Uses for Milk Jugs

Category Reusing
Plastic milk containers can be reused for a variety of things around the home and garden. This is a page about uses for milk jugs.


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October 31, 2004

Don't cut up your plastic milk jugs! I wash them out and then use them for storage. It's much easier to pour powdered milk from the plastic jug than the large cardboard boxes and I can see how much I have left. Prevents running out when I need it for a recipe. I also use the jugs to store dried beans that I buy in bulk (cheaper), elbow macaroni, sugar, flour, and corn meal.. The handle really makes the jobs easier.

By Lisa

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Thoroughly clean out and dry your milk and juice jugs for reuse. They are great for storing dry food items things like rice, beans, and sugar. Label them and store them in any cool area in your house, even bedrooms or odd closets.


Just be sure to label. This is particularly good for storing foods in hot weather, or when you are low on space in your home.

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Cleaned out milk jugs are so handy around the house. Of course I take them to the store to fill for drinking water. I mix up plant fertilizer in them to feed the plants. So easy to grab and pour. I mix up hummingbird food and store in the frig.

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January 11, 2001

It will be garden time soon. So, these are mostly garden ideas.

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We go through lots of gallon milk jugs all the time. I have started saving them and cutting off the part below the handle to make little stackable storage for the table.


They nest in each other and you can write on them to tell what they are.

Three piece stack.

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My husband came up with a "bright" idea. We have electric garden lights in our backyard. The plastic shades shattered over time from the sun. The lights and posts are fine so he placed a plastic milk carton over the tops.

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June 9, 2009

These are cost free labels for any and all flower and/or vegetables you want to identify. They are cut from plastic milk bottles but any clear, or plain white plastic containers that were not holding dangerous liquids, (toxic, or hazardous to handle), are fine.

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This is a good way to recycle your empty gallon milk jugs. They do not ever disintegrate so we all have to be creative in using them again and again.

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January 7, 2005

I use the rings for sorting socks for the laundry. I keep a small tupperware dish on a shelf above the clothes hamper. And then before tossing the socks in the basket I place a ring around them.


Then before washing I remove them and put them back into the dish. It saves on a lot of socks getting lost. By Jacensgramma

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April 18, 2012

Use your old plastic milk bottles for cutting into plant labels. I use the straight sides. A permanent marker is best for writing on. Then the bottom can be used as a drip tray. Also if you just cut the bottom off, the top can be used as a mini cloche. You can make a handy scoop too.

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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.

I recently read on this site about using an iron to flatten milk jugs. Could someone tell me more details on how to do that? What temperature iron, what covering on the plastic, etc.?


Polly from Turtle Creek, PA


March 24, 20090 found this helpful

I don't remember seeing that tip before. I can't help but wonder, to save time and electricity, why not just smush the container with your hands or foot with the lid off and then place the lid back on to keep the air out so it will remain collapsed.

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March 24, 20090 found this helpful

In the article (or tip) they mentioned cutting and flattening a milk jug with an iron to use for cutting out plastic patterns and shapes. I don't want to just smash it flat! I wish I could remember what else the tip was about...

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March 24, 20090 found this helpful

Sorry, Polly. I Just assumed it was to flatten the jugs for trash or recycle bin, cause the question didn't mention crafts.


My suggestion would be to first cut top and bottom off of jugs and then cut the body in to two, three or four pieces. To be safe, just experiment with the temperature on small portions until you're sure what is too hot. Any 100 % cotton fabric would be fine to use (old t-shirts, thin towels, etc) but I personally would use fabric under and on top of the plastic.

Hope this helps and be sure to share the iron temp with us and maybe even share a photo of the patterns and shapes :-)

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February 15, 2017

A cut down milk jug makes the perfect scoop for dog food or other dry goods. This is a page about making a scoop from a quart milk jug.

Scoop for pet food.

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February 16, 2017

This is a nice way to reuse a milk jug to help keep your extension cords tangle free. This page shows you how to make a milk jug electric cord reel.

Leaf blower cord wrapped around a modified milk jug.

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March 3, 2016

This is a page about using milk jugs in the garden. Plastic milk jugs have a variety of uses in the garden.

A single plastic 1/2 gallon milk jug against a black background.

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

June 9, 2009

Plant labels can be expensive to buy and often don't last more than once season. So, this year I am making my own. I am cutting squares out of my clear plastic milk jugs, and writing the plant or seed name on the squares, along with the date planted. Then, using an ice pick, I am poking 3 holes (in a vertical line) about 1 and 1/2 inches apart in the square. Then, I am inserting my stick, weaving it through the holes to hold it. (with only 2 holes, the plastic square label part slides down, the 3rd hole seems to prevent this) The "sticks" are a piece of stiff galvanized fence wire that I cut to a 12 inch length, bought for about $2.00 at the hardware store in the scrap pile. It should probably make about 25 label holders. Good way to recycle empty milk jugs. I can reuse my "sticks" again next year.

By April from Plattsburg, MO


Make Plant Markers Out Of Milk Jugs

what a great idea,I also use empty milk jugs to transfer seedling from 6 pks to half jugs in spring so that when I transfer to garden they have great start,then I cut off bottom and use ring to prevent cutworms and better watering.Jeanne3737 in Maine (01/18/2007)

By Jeanne Anderson

Make Plant Markers Out Of Milk Jugs

Another easy way is to recycle old plastic venetian blinds. one blind will make hundreds of plant markers. Cut the slats into 4 or 5 inch pieces and write on them with a #2 pencil. cheap and easy, and fast. (01/19/2007)

By wayne sulecki

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June 28, 2010

The opaque lens cover on our motion light cracked and fell apart from time due to weather. To save time and money, instead of replacing the light or trying to find a replacement cover we just cut a new one from a empty milk jug. It looks great and works fine.

By Linda

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August 28, 2008
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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