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Jan 14, 2010 02:59 PM

soda pop & bottle cap rust: do me in??

Hi there... Every now and then, I enjoy purchasing old fashioned pop brands and other esoteric soda/pop in glass bottles from the local specialty store. Usually, at least one glass soda bottle will have a bottle cap that displays what appears to be rust on the inner surface of the cap and (more to the point) on the surface of the glass bottle's open rim. Sometimes I just try wiping the glass bottle's rim clean and sometimes I take a wet napkin and try to do a more thorough job of it, in my attempts to remove the 'rust' on the lip. The I start obsessing over whether the water on the damp napkin has caused the rust to dissolve and drip/flow into the sea of soda pop in the glass bottle. Not to mention, the thought of the originally sealed bottle being tipped and laid on its side, wherein the soda pop itself is coming into contact with the rusted inner surface of the bottle cap. My question is: should rust make its way into my soda or onto my lips while imbibing, can rust harm an individual as it streams across my gums and goes thru the digestive tract. Or is rust only dangerous on nails and screws that one, say, steps upon, and then the wound selas itself around the rust.? I cannot count the number of otherwise delcious and ice cold bottles of esoteric/expensive sodas I've poured down the drain, after waffling over this particular bit of self-induced paranoia? Does such an occurence bother others?? Thanks...

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  1. I know this is nearly three years old, but I'm in the SAME EXACT boat.. and I have a whole bunch of bottles that I don't want to go to waste. Somebody please help.

        1. re: beevod

          LOL. Always enjoy your sense of humor...

        2. Rust - oxidized iron - in and of itself isn't particularly toxic. if you regularly cook in cast iron or drink water from old supply pipes you're most likely injesting some.

          But is the stuff you're seeing really rust? That would imply that the bottlers are using uncoated steel bottle caps, which come in contact with the acidic soda and start to oxidize. The fact that you find it on the bottle rims would seem to indicate (based on my canning experience) that the rims weren't completely dry when the caps were put on. Have you noticed this with a particular brand, or is it general? Have you taken the bottle caps to the store and complained? I'd be more concerned about other slip-shod production methods if I found rust where it shouldn't be.

          (Unless it was Irn Bru, which appears to be lemon-flavored rusty water (ducks))

          1 Reply
          1. re: tardigrade

            Hi... Never really thought to complain, and here's why: I figure the esoteric flavors (Green River, Cheer Wine, etc.) don't move very fast off the shelf, and therefore its a crap-shoot if the bottle I'm selecting is years vs. months old. But I've seen it on bottles of mexican Coke too, which usually moves fast off the shelf. Eh, probably better this way, so I don't take in as many empty calories...

          2. I grew up getting bottled beverages at the lunch counter and clearly remember the waiter opening each bottle and wiping the top off with a wet towel before placing the bottle on the counter. I am unaware of whether or not there was 'rust' on the bottle, because we didn't have bottled beverages in the home...but think this phenomenon is not recent.