Introduction: Clean Peanut Butter Jar for Recycling

Picture of Clean Peanut Butter Jar for Recycling


So, you used up the last of the peanut butter and it is time to recycle the jar. However, there is still a film of peanut butter inside the jar. You don't want to put dirty plastic into the recycling bin and you don't want to just throw it out. The peanut butter is difficult to clean out. Sure you can use a lot of hot soapy water to get it out, but that is just wasting more resources than you are saving by recycling the jar. I humbly present the following solution.

Step 1: Tools Required:

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Heavy duty kitchen shears or another cutting implement.

A Ruby. More on this later.

Step 2: Cut Jar

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Cut jar in half with shears or other cutting implement. Obviously, be careful not to cut yourself. The middle of the bottom of this jar was pretty thick so I had to cut around it. Don't leave any real sharp or jagged edges.

Step 3: !Caution!

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Do not attempt this with glass jar, unless your name is Wang Chi. Even then, you should probably think twice about it.

Step 4: Cleaning

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Now it is time to use your Ruby. This is Ruby. If you do not have a Ruby available to you, borrow someone else's. If you cannot borrow a Ruby, consider adopting one from a local shelter.

Step 5: Intermission

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Grab yourself a beverage.

Step 6: Cleaning Progress

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Dog tongues are very efficient.

(bonus points if you can spot one of my other instructable projects)

Step 7: All Clean

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Remove the peanut butter jar from your Ruby before it begins to chew the plastic. Place in recycle bin.

You get clean plastic for recycling and the dog gets a treat. Win-Win.

Props and respect to my ex-wife who came up with this idea.


Slippery arm (author)2016-08-13

Aww ruby is cute

Pumuggel (author)2016-05-04

The be-your-own-Ruby idea: Heat some milk, put the hot milk in the almost empty jar, close the lid & shake it well, enjoy a tasty hot peanut-butter-milk (works well also with marmelade or honey jars).

Najn_arte (author)Pumuggel2016-07-17

I've tried the hot water but it didn't really work for me.

fzumrk (author)Pumuggel2016-05-04

Good idea. That would probably be great on a cold winter night.

xxlauraxx (author)Pumuggel2016-05-04

I love this idea, too! You should make this into an Instructable.

I always do the "fill it with hot water and let it soak in the sink" method, but I do feel bad because almond butter — which is what I usually buy — is really expensive and there's still some usable almond butter in there!

Gecko118 (author)Pumuggel2016-05-04

I like how you think Pumuggel!

bizzycrafter (author)2016-05-04

In what kind of Peanut Butter are you finding Palm Oil?? Or trans-fats? I just checked all the most popular brands and three generic, and didn't find any palm Oil at all. Ruby is adorable! However, I think fzumrk could use a new spatula. Where I live, there are at least 2 more pieces of toast worth of peanut butter in that jar!!

fzumrk (author)bizzycrafter2016-05-05

I leave the spatulas on the sink or stove and then Ruby steals and destroys them. :)

Najn_arte (author)fzumrk2016-07-17

I also use the spatula, but I see that a lot of people don't like to use that last part. I take it out with a spatula and put it in a container for cooking or baking. A little PB improves the flavor of Mole Poblano and there are several other recipes besides PB cookies.

stateit (author)bizzycrafter2016-05-05

It may not be from palm oil, but any hydrogenated oil is a trans-fat and is unhealthy for dogs. And about 2/3 of peanut butters list hydrogenated oil as an ingredient. Particularly the cheaper supermarket brands that tend to come in plastic jars.

fzumrk (author)stateit2016-05-05

The Kroger brand I use lists the trans fat content as 0. It also does not contain palm oil or partially hydrogenated oils, which is where trans fats come from.

dragon fllyer (author)2016-05-06

Or use the new spatula you'll be getting to scrape the jar a whole lot cleaner than this one and then wash it in your dishwasher...

Najn_arte (author)dragon fllyer2016-07-17

Does the ferret get PB all over its fur, though?

buckfish (author)2016-05-16

The intermission is my favorite part of this process...I do this even when I am not cleaning my peanut butter jars! lol

Najn_arte (author)buckfish2016-07-17

Dogs are amazing cleaning tools. I have loving memories of those moments when milk or an egg fell on the floor, and my dog would come to my rescue without me having to ask!

