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Reusing Your Essential Oil Bottles

You’re at that point, and there are only one or two drops left in your essential oil bottle. Maybe you’ve already finished a few and there they sit because throwing them away is simply NOT an option… Well, all is not lost (even when gone)!

You’ll be grateful to know that there are a plethora of ways to reuse your amber glass bottles and essential oil apparatus. Plus, a few handy tricks and methods to make use of the last little smears of oil which can stick around in the depths

Cleaning First!

It’s best to clean your bottles well and truly before their next endeavor, this process is your surefire way to obtain squeaky clean and safe bottles to use time and time again. Because the viscosity of oils differentiates, sometimes no matter how hard you try you won’t manage to get the sticky residue of some oils off the inners of your bottles. If this is the case and it isn’t worth the effort required, it’s best not to use these as the remaining oils may contaminate any new mixtures in the bottle. 

  1. Begin by removing the labels, if you need a bit of help try soaking them in warm water to loosen the label, or use a drop of Lemon essential oil to remove any stubborn sticky residue. If it’s truly stuck, try a ratio of two parts baking soda, one part coconut oil with 4 drops of lemon or sweet orange oil to make a magical paste, which is immensely useful for many other gooey situations in your household. 
  2. Take your essential oil bottles apart, make sure you dismantle and separate glass piping from the dropper lids, and remove the plastic tubing from spray bottles. Fill a pot or basin with hot, soapy water and let all the pieces soak. You can also sterilize them by boiling them in water for ten minutes, ensuring you’ve removed anything that melts! Use a scrubber or brush whenever possible to clean the interior of your bottles and other pieces of your apparatus.
  3. Rinse everything extremely well with warm water, also pump plenty of clean water through your spray bottles and pipettes to ensure the soapy residue is no longer! 
  4. Leave them to dry in a clean area.

In instances where hot soapy water is just not doing the trick, using a safe solvent will help dissolve any essential oil that remains in the bottle. ​​High proof vodka, rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, and methylated spirits may work, however using vodka is the best option as there will be no remnants of any additives. For larger bottles, fill them halfway to conserve your solvent, leaving them to sit for a few days whilst agitating regularly. For smaller bottles, you can fill them to the top completely with no need to shake them. Depending on how much ‘yuck’ you’re left with, you can also reuse the solvent for future cleaning in other bottles. Rinse thoroughly!


Important Tips

  • It’s important to mention that if your bottle originally contained oil that is sensitizing to the skin like cinnamon or cassia, the safest option is to avoid using the bottle for topical mixtures, even after cleaning.

  • It’s not recommended to use recycled bottles to store precious or expensive oils, or for oils you intend on using topically or therapeutically, it’s better to ‘downgrade’ your reused bottles. 

  • Stock up on brushes of all shapes and sizes, these are essential, and having a few different types can come in handy during this process.
  • You can also use your dishwasher to sanitize your bottles, however, avoid running at the same time as your dirty dinner dishes! 

  • If you’ve stored your cleaned bottles for some time without filling them, it’s best to give them another clean beforehand to make sure they’re perfect!

  • Remember that alcohol and essential oils are flammable.

The options are endless!

For those last stubborn delicate dribbles of the Earth, try placing some cotton balls in your bottle and returning the cap. Leave this for a day or two, retrieve the cotton balls and use them in your pillowcases or potpourri pouches for aromatherapy purposes.

You can even use your antimicrobial oils and leave the cotton balls in the toes of your shoes – goodbye stinky shoes, hello cupboard divine (try this in your dustbin/trash)!  Then you’re free to clean and be creative! A few things you can use your cleaned bottles for are :

  1. Your own DIY blends! Here the options are truly infinite…Face or hand serums, sanitizers, perfumes! Go for it!
  2. Carrier oils to carry with you for dilution on the go.
  3. A set of diluted oils for use with children, using adequate ratios.
  4. A travel set, so you can leave your prized collection safely at home!
  5. Keep a few drops in bottles of your favourite oil to give away, sharing the love!
  6. Decanting your other products like lotion, into your smaller and more environmentally friendly bottles (this is great for those liquid restrictions when flying!) 
  7. Centerpieces and home decoration, from little flower vases to a visual upgrade of your twinkling lights during the holidays, you can truly be as creative as your heart desires.
Reusing Your Essential Oil Bottles

Reused is Re-loved

For such an exquisite gift from the Earth, it’s only honourable to respect their entire essence, which includes the apparatus that cradles them dearly, holding them safely for us.  Not only for the love of oils but the adoration of the environment and the commitment of its sustainability.

The creative thrills that await when you can reuse your oil bottles, go even further than tiny fairy dust jars, or reed diffusers! There’s a myriad of ingenious ideas ready to tinker with at your fingertips! If you truly need to part with your bottles, before recycling – consider any clinics, animal shelters, or vets that may benefit from a donation! So even if you find yourself outnumbered by empty bottles, when reusing you can trust that the glass is always half full!

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