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Used bottle washing

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warren57

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just got a couple cases of used bottles. What is best to wash with, prior to sanatizing?

Whoops! Never mind, started searching and found more than enough info on other posts.
I believe some PBW should do the trick. May give them a boil such as sanatizing canning jars as an added safety.
Not sure used bottles are worth the effort! If they were new bottles that I used and rinsed I wouldn’t be as concerned, but these are bottles with an unknown history, although they come from a local winery.
 
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CDrew

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Hot water soak and drain, followed by PBW (Powdered brewery wash) wash, and a thorough rinse. The Oxyclean Free (and only the "Free") is a good substitute for PBW. Label removal is harder. I have found baking in the oven for 20 minutes at 250 softens the glue on most bottles and will allow you to peal off the labels. Then scrub off the remaining glue with a brillo pad. It's a pain. For next bottling season, I'm buying all new bottles and getting out of the de-labeling business. Too much trouble.
 

warren57

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Thanks for your help, I’m beginning to wonder if I should even bother with these.
Any recommendations on buying new bottles? I’m guessing something local in your given area, as shipping cost seems crazy?
 

Scooter68

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Believe you are over thinking the issue. Soak them, remove the labels give them a quick check for spots on the inside. Sanitize and use them. I stock up for each batch by visiting the local recycling center - When I start a batch, that way I have about a year to get the bottles and get them ready.

Boiling isn't neccessary. If you are soaking them in a cleaner to remove the labels you are also removing any residue inside IF you are doing it correctly. I sanitize when I get the labels off, store them until they are needed and do one more quick sanitize just before I fill them. START EARLY.

It's your money and your time. Used bottles are free from recycling centers and many folks get theirs from local restaurants or bars.
 

warren57

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Now, things don’t sound quite as bad!
I’m going to pick thes up at the winery this weekend and will see what they look like and give it a try.
That way I’ll know rather to do it again!
Thanks again
 

buzi

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Someone suggested putting boiling water from a tea kettle in the bottle and then pealing off the label. It works like a charm. This has been the best suggestion I have tried. I tried soaking in hot water, different cleaning solutions etc. The boiling water allows me to handle the bottle that night and then store them away. If there is a little glue residue, goo-be-gone takes it right off.
 

NorCal

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I buy new bottles and then reuse all the ones we drink. I triple rinse right when we drain the bottle and then store them upside down in the case until the next filling. I factor the ~$.60 per bottle for those I need to replace into the cost of the wine. I like having all the same shape and color and having them fit back into the box.
 

Johnd

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I also buy new bottles, and reuse my bottles. Reusing is easy, removing my labels is as simple as a quick peel, rinse with hot water, then back into a cardboard case to await its next sanitizing and storage assignment. No label scraping, soaking, oiling, fighting for me, life’s too short to spend time with that. I get bottles for about a buck and reuse them over and over, it’s easy and consistent.
 

Jal5

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Lots of friends give me bottles. It’s not a fun job but free is good! I soak overnight in oxyclean and water. Label scrapes off then a brillo pad to get the excess glue.the razor blade holder tool is perfect for scraping.
 

jpwatkins9

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I get bottles from friends, soak them in our deep sink in the kitchen in no rinse sanitizer (I do rinse). I then use a single edge razor blade to remove the labels. They usually peel off no problem. I then seal them with stretch and seal (plastic wrap) and put them up. Usually just a few at a time, but when ready to bottle no problems, just a quick re-sanitize and ready to go. I now have about 120 used bottles full, and another 60 waiting. Only bought the first 30.
 

Chris Pittock

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I mostly buy new bottles from Wilkinson’s here in the UK, which I always wash with hot water, washing up liquid and a bottle brush. Once rinsed I use Harris No-Rinse steriliser as I’m now on a water meter.

The problem I find with used commercial bottles is that few of them are corked these days. Most are screw top, which aren’t good fir laying down or long term storage.

But either new or old bottles, I’ve never had any problems.

