Trash to Treasure: Upcycling an Old Glass Water Bottle
When I found this 5 gallon water bottle I knew it was old because the marking in the glass on the bottom of the bottle read 72. I found this meant it was made in 1972. If I could clean it, I had the perfect place in the kitchen/dining area for it.
CLEANING THE INSIDE OF THE BOTTLE
The bottle had been outdoors for probably 30 of its 44 years, so my biggest challenge was to clean the inside of the bottle. I started by filling the bottle with vinegar and water and letting it soak for 2 weeks. That worked to remove the dirt, but the caked on grime inside just wouldn’t budge. That’s when I added one cup of dry rice, one cup of vinegar and filled half the bottle with water. My husband then shook the bottle for about 15 minutes to allow the rice to “scrub” the sides of the bottle. (My husband had to do this because the bottle is very heavy empty and when filled with the water, vinegar and rice it was extremely heavy!) The water/rice/vinegar combination worked and you can see from this picture, the scrubbing was a success!
After a final rinse with clean water, I air dried the bottle for about a week. At this point, LED lights were ready to be placed in the bottle.
I did a bit of research and found that this bottle was made in Pepperell, MA and filled with natural spring water discovered over 100 years ago. The Pepperell Water Company, which was owned by the Blood Family, only made three designs of glass bottles. One design has a raised checkerboard on the side, then there was a plain bottle, and the third design is the one I have which is a pale blue with a raised circle on the side with Pepperell Natural Spring Water, Pepperell, MA printed inside the circle. The water continues to flow from the natural spring and was so good that it won the coveted title of “Best Tasting Water in the World” at the 1901 World’s Fair. The original building and well sit on 265 acres of conservation land now owned by the City of Pepperell.
I love that I was able to save this beautiful glass bottle. Knowing the history behind the bottle makes it even better.