I reuse all kinds of containers; we save most anything, but not too much glass. We have little ones running around and glass tends to get broke, occasionally from clumsy adults too. lol. But containers are wonderful and why not reuse them instead of filling up the trash with them. All the sour cream, yogurt and cream cheese containers are stored all throughout the year; these mostly get used for the holidays. Why send guest home with leftovers from a yummy Christmas dinner with your good storage containers that could take months if ever to get returned?? I sure wouldn’t and I don’t. My family has had a hard time returning my Tupperware over the years, so I started doing this. Sometimes, they will return them other times they lose them. Either way, I have more to fill up for the next holiday or family meal.
Trick to it
We only buy butter that everyone can enjoy, including me, I just put some in a container for the house and the rest is off limits except by me to use myself or in preparing meals. These smart balance containers are square and fit nice in the fridge. A sponge dipped in acetone (like you would find in polish remover) removes most marks off these containers. Just scrub well and wash thoroughly in hot soapy water. I have also soaked a paper towel and laid it on the container to let it soak in while I was getting other things
Types of containers
I keep a lot of containers, mayo, salad dressings my family eats, coconut oil, those little squirt bottles from water enhancers, Liquid Aminos, ketchup, BBQ sauces, and spice jars or anything really. They come in all shapes and sizes. I also keep larger medicine jars and square spice containers. Glass jars are great though and there are some awesome ideas on Pintrest or if you want to have a look at some cool and kinda creepy ways to use them this Halloween, then head to http://magiamia.blogspot.com/s… and check them out. Milk containers can be really useful as well. There are many types of gardening ideas to use them for, like making shovels to mini green houses.
To begin the process
I take them and rinse the food out, and fill with hot water and soap. I usually let it sit in hot soapy water for about 15 minutes or so, depending on how hot the water is. The reason for doing this is to, one, clean the jar, but the main reason is that the hot water will help loosen the glue and in some cases lets the label come right off. Not always, but it does seem to help to warm the labels up from the inside as well as the outside. Then when I get as much label as I can off, It put it back in the water for a while. When I am ready to wash it out, just dump the water and wash it like you would your dishes but don’t worry if the entire label doesn’t come off. Just let it dry off while you make a paste of baking soda and oil.
3 TBSP Baking soda
2 TBSP Oil (any kind will do)
· mix together to form a paste.
Now just smear it over any label and sticky residue on the jar and set somewhere. You can let it sit however long you want, but at least 15 minutes is good. I usually just do this in the afternoon after lunch and let it sit until I am done with the dinner dishes and wash them before I’m through.
Now when you are ready to wash, don’t use the scrubber side of a sponge it will show in the plastic, instead use the soft side add dish soap to the sponge and just wash the jar as you would your dishes. Rinse well in warm water and let dry. Sometimes, and it’s only happened to me on about 4 jars, it won’t work all the way, just add more paste and fill container with hot water and let it sit a few more minutes and wash again.
What I use them for
Once they dry they are ready for use on whatever you want. Some examples of what I use them for:
The salad dressing, BBQ and ketchup jars they all have either a flip top or they have the ring to make it pour easier. For these jars I use them for my homemade ketchup, chocolate syrup, mustard, Chinese sauce, or any other homemade product that stores in the fridge.
For the mayo, and peanut butter containers I use them for my almond flour, tapioca and potato starches, Xanthum gum and nutritional yeast, things I buy in bulk and not a lot of at one time. The coconut oil containers are larger yet, so I use them for brown sugar, my chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, imitation sugars, or as small cookie jars for allergy friendly treats.
Occasionally we buy the very large mayo containers, especially around the holidays and I clean those and use them for large cookie jars for sugar treats, and they are tinted so that I am not as likely to see them and want what’s in there. I have always had multiple measuring sets out, but these things all have their own as to help avoid contamination with non-allergy friendly items.
As for the smaller containers the little ones from water enhancers, I they come with removable tops, a little hard to fill, but not impossible. I have used these wonderful little items for going out for a meal or other people’s houses for dinner, I hate having people go to any trouble for me, so I use these to bring my own dressings, sauce or homemade items that I have to eat, but wouldn’t need a lot of at a meal. They are also wonderful for camping trips so that I can enjoy stuff and they are small enough to fit in a backpack or purse. I have also lightly spray painted the outsides of peanut butter containers and used them camping or at the beach to keep valuables or objects you don’t want to get wet or dirty. They fit in coolers, backpacks or suitcases great and can hold quite a bit.
I reuse spice containers for this reason too. You can take smaller amounts of spice, condiments or anything else for an allergy friendly meal. I have even stored matches in them to stay dry. I also tend to buy the large containers of spices if I don’t make them myself, but I do make a lot of my own, and I fill these smaller ones with spices to make them easier to pour than the big containers.
Finishing them off
Once you decide what you want in them, then just go into word and create fun labels for them and print them out. As of right now, my printer isn’t working which is why I just hand wrote what is in them until I get my printer up and running.
There are 1,000’s of uses for empty containers. Feel free to tell me about some ways you have used or recycled containers. I would love to hear from you and find more ways to use them. Not only are you getting good uses out of what would otherwise be trash, you are helping the environment, which is always a good thing. I hope these ideas have helped out a bit.