Flickr Widget

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cleaning glass decanters

We asked Karin and Tim Alonzo, the Blenko collectors we bought several pieces from recently, to give us some tips on cleaning glass, especially decanters. and the answer we got was...(Are you ready for this?)...BBs.  Just plain ol' Daisy BBs like the one the mother in the classic movie A Christmas Story was sure would shoot out her son's eye.

The process is somewhat time-consuming but yields amazing results. You first put a handful of BBs and Windex into the decanter and shake gently, letting the BBs remove the build-up. You then empty the decanter, clean the BBs, and repeat with alcohol. Again empty the decanter, clean the gunk off the BBs and repeat with water. The final step is to go one more round with alcohol, which will help the water evaporate faster and prevent spotting. (I read that uncooked rice can be substituted for the BBs, if that saves you a trip to the sporting goods store, but I can't imagine that being nearly as effective.)

Here's one of our thoroughly dirty Blenko decanters before the process. See how cloudy and gunky it was?

Pretty bad, huh?

Add a little backlighting,, and it's really obvious how badly it needs cleaning.

And here is the same decanter after the BB treatment, looking all bright and shiny and looking like new.


  1. wow! great post! i've gotten a couple decanters that i've been torn up about how to clean them. beautiful!

  2. I like using denture cleaner myself. But this is a great alternative for the more expensive items.

  3. @monogirl: Hadn't heard of using denture cleaner. Is there a kind that fizzes like Alka Seltzer that you could drop into the narrow neck of a decanter?

  4. Yep, we use it at work to clean liquor bottles or decanters we reuse onstage. You gotta figure if you can use it on a set of teeth you put in your mouth, it's probably safe for most things.

  5. ok so now I just want to find something dirty enough to try this trick! LOL