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How To Clean Bottles To Reuse?


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#1 winegirl

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:47 PM

Hi all,
I just started my first wine kit and I was wondering what was the best way to clean used wine bottles for reuse. Also, I'm having a heck of a time trying to get the labels off. Can you clean them in the dishwasher? I got a bunch of bottles saved up and i thought I would check before I ended up making it more complicated than it is....
Thanks,
Jamie

#2 MinnesotaMaker

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 07:53 PM

QUOTE (winegirl @ Jan 4 2008, 08:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi all,
I just started my first wine kit and I was wondering what was the best way to clean used wine bottles for reuse. Also, I'm having a heck of a time trying to get the labels off. Can you clean them in the dishwasher? I got a bunch of bottles saved up and i thought I would check before I ended up making it more complicated than it is....
Thanks,
Jamie


Jamie,
There is a search feature located in the blue area at the top of the page. If you search for cleaning bottles, you'll find lots of tips and tricks on cleaning wine bottles. Different people do different things, you'll have to find the one that works for you. Almost all processes require some elbow grease.

#3 cpfan

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:04 PM

Jamie:

The best tip I can give you, is to rinse the bottles soon after they are empty (that night or the next morning). I then put them on a bottle draining tree, and move to cases for storage once in a while (ie when the tree is almost full).

Many commercial labels are a real nuisance to remove and there's a lot of suggestions out there. As MM said, a little search should get you lots of ideas.

Steve
the procrastinating wine maker in the Niagara Region of Ontario Canada
"why do today what you can put off till next week"

#4 edward sacco

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:13 PM

Iusually fill a 6 gallon bucket with warm water and some scoops of oxy clean according to directions and soak the bottles over night.Scrap the label with a putty knife to get offmost of it. Therest i use a metal scrubby.
Latley I've been using a heat gun. I heat the bottle while its on it's side for a few seconds and try to push the knife under the label andpeel the label off. After the bottle cools use a metle scrubby to remove the rest of the glue.

#5 Wade

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:24 PM

Buy a razor blade scraper. You can usually get these cheap ones at your local grocery store or get a real good 1 at a hardware store. I fill my sink or bathtub depending on how many Im doing with hot water and some Oxyclean and soak for a few hours. Most labels will float right off but some are more stubborn and require the scraper and a scrubby pad. After that bath, rinse all bottles well and dry on bottle tree. There may be a few that are really stubborn and leave glue residue. I use Goof Off or Goo Off or some other brand of these removers to get rid off that glue with a paper towel and then sanitize with k-meta solution before using for wine.
http://www.sbranch.net/EvansCellars/
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#6 SandSquid

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:37 PM

QUOTE (winegirl @ Jan 4 2008, 08:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
what was the best way to clean used wine bottles for reuse. Also, I'm having a heck of a time trying to get the labels off. Can you clean them in the dishwasher?


There are as many "best" ways as there are people that have ways.

I have found the best way (for me) to clean bottles, is to soak overnight in PBW or B-Bright.. PBW is my preference, the owner of my LBS loves B-Bright... start with scalding hot water and leave overnight to soak, then after the label falls off, I run through dishwasher w/ a tablespoon(no more) of PBW instead of regular dish-washing soap in the "pot-scrubber" cycle... let run a full cycle, that way it's actually rinse two or three times.

Remove from dishwasher and submerge in Star-San for one minute, place on bottle-tree to dry. Ohh, good investment, get a basic "45" bottle tree for drying.


While it may seem like a good idea, Do NOT put Star-San in your dishwasher!!!
If you do so this will happen:

Dishwasher + Star-san =

[attachment=6657:attachment]
[attachment=6659:attachment]
--
V/R
The SandSquid

#7 Wade's Wines

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:01 PM

Wade's right! The other Wade, that is! smile.gif
The glass scraper razor blades work better than anything. If you've ever skinned a deer or other animal, you approach a label the same with a single edge razor in a handle designed for it. They're cheap. They don't get all the glue, but the orange-scented Goo-Gone-type stuff will remove any remnants.
You can use the razor on dry or wet labels...some come off better dry, but they all come off.
The good news is, YOU are the one who puts the next labels on and UOU get to choose the glue you use! I love beautiful labels, ... but since I made 140 gallons of wine in '06 and bottled it pretty much all this Fall ... I found an easy label that is easy to remove when the bottle is empty! It's a computer label. It's made by Avery, stock #4013tm. "White Computer labels" actual size 3 1/2 x 15/16", 5000 labels to the box. I'm sure every office supply sells them. My thinking is, at this size, I can make a beautiful custom label later that will completely cover this skinny white strip label. The main thing is, this makes it easy to identify what's in the bottle!
I run the labels length-wise on the bottle; it's much easier to remove later that way. They come off about as easily dry or wet, and I really don't know which way I prefer. Don't get yourself with the razor... well, don't get yourself again! smile.gif ...again! smile.gif
I don't know what 5000 of these labels cost at (pick your office supply store) because I bought my box at an Auction for $1!! They were in a pile of papers and forms and all I kept were the labels! Sure glad I did! But when my 5000 are gone I'm gonna buy another box, even if they cost more!
Wade
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The Best of Times is Now! :0)

#8 Howie

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 09:58 PM

Here's what I do.
1. Place 25 bottles in the laundry tub (enough for a 5-gallon carboy).
2. Put the plug in the drain.
3. Using a short hose, fill each bottle with hot water.
4. When the bottles are full, fill the laundry tub with hot water until all the labels are covered.
5. Notify everyone in the house not to run the washing machine, which discharges into the laundry tub.
6. Allow bottles to soak for a few hours or overnight.
7. Pick up one bottle, and using a bottle brush, clean the inside of the bottle and empty.
8. As necessary, scrape or scrub label off bottle.
9. Place bottle upright on top of washing machine.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 for remaining bottles.
11. Set aside any bottles that still have sticky glue from labels and remove glue with mineral spirits.
12. Remove plug and drain laundry tub.
13. Place a funnel in one bottle and add about 1 inch of bleach, 2 Tbspns of automatic dishwasher detergent and hot water until half full.
14. Place funnel in an adjacent bottle.
15. Place thumb over end of first bottle, shake up for a few seconds and pour into adjacent bottle with funnel.
16. Set empty bottle upright in laundry tub.
17. Repeat steps 14-16 from remaining bottles.
18. When all are cleaned, dump contents down the drain.
19. Using a short hose (see step 3.), rinse the outside of all the bottles with hot water.
20. Using a bottle rinser (device that attaches to the faucet and directs water upwards), rinse the inside of each bottle for several seconds and place in a bottle drainer (contraption that holds bottles upright so they can drain).
Howie Hart

#9 winegirl

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 12:32 AM

QUOTE (Howie @ Jan 4 2008, 10:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what I do.
1. Place 25 bottles in the laundry tub (enough for a 5-gallon carboy).
2. Put the plug in the drain.
3. Using a short hose, fill each bottle with hot water.
4. When the bottles are full, fill the laundry tub with hot water until all the labels are covered.
5. Notify everyone in the house not to run the washing machine, which discharges into the laundry tub.
6. Allow bottles to soak for a few hours or overnight.
7. Pick up one bottle, and using a bottle brush, clean the inside of the bottle and empty.
8. As necessary, scrape or scrub label off bottle.
9. Place bottle upright on top of washing machine.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 for remaining bottles.
11. Set aside any bottles that still have sticky glue from labels and remove glue with mineral spirits.
12. Remove plug and drain laundry tub.
13. Place a funnel in one bottle and add about 1 inch of bleach, 2 Tbspns of automatic dishwasher detergent and hot water until half full.
14. Place funnel in an adjacent bottle.
15. Place thumb over end of first bottle, shake up for a few seconds and pour into adjacent bottle with funnel.
16. Set empty bottle upright in laundry tub.
17. Repeat steps 14-16 from remaining bottles.
18. When all are cleaned, dump contents down the drain.
19. Using a short hose (see step 3.), rinse the outside of all the bottles with hot water.
20. Using a bottle rinser (device that attaches to the faucet and directs water upwards), rinse the inside of each bottle for several seconds and place in a bottle drainer (contraption that holds bottles upright so they can drain).


thanks for the great advice everyone!!!




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