Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
By Teresa from Lynnwood, WA
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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. . .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is not craft oriented either or adult oriented. I teach preschool(3year old class) and I use the lids to hold crayons and scissors.
Cut the opposite end from the hand into the shape of a scoop and use to scoop dog food, pellets for pets and other feeds etc. The soap bottles are more stronger types to use then bleach bottles.
- Richard from Cocoa Beach
I just remembered that we've stuffed spray paint tops with batting, left a puff of it on top, covered with fabric and leftover bits of trim. This makes pretty pincushions. We got some at a craft fair that were made out of soda bottle tops, they had punched holes in the bottom and put beads on elastic cord to make a ring.
They are very cute and convenient. I don't see why it wouldn't work with with the tops off detergent bottles. I also use them and paint tops on top of posts in the yard so I can see them better and on the legs of wood lawn furniture to keep them off the ground. I use a hammer and a nail to punch drainage hole in them.
My friend Judi makes fabric covered baskets out of cut off bleach and vinegar bottles. Maybe I'll make a basket out of my next detergent bottle I did make a hanging planter out of a cut off bleach bottle. I just punched a few holes in the top edge and crocheted straps with a simple chain stitch, then tied a knot near the top. I used rug yarn and it lasted quite a long time.
- Linne Dodds
Use your lids from just about anything to make drawer fresheners. I take a lid and place a cotton ball inside that I have sprayed with my favorite scent. Then take a piece of old pantyhose and wrap around lid. I usually just tie the end in a knot. I am sure using glue would look nicer. Place lid in drawers, closets, etc.
I think the laundry detergent caps would make cute hats for snowmen. Just turn them over with the open part down and glue on. :)
Despite technical and amazing toys, small children often like to be involved with making a game themselves. They'll learn if you find an old window shade to map out a checkerboard on and have saved enough blue and red (or any two colored) "checkers" from detergent bottle lids. Toss the toy into an old pocketbook and put some child in charge of this game, which they well like to take camping, so that they can brag, "We made it ourselves!"
We have used them as hot water bottles in the winter.
Never had a problem with leaks, but you could take them out before you go to sleep to be sure.
Fill only from hot water tap, not boiling kettle water.
What are some frugal uses for liquid detergent bottles?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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
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.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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
Lots of suggestions in Archives! (01/23/2011)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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)
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!
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)
Uses for liquid laundry detergent bottles. Post your ideas.
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. (04/04/2004)
If it has a handle--
Cut them off at a flat level.They make great bins and or plant pots. I use the pretty tops as small catchall for all sorts of whatnots and also use them and aerosol can tops [like from paint,pam and hairspray] as Post toppers and to Outline plant beds.
You can also make a pincushion out of a scrap of fabric,stuffed with lots of nylon net fabric or meshe fruit and veggie bags from the supermarket squished into a ball. Sew it shut and smush it into the cap. These are very handy and can be trimmed with bits of this-n-that and the jugs themselves, tops and all and or any parts you can't use can be recycled in lots of areas.
I have even cut off strips and used them to Mark things like posts.
I made a cut up plastic milk jug into a Neck Brace for an old much loved stuffed donkey who has seen better days. I cut off the top down to a flat level.Then I cut off the bottom and cut straight up one side.
I punched holes on both sides of the cut, put it around the donkeys neck, laced it up and Bingo! Donkey looks like it has whip lash but I still have it.
I've cut of the bottoms of milk jugs for plant saucers and pet dishes.
Use the tall top to protect plants from the cold. Or cut the top off shorter for a great scoop or funnel and use the taller bottom for a plant pot, bin, disposable paint can, what ever.
Phew! That should keep you busy.
They make a nice easy-to-carry vase for hospital and nursing home patients. Cut the top off above the handle and fill with flowers and greens, add a poofy florist type bow. (04/08/2004)
If you live in an area that gets ice and snow, wash the empty detergent jug well and allow it to air dry for a LONG time, you want it completely dry on the inside. Then fill it with ice-melter salt. Next winter when you need to put ice on your steps, driveway, etc, you can just hold the jug by the handle and sprinkle out the salt. It's a lot easier than trying to dump the salt out of the bag while wearing mittens! (04/15/2004)
By Becki in Logansport, IN
I use gal milk jugs and/or large detergent bottles for toy storage. Leaving the handle I cut an oval from the just under the spout down to about four or five inches from the bottom to ward the other side. This makes a great storage unit for crayons markers small blocks legos etc. The children can easily see the items the want. They are easy to carry and put away. I have been doing this for about 20 years. (08/03/2004)
To reuse the detergent lids of liquid detergent bottles. Attach a strip of magnet (can be found at a craft or fabric shop) around the inside top edge of container. Works great holding paper clips.
By Tammy C (09/27/2004)
As for the lid to the bottle, not just for paper clips, but, also for diaper pins, safety pins, needles, pins, hair clips, bobby pins,
If its a round jug you can use it as a little dish for your plants. Cut the top and handle off. From the bottom leave about 2-3 inches. Put a potted plant inside. Then add water to the bottom of the jug. That way your plant can get water. (10/03/2004)
I refill them with homemade laundry detergent!
