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Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles

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.


Solutions: Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles

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Tip: Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

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.

By kaznavour from West Babylon, NY

Tip: Homemade Scoop

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. Draw a line where you are going to cut away the opening of your scoop on the bottom of the jug from the bottom of the handle toward the bottom front corner in an oval shape.

Remember you can always make it bigger, try cutting a small hole until you get an idea of what you are getting done. I angle mine from the handle toward the bottom front corner. Be sure to leave the handle of the jug for your handle.

Depending on what they are going to be used for they make great funnels also. We use one to put gas in the lawn mower by removing the lid and cutting the bottom off. The handle is so "handy". Some jugs have a ready made pour spout.

Source: By necessity. I figured it out after spilling the bird feed one to many times.

By Latrtatr from Loup City, NE

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Tip: Re-using Plastic Liquid Laundry Soap Bottles

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

Tip: Use for Liquid Tide Containers

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.


Tip: Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles

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, pour into this large container saving myself money and pantry space. Here is what I have in each container:

  • homemade laundry detergent
  • vinegar
  • Dawn dishwashing liquid
  • dishwasher liquid
  • homemade ammonia cleaning mixture
  • homemade Murphys Oil cleaning mixture

I am planning on using two more for shampoo and conditioner. Not sure if the conditioner will dispense because of its thickness, but I will see.

    By Karen Elg [1]

    Tip: Pet Food Scoop from Laundry Soap Bottle

    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

    Tip: Reusing Laundry Containers

    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

    Tip: Make a Detergent Bottle Watering Can

    Poke holes in the top of an old liquid laundry detergent bottle to make a watering can.


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    Here are questions related to Reusing Laundry Detergent Bottles.

    Question: Using It All - Liquid Laundry Detergent Containers

    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.


    Most Recent Answer

    By gransims (Guest Post)12/29/2008

    I have worked with children for many years, and have used the lids to make little floral arrangements. Put some plaster apparus(?) in the lid, then stick flower and leaf stems in. It will harden and hold flowers in place. Styrofoam could also be used. I would then wrap some lace/ribbon around the lid. Can also be used to store small items in, buttons, pins, tacks, etc., paint containers, the list is endless.

    Question: Uses for Liquid Detergent Bottles?

    What are some frugal uses for liquid detergent bottles? By Tina


    Most Recent Answer

    By carol amber07/20/2003

    We use them as hot water bottles in the winter to warm the bed. Only fill though from the hot water tap, not kettle.
    Never had an accident yet with them, but maybe best to take them out of bed before sleeping!!though we dont :)

    Question: Cleaning Out Soap Bottles

    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.

    Most Recent Answer

    By (Guest Post)08/07/2008

    Wash them out, then rinse with vinegar to get rid of odor and soap residue.

    Question: Using Laundry Detergent Bottles For Water Jugs

    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.

    Most Recent Answer

    By Heather J.09/04/2015

    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.

    Question: Uses for Plastic Pour Spouts From Laundry Detergent Bottles

    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

    Most Recent Answer

    By srhp69 (Guest Post)08/27/2006


    Question: Cleaning Soap Out of Plastic Containers

    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


    Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

    Archive: Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

    Uses for liquid laundry detergent bottles. Post your ideas.


    Archive: Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

    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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    Archive: Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

    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

    RE: Reusing Plastic Laundry Detergent Bottles

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

    By MCW

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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

    RE: 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