Using Bottle Storage Solutions to Preserve Food & Drink Bottles For Years
A bottle is simply a bottle, typically with a neck label, made from an inert material such as glass, plastic, metal, ceramic, porcelain, etc., and in different sizes and shapes to store and dispense liquids. Typically, a bottle is capped with an external bottle cap, an inner stopper, a closure, or some other type of internal seal, and an attractive way to display the bottle, and often some sort of built-in information (such as the label’s name and date). While the label on the bottle itself may bear the name of the brand, and the date (which is written on the label), the liquid inside the bottle cannot be altered, except by specially designed, temperature-controlled vials that change liquid in a small compartment. The liquids inside the bottle must be kept cold (temperature below zero is called the refrigerator temperature) at all times. A bottle must also be closed after each use and before it is opened.
A plastic bottle’s interior can be lined (lined up) inside the storage unit for proper temperature control, and internal pressure and humidity. Label the interior wall of the container with a stencil or with permanent marker so you can easily locate the bottle when you open the lid and remove it to clean the interior. If you have an air-tight container, label the outer surface as well. The best approach to take when cleaning your plastic bottle and determining its proper lining is cleaning the bottle upside down.
The first step is removing any air bubbles trapped between the label and the plastic bottle walls (if the bottle has one) and the bottom or lid of the container. Scrape upward on the label using a soft cloth or paper towel, and then pull it off the label. It’s not recommended to use nails or sharp scissors to remove these bubbles since they will scratch the paneling and could weaken the plastic. Your goal should be to clean the headspace between the label and the walls (even if there is no label, the plastic may still have some headspace). In addition, this cleaning process can help remove any hard water deposits or mineral build up that could cause sticking or sagging of the bottle walls.
To clean the headspace between the walls of the bottles without lifting or breaking the bottle, spray a warm (but not hot) water bottle spray or detergent onto the cleaned area, allowing the solution to penetrate through the soil. Use your rotary toothbrush to scrub the cleaner into the headspace. Be careful not to spray too hard or scrub in too much direction or you will risk splintering the plastic. This is one of the most common and easiest helpful solutions to restoring bottles to their original function. After the application of the cleaner, allow it to dry in the heat to ensure the solution is totally absorbed into the soil or filler.
If the dirt in the headspace cannot be removed with a spray or detergent solution, it may be necessary to use an internal pressure sprayer. These devices are specially designed to release strong jets of water to remove dirt particles that can cause sticking of labels or other bottle wall problems. Once the solution has been released, be careful not to spray directly into the bottle walls as you could cause the jets to spray directly into the bottle contents. Press the inner edge of the bottle against the paneling for several minutes to remove all residue and dust. Be careful not to press too hard, as you may deform the bottle. After applying the internal pressure spray, rinse the area with clear water to remove any residual solution or chemicals.
Reusing bottle containers is a great way to extend the life of the container and save money at the same time. Some helpful solutions include: using recycled plastics like milk jugs and containers, using colorful woven or printed plastic wraps or labels, and the most important, using reusable caps covers. By using a reusable lid or cap and a reusable cap cover, you are more likely to reuse the container over again. Also, caps and covers that match your current decorating scheme make cleaning the bottle easier. As you can see, reuse your empty or used bottle containers with many useful and creative solutions to extend the shelf life.