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Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles

Category Reusing
Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles
Before throwing that sturdy detergent bottle into the trash, you can consider ways to use it for something else. This guide is about reusing laundry detergent bottles.
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By 35 found this helpful
February 22, 2011

To organize cleaning tools, gardening tools, and small household tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.), clean out an old plastic laundry detergent bottle. With a utility knife, cut off the top of the bottle even with the bottom of the handle, leaving handle intact. This allows full open access for storage. I just grab the handle and go.

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By kaznavour from West Babylon, NY

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By guest client (Guest Post)
April 6, 20044 found this helpful
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If it has a handle:

1. Turn it on its side and cut a slit on top. Put empty thread spools on bottom and cut triangles for ears. Bang, you have a piggy bank.

2. Cut it an angle. Bang, you have a scoop or mini-shovel.

3. Cut a square or large circle. Bang, you got a bird feeder.

4. Fill one for extra gas in your vehicle.

5. Cut a big hole in the side. Bang, you got a clothespin holder.

6. Put water in it for auto or vehicle.

7. Challenge your kids to make something, winners get pizzas.

8. If you have a boat, fill it with sand for an extra anchor.

9. Latch serveral together by the necks and you have a small water float.

10. If they are long (like soda bottles) paint them white. You have 10 and a ball. Bang, you got bowling.

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June 2, 20161 found this helpful

This is what you should do with any empty plastic containers. Take them to a recycling center or if your town has a recycle pickup put them there. Here is why. You may think by reusing them you are saving someway but you are not. When you put them into a recycling place they are melted down and reused to make more bottles. When you save them the bottle plants have to get resources from the earth. Recycling doesn't necessarily mean YOU have to recycle the items. It means let the manufacturers reuse them so they don't have to use more petroleum or whatever it is made from.

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By guest client (Guest Post)
April 4, 20040 found this helpful

Well, what I do is refill mine. I buy big jugs at Warehouse stores and refill the smaller jugs which are easier for me to handle. Then I just recycle the big jugs.

I bet you could clean them out, soak the label off and use them to water plants. Or cut the upper part off, leaving the handle on, and use it to carry around small gardening tools. They actually have some nice bright colors so it would be easy to spot.

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February 14, 20053 found this helpful

I always hated to toss the empty plastic containers for softeners, laundry soap and other similar products. I decided that the lid could be used for different craft projects.

Here's a few; put some rocks in the bottom of the lid for weight, cover with batting, cover with material to form a large ball that is about 2 inches above the lip. You can now glue material or other items such as buttons on the outside and you have a cute pin cushion.

The smaller lids can be used as hats for your crafts, like for a snowman.

The containers can be put over plants in your garden when there is a chance of frost. I wouldn't recommend the ones that hold bleach.

My husband uses them to hold the old oil and transmission fluid when he changes them.

I would like to know any other ideas someone might have for them.

By RoseMary

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 14, 20051 found this helpful

Cut the bottoms out of old detergent jugs and use them as pots for starting seeds for your garden. Are also good for rooting plant cuttings in. Make sure to punch a few holes in the bottom of the container for drainage before placing plants/seeds in it!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 2, 20081 found this helpful

I have used empty rinsed out bleach bottles to store water in case of a power outage, water shortages.

I have also used empty rinsed out bleach bottles to store water from the dehumidifier to use.

I have used the container lids for children's crafts. Put plaster of paris in bottom of lid, stick in remnants of artificial flowers. Tie ribbon, etc. around outside. Can add sparkles, etc. Make wonderful Mother's Day gifts and they don't need to be watered.

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Anonymous
April 6, 20161 found this helpful

When I was younger my dad would cut out a u shape and we used it as a portable urinal for the girls on the boat....

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February 14, 20050 found this helpful

The bleach bottles make good funnels for various fluids we have to put into our autos once you cut the bottom off to the depth you need. Also, you can cut the bottoms out of detergent and bleach bottles at an angle to use as scoops for various things (dog food, etc.). Once the bleach bottles in particular are well-rinsed, I can't see where they'd pose a problem; after all, municipalities sure put enough chlorine into our water!

