If you know me, you know I always prefer reusing as much as I can...especially canning jars! Anytime I something to store my facial pads in the bathroom, 8 oz canning jar, controlling the chaos of all the pens I have, old mug to the rescue, and left overs, marinara sauce jars! If you practice supporting your small business and you come across the stockpile of perfectly good containers, you know you can use it for something, but it needs a good clean for sure. But how can you make sure they are cleaned well enough to reuse, and how can you continue to put them to use far and beyond a few times? I have jotted down some of my tips and tricks to getting the most out of every purchase by utilizing the containers!
How do I clean and reuse Glass Bottles and Metal Containers?
Glass Bottles with a pump
Glass Bottles with a spray top
Glass Bottles with a dropper
Glass Bottles with a cork
Essential Oil Bottles
Glass Mason/Ball Jars
Let’s Get Them Ready!
Labeling on products, handcrafted items, remedies and ingredients is super important, so when reusing bottles, you’ll want to be sure to take the old labels off to eliminate any confusion.
Peel the label off by hand, if possible. If it doesn’t come off as one or two pieces, you’ll want to soak the bottle in warm water to loosen them up.
Begin by rinsing each bottle out and then filling it with warm water and placing the lid back on. Soaking the bottles with the lids on will prevent bits of paper and glue remnants from making their way into the bottle. Filling them with water will prevent them from bobbing around.
Place them into a pot filled with warm water and let sit for five about minutes. Some may take longer than others.
Rub your thumb and/or fingernail on the label and it will begin to roll off.
If there is some glue left over, no need to re-soak—I have an awesome DIY cleaner that is quick and simple to make HERE!
Pour water from bottles and prepare the cleaning step.
Process for Cleaning Glass Containers
Separate all parts of the container. For dropper bottles, you will need to separate glass piping from the dropper lids, and for mister and pump bottles, you will need to pull out the plastic tubing, if possible.
Fill a pot or basin with hot, soapy water and place your container pieces inside.
Let soak for 5 to 10 mins.
Scrub each piece using mini-brushes, when possible.
Rinse well with warm water.
For mister and pump tops, reassemble pieces and pump clean water through the tubing to make sure all of the soapy water is out of the nooks and crannies.
If you wish to further sanitize the bottles, you can put the clean bottles and glass dropper pipettes (without the rubber) in a pot and boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Leave to dry in a clean environment.
If you have a dishwasher, this can also be used to sanitize. You’ll want to avoid running them at the same time as heavily soiled dishes.
The tops of your bottles will likely fail or get dirty well before your glass bottles stop being usable. You can always swap the types of lids for your bottles, and order new ones so you can reuse the base.
Please note these techniques are suggested for the use of the home herbalist, everyday home use and may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you are not sure, recycle them or donate them to a thrift store or service that accepts these types of donations.
Viola! You’ve got a new storage container for everyday use!