I figured it out to be between .01-.02 per load. This was calculated using Fels Naptha. I made some the other day using 4 small bars from a hotel.
Tightwad Laundry Detergent (aka Tightwad Snot)
Any questions, feel free to email me ShoreShihTzuNurs@aol.com
By Barbara Reynolds
I cut the bottom off about 1/2 inch up and turned up side down. covered with cute fabric and fill with those plastic bags you get from the grocery store. i keep one in the kitchen, and one in each bedroom and bath for the small garbage cans. (10/04/2004)
These bottles make a nice CHEAP flower vase for hospital or nursing home patients. Cut the bottle at the shoulders making a suitable opening. Easy to carry!
Add a big bow to the arrangement.
By Syd (12/12/2004)
Those plastic jugs with handles that laundry detergent comes in are PERFECT to apply salt to icy sidewalks in the wintertime! Just rinse them out and dry THOROUGHLY, then fill with salt and cap tightly. When the storm hits, you can hold it by the handle and sprinkle away!
By Becki in Indiana (01/05/2005)
Use the large detergent bottles (300 oz). Fill it with water and use in a garage or shed where water isn't readily available to wash hands and such. The spicket makes it easy to get the water out and it fits easily on a shelf or table. (01/05/2005)
We wash them out (b)really well(/b) and then fill the dog and cat water bowls that are out side ! (01/05/2005)
By c. shore
The lids make good measuring cups. (05/06/2005)
We use the gallon milk jugs in the back yard for bird feeders. We cut out one side, leaving the handle, and then hang them from the tree by the handle on a string or wire. Fill the bottom with bird seed. It allows the birds to fly directly into the jug and feed, but since it is hanging and swinging, keeps the squirrels out. (Although the squirrels have been known to chew thru the string and make the entire jug fall so they could get to it in the past. The wire works better.) (06/03/2005)
I teach third grade. I used the lids as bells for our Christmas tree. I spray painted them gold and added a bell inside with a hole in the center to also add a handing loop using gold rope. They turned out great. With the containers, I cut out flower petals to create a flower for a pot. (06/08/2005)
My uncle used all his old jugs as scoops for grain. He left the caps on and cut the bottle into a scoop. At my sisters I made one for the dog and cat food, shich she kept in a large container. (08/04/2005)
I got this idea from familyfun.com: you can cut the plastic to different shapes to make personalized tags for things like backpacks, luggage, etc. I also thought of trying the die cut machine. Some people have them that do scrapbooking but we have one free to the public at one of the schools. (06/07/2006)
i want idea to reuse my laundry bottles,and caps for what ever i just think i would like to make some crafts
thanks mamafefe AT aol.com (11/16/2006)
By Freda Cooper
The bottles are good for disposing of insulin and other needles. After the bottle is full, replace lid, and tape lid on. Check for local regulations to make sure you can do disposal this way. (03/24/2007)
I use my detergent bottles to make wind spinners for my yard.
I just cut the top and bottom of the bottle off, then cut down the seam lengthways. You now have enough to make two wind spinners. Carefully cut off the rounded sides of the bottle, leaving the flat area that is the front and back of the bottle.
With a marker start in the center of one of the sides and make an ever growing circle until you get to the outside edge. Now with sharp scissors cut on your line. When finished hold up your bottle part, make a small hole at the outside tip, hang with fishing line. You can use a fishing swivel if you have one. Tip: If you have two alike they will look different but match if you use the backside for one and the front side for the other. (07/27/2007)
By Jeanne Whipple
Thanks for all your ideas, I'm going to make them into some beautiful colors and use them in many ways. I like the idea of using the pin cushion. Using all color lids and put a bulb in them and make a decorative xmas tree lit up. You can use cans also to do them. Light them up for xmas . Thanks and good luck to all of you mamafefe AT alol.com (09/10/2007)
By FREDA COOPER
I buy the very big bags of cat and dog food-with 4 puppies and 6 cats, we really go through it. I put the food into a well washed and dried laundry container. It keeps it fresh and I don't have to worry about the animals biting into the bags, or it spilling when the kids decide to feed the pets. It stores easier too! My husband and sister thought I was nuts when I told them I wanted to do this, but it has made life easier. (01/01/2008)
I want to use old laundry detergent barrels as rain barrels to water my plants. Is this safe if I scrub and clean the barrels well?
If you cut the bottom off and turn over, it makes a good funnel for changing the oil in your car. (08/22/2008)
What I just did was rinse it out really well with water, scrubbing with a bottle washer scrub brush. Occasionally, I would take a sip to gauge the amount of soap left in it and rinsed 2-3 more times after I could no longer taste the soap. I then filled it up and stuck it in my freezer with the cap off. Once it freezes, the freezer will run more efficiently (freezers run better when full), and if you ever lose power or water for some reason, the frozen jug will help keep things cool until it thaws completely after which you have a supply of potable water. (09/17/2008)