15 Ways to Recycle your Empty Laundry Detergent Containers

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I love finding useful ways to recycle plastic laundry detergent containers to make your crafting budget go a little bit further! Check out all the ways you can recycle your empty plastic laundry detergent containers when you’re done with them!

Tide PODS laundry detergent container craft

Goodness knows I store a TON of stuff in my craft room so I am always working on trying to organize my supplies! Between that and donating supplies to my kid’s school for art and craft projects, you’ll find the below ways to recycle your empty laundry containers useful!

colorful yarn balls and Tide laundry detergent

15 Ways to Reuse Your Empty Laundry Containers:

rocks, moss, Tide laundry container

1.Fairy garden / Mini doll house

A creative way to recycle your empty laundry detergent containers is by using them to create fairy garden homes or miniature doll houses! Always make sure to wash out recycled containers, then careful cut a hole in the front for your new creation! You can glue on paper, rocks and moss, or anything else needed to decorate your new project.

2. Store Nails and Bolts

Empty laundry containers are PERFECT for storing things in the garage like loose nails, screws, bolts, washers, etc. Just use a permanent marker to write on the side of your empty laundry container and place up on a shelf! Then you can easily see everything organized in containers!

3. Store Empty Bags

Are you a bag hoarder like me!? I use empty grocery bags for disposing of cat litter, packing boxes for shipping, trash bags, and anything else I can think of. But that means I usually have piles of bags somewhere! Stuff them down into an empty wide mouth container to recycle them and store them for later!

4. Grow Plants

I am a HUGE fan of gardening and growing my own plants and empty laundry containers are PERFECT for this!! (Just make sure you wash them out really well first!) You can even wrap it in some burlap, add some pretty accessories onto it and give your plant as a gift to someone else!

handful of green and blue buttons

5. Store coins, buttons, soda tabs, tiny toys

We are a collector of tiny objects in our house! From my craft supply of buttons and pom pom balls to my son’s coin collection and pile of small electronic parts, empty plastic containers are fabulous for repurposing and organizing these little pieces!

6. Sand Castle and Rock Sieve

If you live near a beach these empty laundry detergent containers of all shapes and sizes are great for scooping up sand and water! And rinsing off seashells! Or if you’re land-locked like us, poke some holes in the bottom of the empty plastic containers and let your kids use them in creeks to wash away rocks and mud! They can play with them in water tables too!

7. Recycle batteries

Using empty plastic containers is a great way to recycle things like batteries and keep them safely in one place before disposing of them properly.

Mr. Toad house sign next to Tide

8. Toad House

Perhaps one of my personal favorite things to do with empty storage containers is to turn them into toad houses!!! Empty containers work best for this! Carefully cut a semi-circle hole out of the front of your washed empty container and place down into the dirt in a corner of your garden. Your hole should be no bigger then your fist, or much smaller. Just make sure there are no sharp edges!

9. Store Dryer Lint

Dryer lint is not only a fire hazard if left in your dryer without being removed but it makes a GREAT cheap fire starter while camping or for use in starting a bonfire! I used to try and store our excess dryer lint in a plastic bag but every time the bag moved the dryer lint would fly everywhere! Storing it in your old laundry detergent container is a fantastic way to recycle!

10. Store dryer balls

I am just fascinated at how dryer balls work but I never had a good way to store them until I started putting them inside my empty laundry containers! Just stick the container up on your shelf or on your dryer and voila! All the dryer balls stay put in one place!

craft supplies next to laundry basket Tide

11. Crafts & piggy banks

I mentioned toad houses and fairy doll houses but recycled storage containers are AWESOME for creating piggy banks and other craft projects!! Whether you’re creating a bowling scenario, a space shuttle, or even a carry purse – empty storage containers are only limited on their re-use by your own imagination!

12. Carry water to garden

I keep a stack of empty milk jugs and liquid laundry detergent jugs around and fill them with water (after being cleaned out of course) to water my plants with! The laundry detergent spouts are especially useful for the water flow of my plants in the house! Plus it’s a reasonable size to carry around instead of lugging around big heavy watering cans!

13. Beach bucket for sand and seashells

Once upon I time I lived near the beach and looking for seashells and creating sand castles was the life! Empty plastic containers are absolutely perfect for trips to the lake or beach because there are SO many uses!

14. Create a Game

The great thing about empty laundry detergent containers is that you always tend to get more, and there is always a way to reuse every single one of them! You can easily spray paint your containers, turn them into games and use them outdoors since they are plastic! Line them down the driveway and bounce ping pong balls in them or toss bean bags into them. Stack them on top of each other to create a target knock down game.

15. Make a Geocache Canister

Geocaching is one of our favorite family hobbies (especially in the warmer months!). It’s essentially a world-wide game of treasure hunting with GPS coordinates and empty laundry detergent containers are perfect for hiding your treasures! As long as it has a tight seal on the cap you can use it outdoors to store signing logs in and little trinkets!

Have a busy schedule? Check out these 5 easy tips to make your laundry chores less stressful!



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  1. Lynn Woodson says:

    These large plastic containers multiply quickly. I will not buy these again as I do not need awkwardly shaped storage containers which are awkward to open & close. Also they are not transparent so I would not know the content. Bad design altogether.

  2. I saw how someone had made it into a cute snowman head! And if you want to see inside cut out a window and hot glue clear film. They are sturdy and they can be recycled!! At a recycling center! It’s better for the small business recycler and local economy than a trash can. And they are stackable!

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