How To Clean Your Empty Essential Oil Bottle
Inevitably the time comes when you drain the final drop of essential oil out of the bottle. The bottle is done, over, finito, complete.
Yet, if you’re anything like us, you can’t just toss it into the garbage!! Good lord NO!
You’ll save them and save them until your husband forces you to address the growing stack of empty bottles scattered all over the counter.
Am I right?
Well, in this article we’re going to walk you through how to clean your essential oil bottles. If you're looking for ways to reuse them, you can jump over to our guide to reusing your empty bottles.
These bottles are the perfect way to refill with your personal blends, put the bottle into your car or purse, and have ready to go at any time with your favorite oils or oil blends.
Removing the label from your glass bottles
There are two basic ways to do this. An easy way and a harder way.
1. Hard way
Peel the label from the bottle and remove any remaining adhesive from the label with drops of Lemon essential oil.
This sounds easy, but the first time we tried it, we must have gone through about 15-drops and we still didn’t have a super clean bottle.
Eventually it’ll get it all off though.
2. Easy way
Peel the label from the bottle, remove any orifice reducers and submerge it in hot/warm soapy water.
We generally just let this sit overnight. The next morning, the remaining adhesive will simply wipe away with a cloth.
We think the warm water approach is the best, and it saves your precious oils for more important uses.
Get a bowl of warm soapy water.
Remove the label from the bottle. Note the residual adhesives left.
Place the bottle in warm soapy water.
Ensure the bottle is fully submerged
Let the bottle site for awhile (we let it sit overnight) in the soapy water. After that, the remaining adhesives should wipe right off with a damp cloth.
Cleaning the inside of your glass bottle
First, let us start off by addressing the fact that using soap and water will NOT clean the inside of your bottle from the remaining oil. I am sure you have heard the term about oil and water right?
The best way is to use something that will solubilize with the oil. Solubilization is when one substance (a solvent) is used to dissolve the other (a solute) to create a unified solution.
Our number one option is to use Special Denatured Alcohol (SDA), also known as perfumers alcohol, as it contains 100% ethanol.
Our number two option is to use Everclear. This is much easier to come by and contains 95% ethanol.
You’ll need to ensure you’re using something over 75% ethanol content. Buying the cheapest vodka will probably not get you any better results than soap and water!
Using an ethanol level of 75-85% may be fine for some light and volatile citrus oils but may not work at all with heavy and resinous oils like myrrh.
To clean the bottle, simply fill it with ethanol alcohol and let it sit for a period of time. The heavier the oil the longer you should let it sit. After a period of time, the solubilization will have occurred (the two components are now one) and you can simply dump the contents out and let it dry.
You are now ready to repurpose and upcycle your used empty essential oil bottle!
To clean the inside of the bottle or not…
To be honest, there really isn’t a NEED to clean the inside of the bottle.
The materials and time to clean the bottle is probably worth more than just buying a new bottle! But that’s just not as much fun.
You’re perfectly fine to use the bottle “as-is” without cleaning the inside. One tip is that you should keep a note of what oil was in the bottle. If it was a citrus or photosensitive oil, you’ll want to try and keep the same family of oils or blend in that bottle to be on the safe side.
+ Remove the label by soaking in hot water (with a few drops of soap)
+ Have the 15 ml bottles filled with 95-100% ethanol alcohol