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 14, 20050 found this helpful

I use the large tops to the liquid laundry containers upside down....one is filled with Q-tips and the other with short nail files and cuticle scissors, etc. in the bathroom cupboard.

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February 14, 20050 found this helpful

I use plastic bottles and jugs with screw tops to collect used cooking oils and grease for the garbage. Soggy wet foods can go into them as well. It is a much better way to dispose of these things if you intend to throw the jugs away in the first place.

grannz

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 15, 20050 found this helpful

I recently ran out of room in my spare change jar and looked at the empty laundry detergent container. Use a sharp steak knife and cut out the inner spout and use a cardboard sheet as a funnel and it works great. I hide it in plain sight in laundry room, and know which one it is, so it is not grabbed by mistake. Better yet, the empty plastic 14 ib container! Changed to that and works great for coins and same hidden purpose. Easy to carry to bank or coin changer at store too. Use lighter lb sizes though!

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February 16, 20050 found this helpful

Those bottles can be used again with you own homemade laundry detergent.

You could also refill those bottles with grass seed or fertilizer to spread on lawns and gardens.

You could stuff oily or combustable rags in them, when filled throw out.

Crafts?

if you are good a decorationg you could make a small office desk waste can ,just don't drop anything hot in it.

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 16, 20050 found this helpful

In some states, detergent jugs can be used to dispose of needles, if you're diabetic, etc., and need a biohazard container for needle disposal. But check your state's laws. In some states, you MUST use the biohazard container.

In our state, you may use a detergent jug, but you are to wrap around the area where the cap and jug meet with duct tape.

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By 16 found this helpful
January 22, 2010

Rock Salt, used to melt ice on pavement, is very harsh to the skin. For an easy, and safe dispenser, I empty the bag of salt into a old laundry detergent bottle. Most have handles which makes spreading the rock salt quite easy. No waste or spill or contact with your skin! Label the bottle to store any unused salt.

By JP's Mom from Rocky Point, NY

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January 23, 20101 found this helpful

Try not to get salt near the garden, it's not good for plants. Marg from England.

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By 2 found this helpful
November 13, 2011

First cut the top in a scoop fashion from a Tide laundry soap container. Use the 100 fluid ounce size, leaving the handle on. Make sure that it is washed out very well. I cleaned it with baking soda and vinegar to be sure it was clean. Make sure it is totally dry. Then you can scoop your dog, cat, chicken, or any other food or even sand, gravel, soil, or flour if you want.

Source: Thriftyfun

By Teresa from Lynnwood, WA

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By 2 found this helpful
December 15, 2011

I wash out the empty bottles. Rinse them thoroughly. Cut the top off of the bottle including the top of the handle. You still have the handle left for holding it and you can use it for a scoop for birdseed, pellets for pellet stoves, filling your pots with potting soil for planting, and also for watering outdoor plants and in the garden. I have a few hanging in my garage and find them very, very useful. I just leave them in the big bags I am scooping from and they are ready for the next use.

By Nancy from Iron Mountain, MI

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June 22, 20043 found this helpful

This past week I volunteered at my daughters' Girl Scout day camp. They had taken empty liquid Tide laundry detergent containers, the big ones with the spouts, and cleaned them out and refilled them with water. They then took a nylon stocking and placed a bar of soap in it and tied that to the spout. This was used as a handwashing station. This would be excellent to take camping, fishing, hunting, picnic, or just out in the backyard for cleaning up from yard work or in the garage from working on your car.

Tawnda

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October 19, 2009

Need a large scoop say for bird feed or or something else? Save those laundry detergent jugs. Just wash out the empty container and be sure to keep the lid.

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March 9, 20132 found this helpful

This is a guide about how to make a detergent bottle watering can. Yet another use for an empty detergent bottle; make a watering can.

Detergent Bottle Watering Can

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By 1 found this helpful
June 29, 2013

I peel off the labels and reuse them for other liquids I buy in bulk or make. I used the Arm & Hammer yellow containers because I like yellow and I labeled them with my PTouch. I love the way the bottles dispense and I can buy either in bulk or on sale...

