How to Clean Glass Bottles

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Clean and sanitize bottles before filling them to avoid food poisoning.
Clean and sanitize bottles before filling them to avoid food poisoning. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

When bottling food products such as wine, beer or infused oil, it is important to make sure that no bacteria makes it into the bottle to avoid getting sick. If the bottles are old and oxidized, most people would discard them rather than clean them. This is because the oxidation process removes minerals from the glass, which causes it to become brittle. It also will leave it pitted, not only making it look foggy, but also providing places for bacteria to collect and breed. However, if you wish to use these, use a commercial oxidation remover on them, and then sanitize them.

Things You'll Need

  • Oxidation remover (optional)
  • Protective eyewear and gloves
  • Sanitizing solution or buffered alkaline packets
  • Bottle brush
  • Bottle tree (optional)

Put on protective eyewear and gloves.

Mix up the sanitizing solution at a ratio of 1 tsp. to 1 gallon of hot water, or as directed on the bottle. If you prefer, purchase a packet of buffered alkaline, which comes pre-measured for 2 to 5 gallons.

Scrub the bottles inside and out with a bottle brush, which is specially designed to get inside bottles. Be sure all the gum from the labels is removed from the outside.

Rinse the bottles in the sanitizing solution, making sure all interior parts have been rinsed.

Set the bottles upside down on a sterilized bottle tree to dry completely.

While it is important to let the bottles dry, it is also important to bottle the food as soon as possible, before bacteria can be re-introduced to the bottles.

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