Old Bottles & New Uses

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I LOVE old glass. I have collected all sorts of glass. I recently aquired some old bottles. Some were from a thrift store and one from an old dump site uncovered when a porch was taken off a 1920's Craftsman house and a very deep hole was dug. My son has been helping with the project and knew when the bottle was uncovered that I would love it.

Old bottles, especially those that have been buried for ages, are a challenge to clean. Years of standing water leaves mineral deposits that are very hard to remove. Sometimes there is rust. I clean the outside with warm water (hot may crack or break old glass)and Dawn dishwashing liquid. Scrubbing with a copper scrubbie will not scratch the glass and will help take off the stubborn stuff...even rust. Many people swear by many different methods of cleaning the inside of vintage bottles. The easiest way that I have found is to drop a tablet of denture cleaner into the bottle with water, being careful to protect any label on the bottle and let the denture cleaner do its work. Brush well with a bottle brush. Rinse, and repeat as needed. Another thing that is very effective is dropping some sand or fish tank gravel in with some water and dishwashing liquid and swish around allowing the abrasiveness of the sand or gravel to remove the build up. If there is still deposits on the inside of the bottle you can try using a little lime-away or CLR to remove. Since I am not an expert, I try to stick with cleaning methods that require little chemicals. There are methods I've seen on the internet that recommend harsh chemicals like muriatic acid and tumbling with copper shot but I stick to the home methods that don't require safety equipment.

I love the look of these old bottles holding some purple petunias from my flower bed but ultimately I plan to use them for Homemade Vanilla.

Sharing at a new party, Stephanie Lynn's Sunday Showcase Party and Susan's Met Monday....these are great events and VERY inspiring!

Editing to add to Who Hoo Wednesday over at Marla's Always Nesting. Thanks for hosting Marla! I LOVE the motto on her button....Celebrating Home & Life! I like that!!


  1. Vintage Girl said...:

    Old bottles have such stories to tell....love yours! Your flowers look so pretty in them. Thanks for the tips on cleaning the bottles. Hope you are having a beautiful day! Heather

  1. I'm so glad you stopped by my blog. Your blog is beautiful. I'm enjoying going through old posts. Some of the recipes look delicious and I've got them bookmarked. Just so you know, you can post all the asparagus recipes and tips you want. I love that delicious green.

  1. cindy said...:

    Oh, how pretty they turned out...

  1. Annesphamily said...:

    Pretty vases from some vintage bottles! I love it so much! Anne

  1. Johanna said...:

    Nice idea to use different bottles as vases. Looks great.
    Greetings, Johanna

  1. So pretty! I'm seeing alot of bottle grouping lately but yours have the best vintage look and appeal. Lovely.

  1. Debbie said...:

    I love the simplicity of old bottles. I also clicked over to the post with the vanilla, and I have saved it in my "plan to make that" file.

  1. What great bottles!
    I've collected a few but never for the price you got yours at...most of the ones I've purchased are $4 to $5 each! Sometimes I thin the one's selling them have caught on that WE LOVE THEM...lol

    Love how yours turned out.

    P.S. Thanks for visiting me and signing up for my Give Away...

    Hugs, Karen

  1. I love old bottles too and thanks for the cleaning tip!

  1. Thanks so much for the tips. I love to pick up old bottles too.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  1. I just adore old bottles! I have a bunch scattered throughout my house and I'm just itching to do something really crafty with them!

    Coming over from BNOTP and a happy new follower!


  1. I too love old bottles and jars! Another thing that helps -- a dryer vent brush. You can bend it to the shape of your bottle and really get in there and get it clean! I am going to have to try the denture tablet tip!!

  1. I've always loved old bottles, but I've never felt as if I could clean them well enough to actually put food products in them. I guess I was wrong! Thank you for the helpful hints.

  1. Great tips! Can't wait to see the homemade vanilla extract in them. Do you make it with vodka or something else? I used to make homemade vanilla many years ago.

  1. Stephanie Lynn said...:

    Love your bottles - What great finds! They look adorable grouped together! Thanks for stopping by and joining the Sunday Showcase! I greatly appreciate it. Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  1. These bottles are beautiful and I love the idea of using denture tablets to clean them. I've never thought of that and that is a lot safer than other methods to not damage the bottle because sometimes it's already "flaking" and damaged on the inside.
    Thnak you so much for another great post. The bottles look so pretty w/ your lavendar petunias.

  1. Kim said...:

    What a pretty collection. You have good cleaning tips, too.

  1. FLOWERSHOPGURL said...:

    Hi, How sweet of your son to think of you, I love that! Your jar display is beautiful, thank you for sharing your story. I love your backround music too!
    I recently did a post on birdie jar project, you may wish to view it here: http://flowershopgurl.blogspot.com/2010/05/sunday-favorites_09.html
    for some more ideas to use with your jars.

  1. Connie said...:

    I just gave you an award. Please go to my blog for instructions.

  1. Gail, they are just perfect. What a gorgeous centerpiece they make. So pretty!

    Barb ♥

  1. Lara Harris said...:

    oooh love these! I love anything with a story! :)

  1. Always Nesting said...:

    I'm so glad to have you celebrating with us at Woo Hoo! Wednesday. Those bottles are incredible! I'm amazed at how well you've been able to clean them after all the years and aging.Woo Hoo!

  1. Great looking old bottles! The purple petunias look so pretty in them! Interesting post!


  1. Diann said...:

    Oh I love those old bottles! they just look so perfect for vases (like you have done).

    Since I buy so much 2nd hand items, I go through the same thing regarding trying to clean them. CLR works great most of the time as well as vinegar. I have also used alka selzers for some things. Weird huh, but it worked. LOL

  1. Bonnie said...:

    I came upon your blog and love it. Thanks for the tips on bottle cleaning. I too have and old home, built in 1865 and I love it. And love the welcoming, homey feel of your blog. I'll be back often.

  1. Marie said...:

    Hello sweet Gail - I'm catching up from last week's Met Monday! I love how you've used your old bottles! Very sweet. The flowers look so pretty in them. I can't believe I was your first follower...311 ago! heehee.


  1. nannykim said...:

    I like old bottles, too. I have a few. But what is the story about the pictures on your header?


  1. ~Alison~ said...:

    Since I was a young girl, I liked the look of old bottles. I haven't started a collection though, since I never knew what to do with them. Thanks for sharing your tips on cleaning them. I love your bottles with the petunias! Will you share pictures of your homemade vanilla in the bottles?

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