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Love this!! so many creative & practical ideas for what you can do with those empty (or almost empty) bottles! hand sanitizer, pillow spray, make-ahead diffuser blends, owie spray, personal inhalers, "Lysol" disinfecting spray, skin toner, face serum, bath salts, air freshener, anti-itch spray, perfume, and LOTS MORE!!

Clever Ways to Reuse Empty Essential Oil Bottles

If you love to use essential oils like I do, then you probably have A LOT of empty essential oil bottles.  And if you don’t yet, you will soon.  It doesn’t take long to build up a pile of empties.

 

“One’s obsession with oils is not measured by how many oils they have, but rather, how many empty bottles they can’t bear to part with.”

I love this quote from Essential Oil Style!  It’s so true.

 

So what can you do with all those empty essential oil bottles you can’t bear to part with?

Here are 30 creative & practical ideas for what you can do with those empty (or almost empty) bottles.

There are ideas for using up the last few drops at the bottom of an essential oil bottle.

There are ideas for making essential oil sprays, roller bottles, diffuser blends, bath salts and more using the empty (and almost empty) essential oil bottles.

And there are even ideas for upcycling the empty essential oil bottles into things unrelated to essential oils (such as magnets, lights, vases, and more).

Ideas 1-15 are in this post, and then because there were too many ideas and recipes for one single post, ideas 16-30 are in this second post.

 

What do you do with your empty and almost empty essential oil bottles?  Do you have other ideas? We’d love to hear them.  Please share them in the comments below. 

 

1. Stinky Shoe Eliminator

Do you have an almost empty bottle of tea tree essential oil?  Use it get rid of that stinky shoe smell.

 

Here’s what you do:

  • stuff a cotton ball or two into the essential oil bottle
  • put cap back on
  • leave the cotton balls in there for a day or two — cotton ball will absorb any leftover essential oil
  • after a couple days, pull cotton ball out of essential oil bottle (use tweezers if needed)
  • insert essential-oil infused cotton balls into shoes (one into the toe area of each shoe)
  • leave them in shoes 1-2 days (at least overnight)
  • remove cotton balls and enjoy your clean & fresh-smelling shoes

 

Don’t have a nearly empty tea tree bottle?  No worries.  While tea tree is probably the best stinky shoe eliminator, there are other antibacterial and antifungal essential oils that can be used as a substitute.  Give one of these a try:  cinnamon, clove, thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, or pine.

 

2. Travel Oil Set

Do you have favorite essential oils that you like to travel with?  Use your empty (or nearly empty) bottles to create a set of travel essential oils.

Here are some of my favorite essential oils to travel with:

  • lavender (sleep, calming, tension relief, minor cuts & burns, bug spray and more)
  • tea tree (wipe down hotel room switches/door knobs, deodorizer, immune support, and more)
  • lemon (wake-me-up, focus, immune support, treats grease stains, anti-itch, odor eliminator, sanitizer, and more)
  • peppermint (tummy tamer, tension relief, wake-me-up, focus, jet lag, bug repellent, and more)
  • bergamot (uplifting, relieves stress, energizing, jet lag and more)
  • lemongrass (muscle soreness, bug repellent, deodorizer, immune support, clear breathing, muscle relaxer, tension relief, and more)
  • eucalyptus (clear breathing, immune support, stress relief, muscle soreness, cleaning/sanitizing, and more)
  • frankincense (jack of all trades– great for pretty much everything)
  • fractionated coconut oil- carrier oil so I can easily dilute essential oils while on the road

What are your travel favorites?

 

3. Carrier Oils for Purse or Travel

Essential oils are extremely concentrated, which is why it’s so important to dilute them with a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil).  I keep my favorite roller bottle blends in my purse and I travel with them as well, but sometimes you need to dilute essential oils on the go.  So I like to keep a little bottle of carrier oil (fco) in my purse at all times.  That way I’m always prepared.  This has come in very handy over the years!

To clean your empty essential oil bottle in order to reuse it for a great on-the-go bottle of carrier oil, here’s what you do:  remove all labels, remove the cap and orifice, let soak in a bowl of hot soapy water overnight, then I run them through the sterilize cycle on my dishwasher (you could boil them on stovetop instead to sterilize), and let dry completely.

