Cleaning old, dirty growlers

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by RedBeeron, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Savant (260) California Jul 7, 2012

    Was recently gifted a decently large collection of growlers from a friend moving to a state with growler laws even less friendly than California's. As most of these are from breweries I'll actually visit, if its cost effective enough I'd like to clean them and get some use rather than donate them to city recycling.

    Unfortunately a decent number of them have what appears to be accumulated left over beer funk/build up. I dont get a mold smell out of any of them, but there is a noticeable ring or junk internally around the bases. Is there any way to effectively clean them such that they could be reused, or should i just write it off as a lost cause?

    To clarify, they are 2l swing top growlers.

    If this is the entirely wrong forum to ask this, I apologize, but y'all seem to be the sanitation experts.
  2. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (395) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    Oxyclean, preferably Oxyclean free, in hot water will work very well.

    An overnight soak will most likely do the trick.
    inchrisin likes this.
  3. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Savant (260) California Jul 7, 2012

    Is there a ratio I should use, and should I fill the growlers up to the very top?
  4. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (395) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    I am sure there is a ratio, I just eyeball it. If you put too much it will just sit at the bottom an not dissolve, not a big deal but wasteful.

    Just put 1/2 tsp or so in each, add some hot water, swirl to dissolve and fill it the rest of the way.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (450) New York Sep 1, 2004

    try oxyclean overnight. that should do it. if you still have a ring, try one ounce bleach with oxyclean. you will need to rinse anything that has bleach very well. if you still have a problem, use the growler for loose change.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (845) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Verified

    If the gunk is bad, I'd use PBW (if you have it) rather than oxyclean. I've been comparing results lately and PBW seems to be better and faster than oxyclean, at least for my carboys. Easier to rinse too. Oxyclean does have undeniable advantages of being more readily available and being cheaper.
    warchez and mylar like this.
  7. mylar

    mylar Aficionado (180) Pennsylvania Dec 13, 2011

    I second the pbw. You'll just have to give them a thorough rinse with hot water after they soak in a solution of hot water and pbw for a half hour or so...
  8. sarcastro

    sarcastro Savant (440) Michigan Sep 20, 2006

    Oxyclean, hotwater, and a bottle brush.
  9. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (470) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    If you need to scrub the inside, take a long thin strip of rag/washcloth and tie a knot in the middle of it. Make sure the knot is small enough to get through the mouth of the growler. While it's still half full of oxyclean, turn the growler on its side. Put your hand over the opening to keep the oxyclean in. begin to swirl the solution, or shake the solution. the knot should help scrub the inside. I'd only do this if the overnight soak didn't work because I'm lazy.