THOUGHT I was cleaning these...

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hemihampton

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I dig bottles that look like that all the time, never contributed it to hard water, but maybe my water not so hard, maybe call the Culligan man for a Water Softener? Plus, Since I have a Tumbler I can clean any bottle I come across. LEON.
 

Wildcat wrangler

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Thank you! I need to get out and find some more around here. :) I've hunted in the Boise area, but it's been 20 years. Don't know if I could find much where I used to go. I hope YOU get to get back and explore sometime. But I'm SURE you find some great stuff in Florida.

Those are nice. That happened to some of mine after- mainline? The sick got sicker! So now, while shopping for a good bottle tumbler, I decided to really do some of my imaginative girl stuff-I come up with some stuff that blows everyone’s mind, while they are telling me it won’t work! I’m thinking guys think with all the rigid rules and girls think outside the box? I will mess with it till- it works. So my husband has this blue cheap vibratory shaker thing to clean bullet casings, for reloading? (Harbor freight- cheap!) I got some of those resin chips that they use for taking rust off old bolts? And Ran a few sacrificial bromoselser $1 bottles that were sick as they could get. I had heard them talking about tumbling bottles for a week so that’s what I expected. I was shocked the next day when I checked on them- because they were all nicely cleaned, but not a great shine? So I mixed into the chips some of his walnut shells, and voila! Shine too. It took all the haze, and white crap off all the other bottles too. I did go to goodwill and picked up a giant plastic bowl, drilled a hole in the middle and swapped the blue bowl that belongs with that thing, for the big opened bowl…. Then I put a funnel over the big bolt in the center (if it were mine, I’d get the bolt cutters and take it down, but this worked. I cut some hose pieces and either sliced them, if they wouldn’t go over the lip- and then duct taped it in place, to protect the bottles? Or just slipped it over the lip? With excess sticking out past the lip? Like a bumper. Placed3 bottles like that, in the same direction? So there’s a rubber bumper between each? They spun in that at the perfect speed! So I crave cleaned up a ton of bottles, pretty fast, in the last couple weeks. I need to go to Home Depot and pick up a few 2’ sections of the clear tubing that they sell, in every size they have, to make a variety of “bumpers” in different sizes. I wonder what it would do if I actually used copper or the right tumbling media in it. Anyway, girl stuff but it WORKS! (And a coffee up can be a hammer! Lol). I’m still looking for a tumbler but when I find it, ($2000 is the 1 I have my eye on- could buy a lot of gorgeous bottles for 2 grand! I’m having a hard time justifying that) I hope I’m not disappointed, because that shaker thing is pretty slick. I think those shaker things are like $35-$40? Total hillbilly bottle cleaning but it works.
 

Kevin S.

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Thanks, Wildcat! I'm not sure I want to go all in for a tumbler. And I'm not really in a position to set up a dedicated station for working on these. Don't know that I'll be gathering more bottles anytime soon. I just want to get what I have cleaned. I just never did that. In the 90s, we had people buying them as soon as we said we had some... never went through the cleaning process, I guess the buyers must have. Even the ones I've had out in my house haven't been cleaned. I'm just thinking I might sell a bunch off, so I'm gonna have to get them clean.

Thank you for your girl-ways. I appreciate all ways. :) I will look into shaker thing-set-up.
 

willong

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Thanks, Wildcat! I'm not sure I want to go all in for a tumbler. And I'm not really in a position to set up a dedicated station for working on these. Don't know that I'll be gathering more bottles anytime soon. I just want to get what I have cleaned. I just never did that. In the 90s, we had people buying them as soon as we said we had some... never went through the cleaning process, I guess the buyers must have. Even the ones I've had out in my house haven't been cleaned. I'm just thinking I might sell a bunch off, so I'm gonna have to get them clean.

Thank you for your girl-ways. I appreciate all ways. :) I will look into shaker thing-set-up.
Soaking in a dilute solution of Hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) should do the trick for your needs, at least for the bottles pictured, as none of them seem "sick."

You might have to experiment a bit with solution strengths and soak times. Home Depot sells a package of two gallons 14.5% solution* for pool treatment. It sells for $11.48 here in western Washington State.

Any swimming pool supply house will have muriatic acid in stock, as will masonry supply stores (it is used for removing mortar smears and efflorescence from many masonry surfaces); and those firms should have the MSDS information on hand as well. Be sure you understand safe handling and disposal procedures before proceeding.

* I don't know if that solution strength is appropriate for your needs, but I suspect it is adequate. It is a little less than half of the 31.5% "technical grade" strenght that I have on hand, a couple ounces of which does a good job of removing lime deposits from toilet bowl.

You could also try a long soaking time in distilled white vinegar first, just to see if that mild and cheap acid will work for your purposes.
 

Kevin S.

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Soaking in a dilute solution of Hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) should do the trick for your needs, at least for the bottles pictured, as none of them seem "sick."
...

THANK YOU! These are fabulous ideas. I'll check into them. Thanks again.
 

willong

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THANK YOU! These are fabulous ideas. I'll check into them. Thanks again.
Acid treatment is an old established way of removing lime deposits. I did a fair amount of it myself, removing efflorescence from brick buildings.

If bottles are "sick" from long burial in harsh mineral, acidic or alkaline conditions, acid will still remove the lime deposits, but such naturally etched glass surfaces will remain dull-appearing. Your bottles don't look to be suffering that condition though. Moreover, cleaned but etched bottles can still be tumbled to re-polish the glass. I'd start my tests with low-value bottles just to play it safe. Before everything went plastic, Hydrochloric acid was sold in glass bottles--I believe it still is in reagent strength.

Good luck with your project. I'm sure we would all be interested in seeing "after" photos of the same bottles.

