Kellye Fox | 

11 Unexpected Ways to Repurpose Plastic Laundry Detergent Containers

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Since most laundry detergent bottles aren’t recyclable, I’m always brainstorming ways to be more green with them. Of course, it also helps if I can save some cash while being kind to the environment, too. Putting them to good use, here are 11 of my favorite ways to repurpose laundry detergent containers.

Plastic laundry detergent containers commonly end up in landfills. However, with a little bit of creativity, these containers can find new life as a functional item in your home. From storage solutions to gardening hacks, there are unexpected ways to repurpose them.

As with any project made from an item that may contain harmful contents, rinse well and let dry prior to using. Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app or text HACKS to 57299 for more life hacks and money-saving tips, deals, and coupons.


1. Store leftover paint in recycled laundry detergent bottles.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle to store old paint.

Over time, paint cans can become rusty and messy, making it useless. Pour leftover paint into a clean laundry detergent bottle to easily store and keep it fresh. Make sure to label the color and contents before you store it.

Related: Find out how to get free paint for your DIY projects.


2. Make a bookstand for reading.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle as a book stand.

Make your own book stand for your recipe books or to hold documents as you type. Cut your bottle as shown in the picture. Basically you want to cut down close to the center of the bottle, removing half while creating a lip that will hold what you need. The bottle should support the weight of the book. Book stands can run $10+, so this is an affordable alternative.


3. Recycle a plastic laundry bottle into a sand bucket.

A sand bucket made out of a plastic laundry container sitting on the beach.

Make digging in the sand easy by cutting off the top of your bottle, leaving the handle in place to easily scoop. If your kids need a carrying container, drill a hole in each side and attach a rope — they can carry it like a purse while they collect shells on the beach.

Related: Brilliant Beach Hacks You Must Try This Summer


4. Save a few bucks with a DIY magazine rack.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle as a magazine rack.

Instead of spending $10 for decorative magazine racks at Target, make your own by cutting the top off of your laundry detergent bottles. The higher the container is, the sturdier it will be to support heavy magazines.


5. Repurpose an empty Tide Pods container into an easy-to-use car garbage can.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle for a car trash can.

As much money as Tide Pods cost, an easy way to repurpose it is as a car garbage can. Clean the empty container thoroughly, making sure it’s free of any detergent residue. Using scissors or a utility knife, carefully cut an opening in the lid of the container. Now, just insert a plastic grocery bag or a small garbage bag. That’s it; that’s the project.



6. Reuse a detergent bottle as a shaker to easily spread winter ice melt.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle winter ice melt shaker.

After rinsing out your detergent bottle, make sure the inside is completely dry before filling it with ice melt. Replace the pour spout and easily shake the contents onto frozen driveways and sidewalks. Label the bottle and store it easily all year long.

Related: Cold Weather Hacks for the Winter


7. Keep extra plastic grocery bags organized in an empty Tide Pods container.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle to store plastic grocery bags.

If you’re like me and have a collection of plastic grocery bags cluttering your kitchen, an empty Tide Pods container can come in handy to keep them organized and easily accessible.


8. Cut a detergent bottle to make a pet food scooper.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle as a pet food scoop.

Replace flimsy plastic pet food scoops by cutting off the top of a sturdy detergent container just above the handle. Remember to wash the container thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before filling it with pet food.

Related: The Best Discounts for Pet Food and Pet Supplies Delivery


9. Transform detergent bottles for easy tool shed storage.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle for tool shed storage.

Cut off the top of a sturdy laundry detergent container to organize hardware items and tools. Use small travel size bottles for items like bolts, washers, and small nails. Store everything neatly in these sturdy containers and label as needed.


10. Make a garden watering can.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle for a garden watering can

This is easily done just by drilling several holes in the cap of the container. The more holes, the more flow, so remember this as you drill. If you like to collect rainwater for your plants, you can even repurpose the container to collect rainwater.


11. Keep the summer fun going with a bubble refill station.

Reuse a laundry detergent bottle for a bubble refill station

With spring and summer coming, butterfly catchers, lemonade stands, and my favorite: bubble-blowing contests. Use laundry detergent bottles with push dispensers and fill them with bubble solution. Then leave it outside for the kids to refill when their little bottles are empty.

To make a bubble solution, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons liquid dish soap (Dawn works best)
  • 1 tablespoon glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

This recipe will make about 1 cup of solution. You can multiply the ingredients to make more. Next, it’s time to mix up the solution.

  1. Pour all the ingredients into the laundry container.
  2. Place the lid back on the container and shake up the ingredients.
  3. Tilt sideways (if your bottle has a spout) and fill up containers with the solution.
  4. Dip wand in solution.
  5. Have fun blowing bubbles.

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