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I bought a couple of boxes of clear glass ball ornaments a couple of years ago. I decided that this year I was finally going to stencil them or paint them. The boxes had never been opened before. They were really dirty. I wiped they off, the dirt is on the inside. I did try swishing it in some water, but nothing works. I don't know what to do, some of the spots are really big. I don't think the paint will cover it. I wanted to put the different colors of paint on the inside.
By Judi from Delhi, ON
Try the old restaurant "clean the coffee pot" method. Crush some ice and add salt to it and put it inside (Yes, I realize the ice will need to be small, use a small funnel if you have one). Swish it around and around for a minute or two or however long it takes to get it clean. Repeat if necessary. I have no idea if this will work, I am winging it. :)
You could try making a warm water and 1/2 cup of dishwasher powder detergent, submersing the balls in it, or filling each one with it and letting them soak overnight. Rinse well and let air dry. The cheap brand from the dollar store would work if you don't have a dishwasher. If this does not work, is it possible the spots are in the glass rather than on it? Hope this helps.
Get a small baby bottle nipple brush and soak your ornaments in dawn dish soap and hot water. Hopefully the brush will fit nicely inside the ornament and I'm sure the Dawn will clean the glass nicely.
After washing the inside with soap and water and letting the ornaments dry. Try pouring rubbing alcohol into the ornaments and swish it around, then pour out the alcohol. You could probably reuse the alcohol, for a number of ornaments.
Since they are glass ornaments, remove the top caps and use whatever mixture or liquid spray you use to clean your windows. Perhaps if you cannot remove the staining or etching or whatever it is, you might try pouring craft paint inside the balls, swirling it around until coats the inside of the glass. Place upside down in a paper or styro cup until the excess paint drains out and turn it over and allow to dry overnight. Then stencil or paint on the outside.
Use sand, water, and a little bit of dish detergent. Shake vigoruosly and rinse out.
Besides what thriftyvicki mentions for coffee pots; hairstylists use salt and warm water to get any dried on gunky residual color out of color applicator bottles so I don't see why it wouldn't work in this case for you. Just pour in some salt and then fill with water about half way, place your thumb over the ornament hole, shake vigorously and rinse. You may need to do it twice but most likely only once. :-)
Maybe the tablets one would use to clean dentures would work. I have heard of them being used for other cleaning projects. You would have to break the tablet in pieces in order to get it in the ornament.
Use a paint brush to get down into the ornament. I just did that. Also used paint brushes to "spread" the paint inside that just wouldn't "move around". Good luck and they make wonderful gifts. I also used tiny thin two sided tape and then glittered (on the outside). Tie a pretty bow/hanger and there you go! Merry Christmas