What is the best method of cleaning out old Bottle? i tried using a brush and soapy water but it just doesn't get the job done completely. You can use just about any cleaning product (except Whink) to clean a bottle. Hydrochloric (muriatic) acid will not harm the Glass Bottle. LimeAway is commonly used if you have limey deposits or iron deposits. If the glass is "sick," that is, decomposing, no cleaning product will remove the sickness.
What I have found generally useful is laundry bleach.I fill a bottle with tepid tap-water to which I add a tiny amount of laundry detergent (because it is non-sudsing) and a dollup of laundry bleach. I let it soak for a few hours.
Whatever residue is left I remove with a home-made brush. I use a stiff wire coat-hanger for this purpose. I cut the hook portion away. I bend the smallest possible loop on one end of the wine and a large loop on the other. The larger loop will be the handle.
I cut a lengthwise strip of scrubbing pad (a Scotch-Brite knockoff from the dollar store) wide enough to generously cover the small loop. I roll the strip of scrubbing pad around the small loop and secure it tightly with several wraps of thin copper wire. String or a rubber band could be substituted for the copper wire. The copper is too soft to scratch the glass, but is relatively impervious to chemicals.
If you wish to use a commercial bottle brush, try this. I affix a small patch (about the size of the brush diameter) of scrubbing pad to the tip of the brush using polyurethane cement (Plumbers Goop, Shoe Goop, etc.). This patch not only makes the brush more effective in corners and at the bottom of the bottle, it also cushions the tip of the wire brush from any "hammer effect" in manipulating the brush inside the bottle.
1. Soak the Bottle. Pour a quite generous glug of vinegar into the bottom of a large pot, then fill it with water. Also fill the Bottle with water (so that they won’t float), and gently settle them down into the pot.
Heat the pot (but don’t let it boil!) for a couple of hours, then turn off the burner and let the Bottle soak overnight.
How to Clean Old Glass Bottle
I actually used too much water here (it’s hard to clean Bottle AND take photos!), but it still worked just fine.
2. Scrub the insides of the Bottle. Empty the water from each bottle, then pour an again quite generous amount of salt into the bottle, and pour in just enough warm water to make a saltwater slurry–you want the salt to easily flow around, but not to dissolve.
Put your finger over the opening of the bottle, then shake it like a Polaroid picture. Shake vigorously, turning the bottle around every which way, and watch in amazement as the salt gently scours away all the rest of the grime and residue from the inside of the bottle.
When the inside of the bottle is squeaky clean, rinse out the saltwater very, very well–don’t want to leave any residue after all that work!
3. GENTLY scrub the outside of the bottle. Probably, those first two steps are all you’re going to need to get your Bottle looking nice. My Bottle start off in such rough shape, however–remember that back-of-the-woods dump site?–that they’ll sometimes need some abrasive action on the outside, too.
You don’t want to risk scratching your bottle with a scouring pad, so the trick here is to use something like this dish scrubber upcycled from mesh produce bags. A scrubber with plastic… um, scrubbies?… won’t scratch your glass, but will get those last bits of dirt off your bottle.
Remember that you’re working with old stuff, here, so don’t expect perfection–even in my After photo above, there’s definitely still some discoloration and some scuffs on these Bottle. But your Bottle are clean, so you can craft with them, and they’re sanitary, so you can store spices in them, and they’re gorgeous, so even if you do none of the above, you can still sit them on your windowsill and admire them every sunny day.