How To: Reuse Franzia (or any other "Wine-In-A-Box") or: A compact, airproof bag for liquids.

Picture of How To: Reuse Franzia (or any other
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:
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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

Picture of 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.
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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
0.775volts (author)  Dungeonbrownies1 year ago

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.

bwh131 year ago
I just slid a butter knife between the flange of the spigot and the flange on the bag and torqued it sideways a bit and the spigot popped right out. Give me a lever and I will move the world. Quote me!
kariswg11 year ago
I keep a couple of empties in the car, in my emergency bag, for those "full bladder" nowhere to stop, emergencies. Never had to use one, but they are there, just in case.
rnichols1 year ago
I usually wash it out as described and then I just cut the bags corner opposite of the spout. Hang the bag over something to catch any drips and when its dry, I use my vacuum sealer to reseal the place where I made the cut. (These are double walled bags but the sealer reseals both layers)
I had to use a chisel to get the spigot seal out. But then, once rinsed a couple of times, I was able to refill the bag with rain water. I then turned on the spigot (this time the one which comes from Trader Joe's Block Red Wine Australian Shiraz which is not spring loaded and will stay open just a little bit!) to some plant in the garden to slow water it all day! It took a while to get the opening part just right so the bag would empty in about a day (it wants to close, rather than stay open at just a drip rate).
I also hope to prove how the bag preserves the wine by poring one bottle into the bag and comparing it with another opened bottle of the same wine each day (do not try this at home! Ohh the scienctific excuses for drinking one's self under the table!!!).
I just read this 'ible, but I'd come to a similar conclusion some time ago. I hadn't had the courage to try removing the spigot from the one bag I have, though I was fairly sure it was possible: I didn't want to risk ruining it. That said, I did want to make sure my bag was cleaned out of wine and safe for use as an emergency water container, so I went through the soap wash and *MANY* rinses until the water no longer tasted of soap, just like you mention here.