Here’s a quick rule-of-thumb guide to the dilution rates I try to use:

kids 6 months-2 years:  1-2 tablespoons carrier oil for 1 drop essential oil

kids 3-10 years: 1 teaspoon carrier oil for 1 drop essential oil

kids over 10: 1 teaspoon carrier oil for 2 drops essential oil

regular use by healthy adult:  1 teaspoon carrier oil for 2 drops essential oil

occasional use by healthy adult:  1 teaspoon carrier oil for up to 5 drops essential oil

 

spray empty

 

4. Hand Sanitizer

This is one of my absolute favorite ways to use up the last couple of drops of essential oil in an almost empty bottle.  It also works great with cleaned and sterilized empty essential oil bottles.  I keep this little hand sanitizers everywhere- in my purse, in my desk, glove compartment, picnic basket, school bag, gym bag, …

 

Recipe for 15 ml essential oil bottle:

  • fill bottle about 3/4 full with witch hazel
  • add 3 drops of essential oil if starting with cleaned and completely empty bottle (or add 1-2 drops if starting with empty but unwashed bottle that still smells of the essential oil).  Here are some combinations that work great for hand sanitizers:
    • tea tree, lavender, and lemon
    •  eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender
    • clove, cinnamon, and lemon
  • optional- as hand sanitizer can be a bit drying to skin, add a drop or two of one or more of these great moisturizers to keep your hands nice and soft.  You can add all of these, or none of them, just use what you have on hand.
    • carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba, etc)
    • vitamin e
    • glycerin
  • put on a spray top
  • gently shake or roll the bottle to mix

get spray tops for empty 5ml and 15ml essential oil bottles here

 

To use:

  • shake again each time before use
  • spray hands
  • rub hands together

 

5. Dry Shampoo for Stinky Dogs

No more stinky dog!  This homemade non-toxic dry shampoo for dogs is super simply to make and gets rid of pet odor fast.

This is a great use up for an empty (but not yet washed out) bottle of lavender, cedarwood, or orange essential oil bottle.

 

How to make it:

  • fill empty (or almost empty) essential oil about 3/4s full with baking soda
  • if the bottle had been washed out and is completely empty of essential oil, then add 1 drop of lavender, cedarwood, or orange essential oil.  (if the bottle was empty, but hadn’t been washed out yet and still has the smell of essential oils, then do NOT add any essential oil.)
  • shake to mix
  • put cap back on
  • let it let sit overnight so the baking soda can absorb the essential oil

 

When you’re ready to use:

  • pour contents into a shaker or into a small strainer
  • shake the dry shampoo over the dog’s coat, starting at its bottom and staying away from the dog’s head
  • wait about 5 minutes
  • then brush dog’s coat to evenly distribute the dry shampoo mixture throughout her fur

 

6. Sleepy Pillow Spray

Fall asleep fast with this calming DIY pillow spray.  All it takes is water, a couple drops of essential oil (suggestions below), and Epsom salt (optional).  Simply mix, shake, and spritz, and you’ll be dozing off to dreamland in no time.

Here are some great essential oils to use in this sleep spray.  Choose one or use a combination of 2 or 3 of your favorites.  –> lavender, orange, cedarwood, vetiver, marjoram, frankincense, Roman chamomile, bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood.  A blend of lavender and cedarwood is my favorite!!  I fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly all night every time I use that combination.  Just a whiff of it, and I start to get sleepy.

 

How to make a homemade sleep spray with essential oils:

  1. start with an empty (or almost empty) 15ml essential oil bottle
  2. add 2-3 drops of essential oil to the bottle
  3. fill the rest of the 15ml bottle with distilled or cooled boiled water (make sure you leave a little room at the top for the sprayer)
  4. add a pinch of Epsom salt, if you have it (this will help the essential oil to mix a little better with the water)
  5. put on the new spray top
  6. gently shake or roll the bottle to mix the water and essential oils

get spray tops for empty 5ml and 15ml essential oil bottles here

 

To use:

  1. shake again each time before use
  2. spray lightly on pillowcase

 

7.  Mattress Refresher

I love this mattress refresher.  I use it every time I change my sheets.  Using this refresher and vacuuming help to reduce dust mites, dead skin cells, and germs.  Plus it is a great deodorizer!

