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