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January 8, 20130 found this helpful

This is a guide about crafts using laundry detergent bottles. Save your empty detergent bottles for use in a wide variety of crafts from seasonal decorations to toys.

Recycled Leprechaun Craft

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June 9, 20120 found this helpful

This guide is about uses for laundry scoops. With a new scoop in every bucket or box of detergent, you can end up with extras that can be helpful for many other things.

Uses for Laundry Scoops

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful

This is a guide about uses for laundry detergent caps. When you finish a bottle of laundry detergent, consider saving the cap. Those durable plastic caps can be put to use in many different ways.

Photo of using laundry detergent caps in the bathroom for organizing.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2006

Uses for Gallon Detergent Bottles and Inserts. I finally figured a way to recycle those gallon detergent no-drip inserts that were driving me nuts, since I have so many. . .

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 3, 20020 found this helpful

Does anybody have any *unique* ideas for those liquid laundry detergent jugs and their measuring cup type lids? They are very sturdy and surely
there must be something we could do with them besides throwing them out or recycling them.

I know that they can be cut out and used as a scoop, but I was thinking something with a little more creativity (which I lack). Plus I like crafts and re-dos for adults as my kids are all older, now.
Thanks,
feebyrdz

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 13, 20081 found this helpful

Put a bar of soap in one of those nylon mesh bags and tie around the handle. Fill the jug with water and you'll have a hand~washing station to take camping or on family outings.

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April 20, 20161 found this helpful

As an artist/art educator I would use them to make masks, totem pole characters and I continue to collect recyclable ideas on Pinterest and on here.

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September 29, 20161 found this helpful

Umm I getting a wind mill pattern me and my aunt are making one tomorrow I can post a picture of it for you on facebook my name is Wilfred heggart. My profile picture is a grey kitten if you want this patttern

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April 3, 20020 found this helpful

I have used the plastic liquid laundry containers for flower vases taking them to hospital and nursing home patients. Cut the top portion off so you have a handle to carry them ... Put your flowers in and add a large bow.

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April 3, 20020 found this helpful

Laundry measuring caps that screw on the jug are good for making individual party favors, flower arrangement, glue handles on for basket effect, use them in craft projects at nursing homes ... put Styrofoam in the cap and let residents design their own bouquet for their room. Great size because space is limited.

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April 3, 20020 found this helpful

This is not 'crafty', but I cut out and widen the area around the pourspout of laundry containers. I then use the container to sort nails, bolts, etc. in my husbands shop. I also use these for food scrap container, and containers to put paint in while I paint. I started all this when I cut apart the container to get the 'last drop' of laaundry detergent out of the container.

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April 3, 20020 found this helpful

Something that I reuse the liquid laundry bottles for is, rock salt in the winter. I fill the container & then it's ready to just sprinkle out from the spout.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 13, 2007

Does anyone know how to remove the fragrance from the 2 gallon Tide, Era, and other bottles to reuse for water jugs? I have a dry water well at my barn and 3 horses that need drinking water this winter. Thought these bottles would be ideal for water transport. I've been collecting them from people's curbs all summer.

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January 29, 20010 found this helpful

What are some frugal uses for liquid detergent bottles?

By Tina

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January 23, 20032 found this helpful

My dietician suggested that I use an empty liquid detergent bottle to dispose of my needles that I test my blood sugar with. When it gets full, I'm to take it to my Dr. for him to put in their Hazardous Waste Trash. This way the needles aren't in my trash & aren't assessible to anyone who might be digging in my trash cans.

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January 29, 20010 found this helpful

Before the German Unification things were hard to come by in Eastern Germany (then German Democratic Republic), so people went long ways to make their own. Lace makers would use plastic bottles of any kind like those used for liquid detergent to make tatting shuttles from. They cut out pieces out of the round parts to get the shells, used wood or cork as a center and glued or screwed the whole thing together. They sanded down the edges, and voila, a tatting shuttle. Another way to make a tatting shuttle would be to use flat parts of those bottles, cut a longish oval out, punch holes with a standard hole punch in the ends and then cut a slit up to the whole.

