How to Prep Glass Bottles for Zero Waste Living
As we mentioned in our last blog, adopting a lifestyle where you can refill your pantry items, household cleaners and personal hygiene products (such as cosmetics, skincare, hair care and body care) can be hugely effective for reducing your plastic output and carbon footprint.
When you do start to reuse your own containers and bottles for refilling, you have a responsibility to yourself to use proper packaging and sanitation practices to maintain the quality and shelf life of the products you are refilling. Plus, many refill stores will not allow customers to use dirty containers.
There are a ton of beautiful bottles on the market that are perfect for reusing! From jam jars to fancy sea cider bottles, your zero waste mind has infinite ideas for how to reuse these bottles. But getting these containers refill ready is not as simple as it looks.
In our last blog, we talked about refilling your Miiko Skin Co bottle with Miiko Skin Co products. In this blog, we are going to share our personal tips on how to reuse any bottle and get it pantry ready...
Cleaning the Container
In our previous blog post, we gave step-by-step directions for how to sanitize your bottles using white vinegar and your dishwasher! We recommend giving it a read to get the full process, as we believe it gives the most effective and safe clean!
If you don't have a dishwasher, then there are a couple steps you can take to still give your bottles a proper clean:
Rinse your bottle with boiling water to remove any food particles or residue.
Wash your bottles with an alkali dish soap or use white vinegar to sanitize them.
- Allow your bottle to fully dry out before using it for your new products!
A lot of people have their best practices for getting the label glue off their bottles. But with over 600 bottles returned and recycled, we think we've got the process down!
There are two things that will help you out with label removal: heat from the oven and oil. We recommend using an inexpensive oil like safflower or canola to help get the glue off the bottles... save the delicious coconut or extra-virgin olive oil for your skincare or cooking :)
Rinse out your bottle and recycle the lid
Run your bottle through the dishwasher to help sanitize. Once your dishwasher has completed its cycle, open it up, and peel off the label from the bottle. The steam will help take the label and top layer of glue off. If you are delabelling multiple bottles, be sure to close the dishwasher door each time you take out a bottle to keep the steam inside. *Be careful, as your bottle may be hot
Peel off the label and let dry
Set your oven to its lowest temperature
Use your hand to massage approx 1 tsp oil onto the area where the label used to be
Place the bottle in the oven on a cookie sheet to catch any drips
After about 20-40 minutes, take out the bottle
We like to use a cloth on both hands to protect the hands from the hot glass
Using one cloth start to work the glue off the bottle. If it easily rubs off, then do the whole bottle. If not, then put the bottle back in the oven until it does
Now go through the sanitization process with your bottle and voila!
Miiko Tip: this is a timely process, so we recommend doing a bunch of bottles at once. This process works for any glass and any label. Do not do this process with plastic containers, as they will melt in the oven.
Proper sanitization and label removal are some of our most asked questions when it comes to zero waste living, so we hope this blog has helped educate you! It's not a quick process, but at Miiko Skin Co we believe that the reduced impact on the environment is worth it!