 

How to make DIY mattress refresher with essential oils:

  • fill empty (or almost empty) essential oil bottle about 3/4s full with baking soda
  • if the bottle had been washed out and is completely empty of essential oil, then add about 4 drops of essential oil.  (if the bottle was empty, but hadn’t been washed out yet and still has the smell of essential oils, then just add about 2 drops of essential oil).  Here are some great antimicrobial/antibacterial/antiviral essential oils to use for cleaning a mattress:  lavender, lemon, orange, tea tree, cinnamon, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lime, peppermint, spearmint, orange, tangerine, and rosemary.  Choose just one or a favorite combination of 2-3 oils.  Here are a few combinations I love using to clean my mattress:
    • tea tree, lavender, and lemon (very fresh and clean smelling)
    • eucalyptus and spearmint (very relaxing, and relieves stress)
    • tangerine, lime, and spearmint (smells like a citrus mojito)
  • shake to mix
  • put cap back on
  • let it let sit overnight so the baking soda can absorb the essential oil

 

To Use:

  • remove pillows, sheets, and blankets from bed
  • pour baking soda/EO mix into a shaker or into a small strainer (if you have a king-sized bed, I would use at least two 15ml bottles of the baking soda/eo mixture)
  • sprinkle on mattress
  • leave on for a couple hours (perfect timing to wash and dry the bedding)
  • then vacuum off

 

add roller top

 

8. Roller Bottles

Using a roller ball insert like this it’s really easy to turn your empty (or almost empty) essential oil bottles into roller bottles.

click here for the rollerball inserts – these work on doTERRA and Young Living 5ml and 15ml bottles

Here’s how to do it:

  1. start with an empty (or almost empty) 15ml essential oil bottle
  2. choose the roller bottle blend that you want to make

Immune Booster

Tummy Tamer

Muscle Soother

Owie Stick

Anti-itch Stick

Seasonal Stick

Tension Tamer

Deep Breath

Anti Stress

Good Night Sleep Tight

Nourish

Clear Skin

Calm & Relax

Ground & Balance

Uplift

Comfort

Gratitude

Optimism

Energize

Refresh

Build Confidence

Motivate

Focus & Concentrate

3.  add the drops of essential oil to the empty essential oil bottle

4.  fill rest of 15ml bottle about two-thirds full with a carrier oil.  It’s helpful to use a little funnel like these when filling the roller bottles with carrier oils.

5.  snap on the new roller ball insert

6.  gently shake or roll the bottle to mix the carrier oil and essential oils

click here for the rollerball inserts – these work on doTERRA and Young Living 5ml and 15ml bottles

 

9.   Car Diffuser

Do you love diffusing essential oils?  Well, guess what- that doesn’t have to stop when you leave your house!

Here’s how to use an almost empty essential oil bottle to make a diffuser for your car:

  • stuff a cotton ball into essential oil bottle
  • put cap back on
  • let it sit for a day or two so that cotton ball can absorb any leftover essential oil
  • pull cotton ball out of essential oil bottle (use tweezers if needed)
  • use paperclip to attach cotton ball to car’s AC/heat vent
  • scent should last for 2-3 days, then you can add another drop or two of essential oil to refresh the car diffuser

 

10.  Always Have EOs Nearby

Always have essential oils right where you need them.  Make up extra partial bottles for office, school, kitchen, bedroom, etc

 

11.  Freshen as Your Vacuum

Using essential oils when you vacuum is a simple way to make your whole house smell fantastic!

Here’s how to use up the last bit of essential oil from an almost empty bottle to make this vacuum refresher:

  • stuff a cotton ball into almost empty essential oil bottle
  • put cap back on
  • let it sit for a day or two so that cotton ball will absorb any leftover essential oil.
  • pull cotton ball out of essential oil bottle (use tweezers if needed)
  • place scented cotton ball on the floor
  • then vacuum it up

 

12. Homemade All-Natural “Febreeze”

There’s a great one to use up those last few drops of essential oil in the bottom of a bottle.  Simply add a spray top like this to your empty (or almost empty) essential oil bottle and turn it into a homemade all-natural “Febreeze” fabric refresher.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. start with an empty (or almost empty) 15ml essential oil bottle
  2. choose the linen spray that you want to make– click here for 21 of my favorite DIY essential oil linen spray recipes
  3. add 2-3 drops of essential oil to the bottle
  4. fill the rest of the 15ml bottle with vodka (make sure you leave a little room at the top for the sprayer)
  5. put on the new spray top
  6. gently shake or roll the bottle to mix the vodka and essential oils
  7. shake again each time before use, spray lightly on fabric and allow fabric to dry completely

note: you can substitute witch hazel or water for the vodka, but it’s best to use alcohol if you can in this recipe.  Alcohol has a faster evaporation rate than witch hazel and water, and as a result, is less likely to cause mold or mildew in fabric.  If you do need to substitute witch hazel or water, give the fabric extra time to dry, and if possible, use a fan to circulate air over the fabric until it is dry.

get spray tops for empty 5ml and 15ml essential oil bottles here

 

13.  Instant Deodorizer

Everybody has at least one stinky spot in their house, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably got a few less-than-fresh-smelling spots around your home.  Laundry room, closet, bathroom, refrigerator, shoe cubbies, basement… I could go on and on and on.

