6 Smart Ways to Reuse an Old Plastic Spray Bottle

published May 3, 2022
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Credit: Andrea Monzo for Apartment Therapy

Running low on all-purpose cleaning spray? Before you rinse and throw away the bottle, consider repurposing it for something else — you know, for the planet. Not only will you prevent another single-use plastic purchase, but you can also save some money by whipping up your own products. 

First, if you’re using an empty spray bottle that contains chemicals, be mindful of what you add to it, as certain chemicals — for example, bleach and ammonia — can be dangerous when combined. Don’t use a spray bottle that once contained those ingredients on food, your body, or houseplants, just to be extra safe. 

Before you reuse any spray bottle, give it a good wash with soap and water, and rinse thoroughly to ensure there’s no soapy residue inside. It’s also a good idea to wash and rinse the inside and outside of the sprayer after taking it out of the bottle and spritzing it a few times, as liquid can linger inside. 

Ready to dive in? Here are six ideas for reusing your old spray bottles. 

Make your own all-purpose cleaner.

Rather than buying another bottle of all-purpose cleaning spray, use an old bottle to make your own. The Kitchn likes this good-smelling vinegar spray, which includes two cups of white vinegar, the peels of two lemons, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a teaspoon of Castile soap, and 35 drops of lemon essential oil. You have to steep it for a few weeks, but the results are totally worth the wait!

Make an outdoor cleaner.

As patio season approaches, you might be looking for a go-to product for cleaning off your furniture. We’re big fans of this three-ingredient outdoor cleaner, which contains water, white vinegar, and a few pumps of foaming hand soap. Simply add to a spray bottle and spritz your heart out!

Create a DIY glass or mirror cleaner. 

If you’re running low on glass spray, too, use the empty bottle to make your own. It’s surprisingly easy (and effective). We’ve tested and loved a simple glass spray made up of one part white vinegar, one part water, and a few drops of dish soap — just make sure to spray it directly on a microfiber cloth rather than the surface.

Just combine a cup of tap water with a cup of isopropyl alcohol and a tablespoon of white vinegar, mix, and add it to the sprayer. Just remember alcohol is flammable, so it’s a good idea to store this spray away from heat sources like your oven. 

Make an herbal air freshener.

Have a room that needs refreshing? Apartment Therapy’s founder and CEO, Maxwell Ryan, swears by a mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon myrtle, though you could grab pretty much anything from your herb garden and boil it down. Add the mixture to the spray bottle for ongoing use!

DIY a wrinkle releaser.

There’s nothing peskier than a wrinkly shirt when you’re getting ready to go out. To make your own wrinkle releaser, One Good Thing by Jilee suggests combining two cups of water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of hair conditioner in a spray bottle. Then, lightly mist your wrinkly clothes and stretch them out to remove wrinkles!

Whip up a weed killer.

If you’d rather not use chemical-ridden weed killer or pull by hand, that empty spray bottle is your new best friend. According to One Good Thing by Jilee, all you have to do is combine and shake two cups distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), two tablespoons of table salt, and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a 16-ounce spray bottle. If you do it on a sunny day, she says you should see the weeds begin to wither within a few hours!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 6 Smart Things to Do with Your Old Plastic Spray Bottle