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.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of 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)
Glue (optional)
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Glassteapot5 months ago

This is a great idea and I tried making it, but I wasn't able to get enough suction to pull the liquid all the way up with the bottle in the normal upright position, never mind upside down. Do you know why this would happen? I used a standard aquarium airline tube from petsmart.

Check to make sure that you have a good seal between the tubes. What diameter tube are you using?
holgerm.murk10 months ago

This is amazing!

Biscuitus10 months ago

If your nuts are stainless steel, they won't rust very quickly if at all. Stainless has a high chrome content specifically for this.

This. is. brilliant. I am very impressed with this idea. Thank you for posting!

paqrat3 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 paqrat3 years ago
caution using aluminum

aluminum can react with certain chemicals to produce Hydrogen/Oxygen mix which can be explosive
parisusa2 years 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! :)
Adapaty2 years ago
Wow that is real y amaizing, i have alwas have trouble with that
Mech Tech2 years 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!
LynxSys2 years 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.
gemtree3 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 adam3 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.
Nismofi3 years ago
I am at loss of words, simply brilliant :)
mykiscool3 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.
mickryobe3 years ago
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...
Dartssnake3 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 =)
dragonbtv3 years ago
Great idea! Would be better if we can find suitable glass weight. searching...
byeh dragonbtv3 years ago
Perhaps some beads used for homemade necklaces/bracelets?
Janus Horus3 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.
glendajs3 years ago
How about plastic "pony" beads from the craft department for the weights?
A P3RS0N3 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.
oz5es3 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
albeem3 years ago
Awesome! You might cover the nuts with silicone caulk (potting them)!
dynamike13 years ago
Great idea.
Why I signed up here?
This is the answer :):)
Phoghat3 years ago
simple and elegant solution
rwolkens3 years ago
It is things like this that are why I sign up for Instructables in the first place! Awesome 'ible!
Same here!
londobali3 years ago
Simple and very handy!!

Thanks for sharing!
a918bmxr3 years ago
static3 years ago
I'm fairly certain the fuel pickup tube in chainsaws & string trimmer use something similar.
cybercapri3 years ago
Well done, awesome concept... Perhaps one could use something that will not rust to weight the flex tube...
Like a lead sinker..?
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