How to wash and reuse Essential Oil Bottles

How to clean and recycle old Essential Oil Bottles

The last year or so, I have accumulated a few old essential oil bottles, that I no longer used. I knew that there had to be a simple way to clean and recycle old Essential Oil Bottles. So, I decided to experiment.

I threw all these bottles into a glass bowl and guessed at what ingredients I felt would help remove the labels… and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they came off.

How to clean and recycle old Essential Oil Bottles, with ingredients most have at home.So here is what I did…

1. Get a large bowl of water. Place your essential oil bottles into this water, opened, with the droppers removed.
(the dropper is the small plastic piece in most EO bottles, that helps you pour the oils out – they pop right out on my bottles).

2. Once the bottles are in this water (It was cold tab water btw). I then added in a SQUIRT of Dr. Bronners (that I had on hand. I use Dr. Bronners for my surface cleaner recipe – if you haven’t tried that yet, you need to! Its the best). Dr. Bronners is a great soap to have in your cabinet. I have had the same bottle for almost 2 years now. It cost like $20 bucks for a bottle but it will last you forever. Well worth the cost. Target sells it. As well as Walgreens. Amazon of course has it too.

3. I also put a squirt of jojoba oil
(but any oil would work, so olive oil. EVOO, even canola oil would probably do fine).

4. I also put 1 squirt of dawn dish soap... cause well, I figured they clean oil covered animals with dawn, so it should do the trick, right?

5. I let it sit for a couple hours.

6. I then peeled the labels off after they soaked. The labels peeled really easily… Once I peeled them, I tossed the labels and placed the bottles back into the soapy bowl of water. By this point it looked gross and cloudy.

7. Allow it to soak a few more hours. I then got a cloth napkin and set it on my counter top. I got another cloth napkin, a touch of baking soda and began rubbing the bottles and tops down. Removing any left over stickiness.

8. I then placed them into a strainer. Rinsed them with warm water... and once rinsed, I placed them on an clean cloth napkin to dry. Thats it!

They look great and like brand new bottles now.

I will say some of them do still kind of smell like the oils that were in them… but not heavily. I would reuse these for blends I create… or diluted oils. They’d also be a great way to share favorite blends with friends as Christmas gifts and such. You can never have enough of these cute little bottles.

These bottles are BLUE glass btw… a high quality glass that I LOVE. However the company I order from Rocky Mountain Oils, now uses BROWN Amber glass instead. The brown amber is still high quality and perfectly fine, but not nearly as pretty. From what I understand the company was growing so fast that the source of their “high quality” blue bottles, could not keep up with the demand. (Take note, not all blue glass is the same, cheap imitation glass from china is not worth even using). So that is when they decided to switch over to the brown amber.

Again, totally fine. Just a side note :) – in case some people were curious why they no longer had the bottles in blue.

Because they don’t sell them in blue any more, its made me want to keep and reuse these even more. They are such pretty bottles.

I hope this walk through helps you all out. If you do this, let me know how it worked for you. Im just tickled my experimenting actually worked haha… was totally blog worthy.

Disclosure: Drea participates in the Amazon LLC Associates program. This post also contains affiliate links to RMO. Thank you for supporting this blog, as it helps support our family. If you enjoyed this post, pin it ;-)

21 thoughts on “How to clean and recycle old Essential Oil Bottles

  1. Hi there everybody, here every one is sharing these kinds of familiarity, so it’s pleasant to read this website, and I used to pay a visit this webpage everyday.

  2. Read your post, very helpful,would like to offer another idea,take your empty bottles in a jar of either pink Himalayan salt or Epsom salt to soak out the excess oils for a beautiful relaxing, nutritious bath, or for a special someone. Don’t want to waste all of those wonderful oils. I made for gifts and they were great. Just another idea.

  3. If you want to sterilise the jars, pop them into the oven at 160 degrees celsius for 10 mins after the rinse. Though you’d have to rinse them in hot water so that they don’t explode in the oven! Sterilising should get rid of the smell. Just don’t put the lids in there!

  4. I’m in the process of putting my empty bottles in a jar of Epsom Salts to get every. last. bit. of oil/scent out of them. Then I’ll clean them using this method! And I can’t wait to use the Epsom Salt in a foot soak!

  5. I would just recommend sterilizing as a final step. You don’t want all that residue from the paper, adhesive, and oils left inside the bottles. I bowl mine in my rice cooker for about an hour. Then I give them one last rinse. No residue and no residual oil smell!!!!!

  6. Would you put them in a dishwasher that has a sanitize cycle after removing the labels.

  7. I’ve used alcohol and a tiny bottle brush (like the ones designed for cleaning the valves on water bottles) to remove oil residue from the inside of oil bottles, then I sterilize them before reusing.

  8. Jeannie S., I used my letter opener to force the droppers out. I suppose that a butter knife would work the same way, but I like to avoid blades as often as possible.

    Drea, what is the point of adding the oil to the soak if you are trying to remove oil? Do i need to add that? Thanks!

  9. I was hoping it help remove the stickiness on the outside of the bottles :) you dont necessarily have to add it tho. Try it without it and let me know :)

  10. Awesome idea. I have found that if you store the bottled or jars without the lid on until you’re ready to use them, the smell dissipates after a couple days. As long as they’ve been thurally washed you’re good to go.

  11. If there is any sticky residue or remnants of labels on the outside, a drop or two of orange essential oil rubbed in helps it to come right off. And who doesn’t love the smell of orange oil?

  12. Hi! Great tips! I love pretty glas jars to, and EO… I experimented with a few tricks to get the sticky labels to come off, and so fare the best way is to fill up with boiling water in the jar, wait a little and remove the lable, using any oil on the outside it needed. If it is really tricky I use a few drops of lemon EO ? the best stain remover! //Veronica, Sweden

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