Easy, money-saving projects to do at home

Even though they come in all different sizes, it seems as though laundry detergent bottles are never big enough. They are empty before you know it. When it’s time to switch out bottles, do you throw them away? Or do you recycle?

Actually, empty laundry detergent bottles are great reusable items. Just wash them out well and they can be turned into useful little items for around the house—even playthings. Here are seven home DIY projects you can try the next time your detergent runs out:

1. Garage storage

To make simple storage for small items like nails, screws and bolts, cut the top off an empty laundry bottle that has a handle. Put labels on the handle side for easy reference, then slide them onto a shelf. Voilà! Instant organization.

2. Instant weights

Fill bottles with sand or water for holding down ropes or tarps. In winter, fill bottles with sand, salt or de-icer pellets and throw them in your car not just for traction, but as emergency items in case you get stuck.

3. Toy cars

This is where the fun really happens. Lay a bottle handle-side up. Drill holes on each side to slide a wooden dowel through for axles, then attach any kind of wheels. Decorate the cars and begin the race!

4. Leftover paint storage

When you’re done with a painting project, transfer excess paint to a detergent bottle. With a tightly-sealed cap, it stores easily without the risk of spilling. And paint pours out the spout a lot easier than from a can, too.

5. Beach bucket and scoop

For afternoons in the sun and on the sand, there’s nothing better than building a sandcastle. To make a bucket, just cut the top off an empty bottle, leaving the handle intact. You can also tie a rope to it for easy carrying when it’s filled with sand.

And to make a scoop, screw the cap on the bottle, then cut the bottom off. Grab the handle and shovel away!

6. Pet scooper

A well-cleaned empty detergent bottle is great for pets. Instead of straining your back trying to pour a big bag of pet food, cut the top off a bottle and use it to scoop the food out instead.

You can also cut the bottom off and use it to clean up Fido’s little messes, then pour them into a bag for tidy disposal.

7. Watering can

Skip the expensive watering can. Grab a bottle and poke several holes in the cap with an awl. More holes mean more flow. Fill the bottle with water, screw the cap on, and watch your garden grow!

What other uses do you have for empty laundry detergent bottles? Let us know in the comments!