Bottle Rinsers and Bottle Washers

Liquid Packaging Solutions often receives requests for information on both bottle rinsing machines and bottle washers. In many cases, our staff must gather a little more information to know exactly what each packager is looking for with such a request, given that both terms can mean different things to different people.

In general terms, and as defined by LPS, bottle rinsing refers to using air, water or some other media to clean the inside or outside of bottles in order to remove debris from the containers prior to product being introduced or the package being placed on the shelf for the consumer. This can be accomplished in several ways, with both automatic and semi-automatic machinery. Automatic rinsing machines may invert bottles over a rinse basin before blasting the inside with air or liquid to rinse out the debris. Other automatic rinsing machines may use an air blast to loosen debris followed by a special nozzle to vacuum contaminants from the container without first inverting bottles. Semi-automatic machinery can use the same rinse media or the vacuum nozzles, but will require the operator of the machine to place the bottles, start the rinse cycle and remove the bottles once cleaned. Finally, bottle rinsers may be built as a type of rinse tunnel, cleaning the outside of the container to remove film, dust or other debris from manufacturing processes and provide a clean product when it reaches the shelf. Bottle rinsers, however, typically focus on removing dust and debris from either the inside or the outside of containers.

Bottle washers, on the other hand, will typically be found on packaging lines where containers are being re-used or bottles are not sanitized upon delivery. A good example can be seen with large bottled water containers, which will often be returned and refilled on multiple occasions. Though the process can differ, most bottle washing machines will include three separate phases, a detergent wash, a sanitizing phase and a final rinse. These machines can also be set up to function in an automatic or semi-automatic manner, just like bottle rinsers, again with semi-automatic machinery requiring a little more interaction on the part of the machine operator. So while bottle rinsers focus on removing debris from transport, storage or other processes, bottle washers focus more on cleaning and sanitizing the bottles prior to the packaging process.

Of course, different applications will call for different solutions. Some machines may combine inside and outside rinsing, while others may use the product being filled to complete the rinse. Bottle washers may be built to run two or four phases, rather than the typical three, by removing the sanitizing phase or adding a pre-rinse cycle. Container cleaning equipment like bottle rinsers and bottle washers can always be custom designed to meet the custom needs of any individual packager. To learn more about these and all of the other packaging machinery manufactured by LPS, contact a Packaging Specialist today.