How to clean a drinking horn – Step by Step Guide

cleaning a drinking horn

What is better than hanging out with your friends or family while indulging in the ancient culture to get that old feeling? Using the drinking horns is the perfect way to do that. Drinking horns go way back in time to about the 8th-7th century BC. Ages ago, humans decided to use the horns (from the animals that they hunted) as a cup to drink their alcohol.

Even nowadays, many drinking horns coming from animals are available for you to enjoy your delicious drink in. They surely make you look stylish and your drinks enjoyable. While drinking horns are very valuable for us, they can be ruined if you do not provide it with the right care that it requires.

If they are not cared for, they might degrade, and you won’t be able to use it to cherish the good old times anymore. No one wants that! If not properly cleaned and cared for, they can get affected by extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals and prolonged exposure to acidic substances.

Even though some drinking horns will come sealed and coated to make them safer to drink, they might damage if not looked after properly. So now that you know how important it is to care and clean your drinking horns let’s discuss the ways that you can wash and care for your precious possession.

Wash the drinking horn before its first use

Remember to wash the drinking horn before you use it for the first time. It is crucial that you do so that you can drink safely from it. Firstly, sterilize the inside of the horn by using a mixture of water and bleach. Let it soak overnight in a ventilated area. Then, use vinegar to neutralize the bleach. Make sure to reach all the way inside the horn and not leave a spot, or else, what is the use?

Remove the blemishes using a power sander or a sharp knife, depending on the extremeness of the blemishes. If they are extreme, go for the sharp knife. If not, go for the power sander. But make sure not to sand it for too long at one stop; you don’t want to change the naturally curved surface of the horn, do you?

Make sure that sanding is done with fine-grit paper and then ultra-fine grit paper. The final sanding should be done with ultra-fine slap sander or a polishing cloth and, you’re done!

Wonder how to seal a drinking horn?

Curing the horn to remove the odor

Understandably, the drinking horn will have an off-putting smell; after all, they come from animals. But don’t you worry, there are ways you can get rid of that smell to enhance your drinking experience. And here’s how:

  • Prepare a mixture of equal water and equal alcohol and soak the horn with the mixture for about 24 hours.
  • Remember to keep checking, again and again, to add more solution in case its level starts to decrease. Once the 24 hours have passed, rinse the horn and use a towel to dry it.
  • And there goes the smell. That isn’t so hard, is it? Now, you can enjoy the drinking experience to the fullest.
  • Cleaning a sealed horn

If your drinking horn is unsealed, you should probably get it sealed by the use of beeswax, brewer’s pitch or varnish. Please get it sealed before using it to create a layer between your drink and the bone.

Here’s how you can clean your sealed and coated drinking horn:

  • Firstly, make sure that you have drained out all the drink that is left in your horn.
  • Now, soak it in lukewarm (NOT HOT) water and use a soft cloth to cleanse it. Next, rinse it and dry it with a towel immediately to make it dry.
  • Use of mild dish soap is also acceptable to clean. Alongside, use a bottle brush to brush the insides and outsides of your horns.
  • Next, keep it upside down to get rid of the excess water drip out.
  • And there you go, good as new drinking horn!
  • It would be best if you stayed gentle as you clean your horns, or else you might cause damage to it.
  • Remember to clean your drinking horn after every use! Please do not wait until the next morning to clean it or else, your drinking horns will be exposed to permanent damage.

What not to do

While it is vital that you do the proper cleaning, there are things that you need to be careful not to do, or else, there goes your drinking horn…
So now that we have talked about how to clean and what to do, let’s talk about things that you should not do.

  • Do not clean them in your microwave
  • Avoid cleaning them in your dishwasher
  • Keep them away from extreme temperatures and severe temperature swings
  • Avoid the use of sharp objects. They can spoil your horn’s surface by scratching it
  • Do not use the horn for hot liquids
  • Do not bring it in contact with harsh chemicals, solvents, and detergents.
  • Avoid strong bristles
  • Wash your drinking horn by hand wash ONLY.

The End

And there you go! That – is how you clean your precious drinking horn. Now that you know all these techniques make sure you follow them to get the right experience. Using all the ways and caring for the horn, you can preserve it for even longer.

It is not a difficult task to look after your horn once you start getting into the routine. Just make sure to clean it after every use, or else the acidic contents of the drink can breakdown the safe protective sealing. So go and get the enjoyable drinking experience for any drink, be it beer or wine!

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