You can safely and quickly open older home-charged and antique seltzer bottles without causing damage to them. Antique seltzer bottles have glass bases and long glass straws that get chipped or cracked when they are dropped or handled roughly when trying to open them. Older home-charged models have metal and plastic parts and a cartridge holder for the carbon dioxide cartridge. Determine if you have the home-refillable variety or the antique company-filled type of bottle before opening.
Things You'll Need
Spread a soft towel out on a stable surface to protect the seltzer bottle while you are opening it.
Unscrew the cartridge holder from the side of the bottle and slide out the carbon dioxide charger, if there is one inside. Cartridge holders may be threaded in either direction so twist either way until it becomes loose.
Squeeze the lever with the nozzle pointed into the sink to relieve the pressure that remains in the bottle. Even if the bottle appears empty, it must be vented in this manner.
Twist off the head of the old seltzer bottle and set it aside. Lift the neck insertion gasket and riser tube out of the bottle opening and set them next to the head for reinsertion after refilling.
Antique Glass Bottles
Spread a soft towel out on a stable surface to protect the anitque glass seltzer bottle while you are opening it.
Stretch a few rubber bands around the base of the metal head where it meets with the seltzer bottle’s glass base.
Hold the glass base of the seltzer bottle firmly with one hand as you grip the rubber band-covered section with a pair of adjustable channel-lock pliers.
Apply medium pressure with the pliers to prevent sliding as you wiggle the head back and forth until you feel it begin to loosen.
Spin the head or lift straight up slowly to avoid cracking the glass straw, which is often attached to the head and gasket.
Inspect all the rubber gaskets and hoses of an old seltzer bottle before refilling it for use. Worn rubber parts will allow gas and liquid to leak from the pressurized bottle.
References and ResourcesFantes.com: Seltzer Bottles & Chargers
Aunt Judy's Attic: Antiques Seltzer Bottles
Bottle Books: Ask Digger: May 2001 Questions