Reusing old wine bottles, concerns...

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Inverted

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
25
Hey all,

I have been saving wine bottles, and having friends save theirs to use when I bottle my wines, but I have some concerns. Some bottles have been sitting uncleaned for months. I plan to soak to take labels off, will I be able to soak them enough to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned enough to use? Is there anything I should be worried about?
 

AkTom

Supporting Members
WMT Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
389
Reaction score
372
I get wine and beer bottles both from friends. As long as you are using a good cleaner, the inside should be good as the outside. If seriously nasty, throw that one out. You should be good to go though. I use oxyean free or unscented ammonia.
I used to soak my bottles in a large tote. Duh. Now I clean them in my utility sink. My sink is clean now too. Besides, I don't have to bend over.
Tom
 

Amanda660

Haven't met a grape I didn't like!
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
177
Reaction score
176
Location
West Central, MO
I use "used" bottles now exclusively. I kindly ask friends to rinse and save. A few don't rinse even after several requests and I just add them to the recycle bin and everybody feels good. I do not use any bottles that have any hint of funk inside or has a flaw. If you have a winery near you and they recycle Sunday is the best day to pick up just emptied bottles. If it doesn't look brand new after cleaning simply don't use it.
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
Invest in a good bottle brush! I use an unvented oxy cleaner and brush. If it is too much work, into the recycle bin. It is much nicer if they are rinsed right away. Tell your friends that and I bet they'll do it.
 

Mismost

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Messages
955
Reaction score
718
I keep a handful of BB's and pour them in a nasty bottles with some cleaning water....shake it around a bit...that gets most stubborn bottles clean...that's my last ditch effort...if that doesn't work I pitch them. I bought a few cases to get started and the supply has just grown.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,356
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
I only reuse the bottles that I personally rinse immediately. At $6 per case for new, it is not worth the time and effort to me to do the pbw soaking, bottle brush to make sure they are clean. I have around 150 gallons to bottle this season.
 

bkisel

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2013
Messages
3,681
Reaction score
1,807
I only reuse the bottles that I personally rinse immediately. At $6 per case for new, it is not worth the time and effort to me to do the pbw soaking, bottle brush to make sure they are clean. I have around 150 gallons to bottle this season.
At that fantastic price I'd do the same as you!
 

BernardSmith

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
3,514
Reaction score
1,786
Location
Saratoga Springs
I only reuse the bottles that I personally rinse immediately. At $6 per case for new, it is not worth the time and effort to me to do the pbw soaking, bottle brush to make sure they are clean. I have around 150 gallons to bottle this season.
Is it possible to share your source...$6 a case ? :HB
 

biscmc

Junior
Joined
Mar 5, 2016
Messages
24
Reaction score
11
All posters above have provided great advice.

In addition, if you are re-using old bottles, I would not recommend corking threaded bottles. The glass is thinner, the opening is smaller, and may not withstand the stress of being corked.
 

garymc

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
961
Reaction score
216
I use a bottle brush. They're cheap and you can get them at Walmart, grocery stores, kitchen gadget stores, and winemaking supply stores. I have 3 bottle brushes and a carboy brush I use along with detergent and oxyclean.
 

Inverted

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
25
I actually ended up washing the bottles today. They all cleaned up really well. Soaked them in warm one step for several hours, inspected, then delabled.
 

Throwdown

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2016
Messages
32
Reaction score
8
I've found the $6 case pricing, but unfortunately you had to buy a pallet ~100 cases
 

Inverted

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
69
Reaction score
25
Yea at 15 bucks a case usually, I'll just save bottles and clean them.
 

NorCal

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
3,356
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
@4Score and I will each by a pallet (56 cases) this coming year. They charge $30 if you have to break a pallet.
 

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,014
Reaction score
5,774
If it is all crusty and ugly and stubborn, I would simply toss the bottle and move on.

What I do is to start by purchasing new bottles. This is nice as I can be sure that identical bottles will stack nicely.

As a bottle is used (emptied), I am religious about rinsing the bottle 3 times (minimum) in screaming hot water just as soon as the bottle is emptied. the bottle is then placed on a mini desktop rack to dry, then placed into a "bottle bin" (a 5'x5'x5' box on wheels) to await refill.

Prior to filling, the bottle is re-washed using pbw and then rinsed in k-meta solution.
 

Floandgary

Bottle at a time
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
910
Reaction score
322
If it is all crusty and ugly and stubborn, I would simply toss the bottle and move on.

What I do is to start by purchasing new bottles. This is nice as I can be sure that identical bottles will stack nicely.

As a bottle is used (emptied), I am religious about rinsing the bottle 3 times (minimum) in screaming hot water just as soon as the bottle is emptied. the bottle is then placed on a mini desktop rack to dry, then placed into a "bottle bin" (a 5'x5'x5' box on wheels) to await refill.

Prior to filling, the bottle is re-washed using pbw and then rinsed in k-meta solution.
Yepper!! Rinsing (with "screaming hot water") as soon-as-possible after empty is most important. Dried stuff can be very time consuming to remove. K-meta rinse prior to filling will do the trick. I generally discard the tapered bottles. They're nice to handle but do not stack well.
 

JohnT

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
10,014
Reaction score
5,774
Yepper!! Rinsing (with "screaming hot water") as soon-as-possible after empty is most important. Dried stuff can be very time consuming to remove. K-meta rinse prior to filling will do the trick. I generally discard the tapered bottles. They're nice to handle but do not stack well.
Same here. I once had a disastrous cascade as a result of stacking those *&$% tapered bottles!
 

Latest posts

Top