Bottle Digging

Bottle Digging

One of my favorite things to do with my 8 year old son is bottle digging.  He loves to metal detect, and we do that also, but his favorite thing to do is dig in old bottle dumps in search of cool bottles and other relics.

What is bottle digging?  Well, in short it is going out to old homesites and bottle dumps in an effort to dig old bottles out of the dirt.  Back in the day, they didn’t have trash pick up, so what they did was dug a hole, threw their metal, bottles and other junk in the hole.  When it got full they just dug another hole.

Likewise, people used to just throw the bottles and buckets in a ravine. One of our favorite spots to dig bottles is just that, a ravine where the old farmer threw bottles and metal items.    That particular spot hasn’t turned up any valuable bottles, but my 8 year old wouldn’t know or care about that. If he finds a bottle, any bottle he is excited, and of course that makes me excited to see his face light up over a dirty bottle that he dug out.

In This Post on detecting365, I shared the finds of one of our bottle hunts where we were happy to get just one good find.

It never occurred to me that bottles can be tumbled until recently. I was on a detecting forum, and came across this website: The Jar Doctor.  On the website you can order everything from cleaners to tumblers to help you clean your prized bottles.  For the record, I am not compensated or even a customer of the Jar Doctor, just merely passing the info onto our readers. 🙂

Another great site for bottle diggers and collectors is called Bottle Pickers.  The site includes pictures for reference, guides to help you find out the rarity of your bottle, and even guides to help you figure out the dates of your found bottles.  Likewise you can buy and sell your valuable bottles on the site if you happen to have a rare one.


Treasures come in all shapes and sizes, so if you are looking for a fun new adventure you might try bottle diggin’. Other interesting finds can be found in bottle dumps, as the old saying goes, You never know what you may find!

Take a sifter with you, and enjoy your day!

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