If you don't mind my asking, do you dig any of the old mining camps in your part of the country? (I always wanted to go prowling around in the vicinity of Florence, Dixie and etc.)
 

Kevin S.

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Acid treatment is an old established way of removing lime deposits. I did a fair amount of it myself, removing efflorescence from brick buildings.

If bottles are "sick" from long burial in harsh mineral, acidic or alkaline conditions, acid will still remove the lime deposits, but such naturally etched glass surfaces will remain dull-appearing. Your bottles don't look to be suffering that condition though. Moreover, cleaned but etched bottles can still be tumbled to re-polish the glass. I'd start my tests with low-value bottles just to play it safe. Before everything went plastic, Hydrochloric acid was sold in glass bottles--I believe it still is in reagent strength.

Good luck with your project. I'm sure we would all be interested in seeing "after" photos of the same bottles.

If you don't mind my asking, do you dig any of the old mining camps in your part of the country? (I always wanted to go prowling around in the vicinity of Florence, Dixie and etc.)


Really, thank you so much. I'll be checking all this out and seeing what works the best.

I have totally been in old mining camps in the area. The majority of these bottles pictured are from White Knob, which was a camp and then a town just above Mackay, Idaho. The others in the shot are from Gem, a ghost town near Wallace, where there were mining camps, multiple little towns, and even a Calvary encampment during a miner's revolt.

I'm in S. Idaho now, so areas around Idaho Falls are where I would currently prowl. And there are plenty of camps and old boomtowns in the area.

I hope you get to explore more around here, and get to where you want to get.
 

Wildcat wrangler

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Soaking in a dilute solution of Hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) should do the trick for your needs, at least for the bottles pictured, as none of them seem "sick."

You might have to experiment a bit with solution strengths and soak times. Home Depot sells a package of two gallons 14.5% solution* for pool treatment. It sells for $11.48 here in western Washington State.

Any swimming pool supply house will have muriatic acid in stock, as will masonry supply stores (it is used for removing mortar smears and efflorescence from many masonry surfaces); and those firms should have the MSDS information on hand as well. Be sure you understand safe handling and disposal procedures before proceeding.

* I don't know if that solution strength is appropriate for your needs, but I suspect it is adequate. It is a little less than half of the 31.5% "technical grade" strenght that I have on hand, a couple ounces of which does a good job of removing lime deposits from toilet bowl.

You could also try a long soaking time in distilled white vinegar first, just to see if that mild and cheap acid will work for your purposes.

Thank you…. I have tried that- and am not above trying it again. I expected magic…. It didn’t work that way, that time. Do you soak your bottles in baking soda water after rinsing them? I heard twice as long as they were in the acid…. But it’s all is my weak spot, here! I’m dealing with hlc right now…. I was soaking the 2000ish huge crystal clusters that I found last winter, in a variety of acids…. I bought 2 ph meters, and have calibrated others for years, but these won’t calibrate for me. I think I’ll go talk to the guys at the hydroponic shop and see if they can do it, maybe…. But with the big time drought and $1000 fines (50 gallons per day per person ) I just need to neutralize about 4 big tubs of various acid and put my rocks away till we get some rain. I have put about 12 lbs baking soda in this 1/2 full bucket of muradic/hlc and it just keeps boiling! I had citric acid out there and got it to stop, and flushed that. I did put some pretty crusty bottles in each of them and had the same issue I have with the crystals…. A white powder that forms, either as soon as they are out of the baking soda water, or it might take 2 weeks, but it has to be a ph thing, right? I also have oxalic and iron out that I’ve used. It’s funny the similarities when your cleaning both crystals and bottles -cans too. Btw, citric acid works really well, too…. And it removes rust? I soaked some antique railroad lanterns in that, and it took them down to the patina only…. I’m super happy with those. It did well on bottles and rocks- but there again, that creeping powder shows up, with all of that. The only thing that fixes it on those rocks, is replete soaking, following a week or so in baking soda.
I just realized we are on the same coast. Hot nuff for ya?!! What area in Washington? It’s so pretty up there. Looking at the lake, I keep thinking about packing up my 14 cats + kittens and moving- maybe Idaho or some place that’s not Cali. Someplace my cats are legal in! That’s a state by state thing…

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Wildcat wrangler

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Thanks, Wildcat! I'm not sure I want to go all in for a tumbler. And I'm not really in a position to set up a dedicated station for working on these. Don't know that I'll be gathering more bottles anytime soon. I just want to get what I have cleaned. I just never did that. In the 90s, we had people buying them as soon as we said we had some... never went through the cleaning process, I guess the buyers must have. Even the ones I've had out in my house haven't been cleaned. I'm just thinking I might sell a bunch off, so I'm gonna have to get them clean.

Thank you for your girl-ways. I appreciate all ways. :) I will look into shaker thing-set-up.

Me too!!! I can’t believe how expensive they are….then theres those expensive tastes that are like a strong magnet for me, every time. But seriously, on the cheap, that shaker deal works…. I was running into not wanting to designate a big space for a tumbler. I was even talking to a guy about building one, where the motor could be under the cabinet in the garage- with the roller part made to fold up, back to the wall,when not in use? So I can have my little tiny bench space that I’ve claimed, in the garage.Hmmmm….


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Kevin S.

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Me too!!! I can’t believe how expensive they are….then theres those expensive tastes that are like a strong magnet for me, every time. But seriously, on the cheap, that shaker deal works…. I was running into not wanting to designate a big space for a tumbler. I was even talking to a guy about building one, where the motor could be under the cabinet in the garage- with the roller part made to fold up, back to the wall,when not in use? So I can have my little tiny bench space that I’ve claimed, in the garage.Hmmmm….


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Yeah, even that sounds like a decent investment. :) And yeah, I get the space issue. I have very little space.
 

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