Instructables

How to Make a Spray Bottle That Works in any Direction/Position

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Picture of How to Make a Spray Bottle That Works in any Direction/Position
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Spray bottles are iconic household items. Whether you are spraying cleaners on a counter top or misting water on your plants, they are quite useful but they have some limitations. They can only operate when the end of the suction tube is submerged in the liquid. They have no problem as long the bottle is full and held upright. But if the fluid gets low or if you try to spray something at an angle, the sprayer might stop working. So, I figured out a simple modification that will let them function in any orientation.

By replacing the hard suction tube with flexible tubing and adding a weight to the end of it, the suction tube will naturally fall to the lowest point of the container. This will allow end of the tube to stay submerged regardless of how the bottle is positioned. Here's how to make it.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Materials:
Spray Bottle
Flexible Tubing with 1/8" inner diameter (such as aquarium airline tubing)
5 x 1/4" Stainless Steel Nuts (or other weight)
Scissors
Glue (optional)

Step 2: Cut the Tubes to Length

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Cut the original suction tube on the spray bottle, leaving about 1 inch sticking out past the screw cap. Then cut the flexible tubing so that it is about 1 inch longer than the cut portion of the original suction tube. 
paqrat2 years ago
Very clever idea. Perhaps instead of stainless steel nuts for weight you could use aluminum. It is lighter but I think would hold up better in contact with cleaners. My understanding is the aluminum oxidizes and this layer of oxidation prevents further oxidation. If you use the aluminum I would highly advise against using clorine bleach in the spray bottle. Clorine bleach and aluminum are a potential deadly combination.

You're right. I'll bet that coating the steel nuts with plastic would fix that problem. Just dip the nuts in molten plastic. Or maybe even paraffin.

fzbw9br paqrat2 years ago
caution using aluminum

aluminum can react with certain chemicals to produce Hydrogen/Oxygen mix which can be explosive
parisusa1 year ago
Great idea! I always pour the glass cleaner out and make a big mess! One caution to All: when I was a house cleaner I thought I'd be clever & switch one sprayer for another. The tile cleaner that foams as it squirts out. Well, the traditional sprayer caused the tile cleaner to somehow choke me - the room filled with a cloud of cleaner - I ran outside until the room cleared! Didn't want the people coming home to find a dirty home and a dead house cleaning girl! So, please keep all tubes/sprayers with their Own chemicals to be safe. It was so scary. I was 19 and Naive! :)
Adapaty1 year ago
Wow that is real y amaizing, i have alwas have trouble with that
Mech Tech1 year ago
brilliant........cheap and best........nice one......creative
Ahhhh YES! Simply clever! I make all my own cleaners in spray bottles and this tip will definitely save me that frustration you get when you're almost done with a job and realize you need to refill. Thanks!
This is awesome! I hate trying to spray sideways and upsides. Very nice improvement!
LynxSys1 year ago
First off, well done! An elegant idea combined with clear video instructions.

Regarding corrosion: Simpler than coating the weight and better than using stainless, I'd suggest finding some bronze hardware (not brass). Alternatively, given that strength is not an issue, you could also use lead, or even gold! On the less elegant front, a chunk of plumber's putty would probably also work.
gemtree2 years ago
Yayyyy! Thanks for sharing!
If you're worried about corrosion, you can coat the weight in some silicone sealer, then attach that to the flexible hose with more silicone. However, sometimes silicone doesn't adhere well to flexible things. So here is also what you could try:

Take the stiff tubing that you clipped off, cut about a 0.5-1 inch piece of it. Cover your metal weight entirely in silicone/Sugru/Oogoo. After that dries, Oogoo the sealed weight to the side of the piece of stiff tubing. Stick your short weighted tube on the end of the flexible tube. Now you have totally sealed weights that won't fall off.
scot adam2 years ago
Fantastic! A lesson learned in how I think about problems: I saw just the title for this post on my phone without seeing the solution. The next morning this same answer came to me as I was waking up. So obvious once I knew there was a simple solution out there. So frustrating living with crappy sprayers. Thanks for the new tool and the life coaching.
Nismofi2 years ago
I am at loss of words, simply brilliant :)
mykiscool2 years ago
The weights shouldn't corrode much because cleaners are designed specifically as bases rather than acids to prevent corrosion on metal surfaces when cleaning them.
mickryobe2 years ago
Ingenious.
Thank you.