One tip I have learnt is that I make my own paper labels and stick them on with Pritt Stick. That way you come off really easily after use with a bit of soap and water.
 

tradowsk

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I have never bought bottles yet. I soak them overnight in hot water and baking soda. Most labels come right off with a quick scrape (except the imported italian bottles, those labels are usually a real PITA)
 

Scooter68

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I have never bought bottles yet. I soak them overnight in hot water and baking soda. Most labels come right off with a quick scrape (except the imported italian bottles, those labels are usually a real PITA)
I agree - Some brands have labels that are impossible without using mineral spirits or other undesirable things to remove the labels. THOSE go back to the recycling bins.

Funny how some have two labels with different adhesives one easy peasy the other grrrrr.

I really need to create a cheat sheet to put by where I clean labels to remind me of the most effective method for each type and a list of -"Do not try just return to recycling."

Today looks to be a good wine work day. 26 degrees and dropping and snowing, rain last night (52 degrees at 10PM 26 degrees at 8:30AM with Snow) Low tonight in the mid teens. NOT going to work outside today.
 

Evan_J

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I prefer Bordeaux bottles over Burgundy. Bottles with sloped shoulders take up more space on the shelf.

Do not try to re-use bottles with threaded caps. The caps often leak when refilled, even if cranked down tight. You can cork them, but the corks often leak, or push down into the bottle.

For 12 ounce bottles, you can't re-cap twist-offs. Sam Adams brewery does not use twist-offs, and the labels are easily removed with soaking. Crown cap bottles work well for wine or beer. Indian restaurants often have disposable imported 24 ounce beer bottles, almost same size as a wine bottle.

Soak used wine bottles in room temp water for 12 - 24 hours. For scraping, try an inexpensive device called the "Labelnator." Its curved blade matches the shape of a bottle. Just don't scrape toward your hand or leg.

If necessary, spray a little detergent on the outside, and scrub off residual glue with a metal pad. Orange oil may soften stubborn glue. If it's too much work, recycle.

Inspect the bottle for lipstick, paper trash, cigarette butts, bugs or mold. If necessary, use detergent and a bottle brush. PBW works even better. Triple rinse, and drain clean bottles in a dishwasher overnight.

If the bottle is visibly clean, don't bother to wash the inside. Just sanitize it with a strong bisulfite solution before refilling.

People who repeatedly return bottles with dried mold in the bottom should be removed from your free beer & wine list.
 

cooknhogz

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My process for taking off even the most stubborn labels is to easy and with very little effort. First, fill you bottle with hot tap water and let sit for 10-15 mins, then with a good quality vegetable peeler (aka potato peeler) scrape off the label, then if there is any glue residue, spray with a little goo gone, hit with the vegetable peeler again and wipe off with a paper towel. Label gone. I have probably well over a hundred used bottles in the basement that look like brand new using this process. cheers
 

Sage

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Cleaning inside: I have gotten some really filthy bottles. Not rinsed, with dry wine and ???? Inside.

I have a carton of air rifle BBs. I use a funnel to pour a big hand full in along with a cleaning solution. Swish the bottle and check it by looking at it with a strong light behind it. If any residue remains, continue. When it is clean inside I put a sanitizer solution in and let it sit while working on the next ones.

After use, I dry the BBs on a towel, back in the carton.
 

Scooter68

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Cleaning inside: I have gotten some really filthy bottles. Not rinsed, with dry wine and ???? Inside.

I have a carton of air rifle BBs. I use a funnel to pour a big hand full in along with a cleaning solution. Swish the bottle and check it by looking at it with a strong light behind it. If any residue remains, continue. When it is clean inside I put a sanitizer solution in and let it sit while working on the next ones.

After use, I dry the BBs on a towel, back in the carton.

That's what bottle brushes are for. BBs are round and not going to scrub the surface like a brush.
 

Jal5

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I just took labels off a case of bottles using the heat gun and razor blade scrape. WOW
I am sold. No mess and most peel off all in one piece. Now they just need a quick wash and rinse. Maybe took 20 minutes to peel a case. Thanks to the person who mentioned this method !
 

Sage

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BBs are far faster, easier and more effective. Bristles are spread and clean in streaks. Round, yes, but a couple of hundred swirled around on round edges work just fine for me.
 

warren57

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Picked up a few cases at a local winery. Cleaned and sanitized 2 cases so far. Labels weren’t to bad, but they did use 2 different glues. One was super easy, the other not so much.
Got one case of 375 ml. They look pretty handy when you don’t want a larger bottle.
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