Bottle Guide

Old bottles

Bottle collecting has become an increasingly popular hobby among antique lovers in the United States.

But bottle buff interest isn't confined to historical flasks and ornate decanters; it also includes many types of modern bottles, reproductions, and “collectibles”—bottles not old enough to qualify as antiques—such as the early Clorox liquid bleach bottles.

The trend toward “collectible” bottle gathering is growing. These bottles are more plentiful and considerably less expensive to purchase than their older counterparts, making it possible to possess an interesting bottle collection without substantial investment.

Because people frequently write The Clorox Company asking the vintage of old Clorox liquid bleach bottles they've acquired, this online guide has been prepared to help collectors determine the approximate age of different Clorox bottles used over the years.

The Earliest Bottles

In 1913, Clorox liquid bleach was initially offered in five-gallon crockery jugs since it was originally used exclusively by industrial concerns, such as laundries, breweries, walnut bleachers and municipal water companies. This product was delivered by horse and wagon to various customers in San Francisco Bay Area for use as a bleach, stain remover, deodorant and disinfectant.

Crockery jug

Five years later, in 1918, Clorox bleach was introduced into American households in 15-ounce amber glass “pint” bottles by the Electro-Alkaline Co., forerunner of The Clorox Company. From 1918 through 1928, these same “pint” containers were also used by other companies to bottle a variety of liquid products. Consequently, these stock bottles had no markings of any kind. Since millions of these containers were used, it is virtually impossible—if the label is missing—to tell which of these bottles contained Clorox and which contained other products.

Glass bottles used by The Clorox Company after 1928 can be distinguished by various characteristics. The following tips and illustrations point out variations in style, markings, lettering, glass texture and handles, and together serve as a guide in determining the approximate vintage of the early Clorox bottles.

  • This guide has been prepared purely as an aid for collectors wishing to determine the vintage of early Clorox bleach bottles.
  • The Clorox Company sets no value on these bottles, nor does it wish to purchase old bleach bottles.