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January 29, 20010 found this helpful

DO you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter? A well-washed and thoroughly dried detergent bottle is a great way to shake salt onto your sidewalks! The handle makes it easy to grasp, even with gloved hands. Just use a funnel (I usually make a temporary one from the spout of a soda bottle) to fill the shaker as needed. Then pour with a shaking motion and the salt comes out the spout.

Becki in Logansport, IN

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January 29, 20010 found this helpful

Most detergent bottles come in a shape, ie. similar to the human figure. Add clothing and a head (styrofoam balls decorated like a head or something you make yourself). This would be a cute idea for decorating a child's room, or if you get really fancy, set them around your living room as conversation pieces.

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Anonymous
January 29, 20010 found this helpful

Easter is coming up and my grandmother had a great idea for used plastic bottles. Easter Baskets. My Grandmother would cut out the bottoms of the bottles and decorate them. She used wire pipe stems for the handles and filled them with Easter grass and candy. This is a great idea for Grandmothers to give there grandkids an inexpensive gift for Easter.

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January 30, 20010 found this helpful

I have used detergent bottles to make purses for little girls. Cut the bottle at the desired height and punch holes around the cut edge. Then crochet as many rows as you like. End off and thread a drawstring through the top. I used to take the dishwashing detergent bottles and cut them off about 2 inches high and make baby cradle purses from them. When they were closed, they were a cute drawstring purse or the top pulled down to reveal a baby cradle with a baby doll and blanket inside.

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February 1, 20010 found this helpful

we make "pooper scoopers" out of our bottles...works great and their disposable. Use the handle portion for the scoop. Just use your imagination for the 'how to'. The bottom portion can be used for transporting the poop to the garbage.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 2, 2015

Has anyone successfully removed the fragrance from liquid laundry detergent bottles so that they can be used as drinking water containers? (And if you are going to tell me not to do this because it is dangerous please cite your source - they are high density polyethylene which is what tons of food containers are made from.)

By John W.

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January 4, 20151 found this helpful

Sorry, didn't see that last part somehow. They are probably safe. However, if they are absorbing the smell, you have to wonder if they have also absorbed other chemicals from the detergent. I don't know if this is likely or not.

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September 4, 20151 found this helpful

I have had the same thought for a while now to save these containers for emergency water. My best thought is to use the water inside for washing water vs drinking water because I figure we will need water for all sorts of things in an emergency.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 22, 2006

Has anyone come up with uses for the large pour spouts inside plastic jugs of laundry detergent? I discovered they are easily removed with a thumb and that two jugs of "empty" detergent jugs release a whole single load-size of left-over liquid laundry soap when the drip spout is removed. I also began to save them and search for uses for the thick spouts. Temporary wheels come to mind, but for what? Anything else? They're a creative design by the manufacture so I hope we can recycle them some way other than with the jugs.

Lynda from Richardson, TX

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March 3, 20150 found this helpful

There are a lot of great ideas for reusing the plastic soap containers, but how do you get the sudsy soap, like liquid laundry soap, rinsed out completely from the plastic container? I have tried hot and cold water and did this several times and there is always still suds especially if the container is plastic and not glass.

By Lisa

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 22, 20110 found this helpful

After I've finished using a liquid detergent bottle, I think the washed-out bottle could be used to store important items of some kind. These bottles are water-proof, sturdy, strong, and opaque. They're pretty near indestructible.

When I used them for back-up/emergency water, my husband got very frustrated seeing them using up good storage space. Other than H2O, what ideas do you have?

