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How To Keep Wine Barrels Clean

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Wooden wine barrels are best for keeping wine flavorful and fresh. Keeping wine barrels clean is equally important for correct ageing of wine, the effectiveness of wine ageing is lost if the barrels are not clean. Here is a step-wise instruction on how to keep wine barrels clean; it is a proven and tested method for keeping wine barrels clean.



Equipments Required

Hose washer



Citric acid

Cleaner containing Sodium Percarbonate


Rinsing Wine Barrel

Rinsing wine barrel is recommended after every batch of wine is emptied from the barrel. It is essential to keep the wine fresh and retain the taste.


  1. Rinse the inner side of the barrel using hot water from a hose washer. Fix a small spraying head in the hose pipe to create water pressure for cleaning the barrel.

  2. Rinse with cold water in the same way as above.


Before storing fresh wine in the barrel, rinse it thoroughly with hot and cold water. When a lining is built up on the inner side of the barrel or when the wine from the barrel tastes differently, then its time for full fledged cleaning.


Full fledged cleaning


  1. Rinse the inner side of the barrel with hot and cold water as mentioned above.

  2. Fill cool water into the barrel till it is half full.

  3. In a separate bucket, take warm water and mix some Sodium Percarbonate type cleaner in it.

  4. Sodium Percarbonate type cleaners are strong and hence 1/8th cup of it is sufficient to clean a wine barrel of 25 liter capacity and ¼ cup cleaner for about 50 liter barrel. Use this formula to calculate the amount of cleaner required for a particular size of wine barrel.

  5. Add this cleaning mixture into the wine barrel and fill the barrel completely with cool water.

  6. Cover the barrel and let it soak for a day in the cleaning solution.

  7. After a day or about 24 hours, empty the wine barrel first and rinse it with cold water and then with hot water.

  8. Rinse it many times to remove all cleaner from the barrel.

  9. Since Sodium Percarbonate is alkaline, the barrel has to be neutralized with citric acid agent or cleaner.

  10. For every 25 liter wine barrel, 1/3 cup of neutralizing agent or citric acid is required. Increase the quantity of citric acid as the size of barrel increases.

  11. Again let the barrel soak in the solution of citric acid for a day.

  12. Empty the barrel and rinse with hot and cold water several times for a clean and neutral wine barrel.



This is the best method for keeping wine barrels clean and most of the wineries follow this process for rinsing and cleaning wine barrels.


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How To Keep Wine Barrels Clean