putting one bottle on each of the “spikes” of the rack) and run it through a hot water wash with no soap or JetDry. Never had a problem. Plus the dishwasher door makes a great bottling station.

Welcome to brewing and this forum. Lots of great info on here, so take advantage of the search function. :smiley:

Yes, you can run them the rough the dishwasher and just pull them out as you fill them. I personally use a Sanitizer, just dip, shake, dump and put on a bottle tree.

Bottle trees make bottling much more efficient.

Have fun.

Sometimes the search function is a POS. Don’t feel bad about asking a question.

I have also used the dishwasher to sanitize bottles. But you need to plan ahead for it. The time it takes to run the cycle and then cool down. You may also want to clean the trap of the dishwasher, it get a little nasty in there.

The dishwasher also make a good rack to put bottles on if you want to sanitize them in a bucket.

I do the same thing, and plug the jet dry opening with a blob of paper towel.
I use the “sanitize” cycle.

before I put in dishwasher, I give them all a good rinse.

and plan ahead, they need to cool awhile.

It can be a post, haha. And yes ask questions. I just like to dig around on here with the search thingy.

I will chime in also about the dishwasher. Load it up with as many bottles as I will need plus some extra just in case. let the washer cycle with no soap or detergent added, let them cool and voila, sanitized ready to use bottles.

Done this at least a dozen times and yet to have an issue.

  • 1 to cleaning that greasy trap.
    Clean mine a day ahead of time and then after every actual dish washing cycle leading up to putting the bottles in it.

The only time I do any sanitizing other than running them through the dishwasher is when the bottles haven’t been used for a very long time. Think a year or better.

I too am a huge advocate of the dishwasher for sanitizing…also works great as a bottling station…but I will caution you all when cleaning out the trap in your dishwasher…I bottled yesterday, and went to clean out the trap, as I saw a fair amount of junk there…sliced open my finger on what I assume was a broken glass…so be careful.

When you say you received your bottles, do you mean you bought them and had them shipped? If so, rather than spending money like that, save it for another brew and do what I do. Go to bars and ask for bottles, ask your friends and family to save them, and the best way I’ve found is to go on Sunday (day before recycling is picked up) and get them out of peoples bins on the curb or alley. I take my bike with a trailer or panniers lined with plastic bags. Just be ready to get some funny looks. I make sure to clean them all out prior to washing them in the dishwasher, and rarely waste time taking off labels. Never had any issues with any bottles (just look for any cracks in the glass).

Another option, pretty cheep, but not free, is to go to your local redemption center. They will sell you back bottles at $.05 a piece where I live ($.05 is the bottle deposit they pay out). You can get your pick of almost any kind of bottle. Found a few flip toppers there. Just make sure to wash well. Or go with the tested and true version of just buying and drinking beer…and then hey, bottles you can re-use afterwards are already yours.

Much much easier to just dip in star san in a big tub or something
the dishwasher can harbor a lot of nasties to

I use a bottle tree and the bottle rinser that you can get with it. Just put a star san mixture in the rinser and do a spray or two and fill the bottle…I’ve heard people say that the bottle isn’t in contact with star san for long enough, but I’ve never had a bottle infection in the 5 years I’ve been doing this. I rinse the bottles right after I’m done and put them on the tree and theyre ready for the next time…

Thank you all for your input. Sorry for the late reply, work got crazy. Much appreciated.

I asked a similar question and I think the answers fell into these categories:

  1. dishwasher sanitizing step, as described above. I did that a long time ago when I started brewing, it seemed hard to get 50 bottles to fit on the racks. You’re only using the hot steam to sanitize, there probably isn’t enough water getting inside the bottles to actually clean them. Any remaining labels could cause problems with the pump etc…

  2. a sanitizing pump with starsan or BTF with a bottle tree. There is a cool device that squirts sanitizer up when you put a bottle over it and push down. Some of those squirters will attach to the top of a bottling tree.

2b. variation on the sanitizer theme is to have a small bucket of star-san or BTF, dunk each bottle, then drain (on a bottle tree or something) before filling/capping.

  1. I put all of my bottles in the oven and run it at 200-225 degrees F for an hour or so, shut the oven off and let it cool down slowly. I used to do it the night before: rinse the bottles in the sink, load them into the oven and let it run. Then the next day (bottling day) they were all cooled off and ready to go. In theory if you leave the oven door closed they won’t pick up bugs in there. I don’t think I’ve ever had an infection using that method. Possible downside if the oven isn’t clean what may happen is that old food sort of smokes up and may coat the bottles and screw up head retention. I just ran self-clean a week or two ago and bottled last night so I’ll see if it helped. There were a couple of people that had done this method as well.

Good luck!

and as far as cleaning the bottles - everyone on here recommended OxyClean, and I used it to clean about 5 cases of empty bottles, lots with labels, and about a case with crud growing in the bottom of them. OxyClean worked great, ate the labels off of most of them and got the junk out pretty well. Thanks to everyone on these forums.

Only thing was that OxyClean also strips all the oils off your hands, so either use gloves, put on lotion, or be prepared for really raw hands for a day or two.

We are preparing to bottle our 1st batch, We dont have a dish washer, no Vinator. We do have an economy bottle tree which is 1 section short of holding 5gal batch/54 bottles (another retailer sells them separately). I have found the Star-San in a spray bottle has lost zero effectiveness by ph test paper standards since brewing day 10 days ago, We will use the spray bottle in conjunction w/bottle tree to get the job done, The oxy-clean is not bad but leaves a bleachy after smell that I say is CLEAN, however I do like the PBW’s effectiveness w/out bleachy effects. If your sensitive to these cleaners get those Blickman gloves…I love that my hands are CLEAN, albeit dry.


I used to sanitize in chlorine, then idophor. Now I use the dishwasher. Best way to go IMO, especially if you’re flying solo. I’d suggest timing your sanitize cycle so you can have everything ready when the bottles are.


I used to sanitize in chlorine, then idophor. Now I use the dishwasher. Best way to go IMO, especially if you’re flying solo. I’d suggest timing your sanitize cycle so you can have everything ready when the bottles are.[/quote]

and the hours it takes to let the bottles cool down.

Star san dunk is much easier. A small bottles tree is about 15 bucks