Cleaning the Inside of Bottles

January 5, 2013

Old Glass BottlesI have found that the best and cheapest way to clean the inside of bottles is to use vinegar and baking soda. The soda will cause the vinegar to fizz; so, it reaches all areas inside the bottle. Be sure to leave room for the fizzing process to take place inside the bottle. You may have to give the bottle a few shakes, but this works really well for me.


By qsuzie from Booneville, AR

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September 16, 2011

Rinse obvious debris out of the bottle. Then put two tablespoons of powdered, automatic dishwashing detergent in the bottle. Or place one tablespoon salt, and one teaspoon dish soap in bottle. Add very hot water until 1/3 full.


April 9, 2010

A quick and easy way to dry the inside of bottles or decanter that can't be dried with a brush or rag on the inside is to take about 3/4 cup of quinoa grain and swirl it around the inside of the bottle.


April 10, 2017

Use raw uncooked rice to clean tall or irregularly shaped bottles that have difficult-to-reach areas. Add a little water, some rice, and a small amount of dish soap/detergent.


Then fit the lid, (or just cover with your hand) and give it a good shaking.


September 14, 2011

Use denture cleanser tablets to clean the inside of the bottles. Put in the tablet (break up to fit), add water, and shake.


September 16, 2014

I shake a small amount of rough cut small gravel with some detergent and water to clean our bottles that have stuff stuck to the inside. Just strain off and rinse the gravel, let dry, and it is ready for next time.


November 13, 2011

I had an old glass Bo Peep Ammonia bottle. I was thrilled with it, because I love anything vintage. However, it had a very small mouth. The idea to clean it, was to use a small piece of a shim, cut lengthwise (make sure you cut a piece as small as the mouth of the bottle).


September 15, 2011

Fill the object with straight, plain vinegar and letting it sit for a day or two. If this does not work then add a bit of sand to the vinegar and shake it really well, repeatedly.


September 14, 2011

Use 2 Tbsp. of Oxi Clean, fill with water and shake. Leave overnight and use a bottle brush the next morning.


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September 14, 2011

One of the best methods I have found is to buy the tablets for cleaning dentures. Depending on how large the bottle is, drop a whole one or 1/2 of one in the bottle and add hot water.


September 14, 2011

Put in some coarse salt inside the bottle with a bit of water and swirl it around. The salt scours off the crud and it can be rinsed out easily. Repeat if necessary.


September 14, 2011

I have found putting granulated dishwasher soap in the bottle, filling it with the hottest water possible, and letting it soak overnight works well.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

November 14, 2021

I have many antique bottles and they are no longer clear. What is the best time to clean them?


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November 14, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might try soaking the bottles in water with some dish detergent overnight. You can also use vinegar. If there's still cloudiness, you can also use a small amount of salt/water and cover the opening of the bottle, then shake well. Here are some other great tips for cleaning antique bottles:



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November 25, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Soak it in room temperature water and dishwashing liquid. Make sure to place a towel into the sink, or container, to cushion the glass. The temperature of the water is extremely important since water that is much hotter or colder than the bottle itself can cause it to crack. Allow the bottle to soak for a few hours or overnight if possible. Rinse the bottle with room temperature water. For many old bottles this will remove the dirt and grim that has built up over the years.

If there is a white crusty material caused by the minerals in the liquid, then use commercial products that remove mineral buildups and lime scales.


To clean old bottle with glass that is cloudy with white stains:
Leave it in vinegar and water overnight, rinse with water and dry with a microfiber towel.
Vaseline or petroleum jelly can sometimes remove light calcium build-up. Let it sit for 4-5 days before removing.
Fill with lukewarm water and drop in a denture cleaner tablet.
Or dab a little Pearl Drops Toothpaste on your index finger and lightly rub. Wash with water.
Or spray on Dow Tub and Tile cleaner, let sit, then rinse.

Only use bottle brushes that have soft bristles.
Never try to clean an old bottle with hydrofluoric acid.
Fill the bottle with a solution of 1 part bleach to 7 parts water and allow it to set for at least 12 hours.
Or fill the bottle with water and add a false teeth cleaner such as Polident.
Or fill the bottle with water or vinegar, add fine grained sand or rice or laundry detergent or automatic dishwasher detergent.


Then shake the bottle to get the inside clean.

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May 23, 2017

I bought a cobalt blue bottle a few years ago that had a hole drilled on the side and clear Christmas lights in it (also had a very small shade). Now, after a few years of having it, I just got it back out for the year, and noticed the inside of the bottle is cloudy and dusty. How do you clean this?

Thank you for responding/have any suggestions?


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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

Put some rice in it and add some water with a drop or two of dishwashing detergent. Shake the bottle and it should come clean.


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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

Then just put the rice in alone and shake. That will clean it somewhat.


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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

The rice will help to clean it. I would probably try to suck out a lot of the dust with the hose of the vacuum too. I wouldn't think that would hurt the lights inside.

May 30, 20170 found this helpful

Try using an air dust can, like you would for a keyboard.

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July 9, 2018

I bought a large canning style jar with a wire close lid from Goodwill. It appeared clean (and newish), but I washed it with Dawn and hot water anyway. As it was upended in the dish rack I noticed that the water was separating off the glass in a way that indicated some sort of residue was on the interior. The water was not draining normally.