Then, since I couldn't get it open to dry it out, I did the next best thing and put in about half a shot of whiskey to act as a disinfectant and preservative until such time as an emergency might arise. I made sure to expel nearly all the air so that the alcohol was in contact with all the internal surfaces. I expected any water I put in it afterwards to taste of whiskey, but that's not such a bad thing in my opinion.
bluesquid1 year ago
There is a product called star san sold all over the internet. It is a cleaner made to clean out vessel that liquids are fermented in. Its safe an flavorless to ingest. Works great onmy camelback.
phlogs8 years ago
If you buy a box of coffee from DnD or STBX, the coffee itself comes in a mylar-looking bag with a similar looking valve. As the bag is empty until you purchase the box of joe and if you don't let the coffee linger too long, you would have a much easier time getting the residual smell/taste out. The silvery mylar would probably make for a better solar shower...
Ohhhhh THAT's how they get the coffee into those boxes!? I've seen them for sale at STBX but duhhhh okay so I'm a little dense. But I should get one for road trips, even if it is cold, I can still sweeten it with liquid stevia and it would taste better then some of the nasty joe at roadside gas stations... eww. And silver mylar... great idea. Hey I have some extra wine box bags coming up, if anyone wants one, let me know...
we're non drinkers around here, I'd love one or two. do you still have any extra?
0.775volts (author)  phlogs8 years ago
Our local Panera bread has these as well. I haven't tried anything with them, but they'll probably work pretty well. have you checked to see what kind of valve assembly they use? are they as easily removed as the franzia valves? On a side note: I added a step with the anti-skunk solution (also featured on mythbusters), as it does a decent job of removing the wine smell. You're correct about the coffee, I would guess that as long as you emptied the bag while the coffee was still hot, it would probably have very little smell. I like the silver as well, i'll reflect more heat and keep the wine from getting too hot (on my last trip, the wine got way too hot, I had to put it in a stream for over two hours to cool it down)
Great idea!  Foil bags work way better than the clear plastic ones. They don't let light in, so it's a lot harder for bacteria to grow.  I've found that they hold on to the smell of whatever liquid was inside much less than the clear plastic.  You still need to rinse them:  one ounce bleach and half bag of hot water, rinse and repeat, hang dry for a couple days.  I've used the pillow idea while backpacking before.  Water bag by day, pillow at night!
If you're planning to lay your head on a pillow of water, I wouldn't. water absorbs all your body heat and could leave you with an ear ache at least.
lynnr973033 years ago
I did as you said...then filled it partway with water...put it back in the box ...placed it in the freezer with the sput facing up and open. Now I have a nice block of ice for a cooler and fresh cold water for a trip. The next bag I get I plan on making sun-tea before freezing.
KathyNY4 years ago
I think these could be reused to store virgin olive oil or olive oil in to keep it free from oxidation caused by air and deterioration from light - and the spigot will make use pretty easy....try it and let me know what you think and I will try it and post feedback if I do.
CoffeeWoman4 years ago
This idea is sooooo going to the playa! I may have to play around with dollar store/yard sale backpacks and some food-safe tubing - homemade camelback... As far as the odor and bacteria issues, try using campden tablets. You can get them from home brew stores and work great to clean, deodorize and sanitize wine making equipment, which should do the trick for the Franzia bags.
djcssp4 years ago
Try adding a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the water and let that set overnight. Vinegar removes nasty odors from closed areas when placed in a cup with a cotton ball in it. I got the smell of a dead bird out of my car with it.
TATTERH00D6 years ago
Based on the comments for this instructable, another could be started on "Many Ways to Destench Your Stuff" Excellent I'ble, I'll start saving these up to leave a little trail magic on the AT!
vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are all good ways to de-stench the funk out of funky stinky stuff. I used it on my wine bag too... that and I let it hang up valve part down, from my little pink clothespin-endowed lingerie hanger - let the air circulate around inside it. Worked well.
You could also remove odours from plastic using  some borax dissolved in water.  Let sit ovenight.
freerunnin15 years ago
this gave me the idea of a DIY camel back or platapus lol
mikesty8 years ago
For some reason, I misread this as "airPORT-proof" and thought this was about sneaking liquids onto planes. Pretty cool otherwise :D
bet you could bring it into the airport... it's all plastic, not like it will trip off the metal detector. but these days probably not a bright idea..
outtokill6 years ago
dam thats smart
sageridder8 years ago
I know hot water sets in many stains blood,juice ect., did you try soap and cool water to see if it would remove the smell.For the solar shower idea couldn't you spray paint one side black?
0.775volts (author)  sageridder8 years ago
You could paint it black, but I'm not sure what that would do to the plastic. I've made a solar shower from these by just filling it with creek water and wrapping it in a black t-shirt. this also makes it easy to hang, since you can just put a stick through the sleeves and hang that in a tree.
I see a winesack and i want it painted black...
I could not foresee this thing happening to you...
These things also make small but handy inflatable pillows. They're strong enough to survive a skull resting on them and can be blown up as soft/hard as you like.
Oooh another most excellent idea!! Would be great for roadtrips where I want to nap in the car!! I'll have to try this. Maybe Ghondi can save me some of his bags the next time his mom's friends come and get loaded at their place (a box a DAY? and here I'm thinking I'm such a lush if I go through more then one a box a YEAR! guess I are a prude! hahahahah!)?? Hmmm I think I'm just gonna slam down that last cup and get started to cleaning my bag. Scientific inquiry beats vacuuming the floors any day! haha.
0.775volts (author) 8 years ago
Just wanted to update you guys, I added an extra step, 'cause the bag still smells of wine.
It will be very hard to get the wine smell out. I think the plastic actually absorbs some of the wine on a microscopic level. Check the automotive section at *mart. You want industrial strength degreaser. The bottle should say "safe for use in kitchens", which means its safe to use here. Follow the directions on the bottle and use hot water. I worked at mcdonalds when i was in highschool; they had some industrial strength degreaser that could cut ANYTHING. I used to steal the concentrate to use at home. :D
I've had good results getting odors out with just plain vinegar (and vinegar and wine are sort of distantly related). It seems to be better or more effective job for me when I use the Braggs or similar brand of natural apple cider vinegar (www dot braggs dot com ) because it has the natural "mother of vinegar" probiotic in there - good bacteria - which eat up the crud I guess? Don't know how it works but it kinda leaves a pleasant (to me) vinegary smell which is usually preferable to the objectionable stink I originally had (wine etc). But even the pasteurized vinegar does good enough. Seems like I read something one time that vinegar had been proven in toxicology reports to be just as effective and just as recognized by the Food Services industries as a cleansing agent as bleach, but vinegar is not toxic to humans - only to the bad bacteria. Wish I could remember where I read it though...oh well, another googling project for another day. It has worked well for me though in cleaning around the house so I believe it is true, and my family seems to be healthy too.

Anyway I have a bag-in-a-box of Burgandy Franzia sitting right here in the kitchen, reminding me that a) I need to buy a new box as I am almost out, probably a cup or less of wine remaining, and I love using the "box wine" when wet-roasting a roast beef or lamb - easy to pour out into a measuring cup) and b) that i need to try out your instructions for converting it into a water bag etc (*VERY* cool idea, I might add, and I'm ticked at myself for throwing away 2 or 3 perfectly good Franzia boxes in the past years!! arrrgh! But I will go and sin no more, at least that way... heh.). The solar shower idea sounds great, too!! and I know people who like to go hunting so I'll forward them these ideas!!
Maybe try out that "Amazing" (or whatever) degreaser from the dollar store that Make featured way back?
I store coolers and water jugs with a handful of baking soda inside. Works like a charm, they don't smell like plastic after a year in the attic. If you want it dry, shove a few spare desiccant bags in there with the soda. If you're just trying to get the smell out before immediately refilling with liquid, try storing it overnight with a stiff solution of baking soda in water, massaged into the corners.
Granny_Leah7 years ago
Ooh, nice! The kids drink that stuff from time to time. I'll have to divert one from the trash next time. Thanks much for the idea.
Mz3FRS8 years ago
I clean plastics with a bleach solution to remove residual smells/tastes. Maybe a tablespoon or 2 of chlorine bleach in a 3/4 full bladder. Shake it around, rinse well. If that doesn't work, try soaking it overnight. This removes the tequilla/lime smell from a nalgene bottle quite effectively IME.
Savant Mz3FRS7 years ago
Ding ding ding.... We have a winner. I'm a home brewer and cleanliness is tantamount to successful brewing. We use bleach to sanitize all out equipment. It cleans just about everything and rinses clean. It's also used extensively in the food service industry. Glenn
kingred7 years ago
you have very pale, hairy fingers.
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