How to Properly Clean and Sanitise Glass Growlers

It’s vitally important that you properly clean your glass beer growlers. Not cleaning them will impact the taste of your beer the next time you refill.

As most growlers are a dark amber colour, it can be hard to tell sometimes when yours needs cleaning. Generally, you should clean and rinse your growler any time you put something new inside.

A popping sound when you open the growler can sometimes indicate residual beer that has pressurised the glass. However, the best way to tell that your growler needs cleaning is the classic look and sniff – if it smells funky, you should probably get it sanitised!

Cleaning Your Growler at Home

The best advice for anybody cleaning their growler at home is to do it immediately. Leaving residual beer inside the growler can make it harder to clean later.

To keep your growler clean and fresh at home, rinse it immediately with warm or hot water. Pour hot water into the growler, close the lid and shake thoroughly so the whole growler gets properly rinsed.

You may need to repeat this a few times before the entire growler is cleaned. Then, allow the growler to air dry as you would with normal glasses.

If you have allowed the growler to sit for a while before cleaning, you may need to use a little bit of soap. However, don’t use too much as soap can be equally difficult to remove and could impact the taste of your next beer.

If you find cleaning your growler difficult, you might want to invest in bristle brush bottle cleaners, which can help remove stubborn residue.

Professional Growler Cleaning for Bars and Breweries

You can offer to clean the Growler before refilling it or exchange it for a clean one, or as part of a growler subscription service which can also help maximise craft beer sales.

If you’re not sure of the best way to professionally clean growlers for your patrons, there are a few different options:


The go-to option for most pubs is to clean growlers in a dishwasher.

While this is less labour-intensive, it requires a lot of dishwasher space which sometimes isn’t available, especially if you’re a bar that serves food, for example.

Cleaning Tablet

Another option is to rinse growlers by hand with the help of cleaning tablets.

Products like PBW tablets are a popular choice for establishments that need to thoroughly clean growlers that have been left by customers. These contain special chemicals that help to break down beer residue without the potential of leaving behind a soapy taste.

In most circumstances, a growler can be left with a tablet solution for 30 minutes to one hour before being rinsed and ready for use. Therefore, you might need to offer your customer a substitute growler rather than waiting for theirs to be cleaned.

Custom Wash Station

As growlers continue to become more commonplace, so do cleaning solutions unique to their design.

Custom growler cleaning stations can make sanitising and preparing growlers quick and easy, which is good news for both you and your patrons.

One such example is the growler wash station by AC Beverage. This small bar-top appliance rinses, sanitises, and dries the growler, allowing you to refill knowing that it’s been professionally cleaned.

Ultimately, everyone needs a clean growler to ensure our favourite craft beers taste their very best. We hope this article will help you discover new ways to clean your growler, and if you have any questions about our products, feel free to contact our friendly team.