Empty Jars and Glass Bottles
Empty glass containers such as jam jars, pasta sauce bottles, and even soda bottles can be reused before they are recycled. Use them to make flower vases, store jams, pickles and sauces, or even grow sprouts.
- Before you can use these bottles, you should first clean them thoroughly using dishwashing detergent. Once they have been cleaned, leave them by the window sill to dry. Sometimes, glass jars have sticker labels on them which can be quite tricky to remove. The tip to completely removing sticker labels in one go is to spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto the sticker first, before washing the bottle. Leave it overnight to dry. You will find it easier to peel the label off the next day. Besides that, most glass jars also have a thin Styrofoam piece underneath the lid that helps to keep the bottle air tight. You should remove this piece of Styrofoam as there might be dirt accumulated under it.
- You can now use these bottles to store homemade jam, homemade pickles, homemade vanilla syrup, or leftover sauces. Before storing food items, you should also remember to sterilize the jar as you would with baby bottles; that is by boiling them with their lids off in hot water (Do not boil glass jars with their lids on as this might cause them to crack or even explode, if the walls are thin). This will get rid of all the bacteria that might contaminate your food and make them go bad. You should sterilize the bottle just before you use them to minimize contamination. Once you have filled the jars, leave them to cool before you put the lid on to avoid water from forming under the lids due to condensation.
- Alternatively, you can also use these empty jars to grow alfalfa sprouts, or even kitchen herbs which you can put by the window sill. Again, if you intend to use the glass containers to grow alfalfa sprouts, remember to sterilize them and cool them first before you put in the seeds. This is because the bacteria may feed on the sprouts and even cause contamination.
- Besides that, you can also turn clear glass bottles into flower vases. All you need is to paint decorate it by painting the outside surface. However, to do so, you will need acrylic paint as poster paint and watercolour paint will not stick well onto the glass surface. In order to make the acrylic paint stick onto the glass surface even better, mix in a little bit of dishwashing detergent into the paint before you start painting the bottle.