Bottle sanitazion

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Hello everyone!
Jan 21, 2009
Reaction score
My first batch will be ready to be bottled in a few days so I have a few questions regarding bottle sanitation. I’ve seen the tree bottle holder some suppliers sell so I’m assuming my bottles have to be completely dry before I put wine into them. Since I don’t have a holder, I was thinking of just washing and sanitizing the bottles that came with my kit and then fill them up. (1) Do my bottles need to be completely dry before filling or is it OK having some residual sanitizer?(2) If they need to be completely dry, can I just put them in the oven for a few minutes? Thanks!
I clean the bottles in hot water with soda (household soda called cleaning soda). Then I rinse them with plain cold water.

Next I rinse them with a sulphite solution and place them on the bottle tree.
The bit of sulphited water that is left in the bottles does not harm the wine as it is minimal. you do not have to dry them before fillign them with wine.

I would figure out some kind pf way to let them mostly drip dry. like leaning them against a wall with a clean paper towel under so that the bottles are not touching something un sanitized.
It has been a while since I've posted... I just bottled my second batch ever (French Cab) and so I just went through the bottling process. I have that bottle washer that has the basin and if you turn the bottle upside down and push down, it squirts the water up into the bottle. This was SO much nicer then what I had before.

I did not have the bottle rack, and wish I did have that, so it can drip dry. After every batch I do buy one more piece of equipment to my collection!

As for my bottling last weekend, I did have some residual water/sanitizer, and it didn't have any effect on my wine taste.
I soak them in a sink full of water with either oxy-clean or B-brite.

I rinse them well with a bottle washer and very hot water just before bottling. I just stand them upright and leave them till they are filled. THey usually dry pretty quick, but i dont sweat it if they arent perfectly dry.
twisty, do you sanitize your bottles? :( Those supplies you mention are cleaners, not sanitizers.
twisty, do you sanitize your bottles? :( Those supplies you mention are cleaners, not sanitizers.

B-brite has chlorine in it and oxy-clean has peroxide, so both have some sanitizing properties. I keep the water heater in my garage set fairly high, so the heat helps. too.

I always rinse and store my empty bottles clean, so theres generally no clumps of fuzz growing in the bottom. If they come from someplace else and are grungy, then I'll use the bottle washer and a brush before I soak them.
My mother is a microbiologist and she has worked for over 20 yrs at Florida Hospital East Orlando in their research department, I talked to her about this issue and she said that regular household cleaners are effective in killing bacteria. To put it on lamest terms, there is good and bad bacteria, She said something about how not all the bacteria is killed, only the bad (in spite of what the Clorox commercial says 99.9%). To kill ALL bacteria you must disinfect by means of chemicals such as potassium metabisulphite or intensive heating or chemical gasses. I grew up with the idea that germs are good for you. To be honest I’ve been sick 3 times in 25 yrs (2 of which was the flu) so I’m not going to go crazy trying to sanitize this bottles and just cross my fingers that my wine will be OK.
Have to agree with you somewhat MICO, I can't remeber the last time I have been sick, but when it comes to the winemaking, I will aways use the metas for sterilization. I live in a little cabin with 3 cats in the middle of Alaska with no running water, so when I first decided to undertake this whole wine making serious I sure considered the whole idea of sterlization. But even from a junior stand point I think it is still better to be safe than sorry. I think it is probably better to sanitize everything first. But like you, I am not going to spend more time worrying about all that than I am trying to make a successful product.

I know we'll probably get slammed for these opinions, but crossing our fingers might work..personally, I'm crossing my heart.

Take Care
I know we'll probably get slammed for these opinions, but crossing our fingers might work..personally, I'm crossing my heart.

Cleaned and sanitized is the way to go. Anybody who doesn't is taking a chance. Perhaps not a big chance, but one that I am not prepared to take.

I believe in sanitizing "anything that MIGHT come in contact with my wine".

K-meta (aka potassium metabisulphite) is the preferred sanitizer for winemakers. Na-meta also works. Personally I prefer Iodophor.

The reason for good sanitization in winemaking is so that your wine doesn't get infected. It'll get sick long before you do!

I've got a friend who rinses his bottles when they are empty and puts them in the rack. He gives them the same amount of sanitation that he'd give to his tableware.
When it's time to bottle, he just pulls them out and fills them.
I do the same with my wine glasses. My wine glassware have seen soap only once in 5 years. Just a good rise in very hot water after I’m done using them. I tell my friends to bring their own glasses if they don’t want my germs but surprisingly no one has showed up at my house with their own glass, yet. I really do not want any residues getting mixed with the wine that’s why I asked about what to do with the bottles in the first place.;)
Howdy all. We do most of our wine work in our kitchen. So when it comes to dealing with bottles, we use our dishwasher for draining. You can invert about 60 bottles in the baskets. Granted, some of them stick out at some pretty wierd angles. Some friends of ours use a couple of old baskets that came out of an old chest freezer. They turn them upside down and stick the necks in all of the little square holes fromed by the wires.
Real simple and kept me from having to buy and store another piece of equipment.
Thats a GREAT idea. My dishwasher has that heater/sanitizer so that would work!!!! I don't know how I missed this. Thanks a million!!!!
Truthfully bottle sanitation is one of the easier tasks IMO, and it's not costly.

I would NOT advise using a dishwasher.

Rinse the bottles with a tap attached hot water rinser, sterilize w/k-meta basin that squirts the solution up into the bottle (this is a <$20 item) and hang the bottles on a tree.

They dry pretty quick, but I dont sweat a few residual water drops and never have any off taste or contamination.
Last edited:
K-meta should not be rinsed. You do not need to "dry" the bottle either.
I guess thats why I'm a junior member... LOL. I corrected my post with the right order so not to confuse anyone.
Thats why we are here to make you better so you can enjoy it more CHEERRS! :b
I agree with above post. We as home wine makers usually do not ad enough sulfites to properly protect our wine for storage. The little bit of extra sulfite solution left in your bottles from sanitatizing the bottles is not excessive and will only help your current wine unless you went overboard on sulfite additions to your wine.

Latest posts