Re-use essential oil bottles?

SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Making Herbal Medicine

I save pretty much all glass jars and bottles that come through my kitchen, and use them for various things including tinctures & infused oils. I would like to clean and save small essential oil bottles as well, for sharing small amounts. But I'm not sure how to get all the essential oil out of them. Has anybody found a way to get them really clean?


  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    I have bottles slightly larger, maybe 3 ounces, that are very similar. I was thinking of using a brush similar to what they use for cleaning fish tank tubes. It looks like a bottle brush but the bristles go up the handle of the brush like a fuzzy pipe cleaner. They come in different sizes too.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    I have never re-used essential oil bottles but I re-use all other small medicine bottles. If they have had something particularly resinous in them (like cottonwood bud oil or tincture) then I will soak them in rubbing alcohol to get rid of as much of the resin as possible. Then wash as usual which is hot, soapy water. Sometimes in a couple of changes of water. Then a rinse with boiling water. I usually will give my used, washed bottles an extra rinse of rubbing alcohol before using to make sure they are sterile.

    I use new caps every time because I don't think the odour of some things ever comes out of the plastic.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found out that the glass dropper portion comes out of the rubber cap. That allows you to use a tiny brush on the dropper and get into the cap to clean well.

  • jmachledt
    jmachledt Posts: 26 ✭✭✭

    I would try some dishsoap, water, and maybe vinegar and run it through the dishwasher. You can use tweezers to pry off the dropper lid to make it easier to clean.

  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    These are great ideas. Thanks, everybody!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texas
    seeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey that is the method I use but sometimes do have to change out the tops. I have soaked the tops in a stronger rubbing alcohol for a couple of days and that works moderately well but some essential oils are VERY resistant to leaving lol.

  • Momma Mo
    Momma Mo Posts: 138 ✭✭✭

    I usually refill mine from larger bottles of the particular essential oil, or for EO blends that contain the EO that the bottle originally held. Washing with hot soapy water, boiling, and then letting dry before refilling works for me.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    I try and reuse all glass jars and bottles - hate the thought of throwing something out that can be reused! For essential oils, though, some are resistant to removal of all smell. I do often use new tops though. @shllnzl that is a good idea of yours, I will make note of it for next time! Straight detergent rubbed on with a small soft bottlebrush, then leave to sit for a couple of hours, then wash out in hot water. Repeat if necessary, or use alcohol to rinse out. Leave to air out. Some herbal tinctures are the same, very resistant to cleaning out :)

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