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Bright Ideas · How To Repurpose Plastic Containers Using This Quick And Easy Trick
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How To Repurpose Plastic Containers Using This Quick And Easy Trick

Learn how to remove the ink print from plastic containers, and 15 brilliant things you can do with them afterward.

I try to make it a point to reuse or repurpose plastic containers whenever I can. Not only is it better for the planet, but it’s an easy way to build up a collection of reusable containers! From yogurt cups to sour cream containers to butter tubs, there is no shortage of store-bought items that are sold in plastic containers. But before I repurpose them, I like to remove the print/ink. It’s mostly just an aesthetic preference, but it also helps me tell the containers apart when I’m using them in the fridge. 🙂

Related: My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers

How To Remove Print From Plastic Containers

Removing the ink printed on plastic containers is actually really simple! All you need is rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish remover, and some cotton balls or rounds.

Pour a little rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover onto your cotton ball, and wipe it across the printed areas. You may need to use a few cotton balls to get all the ink off, but pretty soon you’ll have a naked container! Give it a good wash with warm, soapy water, and then it’ll be ready to use. 🙂

15 Ways To Reuse Plastic Containers

Now that you have your de-inked and squeaky clean container, what are you going to do with it? It’s up to you, but I’ve got a few ideas to share with you to help you get inspired. 😉

1. Frozen Foods

Once you’ve opened a bag of frozen veggies or other frozen food, store the unused portion in a plastic container. They’ll keep your frozen foods from accidentally spilling everywhere, and they’re easier to stack than tied-off bags!

2. Bulk Goods

Buying food from the bulk section of your grocery store is a great way to save money, and you can save even more by storing them in repurposed containers! Use a piece of masking tape on the lid or front to identify what’s inside.

3. Spices

Speaking of bulk goods, smaller containers are great for storing bulk spices! They’re so much cheaper to buy than packaged spices, and less wasteful too. Yogurt containers in particular are perfect for spices, because the mouth of the container is wide enough that you can scoop out the contents with a teaspoon. Easy measuring!

4. Leftovers

I like to send my kids home with leftovers when they come over for dinner, but then I end up giving away all my good storage containers! So I’ve started using repurposed containers to pack up leftovers. It’s quick and easy, and I don’t have to worry about hounding my kids to bring them back. 😉

5. Drinks

Use a larger container as a spill-resistant drink cup! Just poke a small hole in the lid, slip a straw in, and fill the container with your beverage of choice. You can even take it in the car with you without having to worry about spills.

6. Snacks

Place a small container inside a larger one to make an easy snacking setup! Put your favorite dip in the center cup, and your favorite dipping snack in the space around the center cup.

7. Seedlings

Yogurt cups are a great size for starting seedlings! Just cut the top part of the cup off before planting. This will make it much easier to slide the seedling out when it’s time to transfer it to a larger container.

8. Crayons

Decorate a container with washi tape or craft paper, and use it to store crayons and other art supplies.

9. Office Supplies

Short tubs and containers can help you organize office supplies in your desk drawers. Use them to corral paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, and more.

10. Scoop

Use a repurposed container as a scoop for your pet’s food. Use a measuring cup to measure out one serving of food, then pour that amount into the container. Use a marker to mark how full the container is with one serving of food for quick and easy measuring! You can even leave the scoop in the food bag or container so you don’t misplace it.

11. Gifts

You can use small containers to “wrap” small gifts. Just place the gift inside, and decorate the outside with paint, tape, or modpodge to make it cute. 🙂

12. Yarn & Ribbon

There’s nothing more frustrating than a tangled mess of yarn or ribbon! Keep it organized by storing your collection in a repurposed container. Just cut holes in the side, then feed your yarn or ribbon through. Pull gently to dispense more yarn or ribbon, and it will stay nice and tangle-free!

13. Fabric Softener

Here’s a method that will make the most out of a bottle of fabric softener. Grab a container, then cut up a clean kitchen sponge into pieces that are small enough to fit inside. Pour fabric softener into the container so that it soaks into the sponge pieces. When you put a load of clothes in your dryer, just grab one of the softener-soaked sponges, squeeze it a bit so that it’s damp but not dripping, and toss it right in with your clothes. You’ll still have soft and static-free clothes, but your bottle of fabric softener will last several times longer than it would have!

14. Compost

Use a repurposed container to store food scraps for your composting. When the container is full, add it to your compost pile, rinse out the container, and start again!

15. Meal Prep

Prepping your meals ahead of time can be a great way to eat healthier on a busy schedule. But you’re going to need a lot of containers to store all that prepped food! If you have a sizable collection of repurpose containers, you’ll have plenty of options for storing your prepped meals.

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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