View Full Version : How do You Clean Your Empty Bottles?

03-06-2013, 22:22
I know there is a thread about this somewhere but I can't find it. I want to clean a couple of empty bottles of OWA and Maker's out to use as decanters for emptying handles into or vatting. Just rip the labels off and throw them into the washer? Any reason to not do that?

03-06-2013, 22:25
The necks are to long and opening to narrow for a dw. Soak in hot water, fill 3/4 to 1/2 full of hot water, 1 and only 1 drop of dish soap, cap and shake vigorously. Drain, rinse and repeat.

03-06-2013, 22:28
Yeah Dude, dish washing soap. Actually the containers have already been sterilized by their prior contents. I don't even bother removing the label.

03-07-2013, 01:08
Honestly, I'd just turn it upside down in the drainboard overnight. The trouble with washing and/or rinsing them is they take 3142 years to dry. Even if you only let it drain for 15 minutes, there might be a milliliter left in the bottle, but are you really going to taste that in amongst 749mL of other whiskey?

Edit: BTW, Squire is right. Ethanol is antiseptic at 40% and above, which is quite handy. :)

Special Reserve
03-07-2013, 02:41
The first thing you do to an empty bottle is put a little water in it rinse and empty directly into your mouth. After that I don't think it much matters.

If you want to use as a decanter, rinse a couple of times with purified water and drain to dry and you're done.

As noted above you don't need to worry about sterility.

03-07-2013, 07:08
I set aside my chemistry background and do the following. Rinse the container, drain it briefly, repeat once. Store it with the cap ON. Yes, the bottle may have a little moisture in it, but this is municipal tap water, so the residual chlorine will inhibit bacterial growth in any remaining water. When it's needed again, I put 30 or 40 mL of hot tap water in it, cap it, shake it vigorously, drain it briefly. I do this two more times, with the last drain being a minute or two. A general rule is that each rinse adds a "9" to the removal of anything soluble in the water, so three rinses gets rid of 99.9% of anything soluble that was there (and there likely wasn't anything).

I agree that the very small amount of water left before refilling (if there is any) will not affect much. If you are dead set against that being tap water, you can make the third and final rinse with distilled water, available at the drug store or most large grocers.

03-07-2013, 07:34
Or you can pour a small amount of whisky in, swirl it around, drink it then fill the bottle.

03-07-2013, 07:46
Which is a much better method, and requires little effort, as you likely have appropriate materials near to hand.

I had composed (but not typed) another paragraph in that post about final rinses with miscible solvents to remove water, but my true solvents are in short supply, and putting the chemist's hat back on seemed like too much work. I know from your posts your thoughts on that topic.

03-15-2013, 19:54
Here's a method that I use for cleaning my port decanters. Fill bottle partially with hot, soapy water. Tip in one small container of BBs (mine is 2400 count), like for a BB gun. I prefer to use chrome-plated, as opposed to copper-plated, for obvious reasons. Swirl the water/soap/BB mixture around vigorously to remove any crust, scale, deposits. Pour the water/BBs through a sieve or colander, rinse thoroughly. Dry in a hot saucepan and replace BBs in container when cool. They can, obviously, be used over and over.


03-15-2013, 21:53
No soap on the inside, ever.... Just a simple rinse

soak in a warm soap bath and the labels should come right off

03-22-2013, 07:40
Or you can pour a small amount of whisky in, swirl it around, drink it then fill the bottle.

Squire, this is why you are a guru in more than name only!

03-22-2013, 07:53
Why thank you Flyfish, truth is I'm better at emptying them than filling them.

03-22-2013, 08:02
Why thank you Flyfish, truth is I'm better at emptying them than filling them.

Squire should've been knighted long ago...