Monday, January 18, 2010

Bottles - Cleaning etc,,,



Since I did my last bottle post I have had several questions that were posted or emailed to me. I thought I would answer them in one post. I hope that is okay. If I haven't covered everything please comment or email me.

First - Where do I find them? You don't have to have a river to find them. Most towns and farms have old dump sites. They are going to be away from the town or farm. Usually in an area that is wooded or near woods. This land can't be used the same way farm land or built on like town land. Sometime you can stop at farms and ask where their old dump site is and can you dig there. I often trade photographs I take of the farms for the afternoon of digging. In desert areas they usually dumped the trash far enough not to bring in animals but far enough not to stink to much. Some times asking questions when you see or find bottles will lead you to dump sites.

Second - Once you have them how to clean them? First remove as much surface dirt as you can with a hose. I often just dump them in a large plastic bucket with some Dawn dish soap and let them soak for a day or two. Then rinse, and re soak. Sometimes there are some pretty disgusting things in them so wear heavy duty rubber gloves when you are cleaning them. Next I use a wire brush to clean the inside. If the mouth and neck are small I use a baby bottle brush. If this does not work then rice is cheap and works well.

I use plain old white rice uncooked. Pour into bottle and add a small amount of water, then shake. The agitation usually gets most of the crud out. Dispose of the rice in the garbage. Rice can make birds sick so you do not want to leave this outside. Certain stains and stuff do well with just white vinegar. Just add some vinegar and soak, then shake. When the bottle is looking good I throw them in my dish washer and wash them. Be careful when taking them out, the glass gets hot. Fill the bottles with a small amount of water, add flowers and enjoy.

9 comments:

Diane said...

Elizabeth, thank you!! I have some really old bottles that I've tried to clean--the rice method is very cool--I'll try that.

Terri Kahrs said...

What a great tutorial, but I L-O-V-E your photo!!!! Absolutely stunning! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

The instructions were helpful, and the photo is gorgeous!

jmquilts said...

Great! I appreciate this post. :) I'll try to post once I get it clean. Don't hold your breath... I even have to go buy rice. :)

Bea said...

I was going through a box, up in the studio and lo and behold there were my old fat book and my altered round robin book, Zetti Corkey's Field Journal and who should I see contributing in everything but you!
LOLOL Ages ago but what fun to see the artwork again. It was good but you've grown. And, THAT'S always a good thing. :)Bea

Sharon said...

Elizabeth,
The bottle post is gorgeous and inspiring!

Nettie said...

nice to know I am not the only one with a "thing" about bottles! altho I don't collect right now, for various reasons, I do sooo love them!

Laura Kay said...

I have a question for you concerning bottles. I have some small squatty jars. I want to hang them. what would you suggest. or any other way to display them.

crimsoncat05 said...

I just found some small bottles today, when I was walking out in the desert, and will definitely try to clean them up using your different suggestions.