Don't throw away your empty cleaning spray bottles. I usually save a couple or two for other purposes. Just clean them out really good and use again. I have the one with cleaner, one for my own window and mirror cleaner, and one I use just for plain water when washing the leaves of my household plants or watering my seedlings in the spring. Just make sure to label them so as to not get them mixed up.
By Morbetomommy from Topeka, Kansas
I do this too. I use the bottles to make either pinesol/water cleaner for the house and then also for fabric spray and air spray and carpet static spray by mixing fabric softener of my choice and water in a spray bottle. It is great, saves lots of money, and the pine sol cleaner is wonderful and makes a bottle of pine sol go a long way.
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Can anyone tell me how to properly clean out old spray bottles so that I can reuse them? I mean bottles that window cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, Fantastik, etc originally came in. I've started making some of my own solutions with eco-friendly components and don't want to have to dump my savings into new bottles. Can it be done safely?
Susan from Columbus, OH
I recently went through that dilemma myself. You would think a thorough wash/rinse would get rid of anything but most articles I read said not to reuse the bottles. I went ahead and bought new ones at the dollar store but I only needed 2.
Bleach and ammonia is just one of the things you do NOT want to mix, but it is hard to tell what all is in store bought cleaners. See link below:
I say to err on the side of safety and get new bottles. Make sure to LABEL what is in them. Peace of mind is worth a dollar.
Plus they look better, you can color coordinate your caps to your room or to indicate at a glance what solution you have in what bottle, you can see through them to see how much is left and most have measuring lines up the side of the bottle. (09/02/2008)
I wanted to make up some vinegar and water for cleaning so since I didn't have any empty sprayer bottles I could recycle, I just bought a couple. I was somewhere where they were 2/$3 and they are very nice.
It is always nice to recycle something you have but if you don't think you could clean out the bottle safely then it might be better to just buy a spray bottle or two. They really aren't very costly and should last a long time. (09/04/2008)
The fewer the ingredients in the original spray bottle the safer your are. The only ones I have felt comfortable reusing are Windex and certain organic products. I use as hot as water as I can and shake as hard as possible,and be certain to spray a large amount of water through the sprayer as it will hold chemical as well, I then smell the bottle and the spray coming out of the bottle and repeat until no odor remains. Then leave the bottle set over night with hot water in the bottle and in the sprayer. Do not mix BLEACH AND DAWN as it creates very dangerous fumes that can do damage to your lungs. Be very careful and if you have doubts don't do it. Mainly I purchase a product in a spray container one time then buy the large size used to refill these sprayers at Sams, the bigger the refill bottle the more money you save, this is very cost effective. Also with Windex it can be diluted greatly and still clean just as effective as full strength. Hope this helps you. (09/04/2008)
Perhaps I am taking my life into my hands, but I just rinse out these bottles and reuse for whatever I need. If the product is something that you have used and it hasn't corroded the skin off your hands, I think you can reuse the bottles for other cleaning supplies. What you do have to do when you are refilling bottles is to be sure you have labeled them properly. You don't want to dampen down your ironing with the spray bottle of vinegar you use to clean the crud from around the taps! (09/04/2008)
Paula, what is the problem with mixing bleach and Dawn? I have been adding bleach to the dish water when camping for YEARS! Have used Dawn all my adult life. I have never smelled any kind of fumes. (09/04/2008)
Hasn't Dawn come out with a new formula that has bleach in it? (09/05/2008)
Actually, Paula is right about not adding bleach to the regular Dawn dish soap. Yes, they have come out with a Dawn with bleach, too. This was copied from the Dawn dish soap site.
Questions and Tips:
Can I add bleach to Dawn dish liquid?
No. Our dishwashing liquids are formulated to work best without any added ingredients and should not be altered in any way. Never add other chemicals such as bleach. You may like to try Dawn PLUS Bleach Alternative. Its formula features a powerful enzyme that delivers the tough cleaning power of bleach without the odors, skin irritation or the chance of discoloring your clothes and dishtowels."
You can find it here: http://www.dawn-dish.com/en_US/questionsaboutdawn.do
Just curious - besides vinegar, water and a bit of dish soap for windows, what else do you use in you homemade mixtures for cleaning and what do you clean with each of them? (01/26/2009)