07 July 2011

Cleaning Encrusted Bottles or Jars ... a mini tutorial

At the last estate sale I escaped to, one of my favorite finds were several chicken water dispensers or feeders.  I loved the zinc galvanized bases.  Galvanized metal is one of my favorite materials to "play" with.  Each base screwed on to a 10 inch tall Atlas "Strong Shoulder" Mason Jar, which was also quite cool.

While I loved the components and the overall look, I was not as enamored with the pretty thick encrusted film on the inside of each of the jars.  How to remove the encrusted layer - a dilemma to be dealt with, for sure.
Not quite sure how to best remove the seemingly baked on layer, I first put the jars through the dishwasher -  no success.  The surface dirt on the outside of the jars was removed, but there was no apparent change on the inside layer.  

Hmmm.  On to Google for the requisite research.  After visiting several sites, I combined the recommendations given and rounded up my arsenal.  (Other suggestions included vinegar, baking soda, and Tang! the granular orange drink!)
Yes - Efferdent Denture Cleaner!

I had used Efferdent (dissolved in hot water) on filmy vases before, and it worked like a charm.  So I figured I was headed in the right direction.
I boiled some water, added a denture tablet, and about 2 tablespoons of dishwasher detergent, into each jar and let the jars sit in the sink for several hours.

When I returned to my task, it wasn't immediately apparent that there was much change, but some work with the bottle brush and scrubber did the trick!  (not easily,  but do-able)

I left a bit of residue around the letters on the bottle as it seemed to highlight the letters and give some vintage authenticity to the jar.  (...OK - and because I got tired of scrubbing!!...)

AFTER   .....   BEFORE
The next decision - how to repurpose the jars, as I don't expect to have chickens around the house anytime soon.  (zoning doesn't allow)
The bottom could certainly be a cute, rustic little candleholder ... or maybe tomorrow I'll get back on Google and see what I can find....

But not tonite - it's time for sleep!  Any suggestions - bring them on by!

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