How To: Reuse Franzia (or Any Other "Wine-In-A-Box") Or: a Compact, Airproof Bag for Liquids.





Introduction: How To: Reuse Franzia (or Any Other "Wine-In-A-Box") Or: a Compact, Airproof Bag for Liquids.

So, last night I found myself at a party, full of people with questionalbe taste in alcohol. Needless to say, By the end of the evening, there were several empty boxes of wine (which dosen't actually come in a box).
as I was breaking down the empty wine boxes, I realized something very important. The bags inside the boxes are heavy-gauge plastic, and have removable valves. Finally! something I can use to bring along a decent wine on my next camping trip, or any other of the myriad uses these bags will undoubtedly find (even a solar shower). the new franzia boxes come with a spigot-type valve, which (after a bit of pulling and twisting) are removable. Finally! a way to take a nice bottle of wine with you on a camping trip, or a good, sturdy plastic bag with a built-in valve. here's the skinny:

Step 1: Empty the Bag/Box of Wine.

fortunately this first step will be done for you by the partygoers, if not, I recommend squeezing. Drink this foul liquid at your own risk.

Step 2: Remove the Bag Valve

These pictures are a little out of order, as I had the idea for this after I had cleaned out the bag, but they should still work for you.
To remove the bag, Grasp the black valve part in one hand, and in the other hand, grasp the white plastic retaining ring (note: your valve and retaining ring may be of a different color and construction, but I know for a fact this works with franzia).

once you have a good grip, pull and twist untill the black valve assembly pops free. don't do this while wearing a shirt you like, as you will most likely spray a bit of cheap wine about.

Step 3: Wash the Bag/valve.

now that you have the bag open, it's just like washing a camelbak bladder. However, if you havent done that, the following process works quite well.

rinse the bag out with hot water and empty it.
squeeze about two teaspoons of dish soap into the bag. fill 1/2 the bag with hot water, and pop the (closed) valve back in. Shake the bag around to clean out the inside of it.

once it's nice and fomay, open the valve and squeeze the bag to get the soap and water out (this helps by cleaning out the valve). once empty, pull the valve back out.

fill the bag with hot water (gets more soap out). shake the bag around and rinse it out, make sure you get all of the soap suds (if you're curious, just taste the water, it should no longer taste like wine or soap.

when you have the bag clean, fill it up with hot water. put the valve back in and squeeze the bag. this forces the clean, hot water through the valve, and cleans it out the rest of the way. once that's done, pull the valve back out, and you should have a bag that looks like tihs.

Step 4: Blow the Bag Up and Let It Dry

like it says. brush your teeth and rince with mouthwash (to help with germs)
then, blow the bag up and set it on a shelf to dry.

I didn't documen these next steps, as im not sure how well they work, but I did them anywya to make sure.

when you want to use the bag, Pour 4 oz of rubbing alcohol in it and push the valve back in.
shake it up to clean the bag of any germs, and squeeze it out through the bag.

rinse the bag out with several changes of hot water, fill with whatever you wish, and enjoy your new reclosable, 5 litre bag!

also of note, if you fill these up with air (blow it up), they make GREAT camp pillows.
they will eventually break/wear down, but just ask your box-wine-drinking friends to save their emptys, and you'll be in good supply for a while.

Step 5: Make Sure You Get the Funk Out

I just checked the bag after letting it dry for a few days, and there is still a very apparent odor of wine. I'm letting the bag sit overnight after filling it with hot, soapy water to see if this helps cut down the smell. I'll Update this when I check it tommorrow. Please feel free to share any methods for getting the funk out. I'd say the bag is probably ok for potable liquids, it'll just make them taste nasty.

Step 6: Clean Out the Funk

SO, if you check out the comments, you'll notice where i hypothesized on the effectiveness of the dish soap/baking soda/hydrogen peroxide concotion. Well, it has been tested, and it works pretty damn well. you have to go through several changes, but eventually you'll get the wine smell/taste out.

Step 7: The Proofs (and Best Solutions - Literally) Are in the Comments.

