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Cleaning… does anybody really like to do it?  Riedel makes these beads that’re supposed to be for cleaning bottles and other odd-shaped glassware in the kitchen, but they’d probably work just as well in the garage when you’re cleaning your paint sprayer or soaking a bunch of small parts to loosen deposits.  Anything that might make cleaning go faster is worth a shot.

Riedel makes the beads from smooth stainless steel — as you swirl them in water they knock dirt from hard-to-reach places.  But who says you have to use water?  Wouldn’t they work with paint thinner or other solvent?  Just make sure they don’t find their way back into the kitchen after you’ve used ’em in the garage.

For $10 you can get a small black plastic jar of cleaning beads.

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11 Responses to Bottle-Cleaning Beads

  1. John says:

    I think that I’d rather buy a pack of 100 ball bearings in the size I’d like for $7 from amazon instead. Good idea, but I bet you get more buying the following than in the fancy packaged Riedel offering.

  2. Fred says:

    Jewelers use a stainless steel shot mix of various shapes and sizes to tumble clean jewelry. The stuff runs something less than twenty dollars a pound.

  3. Brian says:

    I use a set like these to clean especially dirty beer bottles when I home brew. However, my set comes with a funnel and a little pipe cleaner to act as a filter. That way you can pour out the balls and water and the balls stay in the funnel. Lee valley sells it: http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page.aspx?c=2&p=57618&cat=2,42194,40727

  4. Davo says:

    Cool. I have a couple of old glass carboys filled with sludge, from my beer brewing days, that I have been thinking about cleaning out…

  5. moojoe says:

    $10 for a small thing of stainless steel balls?

    just go to Mcmaster, item number 9291K14. pack of 100 for $5.30

  6. Maggie says:

    When I was a kid on the farm, we used sand to clean the bottles we used to feed orphan calves and lambs. It worked well. I have also used dried split peas to clean a vase with a narrow neck. These seem like a bit of an overkill to me.

  7. cb says:

    i got these at williams sonoma for $2.50 on sale just a week or two ago.

  8. Kurt says:

    I was at an industrial surplus outlet a long time ago – the kind of place that sells old aircraft instruments, oddball motors, and whatnot, and they had bag after bag of 4-40 3/16 screws, for 100 for .25 cents. Each of my paint bottles gets a couple to acts as a stirrer, as do my airbrush jars when I clean them.

  9. blore40 says:

    What kind of racket does it make, shaking a bottle full of steel balls?

  10. TravisM says:

    When I need to clean a bottle or vase or some other thing to small to fit a hand in, I just throw in a pinch or two of rice. It works about like sand (as someone else mentioned), but it’s much easier to get “out”.

  11. SuperJdynamite says:

    Vinegar works well for cleaning glass. Buy a gallon, fill/soak the glass object overnight, and perhaps fill with rice and shake at the end. I’ve used this method to clean lab glass parts with inlets too small to fit anything into. It successfully removed burnt-on gunk.

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