A Bartender’s Guide To Keeping Pour Spouts Squeaky Clean

  • By: BT Staff
  • Date: January 20, 2024
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Keeping your bartending area clean is one of the most important parts of the job. And although it’s easy to forget about your liquor pour spouts, this is one area that needs regular attention to stay clean and ready to use at all times behind the bar. 

In the rest of this article, we will help you with tips on how to easily and efficiently clean your liquor pour spouts and answer any questions about the process. 

What Is the Best Way To Clean Liquor Pour Spouts?

Cleaning your liquor pour spouts is a relatively easy task. All you need to get this job done is warm water and soap. Sometimes called liquor pourers, speed pourers or bottle pourers, pour spouts are something you’ll be using a lot to make drinks, so they need to be cleaned regularly.

Here are four easy steps to make cleaning your liquor pour spouts a little less frustrating: 


The best thing to do is to pop the pour spouts off of all the bottles that you need or want to clean and submerge them all in a bowl filled with warm, soapy water. You can let them soak for about 15 minutes to loosen any dirt, grime, or remaining alcohol before cleaning them further. 

Scrub (if needed)

Most of the time, just soaking the pour spouts in soapy water will remove any buildup. However, if you find that they need a little extra cleaning you can scrub them with a clean wash rag or sponge to get any stubborn grime. 


This is a very important step. Run the pour spouts through clean hot water until the water runs completely clear. You want to make sure there is no soap left inside or outside the spout. You may want to rinse each spout individually a few times to make sure it is completely free of soap. 

Dry (thoroughly)

Grab a clean, dry towel and lay your pour spouts out on an open surface to dry. Make sure the spouts are standing up so any water can drip out. Let them dry thoroughly before replacing them on the bottles. 

This video by RockstarBarGirl shows the cleaning pour spouts steps listed above.

How Often Do You Have To Clean Liquor Pour Spouts? 

Ideally, you should clean your liquor pour spouts at least every two weeks. Some bars have specific rules on how often spouts need to be cleaned, so it’s important to check with your manager or colleagues as well. 

It’s important to notice how they are looking at the beginning and end of your shift. If the spouts look cloudy or dirty or feel sticky to the touch, you might need to clean them more often. 

Can You Leave the Pourer on the Liquor Bottle? 

As a general rule, leaving the pour spouts on your liquor bottles is fine. As long as you maintain a clean workstation and the bar area is thoroughly cleaned each day, you shouldn’t have any issues with leaving the spouts on the bottles. 

You may want to consider covering the pour spouts with plastic wrap or aluminium foil when not in use, especially in the warmer months. This will help deter the errant flying bar pest and keep dust out as well.

If you choose to cover the pour spouts overnight or on days when the bar is closed, remove them when you return so they are ready to use and get some air. 

How Do You Know When a Liquor Pour Spout Needs To Be Cleaned?

Although a thorough cleaning every two weeks should keep your liquor pour spouts in good condition, it’s important to notice the signs that mean your spouts need to be cleaned. 

Most liquor pour spouts are made of clear plastic, which makes it easy to tell when they need cleaning. If your spout looks cloudy, brown, dirty, or sticky when you pick it up, that’s a sure sign that it needs to be cleaned. 

Another thing to be on the lookout for is whether your spouts are attracting bar flies (and we’re not talking about customers). One of a bartender’s worst nightmares is having a fly problem because it instantly makes your bar look dirty and may make customers not want to stick around. 

If you notice flies swarming in your liquor well, you need to clean your spouts (and probably the rest of the area as well). The sugar in alcohol, when left to sit around, will attract unwanted flies, so it’s important to keep all your bartending tools as sanitary as possible to avoid this problem. 

Why Should You Use Liquor Pour Spouts in the First Place?

Most bars and restaurants use pour spouts on their liquor bottles because it makes it easy for bartenders to pour properly prepared drinks quickly. The spouts are built with a special weight inside that measures a perfect shot of alcohol into the glass when used correctly. 

Pour spouts are great because they ensure that all drinks are made with the appropriate amount of alcohol in them and that no alcohol is wasted in the process. This helps with cost-savings and ensures that customers can enjoy their alcoholic beverages responsibly. 

Do You Always Have To Use Pour Spouts When Pouring Alcoholic Beverages?

Not everyone likes using liquor pour spouts. Some people may feel like it’s another thing to clean or if you are making cocktails at home, it might not make sense to leave it on the bottle all the time if you’re not making drinks regularly. 

Many bartenders prefer to use a traditional shot glass to measure liquor or even just “eyeball” the amount as they pour each drink. These are both perfectly acceptable ways to make a cocktail, but most bars and restaurants will want bartenders to use a pour spout to control quantities.

What Happens if You Never Clean Your Liquor Pour Spouts?

If you never clean your pour spouts, the buildup of liquor residue combined with dirt, dust, and bar grime will definitely build up over time. You might notice that the pourer is pouring slowly or even pouring what looks like dirty liquor. 

The bottom line is that pour spouts do need to be cleaned regularly (at least every two weeks, depending on use and environment) so you can avoid the hassle and frustration of very dirty spouts. 


Keeping your liquor pour spouts clean is one of the chores that’s required to keep your equipment in good condition. Pour spouts are one of the items in a bar that gets used a lot in a day and they’ve got surfaces that can be a hassle to clean if not done regularly.

Hopefully, this guide has provided tips on how to clean liquor pour spouts clean and why they should be cleaned regularly.