Where have you been all these years?

I wonder if, as you say, the stainless steel nuts will rust could one not coat them with a lacquer such as polyurethane or even nail polish?
Use type 316 Stainless Steel nuts. They have an increased resistance to corrosion and do much better in acidic environments. You can buy a pack of 100 from Grainger for around $30.
Thank you bishop14. A good suggestion with one minor drawback.
Let's assume I use 6 nuts to adapt the bottle.
What am I to do with the other 94 nuts?
$30 is quite a premium to pay for such a bottle even as good as it is.
You might consider using ceramic beads. Beads as in crafting etc... Or if you cannot find any - get a broken coffee cup or dish and shape/drill as neeed a piece...
Dartssnake2 years ago
Stainless steel, by it's nature is stainless (mostly) isn't it? It should not rust, unless the liquid is very caustic.
very handy =)
dragonbtv2 years ago
Great idea! Would be better if we can find suitable glass weight. searching...
byeh dragonbtv2 years ago
Perhaps some beads used for homemade necklaces/bracelets?
Janus Horus2 years ago
I do have the "chance" to have a deadly disease and live on oxygen.Have you seen people with canule in their nose.They are very flexible,1/4 " D.,and I believe relatively cheap.Or go to the nearest hospital and try to get one.
For the weight,hobby-stores sell perforated glass or ceramic bowls.
Cigarettes kill.
glendajs2 years ago
How about plastic "pony" beads from the craft department for the weights?
A P3RS0N2 years ago
Honestly, you should look into patenting this. Otherwise, it's going to end up being on a late-night TV commercial and you won't get a dime.
oz5es2 years ago
This is really one of the "Doh's".
Why haven't I never thought about that before, or someone else for that matter.
Life will be so much easyer for me after having seen this. I use those bottles every day.
A big THANK YOU isn't enough, wish i could serve You a cold one :-)
Best wishes
oz5es
albeem2 years ago
Awesome! You might cover the nuts with silicone caulk (potting them)!
dynamike12 years ago
Great idea.
Why I signed up here?
This is the answer :):)
Phoghat2 years ago
simple and elegant solution
rwolkens2 years ago
It is things like this that are why I sign up for Instructables in the first place! Awesome 'ible!
Same here!
londobali2 years ago
Super!
Simple and very handy!!

Thanks for sharing!
a918bmxr2 years ago
genius!
static2 years ago
I'm fairly certain the fuel pickup tube in chainsaws & string trimmer use something similar.
cybercapri2 years ago
Well done, awesome concept... Perhaps one could use something that will not rust to weight the flex tube...
Like a lead sinker..?
bryansays2 years ago
In the video, it was mentioned the nuts will rust but isn't that the point of picking stainless steel? Will stainless steel eventually rust over time?
A better term for stainless steel is corrosion-resistant steel. It will still react with water and cleaning chemicals, especially in the presence of salt water. But it will take a while to corrode. It's just that most spray bottle will tend to sit idol under a kitchen sink for most of the year.
are they being worshiped down there?

sorry, couldn't resist
Funny. I'm glad you didn't. ;-)
I thought this was a not-for-prophet site!
Another PUNNY! ;-D
All it takes is a slight altaration of the spelling.
HA! ;-)
Thanks guys!
Stainless steel does not rust.
You could also coat the nuts with enamel paint such as finger nail polish to prolong the life of the metal in most household cleaners (window cleaner, quaternary ammonium salts). But I would definitely check to see if there is an adverse reaction before just plopping enamel coated metal into a chemical.
all steel will eventually rust. stainless is just more resistant .
not if you use 500 series stainless steel. in all my years of making containers for the some of the most corrosive chemicals in my area. i have never seen it rust
alames2 years ago
This idea is standard fare in airplane gasoline tanks. They refer to it as a "klunk", at least in the radio controlled airplane world.
chikid682 years ago
brilliant in its sheer simplicity
rodonn2 years ago
Would a gloop of Sugru to seal the metal weights be an option? That stuff seems not to react with much, and is water tight.
LordBthry2 years ago
Brilliant! Cheap and simple, makes you wonder why all those spray bottle manufacturers didn't think of it
They already have thought of it. Quite a few have the collapsible tube. For example: U.S. Patent Number: 6,837,404 filed in 2003: Flexible tube liquid delivery system: http://patents.justia.com/2005/06837404.html