Jobar007 made it! (author)2016-05-04

The problem with this is that the other half of the plastic jar (the one that doesn't contain the recycle symbol) can no longer be recycled (Picture One shows the symbol I'm talking about). Once your recycling stuff gets jumbled up with the rest of your area's recycling, the two halves are separated and the recycling facility can no longer sort half of your jar. I recommend instead cutting through one side and the bottom (as well as the rim for the other side), leaving one side in half. You can then fold it with two halves and have a Ruby take care of the rest. That way you have two halves, connected and Bob's your uncle. I also like to leave the top and bottom uncut since they can be difficult to cut (you can see it in my third picture). I just cut around them.

fzumrk (author)Jobar0072016-05-05

Good input, I had not considered that. I figured the people doing the sorting could pretty much tell what plastic was which from look and feel without checking the number on every piece.

Curious, I looked up how plastics are actually sorted and it looks like most do not go by the resin code anymore. From wikipedia:

Most plastic reclaimers do not rely on the RIC now; they use automatic
sort systems to identify the resin. Ranging from manual sorting and
picking of plastic materials; to mechanized automation processes that
involve shredding, sieving, separation by rates of density i.e. air,
liquid, or magnetic, and complex spectrophotometric distribution
technologies e.g. UV/VIS, NIR, Laser, etc

nehmo (author)fzumrk2016-07-05

A few years back ('91?), there was a scandal in Boulder, CO when it was discovered that the city recycling company simply threw away the glass and plastic. They said there was a problem of people mixing things. I don't know what came of it.

Jobar007 (author)fzumrk2016-05-06

Very cool, I didn't know that either! The more you know.

nehmo (author)Jobar0072016-05-26

The 2 container halves can be collected, mixed with smaller materials, and then used as insulation in buildings.

Jobar007 (author)Jobar0072016-05-04

Something I forgot to mention about my pictures, they are a juice bottle since I didn't have a peanut butter jar available.

Also, don't be like Wang. His mind and his spirit were going north and south. If you do decide to be like him, just make sure your helper knows that "It's all in the reflexes."

ElizabethD77 (author)2016-06-19

Love it. My little "Ruby" thanks you!

nehmo (author)2016-05-26

In order for the Ruby to efficiently clean the half container, it needs to be secured. The Ruby can do this herself, but then the paw needs to be cleaned from stepping on the half container.

The best solution is to use a screw gun & screw, and then screw the half container to the floor. 1 screw in the center is sufficient.

grannyjones (author)2016-05-14

Read the label, and make sure there is no XYLITOL in your peanut butter. It will make your dog very sick, maybe even kill him! Some companies are adding xylitol to peanut butter, but it causes serious insulin over-production in dogs.

fzumrk (author)grannyjones2016-05-18

I agree, do not give your dog anything containing xylitol. She once got a hold of some gum that had that in it. Puked all over the house and we had to take her to the vet to get her stomach pumped. No fun. I won't even buy anything that has that in it, just in case she were to get into it.

JumpingThrghHoops (author)2016-05-17

I wonder what type of look I will get when I ask to borrow their dog? LOL

grannyjones (author)2016-05-14

Read the label, and make sure there is no XYLITOL in your peanut butter. It will make your dog very sick, maybe even kill him! Some companies are adding xylitol to peanut butter, but it causes serious insulin over-production in dogs.

Woodpa1 (author)2016-05-11

Made me laugh.

OliviaB1 (author)2016-05-09

A ferret is even better. No cutting involved! They fit right in the large jars!

stateit (author)2016-05-04

While peanuts are not toxic to dogs, the trans-fats used in making peanut butter are.
You are setting your dog up for a painful poisoning. Search for 'palm oil dogs poison'.

fzumrk (author)stateit2016-05-05

I'm not sure about the palm oil thing. The only references I am finding to it involve dogs eating solidified and rancid chunks of palm oil that washed up on a beach in the UK. I hope Kroger is not mixing that in with their peanut butter. :) I do not see anything stating that palm oil is toxic to dogs in general. Also, palm oil also does not contain trans-fats.

However, avoiding palm oil is probably still a good idea. Assuming what I am reading is accurate, clearing natural rain forests to set up palm oil plantations is a significant problem.

SafaryX (author)2016-05-05

or you could just pour in hot water and close the jar and shake really well

xxlauraxx (author)2016-05-04

Haha, what a fun idea! Very nice.

Are the sharp edges an issue for Ruby's tongue at all?

fzumrk (author)xxlauraxx2016-05-04

They don't seem to be a problem for her, but your mileage may vary depending on how aggressive your dog is. She has torn apart a lot of plastic containers (nothing I gave her intentionally) and I have not found any signs of injury.

wold630 (author)2016-05-04

This is hilarious!

About This Instructable




Bio: Drunk posting ill conceived instructables since 2009.
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