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When I bottle my beer I clean all the caps I have so I don't run out during the process. I always have extras so I put them into a pastic baggie after they dry so I can use them when I have enough. I just pulled these caps out and most of them have rust on them so I can use them.

Is there a way to prevent this or should I not even worry about cleaning the caps?

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I have had the same issue. If the caps are rusting in the little baggie...they weren't really dry. I leave then out on a dry paper towel overnight and that seems to get them to dry out more. If its still a problem putting them in the oven with the light on or just the pilot running in a gas stove will certainly dry them overnight.

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I do clean my caps, but I do them a dozen or so at a time as I bottle, until I'm getting close to the end when I do them fewer at a time. This way I don't end up sanitising any caps that I don't use.

I have a small bowl I put the caps in, with a splash of StarSan to do the sanitising.

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