How to Clean Wine Bottles

Written by emily battle
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How to Clean Wine Bottles
Clean your wine bottles for reuse. (bottle wine and glasses with a wine image by mashe from Fotolia.com)

Cleaning wine bottles is a necessary step if you plan to use old bottles for homemade or purchased wine. Cleaning the bottles thoroughly will remove bacteria that could cause disease and contaminate the wine and will also remove any deposits or residues that could affect the flavour of the wine you choose to put into the cleaned bottles. Even new bottles that you've bought to fill should be cleaned thoroughly before use. With a few steps, you should be able to turn used wine bottles into clean and sanitary containers for your favourite wine or other beverage.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Sharp knife
  • Hot water
  • Bleach
  • Wine bottle brush
  • Dishwasher

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut off any wrappers around the necks of the bottles with a sharp knife.

  2. 2

    Fill the kitchen sink with hot water. Mix in 2 tbsp of bleach.

  3. 3

    Place the wine bottles in the sink with the bleach solution. Let them soak for 15 to 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Remove the bottles from the sink one at a time, and peel any labels from the outside of the bottles.

  5. 5

    Inspect the bottles by holding them up to the light and examining the bottoms for any mould or wine deposits. Use a wine bottle brush to scrub these away.

  6. 6

    Rinse the bottles inside and out with lukewarm water from the sink until you can no longer smell bleach.

  7. 7

    Place the bottles upside-down on the spikes of the bottom rack of an opened dishwasher and allow them to dry thoroughly. Keep the dishwasher open while the bottles dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Wine bottle brushes are wire brushes made to fit the length of a wine bottle. They can be found at many wine shops and online at wine enthusiast websites for a very modest sum.
  • When you finish a bottle of wine, rinse it out immediately if you plan to reuse it. This will prevent wine deposits or mould from settling on the bottom, making cleaning easier when you are ready to reuse it.

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