You know those cartoons where there’s a little angel and a little devil sitting on the character’s shoulder?
Yeah, I feel like that sometimes.
My ambitious side seems to constantly be at-war with my practical side, and it’s a never-ending battle.
Ambitious Jill: C’mon… Let’s double the size of the garden this year, and get more cows and heritage pigs!
Practical Jill: You’re pregnant, have a jam-packed schedule, and you’re ripping rooms off your house… You really think pigs are a good idea?
Ambitious Jill: DIY ALL THE THINGS!
Practical Jill: No one will die if you buy dish soap at the store instead of making it yourself right now.
Ambitious Jill: EEK! Don’t throw that away… We must repurpose everything!
Practical Jill: Hello clutter…
Practical Jill has been winning a lot lately, mostly because there’s only so much you can do when you’re in the middle of a major home remodel project. However, there’s one thing she never wins on:
Essential oil bottles.
Considering I’ve been using essential oils for a good three years now, I’ve amassed an impressive collection of empty bottles.
And it is physically impossible for me to throw them away.
I. JUST. CAN’T.
They are so cute, and they smell good, and I like how they feel in my hands.
OK whatever. I might have a problem… but still. They just aren’t going in the trash. I don’t care what Practical Jill says.
So, to justify my hoarding thriftiness, here’s a list of ways to put them to good use. Because part of being a homesteader is “waste not, want not”, right?
How to Reuse Essential Oil Bottles
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1. Recycle ’em — of course, this option is better than simply tossing them into the garbage, providing you have glass recycling facilities where you live… However, it’s not my favorite option on the list, so let’s keep going.
2. Share with Friends & Family — Once people know you’re building an essential oil stash, it’s only a matter of time before they sheepishly knock on your door asking for one or two to try. I often use cute lil’ sample bottles like this when I’m sharing. However, if I run out of sample bottles, or need to share a larger quantity, I always reach for one of my empty bottles.
3. Accessorize — Many oil supply companies carry sweet ways to accessorize your bottles, including spritzer tops, droppers, and roller balls. I keep a stash of these toppers handy, and like to use my empty bottles to create custom blends, roll-ons, and sprays.
4. Make Portable DIY Hand Cleanser. Use my homemade hand sanitizer recipe, add a spritzer top, and you’re good to go.
5. Create custom perfumes — It’s been years since I’ve used traditional perfume and honestly, the fragrances I used to like now give me a headache. I much prefer to use my essential oils when I go out on the town (aka– go run errands), and it’s easy to add a spritzer to an empty 15 mL bottle to make it happen.
7. Make Sheet Spritzers — I always feel extra-fancy when I spritz fresh-smelling essential oils on the bedsheets on laundry day. My favorite option is lavender, or sometimes lavender mixed with frankincense. Simply mix water and 8-10 drops of your favorite oil in an empty 15 mL bottle and add a spray cap. These essential oils known for their ability to promote healthy sleep are awesome choices, too.
8. Put Together a Travel Kit — I make it a habit to take my oils with me whenever I travel. If you don’t want to take your entire stash, add smaller quantities of your must-have oils to empty bottles. This is also added insurance that you won’t lose your entire collection if your luggage is lost or stolen.
9. Store Carrier Oils — When I use essential oils, I like to dilute them with a liquid carrier oil of some sort. My favorite options are fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or apricot oil. I keep an empty 15 mL bottle filled with carrier oil in my travel kits so it’s always within reach.
10. Oily Lights — How cute is this string of essential oil bottle Christmas lights? This is perfect for the die-hard oil fan, or if you are looking for some oily decor ideas. (Just make sure you’re using super-clean bottles if you do this.)
11. Stock your Barn Stash — If I happen to be using oils on an animal (like when I was doctoring my chicken), I always mix up the oils I need and add them to an empty bottle before hauling them outside. It’s a given the bottle will be rattling around in my coat pocket, or sitting on a fence post, and I like to avoid mucking up a full, clean bottle from the house.
12. Make Bath Salts — The most frustrating thing about an “empty” bottle is that it never quite seems completely empty… There’s always a bit of precious residue left inside. To put every last drop to good use, remove the cap and orifice reducer from your bottles, and place several empty bottles in a container with several cups of Epsom salts. Allow it to sit for several days, and you’ll find you have lovely-scented bath salts at the end. (This is also an ideal way to clean the bottles/remove scent and residue if you want to use them for something else)
13. Mini Flower Vase — Stick a single delicate flower in an empty bottle and use it to decorate an end table, nightstand, or table setting.
14. After-Sun Spray for your Beach Bag — Looking give your skin a refreshing cool-down? This simple after-sun spray is a cinch to mix up, and my favorite remedy if I forget to cover up while working outside on a hot day…
15. Bye-Bye Mosquitos. There are a ton of different ways to use essential oils to combat mosquitos or other creepy crawlies that want to eat you for lunch… Mix up your favorite recipe in a 15 mL empty, add a spritzer, and toss it in your backpack. Grab a ton of DIY bug repellent ideas here.
*BONUS TIP* To easily remove label residue from your bottles, simply rub in a drop or two of lemon essential oil, then wash with warm, soapy water.
Alrighty… I know you guys have even more brilliant ideas– what’s YOUR favorite way to use up empty essential oil bottles?
My Favorite Essential Oils
Want to get started with essential oils, but not sure which brand you want to try? This is the brand I’ve used for three years, and they are my favorite.