How to Recycle Laundry Detergent Bottles

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Don't throw out your old laundry detergent bottles; recycle them.

Recycling is one of the easiest things you can do for the environment. Instead of simply throwing out your old laundry detergent bottles, all you have to do is clean them and put them in the recycling bin. Plastic bottles, including laundry detergent bottles, are some of the least recycled containers on the market today.


Step 1

Twist off the lid of the laundry detergent bottle and set it aside. Fill the detergent bottle with warm water, allowing the detergent to foam up into the mouth of the bottle. Allow the bottle to sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2

Pour out the water from the detergent bottle. Rinse out the bottle using warm water one more time. If it is still foamy, you might need to use a scrub brush to scrape the detergent away from the sides of the container.

Step 3

Turn the detergent bottle so that its mouth is facing downward. Allow the bottle to dry.


Step 4

Look at the recycling symbol on the bottom of the laundry detergent bottle. The symbol varies depending on the contents of the plastic, and determines whether or not the bottle can be recycled curbside. Generally, detergent bottles are No. 3 plastics, which cannot be recycled curbside. No. 3 plastics are taken in by plastic-lumber manufacturing companies to make synthetic wood.

Step 5

Research local plastic manufacturing companies that accept No. 3 plastics. Collect your clean detergent bottles and deliver them to the factory. If you can't find any in the area, reuse the bottles in your own home. Use the detergent bottles as storage containers for non-food items or as tools in the garden. Or, buy your next batch of detergent in bulk and use the bottles to store it, and cut down your plastic consumption.


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Missy Farage

Missy Farage began her writing career in 2008 when her freelance articles were published in the Washington life-and-style journals "425 Magazine" and "South Sound Magazine." She has won awards for her poetry and writing. Farage holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Puget Sound.