No worries.  Use an empty essential oil bottle to deodorize and freshen those stinky spots up in no time.

Here are some great deodorizing essential oils to use:  tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, geranium, peppermint, fir, lemon, orange, pine, tangerine, rosemary, lime, citronella, and lemongrass.

I think this one is just about the easiest thing you can do with an empty essential oil bottle before you clean it and upcycle it into one of the other uses in this post.

 

Here’s how you turn your empty essential oil bottle into an instant deodorizer:

  • take cap and dropper off
  • place bottle in a spot that needs a little deodorizing (laundry room, bathroom, closet, refrigerator, etc)
  • that’s it; you’re done.  Let the bottle stay in there for a few days to do its work.  When the scent is gone, clean and sanitize the bottle and upcycle it for another DIY project on this page.

 

14. Smelling Salts (“Breathe Better” Blend)

Feeling a like congested?  Here’s a great way to upcycle your empty essential oil bottles to help support clear breathing.

 

How to make essential oil smelling salts:

  • start with a cleaned and sanitized essential oil bottle
  • fill bottle with Epsom salt
  • add 4 drops of essential oil (a blend of 1 drop each eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, and lavender works great, but you can use all peppermint or all eucalyptus if that’s all your have)
  • shake to mix well
  • put cap back on bottle in-between uses

 

To use:

  • uncap bottle
  • hold bottle up close to nose (but not touching nose)
  • inhale deeply
  • repeat as needed

 

15. Make Ahead Blends

Do you have a favorite diffuser blend?  An essential oil blend that you go to again and again to use in your diffuser, inhalers, or diffuser jewelry?  It can get a little old, pulling out the same bottles over and over again and counting 1 drop of this, 2 drops of that, another drop of this, etc.  Instead, use an empty essential oil bottle to make up a master blend.  Then whenever you want to use that blend, all you need to do is grab one bottle and put a few drops in your diffuser.  Super simple.  You do the work once, and then you’ll always have your favorite blends ready to go.

Here’s how to do it:  Use an empty (or almost empty) essential oil bottle to make up a batch of your favorite essential oil blend.  Want some ideas of new blends to try?  Check out these posts for blend ideas and then when you find one you like, you can just multiply the amounts to make as much (or as little) as you want.  For reference:  a 5ml essential oil bottle holds about 85 drops and a 15ml bottle holds about 250 drops.

relaxing & calming blends

blends for sleep

uplifting blends

energizing blends

blends for focus & concentration

blends that support clear breathing

blends for immune support

spring blends

summer blends

fall blends

winter blends

Christmas blends

 

click here to see ideas 16-30 of ways to reuse essential oil bottles

Some of the ideas and recipes in the next post include owie spray, personal inhalers, “Lysol” disinfecting spray, skin toner, face serum, bath salts, air freshener, anti-itch spray, and perfume.  Plus lots more ideas and recipes for how to use your empty essential oil bottles.

Love this!! so many creative & practical ideas for what you can do with those empty (or almost empty) bottles! hand sanitizer, pillow spray, make-ahead diffuser blends, owie spray, personal inhalers, "Lysol" disinfecting spray, skin toner, face serum, bath salts, air freshener, anti-itch spray, perfume, and LOTS MORE!!

 

Love this!! so many creative & practical ideas for what you can do with those empty (or almost empty) bottles! hand sanitizer, pillow spray, make-ahead diffuser blends, owie spray, personal inhalers, "Lysol" disinfecting spray, skin toner, face serum, bath salts, air freshener, anti-itch spray, perfume, and LOTS MORE!!

 

Interested in more recipes, tips, and ideas for how to use essential oils?

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By | 2017-04-19T11:02:08+00:00 |Essential Oils|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. DavetteB January 21, 2017 at 3:53 am - Reply

    I mostly refill from my 30ml bottles or use for master blends.
    I occasionally use them for serums and add a glass dropper top.
    if you find rollerball tops for 30ml bottles let me know 🙂

  2. Kathy Daniels February 1, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

    I love your site and the recipes I’ve tried so far. Thank you for sharing!
    Kathy D <

  3. Sandi March 17, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Love your recipes and all your great ideas, can’t wait to try them, thanks

  4. Barb May 9, 2017 at 6:38 am - Reply

    I am going to make up the smelling salt blend for a co-worker who is struggling with seasonal allergies. T%hank you for the idea!

  5. Mary Slusarchuk May 26, 2017 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for writing this piece…I learned a lot.

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