Bleach did not solve the problem. I can't seem to abrade it (to make it visible) yet I can find no way to get rid of it either. It's going in the recycling. I've had drinking glasses every now and then, also second hand/vintage, that have occasionally had the same issue, I've thrown them out. It's not cloudy, it is for all intents "invisible" until washed, and then you notice the draining water is behaving differently.


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July 10, 20180 found this helpful

Dawn is an excellent grease cutter. Maybe you have to soak the glass awhile. You can also try Barkeepers Friend.


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July 10, 20180 found this helpful

I recently read that by microwaving (or I presume stove-top warming) lemon juice or lemon peels in water, this liquid will cut any & all grease


I can't wait to try it next

July 10, 20180 found this helpful

It's not grease---it's some sort of coating. I can't see it, but water beads up, not quite like on a waxed car, but similar---which is not like water normally reacts to clean glass.


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July 11, 20180 found this helpful

It is possible the previous owners used them for something other than their intended purpose and damaged the finish.

Do they have the maker on them? Like if they are Ball/Kerr, I would call the company and get their take: This is the Ball contact info

Having got really sick from canned products in the past, I am leery of everything related to jars and the process (it was my mistake so I can't blame anyone but me). That is why I always preach safety first and go right to the your case, the company that made the jars.

Good luck!

PS if nothing else, the jars are great for displaying buttons, colorful threads and shells! I love using them for buttons!


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July 16, 20180 found this helpful

This sounds strange as you say it is not a greasy film.
I would try something like Softscrub or Barkeepers Friend with a nylon scrubber just to see if it helped.
Otherwise, try to find a use other than something that involved food or anything edible.

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December 4, 2018

I cleaned the milky film inside a decanter with rice, vinegar, and a bit of dish soap which worked great. Unbeknownst to me, my husband thought this worked so well he did a repeat of the same mixture for a tiny milky spot that was left, only he left it overnight and the next day which has now left a cloudy residue from the expanded rice!

I can't seem to get the cloudiness out. How do I remove now dried rice residue left from the moist rice left in a glass container by my husband? Any ideas?


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December 4, 20180 found this helpful

Use Barkeeper's Friend.


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December 4, 20180 found this helpful

Try a tablespoon of vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and baking soda. It will foam. Swish it for a few minutes and then let it sit for 15 minutes then rinse. You may need to repeat it several times.

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February 5, 2016

I found a gorgeous glass bottle at a thrift store. It's round, the opening is not very big, and it had a wick. The inside smells like cinnamon, so I think it was a scented oil lamp. I was drawn to it because it reminded me of a magic potion bottle or something, and I wanted to display it at my house. Don't judge me, I'm a bit of a fantasy nerd :P) But looking at it, I would love to be able to use it as part of a costume.

Is there a way to clean it thoroughly enough to safely drink out of it? The inside looks very clean, but I am obviously wary about what may have been inside. As much as I would like to drink out of it I will not take the chance of getting sick. I might me weird, but I'm not stupid. lol


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September 19, 20170 found this helpful

I wouldn't drink from it. You don't know what was put into it besides the oil you are smelling now.

October 17, 20170 found this helpful

You also don't know if the glass is food safe. It might contain lead.

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March 9, 2015

One of my daughters accidentally put oil in my vinegar bottle, and now it smells like old oil. How can I get that smell out? I don't have a brush that small to go into it.

By Lynne L from TN


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March 11, 20150 found this helpful

Wash the bottle with hot soapy water, rinse well, then fill to the neck with full strength white vinegar. Seal the top (either with the lid or a stopper, or with a couple layers of cling wrap held tightly by an elastic band) and leave for a few days in a warm area of your kitchen - top of the fridge always works for me.

Repeat the wash and rinse, check for odours - you should have a fresh smelling bottle.

August 19, 20150 found this helpful

Fill the bottle with very hot, even boiling water. Shake it a bit and then top it off with the hot water. The oil will float to the top. Use a paper towel or napkin to absorb the oil that has come to the top. You can also use a little dish soap, but put it in after the water so it doesn't foam up. You still need to put more water in on top of the foam, so it fills to the top.

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February 17, 2016

How can you get glue out of glass jars that were once used for candles?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 20, 20170 found this helpful

This is a simple process and uses only two household items.

Step 1
For each jar or a small jar mix together 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil inside the jar.

Step 2
Rub this mixture on the inside of the jar and the sticky parts of your jar.

Step 3
Let it sit inside the jar for 30 minutes.

Step 4
Use a steel wool pad to rub the inside of the jar to remove the glue.

Step 5
Wash with warm soapy water and rinse well.

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April 18, 2017

Cleaning the inside of a glass bottle can be problematic, especially if the neck is narrow or the bottle quite small. This is a page about cleaning dirty glass bottles.

A row of old glass bottles.

September 6, 2018

Milk can leave a difficult to remove haze inside a glass bottle. Vinegar or denture tablets are two methods you might try at home. This is a page about cleaning a Borden's milk bottle.

Glass milk bottle pouring a glass of milk.

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