Glass Water Bottles

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About: Architect/designer based between Chicago and SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyd...

Intro: Glass Water Bottles

Glass water bottles are popular for good reason. Plastic, even BPA free varieties, still release chemical compounds as they break down. Especially when are exposed to heat / sunlight.

Why do glass bottles cost so much? Honestly, no idea... amazon start around $18 for a bottle of any quality/size --does that make any sense?

What to do... the best thing to do is reuse the quality bottles that come from everyday products. Some may be worth trying just for the bottle!

Key attributes... durability, plastic cap, easy cleaning (see step 2), self-defense application (see step 3)


Step 1: Selecting a Bottle

The best place to start is in the dressing or sauce aisle. There are also many drinks sold in glass bottles. Here's my go to list.

The Best Bottles

  • Marukan Rice Vinegar(link to 12oz, 24oz) - hands down my favorite. This has been my go to bottle for years. It has a durable plastic cap and a sporty neck. Ideally I like a wider mouth bottle (nalgene, standard for camping) because they are easier to clean... that said, a cap-full of bleach once a month and the bottle stays perfectly clean. I've also dropped these bottles from counter height on to tile floor and never had a break.
  • Kambucha Bottles (link to 16oz, 20oz) - these bottles are built to contain the pressure of the active kambucha which releases gas in the bottle. Shape and sizes are often small for this premium product. But great if you like a smaller bottle.
  • Soju Bottles(link to photo) - Korean sweet potato vodka comes in one of the best bottles. It looks much likes a sports drink which makes it easy to take into concerts/festivals. When discretion is important this is a great option. As an alcoholic beverage you'll need to check at a specialty liquor store. --easiest if you have an h-mart in town!

Step 2: Preparing a Bottle

Great thing about glass is that it's tough. In the worst case you could throw the bottle in a fire... move it to boiling water.... use bleach to clean... and still have a usable bottle. Here's a simpler approach...

Removing Labels
The same process as removing wine bottle and jar labels.

  • Soak is soapy water. Hotter the better as it will take less time. In some cases where the label has a plastic coating it takes two passes.
  • Peel label. Under running warm water work back the label. Hotter the better and sometimes useful to quickly heat residual glue.

Sterilizing
Bleach is best. No fancy products. I buy the biggest container I can get for a dollar... say every year.

  • Bleach + Water - The rule of a capful to a gallon is a good one. I simply poke a hole in the safety seal and squirt some into a bucket.
  • Fill Bottle - Fill the bottle first. Especially useful with large bottles. I'll put them into a container neck first to ensure the mouth is covered.
  • Fill Container - Either fill the container around the filled bottle or place bottle into the container.

Step 3: Self Defense - Travel Trick!

Do you make some risky choices when traveling? Looking for a discrete self defense carry.. As a traveler who enjoys fitting hitchhiking into adventures here is a tip that helps me feel more comfortable than carrying a proper weapon.

Self-Defense - A glass bottle is an outstanding way to defend yourself. Discrete enough that it can be carried in plain sight and not seen as threatening. This is a perfect blunt item that you can put weight behind even from a seated position.

Travel - It's necessary to travel light and not have any weapons. Depending on where you travel any sort of weapon can expose you to more risks than they are worth. Here's another recent instructable on traveling with the lightest first aid kit.

Step 4: Thank You!

Any favorite glass bottles I missed? I generally avoid wine or alcohol bottles because they could draw the wrong kind of attention. Easier to stick with bottles that have a sporty look.

---could easily do a whole instructable on why rice vinegar, after soy sauce, is our most used ingredient

Here are a few other recent hacks!

Few notes in response to first comments...
Yes, modern metal and plastic bottles have value! Here are a few I frequently use primarily around the house, in the car and for camping. A huge feature of a reused bottle is that you don't have to worry about losing it. I love that!

--yes, I'd be bummed to lose any of these bottles.. Maybe that's why I have them for 20+ years!!

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    5 Discussions

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    raphan

    2 months ago

    Even if I like the idea of glass bottles, they are quite heavy regarding plastic.I bring my daily water consumption in 3 x 1/2 liter plastic bottles originally conceived for spring water. They are made by the food industry and can be (theorically) stocked for years under any climat, moreover designed to avoid UVs. I replace them from time to time, not that they're dirty, but because I think it's safer, don't ask me why I couldn't answer!

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    Thorondor95

    2 months ago

    Although I see the purpose of this Instructable and I do think it's a good idea, I have to respectfully disagree. While glass is better to drink out of daily (it is chemically inert and therefore will not leech into the drink) plastic water bottles (particularly Nalgene bottles) are ideal for camping and travel, being stronger, lighter, and holding more water most of the time. Also, a half-full Nalgene making a touchdown on one's skull is just as viable for self-defense as a glass bottle, albeit a glass bottle does not need to be half-full.

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    jprussackThorondor95

    Reply 2 months ago

    Hi Thorondor - I wouldn't have anyone get rid of their nalgene. I still hold onto one of the pre-BPA-free bottles from the late 90s. It's solid... you know, the kind you can drive a bus over! For camping a nalgene is still my go to. But, as I'm adding in the post, I love reused bottles because you never have to worry if they walk off on you...

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    AndreaD97

    2 months ago

    I like my stainless steel bottle, personally. I tried glass bottles reused from a couple different products (a bottle that was ORIGINALLY water, but "fancy" and another I can't remember) but I went back to my insulated Fifty/Fifty bottle. I'm too clumsy for glass! And as far as self-defense, I could absolutely bean someone with my bottle.

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    jprussackAndreaD97

    Reply 2 months ago

    Andrea - I hear ya. Certainly wouldn't recommend getting rid of your Fifty/Fifty. I have a Klean Kanteen and a Swell Bottle that I love. A part of the value I find in the reused glass is that if it disappears I don't feel a real loss.

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