We tend to toss out any empty water bottles when we’re finished using them. But they can be repurposed in so many ways. Here are 10 brilliant uses for plastic water bottles that make everyday tasks is much easier.
1. Outsmart Doggy Boredom
On rainy days when he’s stuck inside, Buster chews up all his toys — and it’s a pain to keep replacing them. To entertain him without running to the store, make a fun, safe chew toy. To do: Place an empty plastic water bottle inside a sock and tie a knot on the end. Your furry friend will love the crackling sound his new toy makes, and you’ll save time and money!
2. Separate Eggs When Baking
Here’s a foolproof way to separate egg whites for that cake you’re making for the church potluck: Crack the egg into a bowl, then squeeze an empty plastic water bottle over the yolk and release. Squeezing the bottle creates a vacuum effect, sucking the yolk right up and leaving the whites behind.
3. Keep Dry Goods Fresh and Tidy
No need to shell out for storage containers for pantry staples like rice and beans. The alternative: Repurpose a plastic water bottle. Simply wash and dry a bottle thoroughly, then use a funnel to fill it with grains or beans and screw on the cap. The sealed bottle keeps food fresh plus saves shelf space and allows you to easily spot the ingredient you’re looking for.
4. Chill Picnic Foods Without a Mess
The last time you went on a picnic, the ice in your cooler melted before you arrived and made everything soggy. Not next time! The night before your next outdoor fun, fill a few plastic bottles three-quarters of the way with water and freeze. The frozen bottles will keep your food cold without leaking all over your meal. Bonus: Once melted, you’ll have cool water to drink!
5. Create a DIY Sprinkler
On hot days when the little ones visit, you wish they had a sprinkler to play in. No need to buy one! Instead, cut three one inch-long slits in one side of an empty plastic one-liter bottle. Secure the hose nozzle to the bottle top with duct tape, fastening it tight, then turn on the water spigot. Voilà — fun!
6. Water Plants While Away
You want to keep your houseplants watered while you’re away for a long weekend. Fill a clean, empty bottle with water, then nestle the neck of the bottle into the plant’s soil. Repeat the process for each plant. This self-watering system ensures plants won’t go dry.
7. Outsmart Plastic Bag Chaos
It’s handy to keep spare shopping bags around, but when you stash them under the sink, they scatter all over the cabinet. What can help: Cut the bottom off a two-liter plastic bottle and remove the cap. Then stuff the plastic bags through the open bottom. The bottle will keep the bags neatly contained, and you can easily pull one out of the bottle top whenever needed.
8. Nix a Fruit Fly Problem
Argh! Setting out a bowl of fresh fruit on your counter in the summer seems to attract an annoying swarm of fruit flies. To keep them at bay, create an easy trap. To do: Fill a plastic bottle halfway with apple cider vinegar, add two drops of dish soap and place near the fruit bowl. The pests will be attracted to the sweet vinegar and will fly inside the bottle, then the sticky soap will trap them there.
9. Easily Corral Project Tools
When you’re working on a project, it can be a pain to have to lug around a bulky toolbox just for the few tools you need. Instead, stash them in a DIY tool toter you can take with you while you work. To do: Cut the top third off of a two-liter plastic bottle and wrap duct tape around the bottom of the bottle to help reinforce it. Then fill with the tools needed. Problem solved!
10. Soothe Tired Tootsies
It was a beautiful day to be out at the park, but now your feet are feeling achy and sore. The doctor-recommended trick for fast relief: Freeze a bottle of water, then roll it under your arches for a minute. Pause for a minute, then repeat the roll-andrest cycle for 10 minutes. The cold temperature of the bottle, combined with the rolling “massage,” will help ease inflammation and tightness. Aah!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.