In this easy Instructable, I will show you how to clean the mud and crud off of antique (and not so antique) jars.
No fancy chemicals or detergents and barely any elbow grease!
Just grab up:
*a dirty jar
*plastic scrub brush
*gently dish soap (if your jar is a princess, otherwise we use good 'ol fashioned blue Dawn.)
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Get a Cruddy Jar
Exhibit 1: Calcium encased, rusted, crusted, old, cold and covered in mold Ball Mason Jar and genuine Ball Zinc lid.
Don't have one? Find a grandma and check her basement. There is bound to be one somewhere hidden beneath all of her grandmotherly treasures.
Step 2: Wash by Hand With Soap and Water
Exhibit 2: Aforementioned jar and lid after a good scrub-brushing and some dish soap. Notice all of the crud that didn't come off? (Remember to use a PLASTIC scrub brush and not a “brillo pad” as it will scratch the glass on the jar and the lid. You may also want to use a gentler soap if you are worried about the condition of your jar/lid.)
This stubborn crud is where most people get stuck. You think it is clean, then it dries and it looks darn near the same. Never to fear...there are more steps!
Step 3: Gather Your Soaking Materials
Really? Yep- that's it.
Exhibit 3: Some regular store brand plain white vinegar. (We know...we know...it is from Walmart. SHAME ON US!)
Also grab a dish that your jar will fit into and you won't mind being filled with vinegar. We used a pyrex baking dish to accommodate a 1/2 gallon jar.
Step 4: Soak Cruddy Areas for Approximately 1/2 Hour
Exhibit 4: Soak the cruddy areas in vinegar for approximately ½ hour.
If the cruddy areas can not be covered by placing the jar in a dish and/or flipping and rolling to saturate crud, try using a small bucket or tea jug. You can soak longer if you think you have extra tough crud, but under 1/2 hour doesn't seem to do the trick.
Since our gross area was on the bottom, this Pyrex dish worked perfectly.
Step 5: Pull Out That Scrub Brush One More Time
Though it shouldn't take much scrubbing at all, give one more go around with the brush. The vinegar should release about everything on its own.
Exhibit 5: Clean, shiny (as Zinc can be,) and pretty darn good-looking (if I do say so myself) 1910-1923 Ball Mason Jar after a simple rinse and dry.
** How did I know this was a 1910-1923 Ball Jar? Check out our blog for the answer!
Happy cleaning from Chopping Block Farm!