My obsession with vintage bottles began when I was 8, and discovered an abandoned dump on my grandparents' farm. I excavated Indiana-Jones-style dozens of old, dirt-encrusted (mostly worthless) glass over the course of a summer, and still have the collection today.
My dad and hubby recently helped me scavenge another dozen or so glass bottles, and these were by far the nastiest I've ever encountered. I don't disgust easily, believe me, but these were gag-worthy.
If you're a vintage glass lover like me, I bet you've encountered similar issues - although I would argue that these particular bottles set the bar quite high for grossest ever. I'm kicking myself for not taking before photos, because I clearly deserve an undeterred-in-the-face-of-nastiness award. That's a thing, right??
So how did I get them clean enough to allow back into civilization? It wasn't nearly as hard as you might suspect.
1. I started by spraying them off with a water hose. This was enough to at least remove the outer filth so I could get them into a sink.
2. I soaked them in dish detergent and water for a couple hours, and scrubbed as much as I could with a tooth brush. (Don't worry, I used my husband's, not mine. Snark).
3. The problem, as any fellow bottle lovers will now be grouching about, is that a tooth brush cannot reach the entire inside of many thin-necked bottles. So here's where the magic happens. You will need:
- Dawn dish detergent (or whatever you have on hand)
- Epsom or rock salt (I had rock salt on hand; the larger grain salt the better. Table salt probably won't be very effective)
4. Depending on bottle size, add a tablespoon or two of salt to each bottle, and a tablespoon of dish detergent. Swirl around inside the bottle.
5. Add about a tablespoon of water to the mix. Cover the top, and shake vigorously. The salt will help scour the inside of the bottle.
6. Rinse the mix out. You may have to repeat this process for really encrusted bottles. Set upside down to dry.
Voila! New bottle vistas have just opened up before you. Go forth and enjoy! :)