FYI: Cleaning Bottles
A common problem with older bottles is the fact that the majority of them were 'dug'. This seriously dulls the bottle and requires a lot cleaning. Here are some tips on cleaning these and other types of bottles and glass.
Mineral Deposits: Bottles, vases, and other glass objects that have been used to hold flowers or were constantly filled with water can sometimes get a crusty, white buildup on the glass surface that is difficult to remove. This buildup is caused by mineral deposits. There are certain types of bathroom/household cleaners (Lime-Away works best) that will remove lime scale and mineral deposits. Mineral deposits are often present along with staining of the glass.
Etching/Staining: White stains and cloudiness on glass is caused by the leaching, or removal, of certain components of the glass mixture over time. This often occurs on the inside of bottles that have contained a liquid or have been buried in the ground. These stains cannot be cleaned by conventional means, but must be left to a glass cleaning professional. A super fine polishing compound is typically used in a rock tumbling-type process to restore the glossy surface of the glass. The cost for this service typically ranges from $10 to $50, depending on the severity of the stain and the amount of work involved.
Dirt and other stubborn material on the glass surface and inside the bottle: Soaking in warm water with dishwashing detergent is a highly effective way to remove most dirt and stains. Let the glass soak for several hours. People have gotten good results using denture cleaning tablets or powders also.
Scratches and bruises: Minor scratches can be removed by a glass cleaning professional, but often you have little choice but to leave them alone.
Rust stains: These are often left on dug bottles and can be difficult to remove. Scrub with a non-abrasive pad or gently scrape with a piece of copper, which won't scratch the glass. Also try rust removing compounds that are available at local discount and hardware stores.
Always use a non-abrasive pad for scrubbing. Copper wool pads are
available at some grocer and hardware stores, and will not scratch
glass. Make sure that the copper pads are really copper and not just
copper-colored or copper plated. Use soft bristled brushes for
cleaning the inside of bottles. I found the softest ones in the pet
isle of a local discount store with the aquarium cleaning supplies.
Also, Go-Jo hand cleaning towelettes work well for polishing
|Don't want to try it yourself? Bottle
valuable, but badly stained?
The professional way may be the solution:
Professional Bottle Cleaning $15 for single
bottle, discounts for more than two.
Bottle Doctor specializes in cleaning rare sick
Doctor does professional cleaning of jars and bottles.
But you really want to try it yourself? More tips on cleaners:
CLR stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover and it works pretty well, but usually does not remove all stain. CLR works better than Dexters. CLR probably works the same as Lime Away. CLR is available in most grocery stores in the cleaning section (along with Comet and 409).
A product called "the Works toilet bowl cleaner"
contains a diluted solution of hydrochloric acid. It is the only Hydro I
have ever found on the store shelf. It totally eats rust and other
stains right off. Use with ventilation!!! It doesn't touch the magnesium
leaching stains but nothing does.
Or order the plans from Digger Odell and make your own cleaning machine.
NOTE: I have not tried any of these products or
services, nor endorse one over the other.