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The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > Absinthe & Absinthiana > Absinthiana & Collectibles
Bruno Rygseck
I got an old glass bottle that I would like to fill with a beverage but I am unsure how to clean it so that it doesn't have anything poisonous/contagious/otherwise noxious in it. Should I use:
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • acids
  • lye
  • UV-B
  • gamma rays

Then I'll label it with an old label, seal it and sell it on ebay…

if you put acid in it, I'm interested...
Bruno Rygseck
What goes in, will come out.
A tablespoon of bleach mixed into the water of a 750 ML bottle will loosen/sterilize and clean it nicely if left for a day or two. Then rinse the Hell out it with hot soapy water, as the insides will be slippery and bleach-coated.
After half a dozen fills and rinses, it should look like new, have no bleach odor, and be completely safe to use.
Having the appropriate solvent for whatever you want to dissolve and wash away is, of course, key. But in washing any surface, even with the appropriate solvent, a little friction will make a big difference. You can put soap on your dirty hands and rinse it off or you can put soap on your hands and then rub them together and rinse.

Get a bottle brush.
Bruno Rygseck
Thanks, all. I'll let it soak as instructed and brush like hell after that (and avoid getting the cleaning agent into my eyes).
R3al Caravano
I would suggest methanol. Which is in itself poisonous (and do not get it in your eyes.) It is a good solvent and highly volatile (easy to remove with a dry gas) and any reactions incurred with the silicate do not produce harmful reverse reactions. (Not that you ever see them under normal temperatures.):…29_P271-286.pdf
I'd be interested in hearing how a citizen in Finland gets access to a gamma ray source.

It will kill any living thing in the bottle, but who knows how it would affect any elements that might be present in the bottle. If you want glassware that glows in the dark, go for it.

Most of the suggestions here have merit, but be careful with the choice of brush if you don't want the glass scratched.
If the bottle is cloudy, you can have it tumbled on a modified gem tumbler.
There is a large cottage industry of bottle tumblers out there.

I'm surprised someone isn't tumbling all those cloudy old Toppettes.
Easy enough to do. Sick glass is hard to deal with though, I've had some luck with muratic acid, also with Coke, it eats up surface debris but that is probably not the problem, if it's cloudy you have oxidized glass, the only cure is what Jay said, removal of a layer of glass and polishing the glass.
Bruno Rygseck
Thanks for all the advice! The only gamma ray source that I have is my uranium glass collection which (hopefully) does not sterilize anything or anyone.

Here's the bottle, commonly known as a nilkki during Prohibition:

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It looks clean and clear now after washing except that there is something dark at the bottom that did not come off:

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Looking carefully in bright light, however, it turned out to be a manufacturing defect in the glass itself, a crescent of thicker glass (although I'm not yet completely sure):

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