''A system utilizing a flaccid tube for delivery of liquids with a spray container is disclosed. This device can be substituted for the usual straight, non-flaccid tubing widely used with liquid dispensing containers''.
wobbler2 years ago
Pure genius! I use a spray bottle left outside to spray down my bike when it's muddy after a ride with an old toilet brush to get off most of the mud and it's always stopping spraying at different angles. And also, because your idea works upside-down, even Aussies will now be able to use spray bottles!
unclejoe2 years ago
elegant !!!!
caityjay2 years ago
This is stupidly genius. I love it. I may have to fix up all my spray bottles like this. I think it should be made standard. You are a saint.
Creaturiste2 years ago
I love it.

You could add a step to prolong the use-life of the nuts:
Covering them, once on the tube, in clear silicone caulking.
markil2 years ago
Easy and brilliant! Going to try spraying the nuts used as weights with rust-inhibiting paint first.
An excellent Ible...Simple, clean and functional...Hat's off!
f5mando2 years ago
Brill! Bostin! First class, and thanks so much for sharing this!
Lorddrake2 years ago
5 stars
viasha2 years ago
O so excellent thank you.....a small thing yes, but it [used to] make me fume n foam with totally disproportionate frustration
ksbranson2 years ago
Great idea! It can be so frustrating when you get to the end of the liquid. This will eliminate that.
Ohh Also, for something HEAVY (Dense!) i used some 7mm Thick PTFE Teflon Sheet that i had lying around from making a Hot-Wire Heat Sealer !

PTFE Teflon Sheet that 7mm thick can withstand ALOT of different chemicals and also high heat (not that anyone will be spraying boiling water or anything lol)

BUT i was really surprised at the sheer HEAVY weight of Such a SMALL amount of this stuff, i had found someone selling offcuts on ebay and it is GREAT Stuff (Heavy, Resistant to Most Chemicals !!)

Hope this helps anyone out there !!

Happy hacking lol !!
Just Voted 5 STARS !!!

Excelent and i agree with last comment, I CANT believe this hasnt been made the 'norm' !!!!

Many thanks for sharing a EXTREMELY useful Hack !!!
profpat2 years ago
genius!

just like the tube weights for gas rc planes fuel tanks..
ajotasan2 years ago
Fantastic! If a clever spray company employee see that, certainly will gain some bonus!!! :)
jojokeo2 years ago
This "idea" is what is used in the radio control model airplane hobby for fuel tanks. Use a large tank w/ a flexible & weighted pick-up tube and the "pilot" can perform loops, barrel rolls, and even prolonged inverted flying. Good idea to adapt it to everyday household use where everyone can benefit!
tderida2 years ago
Brilliant idea!
porklips2 years ago
AMAZING! Cant believe it hasnt been done before! going out to get some supplies. . . .
Well, it has been done before - http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=62664&cat=2,42194,40727,62664 - but why buy something when you can make it?
jwellz2 years ago
Doh! So Simple yet so great! Why didn't I think of this! As soon as saw the pic of the spray bottle upside down I guessed what you had done.. Well done!
Phildem2 years ago
Very nice idea !! Contragulations !
Very slick idea. I like that.
Does anyone make ceramic nuts? o.O'
Wow!
Una2 years ago
You are a genius.
TT-MON!2 years ago
what a great idea!
MorNuN2 years ago
I'm amazed, trust me.
this is so great, you deserve to work in a big company with a wealthy income.

I simply love this idea!!
haikuordie2 years ago
I like it. Did you get the idea from the way fighter jets feed fuel from their tanks when they do maneuvers? It's quite similar. Simple, yet effective.
No, I didn't know that. Thanks for the cool info. I guess that I could use this to clean windows in a maneuvering airplane. Interesting.
I like the way you think.
ceanes2 years ago
Clever, i want to try
sunshiine2 years ago
Sweet!
kevamy11072 years ago
GENIUS! I dealt with such an issue just today!

Thanks!
Browncoat2 years ago
Love it!
rimar20002 years ago
Very clever!
SHIFT!2 years ago
Love that you included a video! Impressive job!