New Uses for Old Containers

Sometimes one of the most challenging things about making your own cleaners, condiments, and other homemade goodies is figuring out what kind of container to keep your mixture in. Sometimes I buy new spray bottles or use those little ziploc containers, but other times I find recycling a bottle or jar from another product works just as well.

When re-using a container from another product it’s important to always clean out the container well with soap and water and if possible, remove the old label. Then put a new label on the container using your computer printer, a label maker, or just use plain old masking tape and a sharpie marker and clearly identify the new contents of the container. You should avoid re-using containers that were previously used for toxic items such as bleach or ammonia bottles.

Here’s a peek at a couple of my new uses for old containers:

Parmesan Cheese ContainerNow used for baking soda as natural sink scrub

How to re-use containers

I’ve stopped buying scouring powder and now use either my Homemade Soft Scrub Cleaner or I just sprinkle some baking soda on my sink when I clean it. An old Parmesan cheese container works well for sprinkling the baking soda on the sink because it has a good shaker top.

Body Spray Mist Bottle – Now used for Club Soda as natural glass cleaner

How to re-use containers

I really like using straight club soda as a glass and window cleaner. I’ve been using an old perfumed body spray bottle for my club soda because the spray top is more of a “mist” than a “squirt” of the liquid. Even though I washed the bottle out well before re-using it, the fragrance from the old contents lingered for just a little bit (but that was actually kind of nice).

Foaming Dish Soap Bottle – Now used for Homemade Foaming Dish Soap

How to re-use containers


In this example I’m still using the bottle for the same purpose and just putting my homemade version in it, but it brings up a good point. If you’re making a homemade version of an item, save the bottle from the store bought product which is usually the right size, shape, and already has a label of what’s supposed to be inside. A couple of examples from previous posts where I reused a container with my homemade version would be Making Your Own Foaming Dish Soap and Hand Soap and Making Your Own Garlic Salt.

AND JUST ONE MORE:
Some of my faithful readers know I like to knit so for one last picture, I thought I would share how I store my knitting needles: I’ve re-purposed a Pringles can for my big needles and a drink mix can for my little needles.They’re just the right size (although sometimes the Pringles can is just a little tippy) Pretty resourceful doncha think? Maybe someday I’ll get around to covering them in some pretty paper too.

How to re-use containers

How about you? Have you reused a container for a new purpose? I’d love to hear your stories!

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9 Comments

  1. My favorite repurpose is b&bw candle jars. The 3 wick. After burning them up i'll put it in the freezer so its easier to pop out the excess wax, throw it in the dishwasher, peel the label off, and now i have a sleek container that can hold anything. I have a few on my bathroom sink holding cotton balls, qtips, and cosmetic wedges ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. My favorite repurpose is b&bw candle jars. The 3 wick. After burning them up i'll put it in the freezer so its easier to pop out the excess wax, throw it in the dishwasher, peel the label off, and now i have a sleek container that can hold anything. I have a few on my bathroom sink holding cotton balls, qtips, and cosmetic wedges ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Christy – I feel the same way about Altoids containers. They are such cute little tins it seems like they should be used for something else too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Christy – I feel the same way about Altoids containers. They are such cute little tins it seems like they should be used for something else too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I like to use my old Mentos gum containers for storing Q-tips when I travel. It is just the perfect size. The same containers work for taking vitamins, Rx, and other small things when traveling. I also use them to keep my needles for my yarn projects. I just can't bring myself to throw them away.

  6. I like to use my old Mentos gum containers for storing Q-tips when I travel. It is just the perfect size. The same containers work for taking vitamins, Rx, and other small things when traveling. I also use them to keep my needles for my yarn projects. I just can't bring myself to throw them away.

  7. Love that garlic jar story! That brings up a good point that it is probably easier to re-purpose jars with new non-food ingredients, rather than to put a new food in a jar that might have old flavors lingering around.

  8. Hi – just found you, so i'm late to this conversation.

    I repurpose a number of things around the house. Hadn't thought of putting the B.S. into a shaker bottle, tho. That's a great idea!

    On thing NOT to repurpose –

    My mother knows i love blackberry jam made with my grandma's recipe. We do not have black berries where i live. She sent me two small (repurposed) jars of the jam last summer.

    It is NOT a good idea to repurpose a garlic jar for jam! It wasn't bad mixed with peanut butter, but unusable just on toast. Fortunately only one jar had that issue. ๐Ÿ™‚