Whole Living Daily

Five Smart Ways to Reuse a Gallon Jug

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I’m not the only one with empty gallon drink jugs from juice, milk, or iced tea am I? I didn’t think so. Before you recycle the next gallon drink jug, here are six clever reuses.

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1 Gallon jugs are perfect for a plethora of household reuses. Instead of tossing them in the recycling bin when they're empty, try one of these ideas.

2 First, rinse the jug thoroughly to get rid of any sticky residue.

3 To make an "outdoor sink" you'll need a golf tee, some ribbon, and a jug.

4 Poke a hole in the side of the jug no bigger than the size of the tee.

5 Use the wooden tee as a stopper.

6 Tie one end of the string to the handle of the jar.

7 Tie the other end to the golf tee.

8 Once filled from the top, this is a perfectly controlled spout.

9 You can use some rope or a belt to hang the jug from a tree or a deck.

10 Simply remove the tee to water plants...

11 ...and plug it back up when you're done.

12 Plants will stay healthy all summer with this easy watering system.

13 Cut the bottom of the jug off to create a funnel.

14 Wider than a normal funnel, this one has many uses.

15 You can even use it to add washer fluid to the car.

16 Keep loose change in one place by turning an empty jug into a piggy bank.

17 By cutting the bottom off below the handle, you can create a scooper perfect for sand, soil, or even kitty litter.

18 If you cut off the other end, you have a big container perfect for holding small things like nails, thumb tacks, or ribbon.

19 Keep your clothespins handy by stringing it onto the line using the handle.

  1. Make an outdoor “sink” just like the one I used at Girl Scout camp. You’ll need a jug, a golf tee, and some rope. First, rinse the jug then poke a small starter hole about one inch up from the bottom. Push the golf tee into the hole (as a plug) then use a piece of string to tie the tee to the handle of the jug. Once you fill the jug with water use a belt or rope to hang the jug outdoors. Your outdoor “sink” can be useful near the garden area for rinsing your tools or near where your children play to rinse sidewalk chalk off their hands. If you want to get really fancy hang a bar of soap tied in the leg of an old pair of pantyhose and add a microfiber cloth for drying.
  2. Slice off the top of the jug and you have a funnel. Your new funnel is perfect for tasks like adding washer fluid to the car—without spilling.
  3. Tired of vacuuming coins out from under the couch cushions? The jug can be a piggy bank, the one place to toss spare change on the way out the front door.
  4. When cut in half, leaving the handle attached, you’ll have a scoop. This scoop is just what you need to shovel sand at the beach, soil in the garden, kitty litter in the box or dog food in the bag. Just be sure to screw on the lid!
  5. Instead of cutting the base off to make a scoop, you can cut a large hole in the top of jug to make a container. This sturdy container can hold nails in a workshop, ribbon in a craft area, or clothespins on the line. Keep your clothespins handy by hanging the jug on the line from the handle.

I’m sure these are not the only six smart reuses. Share your suggestion in the comments below.

What other household items do you hate throwing away but aren't sure how to put to good use? I take requests!

Until next time keep it simple and clutter-free!

Jamie Novak, The World’s Most Relatable Organizer, is author of "Stop Throwing Money Away: Turn Clutter to Cash, Trash to Treasure—And Save the Planet While You're at It." Please visit her website at JamieNovak.com.

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Comments (14)

  • I clean them well and fill with water, put the lid back on and store. You never know when you will need water on hand and if the water tastes funky you can use it for washing, filling toilets, etc in an emergency.

  • The water tip is actually something the recommend as part of hurricane prep in the south. Fill w/ water & freeze. That way when power goes out, it helps keep your freezer cold a little longer and as it melts, you have drinking water.

  • I use 1/2 Gallon size. I wash well fill with water and freeze. These make great Ice blocks for longer camping trips. and the water can be uses to rinse the bottom of your cooler before you stow it for the next use.

  • Angel thanks for the reminder. I carry a gallon in the trunk of my car- which we *have* needed.

  • AJ that's a super tip for hurricane prep. I guess even if you don't live in a hurricane prone area you should still do it- we're just having heavy rains and a tree took out the power lines...

  • Carol that's a super idea! I always need a good way to clean out the bottom of my coolers :)

  • While running the water to wash dishes, I use a gallon jug to run the water into, till it gets hot enough for the dishes. I use the water for the indoor and outdoor plants.

  • Bonnie love that! I never thought to do that in the sink. I have one on the shower floor which I also use for outdoor watering. My sunflowers have never looked better :)

  • I fill it with water and put it in the freezer. On really hot nights, when frozen, I put it front of my fan - the creates an A.C. effect by blowing the cold air toward you. Stick it back in the freezer in the A.M. and use it again!

  • Lauren that's fantastic! I've been using a bowl with ice but this will last SO much longer. Now I sort of hope it gets really hot again so I can try this :)

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