By Kirsti Scott
Beachcombers love finding beach glass with writing on it. These water-worn letters make pieces of sea glass easier to identify, and it’s always fun to find a piece of beach glass with “XO” on it. Liquid bleach was sold by the Electro-Alkaline Co., forerunner of The Clorox Company, in unmarked glass bottles from 1918 through 1928. These bottles can only be identified as Clorox bottles if they still have the paper labels on them. However, from 1929 to 1962, Clorox packaged their bleach in proprietary glass bottles, and beachcombers can use the style, markings, lettering, glass texture, and handles to find an approximate age of their beach glass finds. Read on for how to identify and date your Clorox bottle beach finds.
Stoppers vs. Caps
The earliest Clorox bottles had cork-style rubber stoppers and smooth necks and were used until 1940. In 1940 Clorox began using a screw cap, so if there are threads on the neck, the bottle dates from after 1940. In 1958 and 1959, Clorox had a flared neck style with straight edges, which was softened from 1959-1962.
Until 1933, the pint bottle held only 15 ounces and was 7-5/8 inches in height. In 1933, the pint bottle was changed to hold a full 16 ounces and was 7-7/8 inches in height. In 1938, the neck was widened to 3-1/4 inches. When the screw-top bottle was introduced in 1940, the neck size was changed to 2-7/16 inches, and increased over time.
Bottles from 1929–1930 had no type on the body, but the Clorox diamond trademark on the bottom. In 1931, bottles also had the Clorox name in solid letters on the neck and shoulder of the bottle. After 1932, more lettering was added on the shoulder and heel of the bottle and as time went on, the capacity was added and a raised line to indicate the fill line was added. In 1951, the lettering was changed to outlined letters, instead of solid lettering. The capacity notation was removed from the bottle in 1955.
In 1939, the first half-gallon size bottles with finger ring handles were introduced. From 1955–1959, gallon and half-gallon bottles sported a two-finger handle.
In 1945 a grained texture was added to the shoulder and heel, and in 1951 the texture was extended down the label pane to fill all but the neck of the bottle. Bottles made after 1958 had texture only on the shoulder and heel. In 1960, Clorox began bottling their bleach in plastic bottles and jugs.
Vintage Bottle Guide
Use this guide to determine the approximate age of different Clorox bottles used over the years.
View more information, detailed images, and some limited-edition bottles released by the company at bit.ly/cloroxbottles. All images in the Vintage Bottle Guide courtesy of The Clorox Company.
NUGGETS: Clorox Bottles
Treasures from the beach
Thanks to everyone who sent in their beautiful Clorox bits and bottles.
And, thanks to Roberta Nichols for recommending the helpful Collectors Guide (above) made by Clorox in the 1970s, which I purchased on eBay.
Learn more about bottles
Learn more about identifying bottles by shape and color, the history of bottle manufacturing, stoppers, marbles, and more. Articles ›
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine May/June 2022 issue.
I found a large piece of a glass Clorox bottle on the beach. I am having trouble finding a date range. Would you be able to help?