Looking for a good way to clean bottles

Trezurehunter

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Would anyone have any recommendations or ideas ? I have some bottles that need to be cleaned, and the soap and water routine is not cleaning them very well. Thanks for your help.
 

hollARDog

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Good question. I'm going to follow along.
I've been thinking about suspending them in a ultrasonic.
I use mason jars for small parts and my jars sparkle 😉
But a little nervous on the old glass.
 

Centsless Detecting

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I've tied a few things. Water and vinegar soak for a few days then have at it with a brush. Shaking them with kosher salt and water mix to clean the inside. Recently tried a toilet bowl cleaner and water mix soak. Ultimately you need a tumbler set up with copper beads and let it go for weeks. Haven't built one yet but I know someone who has one and he's collected bottles for 40 years. His bottles all look clear and brand new. Hope to pick up my bottle I had him tumble soon. I'll share a pic once I have it. Good luck with whatever you try.
 

Sangamon

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Back when I was digging I used 000 and 0000 steel wool and dish soap. I had a thin brass rod that I bent an eye in the end of, passed some steel wool through that and used it to scrub the insides of bottles. I used brass because steel can scratch the bottle. Also Barkeepers Friend works well on some stains. If the years of exposure to minerals have etched the glass, then your only option is to tumble, but I never got into that.
 
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Trezurehunter

Trezurehunter

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Thank you all for your replies.
 

sandchip

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Ultrasonic cleaning may work on some bottles, although I've never heard of anyone using it on glass. I wouldn't dare try it on anything earlier than 1900, especially pre-1860, or it may come out in pieces. Tumbling is usually the best option in capable hands. Some rare pieces may not be worth the risk by even the best. Some pictures of what you have that needs cleaning might help us to better advise you,
 

pepperj

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From cleaning up bottles 40-50 yrs ago now it was a chore.
We had all sorts of bottle brushes, that could be bent at different angles to reach the inside shoulders of the bottles.
Dish soap/water/leave the nasty ones soak for a week sometimes.
If I can recall right we put sand, soap, water and shook it for long periods of time to clean the inside.
There wasn't the cleaners of today back in the early 70's when the passion was high.
 

hollARDog

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From cleaning up bottles 40-50 yrs ago now it was a chore.
We had all sorts of bottle brushes, that could be bent at different angles to reach the inside shoulders of the bottles.
Dish soap/water/leave the nasty ones soak for a week sometimes.
If I can recall right we put sand, soap, water and shook it for long periods of time to clean the inside.
There wasn't the cleaners of today back in the early 70's when the passion was high.
I like the sand idea, same when I'm cleaning out fuel tanks, I use a counted amount of nuts,bolts and Dawn🤘
 

pepperj

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I like the sand idea, same when I'm cleaning out fuel tanks, I use a counted amount of nuts,bolts and Dawn🤘
My go to fix it guy uses muriatic acid to clean up the inside of metal fuel tanks, sparkly clean results.
 

hollARDog

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My go to fix it guy uses muriatic acid to clean up the inside of metal fuel tanks, sparkly clean results.
I use the above to knock out all the crusties then seal and fill with apple cider vinegar. Etched back to bare metal, then neutralized with baking soda. I used to use the harsher acids. Just more expensive and nastier🤘
 

pepperj

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This has no smell, safe to use.
Pricey
Might work work well on rust staining.
20220120_135856.jpg
20220120_140335.jpg
 

Centsless Detecting

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20221010_173931.jpg

OK I just tried a mix of Zep Acidic Toilet Bowl Cleaner, Zep Calcium Lime and Rust Cleaner and water. 1 gallon of each. I found the Zep at Home Depot about $12 a gallon. Don't worry I tested before I mixed everything together to make sure it didnt give off fumes or explode. I found these bottles in the river yesterday and soaked them for 24 hours and just pulled them out of my concoction. They all had the typical river goo on them. The mix does a good job but does eat at any any metal stoppers a bit.
 
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Centsless Detecting

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20221013_190150.jpg
20221014_185824.jpg


OK I finally remembered to take a before and after. This is a 24 hour soak and scrub with green sponge and brush on a drill. The center one still has some stains so it's back in so I can monitor progress.
 

Centsless Detecting

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Aug 13, 2017
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They look great 👍 I'd display them🤘
Thanks hollARDog. So glad my mix is working. Now I just gotta do this with all my dirty glass. Have a few dug bottles in there now. The next before and after should be good 👍
 

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