Wondering what to do with empty essential oil bottles? If you have been using essential oils for a while, you may have ended up with a large pile of empty essential oil bottles. Or you have been throwing them away...don't do it! You can use them for so many other things, read on.
Empty essential oil bottles always seem to have a little bit of oil left in them you can't get out so instead of wasting that oil, you can reuse the bottle and oil.
If you like our labels and stickers used in the picture, we have them available for instant download so you can dress up your empty bottles this way too :)
How To Clean Empty Essential Oil Bottles
For some reuses, you will not need to clean them out on the inside if you want to take advantage of the oil residual that is left in the bottle. You may just want to soak the bottles closed with caps still on so you can remove the labels only.
First, decide if you need the whole bottle cleaned inside and out or just the labels removed on the outside.
If I am cleaning both the inside and the outside of the bottle, I will first I do the outside of the bottle to get label and stick residue off, then the I will clean the inside of bottle and bottle parts in a separate soaking.
*This ensures that no sticky residue from the outside gets inside your bottles.
Cleaning the outside of empty essential oil bottles:
- First, remove any stickers and labels from the bottle that easily peel off. If you can simply get them off this way, it is usually the best method, especially if the sticky glue peels off with it!
- Then immerse items in a bowl of hot, soapy water and let soak for 30 minutes, set a timer so you don't forget.
- Next, remove from water and scrub as much sticker residue off.
- If sticker residue still present, immerse items in equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol, let soak for 1 hour and then any leftover residue should come right off.
- Rinse bottles well, then towel dry outside of bottles off.
Cleaning the inside of empty essential oil bottles:
- First, remove caps and orifice reducers of the bottles.
- Then immerse all items in a bowl of hot, soapy water and let soak for 30 minutes.
- Next, remove from water and scrub any oily residue off parts and bottles.
- Rinse all items well.
- Let air dry on a towel. Once air-dried, they are ready for use!
- Alternative Option: Place glass bottles in dishwasher and run on normal cycle. Soak plastic parts in hot soapy water and scrub clean. Rinse them well and air dry.
How To Reuse Essential Oil Bottles
Reusable glass bottles make perfect travel containers for beauty and health products. I like to bring a recycled amber bottle with jojoba oil when I am traveling.
The ideas listed below are for 15 ml bottles, while you can use any bottle size with these ideas, that size is what I am referencing when offering amounts of use. Each 15 ml bottle holds about 1 tablespoon so keep that in mind as well.
I like to reserve my 5 ml bottles for gift giving essential oils, giving out essential oil samples to friends and family or for when I am traveling and do not want a full-sized bottle with me. Here are some things you can try.
1. Mini Vase for Flowers or Herbs
This is my favorite way to reuse essential oil bottles. I like to make sure my bottles are nice and clean following the method above. Then I add some twine on bottle threads and a cute sticker. Fill with water and then you can put small flowers and herbs into the mini vase.
You can display your mini vases in an office, bedroom, or living room to add a splash of color and interest. These look fabulous on window sills and on the bathroom counters.
2. Make Massage Oil
Easily transform an empty essential oil bottle into a massage oil by adding your favorite carrier oil to the bottle. I like grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil. You can use a cleaned out bottle or reuse a bottle that still has some oil residual left in the bottom.
I like to add about 3-5 drops of essential oil in the bottle if it is a cleaned out bottle. Use this massage oil for yourself, loved one or give to friends or family, massage oil is a great reuse of essential oil bottles. It also allows for easy travel.
If you have a romantic trip planned, why not bring some massage oil along in recycled bottles!
3. Custom Diffuser Blend
Have a favorite diffuser blend that you want to have available premixed? You can add your custom blend into a cleaned or oil residual bottle if the oil that was in the bottle is in your diffuser blend.
I really like lavender, peppermint and frankincense blended together, use equal parts of these oils and put into either a 5 ml or 15 ml bottle. Replace the orifice reducer for easier dispensing.
4. Make Bath Salt
If I have leftover bottles that have a decent amount of oil residue in them, I like to use this method.
- Just add Epsom salt into the bottle using a funnel, since the oil residue is already there you do not need to add any oils.
- Leave a little space at the top so you can shake the bottle up once closed.
- Then let sit overnight (at minimum) so the oils can infuse the bath salt.
Perfect for single use in the bathtub or for a foot bath, a foot bath is my personal choice with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil too.
5. Make Bath and Body Oil
While similar to massage oil, I like to add a carrier oil into the bottle using a funnel to make bath and body oil. Just add to the bottle that still has oil left in the bottom.
If I have a bottle with no residual oil, then I add about 5 drops of desired oil, like sweet orange essential oil. This makes a great one time use for bath oil or a travel size body oil.
For body oil, you can replace the orifice reducer if desired so application is easier. Make a lavender body oil and apply before bedtime. Or peppermint body oil and apply to the back of neck and shoulders when having a headache or when you need to cool down.
6. Make A Mini Reed Diffuser
This is a cute way to reuse the bottles, you will need reed sticks or skewer sticks that have been cut down to fit the bottle. Fill the bottle with fractionated coconut oil and 8 drops of desired essential oil. Place sticks into oil, let soak and then flip them so the oil can diffuse into the sir. You will need to flip them every so often to keep the scent fresh.
7. Aromatherapy Inhaler Bottle
If you have oil residual in the bottle, this is another great way to take advantage of that. Place 2 cotton balls into an empty bottle and place cap back on. You can use this bottle as a little aromatherapy treatment by removing the cap and inhaling from the bottle.
Hold the bottle under your nose and take a few deep breaths in and out, replace the cap. You can use lavender for relaxing, peppermint oil or orange oil for fatigue, eucalyptus for congestion, etc.
8. Essential Oil Scented Cotton Balls
Another smart idea if you have a little oil still left in the bottle is scented cotton balls. Place 2-4 cotton balls (depending on size) into the bottle and place cap on. Allow to soak up the aroma overnight. Remove with tweezers and use them to freshen up different areas.
You can place scented cotton balls in stinky shoes, tuck one inside your car cup holder, place one under your pillow, inside your dresser drawer, in your suitcase, at the bottom of the garbage can, and so many other places you could put them. Just be aware that oil can stain some surface.
9. Use as a Travel Container
If you’re a frequent traveler, empty essential oil bottles can be used as convenient travel containers. These can be a great way to store smaller items like face toner, lotion, and other toiletries while on the go. You can also fill the bottles with your favorite essential oils and use them to freshen up your hotel room or to make your own aromatherapy blends to help ease any tension or anxiety while traveling.
In conclusion, there are many creative ways to reuse empty essential oil bottles. You may upcycle them into craft projects, reed diffusers, vases and art pieces, ornaments, and more. You can also repurpose the bottles into diy beauty products, or natural insect repellents.
Get creative, there are many other ways could you use the empty bottles! It is easy to transform your used essential oil bottles into something useful and make a positive impact on the environment.
Free Printable Essential Oil Labels
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Final Thoughts on What to do With Empty Essential Oil Bottles
By reusing your old essential oil bottles instead of throwing them away, you’re helping reduce waste while also getting more use out of something that would otherwise end up in the trash bin. While some essential oil companies do provide recycling programs for their bottles, not all do, leaving many users with a difficult problem to solve.
Whether you turn them into decorative pieces or storage solutions, there are plenty of creative ways to give your empty bottles new life - all without breaking the bank! So next time you finish off a bottle of lavender or peppermint oil, think about how else that container could be used around the house - and get creative!