How To Clean Up Your Vintage Glass Bottles

Today I am writing from SUNNY and WARM (ish) Iowa! I can’t tell you how excited I am to not have to brace my face for the cold every time I open a door. Today’s post goes along with all things ‘spring cleaning’ which is the theme at my house these days! We have been doing all those yearly tasks, cleaning out dryer vents and bathroom fan motors…safety first!

If you have been following along you know I love everything budget friendly, and therefore I find a lot of my decor pieces at thrift shops. I love the hunt for a good deal, and I recently came across a collection of medicine bottles and many were marked $1 . I have a plan to display them in my bathroom (after I re-paint it) and while I love the look of vintage bottles, I noticed some of these had a residue or film on the inside that was taking away from the look.

After a little research, and some trial and error, I came up with a fairly simple method to cleaning some of the residue out of the bottles that didn’t use any harsh chemicals and also didn’t damage them. The end result was not a sparkling clean look, but it’s better than where we started!

Here are a couple before photos to show you what I was working with…


As you can see there was quite a bit of buildup on the inside of these bottles, and it was taking away from their appearance. Here is how I cleaned them up:

  1. Fill them half way with warm water and other half white vinegar

  2. Let them sit on the counter for 24 hours

  3. Rinse well

  4. Fill them completely with white vinegar

  5. Let them sit for another 24 hours

  6. Rinse well and dry

You could repeat this process as many times as you wish to achieve your desired result.

Here are the after photos…again they are not perfect but definitely an improvement!


These bottles are now ready to be added to my collection that I’m working on for the spare bathroom, and of course I will share that cabinet and collection when I get it completed. Now that the weather is nicer, we have been working outside most days but I will find time for the indoor projects again soon!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today, and feel free to pin this post for later use!