Cleaning Dirty Glass Bottles


My husband and I dig up old bottles as a hobby to display. My problem is how do you clean the insides. Soaking doesn't help, nor shaking them with soapy water. Any ideas from someone that has encountered this problem? Thanks.




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By Jean from Raymond, MS (Guest Post) 07/31/2008

Try filling the bottle about halfway with water. Add a couple of tablespoons of ammonia. Using a funnel, pour in a couple of tablespoons of raw rice. Shake vigorously, then rinse. The rice "scrubs" the inside of the bottle. Hope this helps.

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By Cajun 59 327 07/31/2008

Whiting is a very fine polishing powder which will not scratch glass, and can be found in the Paint Dept. (Generally used to thicken paint)
Dampen the item with a soapy solution and sprinkle whiting onto/into it, then rub it clean. You'll have to improvise on your 'rub' device, depending on the neck opening. I'm not aware of any chemical solution that will clean glass safely enough to remove aged debris...Remember: Whiting will not scratch the glass, but your rubbing device can.

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By Eva Kroells (Guest Post) 07/31/2008

In Germany miners used to clean their bottles mixing sand into the soapy water. Shake from time to time.

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By michaela 1 77 07/31/2008

Crush up a denture tablet and put it in the bottle filled with very hot water, sometimes it take 2 soaks but it works! Good luck

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By cathy b (Guest Post) 07/31/2008

Try using cascade dishwasher detergent but you must use hot water!

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Soak overnight in soapy water and then rinse and refill bottle part way with very warm water and salt ... Cover the top and shake vigorously ... It might take a couple of tries but it usually works ...

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By Dena Roberts 35 491 07/31/2008

You could try vinegar. It cleans my tall, narrow vases really well. Just pour enough in to fill the bottle almost to the top. Let it soak for a day or 2, and dump about half out. Cover and shake well, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

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By Lisa B (Guest Post) 07/31/2008

How about using a portion of a denture cleaning tablet and fairly warm water. Let it soak for a couple hours. Then use a baby bottle brush. You should be able to find a bottle brush for about $1 at the dollar store. And the denture cleaning tabs are usually at the dollar store too.

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By Pat (Guest Post) 07/31/2008

Try some small aquarium pebbles in hot vinegar. Also, if you can get a long brush into them, that might help.

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By Monique 105 174 07/31/2008

Hello. Pop a denture cleaning tablet inside and leave overnight. In the morning add some rice and give it a good rigorous shake - this should loosen any dirt particles.
Rinse then in warm soapy water and leave to air dry. I think this should work, it does with my vases.
Best of luck,


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By Liesa 3 5 07/31/2008

Maybe try to find some long brushes in the fish tank section of your store. Also try adding some bleach to hot water and dishwashing liquid and leave that soaking for a few hour or over night before using the brush.

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By alison 07/31/2008


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By Debi savicky 1 16 07/31/2008

Pour some dry rice in the bottle and cover rice with white vinegar. Leave plenty of room for shaking movement. Shake well, let sit 10 minute, repeat untl bottle is clean. If needed, wrap the outside of the bottle in a paper towel saturated with vinegar and let sit 15-30 minutes. Rinse well and dry, your bottles will sparkle!

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By Corinne (Guest Post) 08/01/2008

What about a baby bottle brush?

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By Beth 25 1,120 08/01/2008

Soaking overnight with Oxi Clean and then using a brush will work well. Also soaking overnight with automatic dishwasher detergent removes a lot of grime.

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By denise w (Guest Post) 08/01/2008

Hi when my kids were younger, I didn't have a bottle brush so I would fill bottle half way and put a paper towel in it then put top on and shake it. It worked really well and I could then fish it back out with a pen or pencil. Cheap and it worked.

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By Kim Churchman 3 1,277 08/01/2008

Since the dirt is held on by a biofilm of protein, the thing to use is an enzyme detergent such as an enzyme laundry product. That will cut the dried film that is so stubborn.

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By oneluvlychik 06/29/2012

This post is in response to "debijs" post of putting dry rice with white vinegar in a bottle. I had a bottle that was extremely dirty on the inside. it was caked with dirt. I read "debijs" post and decided to try it because I had dry rice and some white vinegar. it worked like a charm. My bottle was completely dirt free :)

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By jsp245 09/20/2015

I did the denture cleaner since they are only $1 at the dollar store. Worked like a charm!! Didn't even need a brush. Thanks so much for the idea!!

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