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Reuse Containers for DIY Cleaning Supplies

March 5, 2024

Reuse Containers for DIY Cleaning Supplies


Reusing containers to make your own cleaning supplies at home is a great way to save money and reduce waste. With just a few common household ingredients, you can make effective cleaners for many areas of your home. Below I will discuss why reusing containers for DIY cleaners is beneficial, what types of containers work best, recipe ideas, safety considerations, and tips for maximizing the effectiveness of your homemade cleaners.

Why Reuse Containers for DIY Cleaning Supplies

There are several key benefits to reusing containers to make your own DIY cleaning products:

  • Cost savings – Making your own cleaners is much cheaper than buying pre-made cleaners. You can make cleaners for literal pennies per use.

  • Reduce plastic waste – Reusing containers like spray bottles, jars, and jugs means you aren’t throwing them away or recycling them after just one use. This helps cut down on plastic waste.

  • Customize cleaners – Making your own DIY cleaners allows you to customize them to suit your exact cleaning needs. You control the ingredients and can make them as simple or complex as you like.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals – Many conventional cleaners contain ingredients like bleach, ammonia, synthetic fragrances, and more. Making your own allows you to avoid these harsh chemicals.

  • Safer for kids & pets – DIY cleaners made with natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils are much safer to use around children and pets.

Best Containers for DIY Cleaning Supplies

When reusing containers for homemade cleaners, stick to these types of containers:

  • Spray bottles – Reuse empty spray cleaner bottles to make all-purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and more. Thoroughly rinse out the bottle first.

  • Plastic jugs – Sturdy, opaque plastic jugs that once held milk, juice, or laundry detergent work great for mixtures like multi-surface cleaners.

  • Glass jars – Mason jars or glass food jars with lids make perfect containers for cleaners like scrubbing paste or gel cleanser.

  • Foaming soap dispensers – Refill old foaming hand soap dispensers with homemade all-purpose cleaner.

Avoid Certain Containers

Avoid reusing the following types of containers:

  • Metal containers – can corrode
  • Clear plastic bottles – sunlight degrades cleaners
  • Containers that held chemicals like paint thinner
  • Containers with liners or seals that are difficult to fully remove

Thoroughly clean and label any container you reuse. Never put DIY cleaners in containers that once held food.

Recipes for DIY Cleaning Supplies

Here are some easy recipe ideas for homemade cleaners using reused containers:

All-Purpose Cleaner


  • 1⁄2 cup white vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup baking soda
  • Warm water
  • 5-10 drops essential oil (optional)
  • Spray bottle


  1. Add vinegar, baking soda, and essential oil to spray bottle.
  2. Fill bottle with warm water and shake gently to combine.
  3. Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a cloth.

Foaming Bathroom Cleaner


  • 1⁄2 cup castile soap
  • 3 tablespoons washing soda
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Foaming dispenser


  1. Add soap, washing soda, and essential oil to dispenser.
  2. Pour in warm water and swirl gently to combine.
  3. Use to spray and wipe down sinks, counters, mirrors, and toilets.

Scrubbing Cleanser Paste


  • 1⁄2 cup baking soda
  • Liquid castile soap
  • 10-15 drops lemon essential oil
  • Mason jar


  1. Add baking soda to jar.
  2. Add several squeezes of soap and mix until it forms a paste.
  3. Stir in lemon essential oil.
  4. Apply paste to surfaces with a damp sponge or cloth.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.

Safety Tips for DIY Cleaners

When working with cleaning ingredients like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and essential oils, follow these precautions:

  • Use gloves – Wear gloves when making cleaners to protect your hands. Latex gloves work well.

  • Don’t mix chemicals – Never mix bleach or ammonia with DIY cleaners as hazardous gases can form.

  • Use vinegar cautiously – Never mix vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. Always add vinegar to water, never vice versa.

  • Keep cleaners labeled – Always store DIY cleaners in clearly labeled containers out of reach of children and pets.

  • Patch test cleaners – Try any new DIY cleaner in a small inconspicuous area first to check for damage or discoloration.

  • Increase ventilation – When using strong DIY cleaners like vinegar, open windows to allow airflow and avoid inhaling fumes.

Tips for Maximizing Effectiveness

To get the best results from your homemade cleaners:

  • Use microfiber cloths that lift and trap dirt and grime more effectively than regular rags or paper towels.

  • For tough stains and buildup, let DIY pastes and scrubs sit for 3-5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

  • Store cleaners in cool, dark spaces to prevent ingredients from deteriorating due to heat and sunlight.

  • Shake spray bottles vigorously before each use to thoroughly mix ingredients.

  • Re-batch cleaners when they start to lose their effectiveness, usually after 6-8 weeks.

  • For homemade disinfectants, use distilled white vinegar which has slightly higher acidity than regular white vinegar.


Reusing containers to make your own DIY cleaning products is an easy, budget-friendly way to keep your home sparkling clean. With just a few simple ingredients and supplies, you can make effective, non-toxic cleaners tailored to your specific needs. Always be sure to follow safety precautions when working with cleaning ingredients. The options for homemade cleaners are endless, so get creative with containers in your recycling bin!

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