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important question


New Member
Sep 11, 2017
is it safe to handle glass bottles that once held poisons or cleaning chemicals? like is there any potential residue lingering inside thatll harm me? or no?

probably a stupid question but i just found some old bottles in my house that said medical or pharmaceutical on them, all i did was pick them up and put them down but still im just wondering. they have been sitting on my moms shelf for years and years with no tops coverd in dust

poisons or chemcials were never kept inside clear glass right? there all brown or dark colors?


Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
If they've been cleaned out, you're good. If not, definitely wash your hands after handling them but I wouldn't worry too much. Chemicals and poisons were stored in all sorts of bottles (including clear) and a lot of old bottles with contents don't contain what they originally contained...no such thing as MSDS's back then!

Robby Raccoon

Trash Digger
Jun 14, 2014
Locō movērī
Depends. If any had contents and it is powdered, don't open it. If it's syrupy or liquidy, you'll likely be fine unless you lick your fingers afterward. If it's a ribbed bottle, beware. The stripes embossed into the glass usually mean, Attention! Or, they mean an early and ugly style of art-deco milk bottle. LOL.
I myself prefer my bottles to still be full. I have many wonderful, now toxic products rotting away or preserved forever inside of glass. For the liquids, I often seal them.


Well-Known Member
May 24, 2014
Really anything that's so dangerous you'd need to worry about trace elements of it probably wouldn't have been left in someone's house. Most poison bottles didn't hold anything particularly dangerous, just something that would kill you if you drank the entire bottle. Generally cleaning products from back then are pretty similar to the cleaning products we currently use, if not the exact same products. If it's still got contents though, you'd best be careful not to get the stuff all over you.

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