Ladies and Gentlemen of Instructables. I am taking this opportunity to do two things: 1) Offer my congratulations to all of you who kept this instructable alive over the past four years, and 2) Thank each and every one of you (and there are so, so many of you) who have upon reading this added your suggestions to help take this from a cheap wine-induced idea to a fully usable and practical certainty. You all undoubtedly embody the prag/enigmatic spirit that is instructables, and I salute each and every one of you, as well as offering my most sincere and heartfelt thanks for helping with the evolution of this brainchild.

In short, I will be publishing an update to this instructable, reflecting all of the gainful insights you have provided, credit where credit is due, of course.  If there is a way to turn this into a group, I'll do that, so that all of you can have creative control of the solutions that you have helped to make into a reality.

Thank you all for demonstrating what this site is about.




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One more update: The nice folks who make these plastic bags and valves are now putting out a screwtop addition that can be used to replace the valve. As soon as I can get my hands on some, my plan is to replace the liquid valve and use the bags for storing dry goods. They are way more robust than ziplocks!
Cool, eh?
For you purists who disdain boxed wine, you can get the bladders from some business that buy them to do stuff like dispense soft drink syrup. They are getting more and more popular because they keep the food fresh and away from oxygen, and don't spout leaks easily.

Get some good rope, like paracord. Tie an overhand knot around the valve, just where your fingers would go if you were using your hands. Then tie the two loose ends together with another overhand knot, so you can get a grip. Step on the wine bag, then pull up on the loop. The valve pops right out! I recommend doing this outside, because having your kitchen smell like old spilled wine might give the wrong idea to visitors!
It's the same idea as what we used to do to pull kid's baby teeth. The string gives you a good grip. Use gloves or a rag to protect your hands if needed.



Hah... you realize this instructable is over a decade old, right?
Also, it would behoove you to read the other comments, as somebody posted your suggestion 9 years ago.

Yes, it's old, but well-written and over the years the boxed wine has gotten a LOT better! And the bags are pretty pricey to buy new, if you need a lot of them. They are also good for storing dry goods one buys in bulk, like rice.
To get rid of the smell, add some baking soda, peroxide, or something like oxyclean.

Just because it's old doesn't mean people aren't searching, like me, I was looking for an easier way to bottle my home made wine, found this article and considered doing it this way, until I found out that Amazon sells the bags :) so I am buying them instead. I got excited and posted it here, if it's been suggested I just made it easier to find at the top ;)

Poppin in here.. Now I also know amazon carries them. Thanks!

I suggest you bin it and use a glass bottle as the plastic and all plastic is toxic.

Quote - Polycarbonate – used to make plastic food storage containers and bottles, and the epoxy resin used to line tin cans. It can release bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that many experts now believe can cause serious health problems.

PVC – used to make bottles, cling wrap and the seals for screw-cap jars.

So many people have awful ideas. Add a lil lemon water and rinse it about inside and fill it up withthe lemony water for about half of the sack or, leave the bag open a lil afterwards and pop it in the freezer. Break it up every now and then so it doesnt teat the bag. eventually oyoull have slushy lemony icy chunks in semifreezee bits. keep doing that as long as you can until it forms a big mass of lemony freezy bits. then dump in as much bakingsoda as you dare and fiill it with hot water. Close the bag slightly or lightly plug it with your finger and let th melting, foaming action clean that bag straight out withot any bad smell. ice traps smells. Foam brings out bits. lemon is just plain pleasant. =D

While this post is older than most of my friends offspring, I find your solution intriguing. I'm going to buy some franzia just to test it.

Hello, old post for you but nee to me. I just wanted to share my experience withe the bags. I will say the instructions were great! However, I cant get the wine smell out. I have soaped, bleached, vinegar and still when I re-fill mine with milk, I end up with sweet milk :0) I'm thinking I may have to buy new bags but I really dont want to throw these bags away because I know they can still be used. I will post if I get the wine smell out. Thank you for this post.

Does anyone know of an easier way to pop the spigot out?