By Miss Bonnie from Denver, CO region

Answers:

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

Lots of suggestions in Archives! (01/23/2011)

By MCW

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

My first thought is left over paint. More convenient than a paint bucket but I don't know if it would be air tight enough. (01/23/2011)

By Suntydt

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

Please 'do not ever' reuse non-food containers for food and beverage storage (not even for your pets) and even if they were originally food or beverage containers only reuse recycle numbers 2, 4 and 5! Not only could the original materials for non-food containers leach in to the plastic but also there are different chemicals used to form and release the plastics from the production molds depending on whether they are going to be meant for food or not!

You could cut the top half off and use the bottom part as a potted plant container (non food plants) or for using in the winter to salt and/or sand for your steps and sidewalk or for storing small items under your sinks or even come up with craft ideas to use them for. (01/24/2011)

By Deeli

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

Sometimes for the sake of an uncluttered living space and more room in your house, you have to throw things away. If you cannot use it now, or donate it, or recycle it then you are better off to pitch it. There will always be another laundry bottle. I think there are more uses for the lids than the bottle but again, if you don't know of any. and can't donate them, pitch them. I am willing to recycle or donate anything, but my house is not the warehouse for the things I can't unload right away. (01/25/2011)

By Lilac

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

My ex-husband used empty liquid laundry detergent bottles to discard his insulin syringes. Also, he used one when he went camping for a disposable urinal. (01/27/2011)

By jeri888

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

Thought I would add something else. I just remembered a craft project where someone used a plastic jug and although the spout on a laundry bottle is in a different place than their craft idea it might give you your own craft idea. ;-)

Craft Project: Wall Masks (01/28/2011)

By Deeli

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

The advice about not re-using bottles from non-food items for food or liquids for pets or people is absolutely right. These bottles are better used for craft or utilitarian purposes. Properly labeled, they can be used to hold homemade cleaning solutions like those posted by other ThriftyFun members. The tops of clean, dry bottles can be cut off to hold all kinds of items, depending on the size of the bottle, like hand tools, garden tools, craft tools, knitting needles, kindling, etc. A previous poster cut a large one out and made a nifty toilet brush holder from it (probably in archives). With or without cut tops, different sized bottles could also be used to hold small dry items like small toys, marbles, game pieces, beads, screws, nuts and bolts, nails, etc. (01/29/2011)

By Pixiedust7

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January 23, 20110 found this helpful

I have made many useful "scoops" and funnels in various sizes to fit the job its needed for. I save plastic detergent bottles, also bleach bottles and fabric softener bottles. For the scoops you need to save bottles with handles and for the funnels you can use with or without a handle. Wash well and remember to remove and wash the cap for residue that collects there.

Of course for the scoops replace the cap and for the funnel leave it off. Now simply cut the bottom off. You can make large or small depending on the amount that you cut off. I use these in my bird seed barrel, corn barrel and the funnels are handy all over the house.

By Banty from Chatom, AL

Answers:

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

I looked for right-sized funnels for a long time -- never was able to find one most effective for use in my kitchen.
Until I finally realized that a 2 liter soft-drink bottle is perfect. And, everybody buys them, right? The neck is big enough to pass birdseed through for storage -- and small enough to fit inside many other containers. I used a box-cutter to slice it down to size. Be careful with the knife. (02/14/2010)

By tomatohanger

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

After you run out of uses for all the empty bottles and jugs think of other people's uses! Cut them for the purposes intended, bird feeder, funnel etc

Put them in a box by the curb or near the sidewalk with a sign on saying Free! Amazingly things will go away that way sometimes!

You did a good deed by sharing. You saved items from going to the dump. You saved space in your trash bags for other things.

You could also do this with cans. You would save space in the trash sack. Make sure they are clean and and cover them with pretty paper of some sort (or dollar roll peel n stick) and sit them out in a box marked Free (with or without covering them). If it doesn't work, you can bring them back in and use them or toss them!
(02/15/2010)

By melody_yesterday

Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

I use empty detergent bottles to store my toilet bowl brush near the commode. Just rinse the bottle, carefully cut off the top portion, preferably leaving the handle portion, and you are ready to store your bowl brush. (05/21/2010)

By Dibbs

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February 12, 20100 found this helpful

Uses for liquid laundry detergent bottles. Post your ideas.

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