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How To Clean Vintage Bottles

I love finding old bottles at the thrift stores, but they aren’t always in the best shape. Here’s how to clean vintage bottles easily!

Do you love vintage bottles like me?

I would think so, if you’re reading this post. 😉

Every time I am out junking or thrifting, I look to add to my collection.

I just adore that vintage blue color and grab one whenever I find a steal.

But cleaning them has been a challenge!

Until I found a trick that finally worked. Here’s how to clean vintage bottles the easy way!

How to Clean Vintage Bottles

(Some affiliate links are provided below. Full disclosure here.)


Vintage Bottles
Stain Away Denture Cleaner
Wine Bottle Cleaning Brush

dirty Vintage bottles

I don’t know what it is about vintage bottles, but they are not the easiest to clean.

I tried soap and water, soap and boiling water, running them through the dishwasher, vinegar and baking soda, and all of those methods failed.

Then my brother’s girlfriend heard about using denture cleaner. She had just been given a box of old soda bottles that were caked with dirt.

When she told me it worked, I had to give this a try for myself.

So I took my bottles to my sink and hoped for the best.

I filled each bottle with water about 2/3 full and added a cap full of the denture cleaner to each bottle.

Using a funnel makes this process much easier!

It will foam up after you add the cleanser, so you want to leave enough space for the denture cleaner to do it’s work.

Watching it foam up is rather satisfying!

I let each bottle sit for the entire day to make sure the cleaner did it’s job.

Every now and then, I would pick up each bottle and agitate the liquid to see how it was removing the dirt.

There were two bottles that were rather stubborn, so I repeated the process on those, using a little hotter water.

After the denture cleaner got most of the dirt, I took the bottle brush and scrubbed away.

Here’s the before and after!

What a difference!

Some of the bottles were a bit scratched and those don’t clean up well, but a huge improvement from before!

And it was so simple!

So the good thing about finding old, dirty bottles is that they are many times much cheaper than those already cleaned!

Now that you know this trick, maybe this will save you some money the next time you find some vintage bottles!

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I love finding old bottles at the thrift stores, but they aren't always in the best shape. Here's how to clean vintage bottles easily!

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  1. Glad this helped you Joan! I love to the the same with my bottles. I mostly keep them in my sunroom where the light bounces off of them!

  2. Hi AJ – I bet your bottles are beautiful! Those Vintage Codd bottles are hard to find in my part of the US but they are so beautiful! Glad you enjoyed the tip and thanks for taking the time to reach and reach out!

  3. Glad you liked this! And they are hard to find down south as well. I’ve collected these over many years, but was lucky one time years ago at a backwoods junk store and found about 5 bottles!

  4. What a great idea! I love vintage bottles but seldom find any when thriving here in Long Island 🙁
    but I do keep an eye out any time we are out of town and I can convince my hubby to stop in a thrift store!

  5. I have a number of vintage Codd bottles and a few have been impossible to get clean. I will definitely try the denture cleaner trick! Thank you for sharing this method. Enjoy reading your blog

  6. What a great tip! I keep a row of the old blue and green bottles on my kitchen window sill, i love how they look with the sunlight shining through them! This is a good way to get them looking cleaner. Thank you.

  7. I am putting denture cleaner on my grocery list! I am looking forward to using this trick the next time I find an old bottle that needs cleaning.

  8. Hey Devra – that is an awesome trick! I will definitely try toiler freshener for sure!!! Thank you for taking the time to comment and for sharing this!

  9. You have a beautiful old bottle collection! I also use denture cleaner for vases that I’ve left the flowers in for too long. If you buy the mint scented cleaner (I just get the generic kind at the dollar stores), it’s also good to throw in your toilet bowl before company comes for a fresh smelling bathroom. 😺