Any tips for removing corks from bottles.

Mailman1960

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind that laundry bleach will DISSOLVE cork fairly quickly, and will not hurt glass at all. Push the cork into the bottle, then fill the bottle with a bleach solution.
If you MUST use a tool, you can try a crochet tool.


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Excellent suggestion, if it's common bottle with a cork I like to try to save them and use on a different bottle. Once again this site is very helpful thanks to all. Maybe someday when I grow up I could give out some good advice to, giddy up
 

Harry Pristis

Well-Known Member
It's true that some diggers like to preserve corks, but I think they are a small minority of collectors. Personally, I don't understand the attraction.
Corks add nothing to the history of an individual bottle. Maybe the attraction is the ephemeral nature of cork which triggers an impulse to preserve it (like a paper label). Maybe it's the implication that an earlier user handled the bottle -- pushed the cork into the lumen of the bottle. But that is the weakest sort of historic archeology.
On the other hand, a grayish bit of shriveled cork in the bottom of a bottle detracts from the esthetic value of a bottle, in my estimation. It's the glass that is of interest from both an historic and an esthetic vantage. The cork is unnecessary, even distracting.
That's not to say that all evidence of sealing is not interesting. Wire retainers, sealing wax, and metal foil wrappers all come to mind. But corks . . . nah!

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ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Interesting, mainly using them for slicks try and sell them at an upcoming flea market if they don't sell they will probably disappear. They and a little appeal in this case.
I like the sun bleached look they get after tumbling around in the river. Looks better than a new cork in an antique bottle. Looks stupid, I tried. I ended up sanding and staining them to get an aged look.
ROBBYBOBBY64
 

willong

Well-Known Member
It's true that some diggers like to preserve corks, but I think they are a small minority of collectors. Personally, I don't understand the attraction.
Corks add nothing to the history of an individual bottle. Maybe the attraction is the ephemeral nature of cork which triggers an impulse to preserve it (like a paper label). Maybe it's the implication that an earlier user handled the bottle -- pushed the cork into the lumen of the bottle. But that is the weakest sort of historic archeology.
On the other hand, a grayish bit of shriveled cork in the bottom of a bottle detracts from the esthetic value of a bottle, in my estimation. It's the glass that is of interest from both an historic and an esthetic vantage. The cork is unnecessary, even distracting.
That's not to say that all evidence of sealing is not interesting. Wire retainers, sealing wax, and metal foil wrappers all come to mind. But corks . . . nah!

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Displaying a bit of an elitist attitude there Harry:eek:.

Still, I have to agree with much of your position, particularly regarding preservation of other closure elements. Unless such is on the verge of crumbling, I do not like to remove remaining components such as Hutchinson closures and the wire elements of lightning stoppers, even when the former interferes with thoroughly cleaning a bottle's interior.

In a box somewhere, I have a wine or liquor bottle with the remains of a lead seal that had originally encapsulated both the cork and a significant portion of the bottle's neck. I left it intact because the seal itself was embossed with product information (I must presume, as it's a foreign language that I don't read).
 

willong

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised no one said a good old cork screw?
I think there are two reasons for that. First, I believe that most members are responding in reference to corks, or portions of corks, that have been pushed into the interior of the bottle. Second, corks that are still lodged in the necks of 100-year-old bottles are often adhered to an extraordinary extent, especially when the contents of the bottle have long been drained or evaporated. Think of a carburetor that was left setting with gasoline in it for thirty years or more. What's left in that case is usually a shellac-like residue or conglomerate--or, at least it was in the days before unleaded gas.

Let's add a third reason: corks as old as we are considering in this context are often dried out and brittle due to time and affect of bacteria and fungi--as such, they tend to crumble.
 

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