Introduction: Multi-Use Plastic Bottle Pump

During 2020 and onward it is important to find low cost and easy method to propel small amounts of air without utilizing blowing through the mouth or nose. Plastic bottles are plentiful and low-cost and can be repurposed to fill this need.

The pump can:

  • Be made easily with very few tools and easily acquired materials.
  • Be used to replace the need for someone to blow on hot liquids or blow out candles, eliminating the reducing the chance of contamination.
  • Benerally be applied to food that requires blowing before consumption.
  • Presents a safer, low cost, and easily accessible method for spraying of fluids or propelling gasses.
  • Is a safer alternative then waving hands which may also be contaminated and allows for a more controllable direction of propulsion.
  • Propel and intake liquids
  • propel small particulates (glitter, small glass beads, flower)


  • The pump is not intended for use in industrial or medical setting. It is intended for in home use.

The statements and descriptions below are my own and not substantiated by any medical tests or medical facts ( I have not test the bottle shown for the presents of any microbial or viral material.) This pumps were created using guidelines and recommendation created by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) for sterilizing surfaces. In addition studies surrounding sterilizing or inactivating of viral particles of SARS-COV-2 virus, the causative agent of Covid-19 (CDC 2020) . The studies used are present in the references/work-cited section (sources number 1, 2, and 3 in the work cited section).I take no responsibility for the any damage or illness of any kind due to use of this device . Use at your own risk.


  • Disposable plastic bottle
    • Bottles that are used to store various beverages can be used.
    • If the bottle is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) it should not be reused for drinking after modification.
    • Soba bottles or bottles that are used to store carbonated drinks have better longevity than disposable water bottles.
  • Cap to disposable bottle
  • 70% alcohol solution or higher (for sterilizing) (Kampf et al. 2020) (Fathizadeh et al. 2020) (CDC. 2020) (WHO. 2020)
  • A knife, hammer and nail, or drill with small drill bit
  • Moldable adhesive like adhesive putty/mounting putty or duct tape or painters tape

Step 1: Sterilizing

Before altering or modifying it is important to clean and sterilize the bottle.

First make sure the bottle has no visible scratches on the inside. Then wash with soap and warm water and let it dry. Wash out soap with subsequent water washes until suds are not visible

Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons ( 14 mL to 30 mL) of at least 70% alcohol solution (CDC 2020).

  • This is dependant on the size of the bottle.

Replace the cap and shake the bottle for 1 to 2 minutes to thoroughly coat the inside.

  • In the case of larger bottles add enough to fill the bottom divots and turn the bottle sideways and role it with your hands to coat the inside of the bottle.

Then remove the caps and sterilize the threads of the cap with the bottle with alcohol solution. Let the bottle sit in a well ventilated area to let any alcohol vapors evaporate. Once you cannot smell alcohol in the bottle you can continue


If you plan to use the bottle to blow out candles. Please let it sit for thirty minutes to an hour. If you still smell alcohol let sit for longer. The alcohol vapors are flammable and introducing them to an open flame creates a safety hazard.

Step 2: Make a Hole in the Cap

A hole can be drilled, cut into the cap of the bottle, or pierced through the cap (depending on the thickness of the cap material).

The dimensions of the hole can be decided by the user. The smaller the hole the more focus the air stream out of the bottle when pressure is applied to the bottle container via external means. The cutting or piercing implement should be sterilized prior to being used to create the hole.

  • When using a drill make the a pilot divot in the cap. Then use tape or a moldable adhesive like poster tack to fasten it to a surface. In addition be aware of what you are drilling on top of. Ideally use a scrap piece of wood.
  • If a knife is used to create the hole place the cap on a flat surface with the outer side (side that does not have threads facing you). Hold (be extremely careful if using your hands) or fasten the cap to the surface. The sharp side of the knife should be place at the center of the outward facing side of the cap. Then angle slightly the knife to allowing the cutting edge to scrape away material.
  • If using a hammer and nail again make sure that you aware of what you are hammering on.

Once a hole has been made in the cap it should be sterilized and then replaced on the bottle. The bottle can then be squeezed to direct an airstream in the direction the cap is facing.

Step 3: Replace the Cap

Once done replace the cap and you know have a rudimentary pump.

If greater accuracy is desired a straw can be mounted in the hole of cap utilizing food safe adhesives. More caps can be pierced with different diameters to vary the focus of the air flow.

Step 4: Additional Notes and Uses

It should be noted that not all plastic bottles are created equally. Excessive use may render some bottles to be permanently deformed lessening the span of their usability. If used in an or left in an environment with exposure to direct sunlight the plastic may be more likely to deform . Thicker plastics that are used to contain pressurized liquids such as soda, seltzer, club soda, or spackling water present better longevity than bulk disposable water bottles

Though the main purpose of this Instructable is to elaborate on the potential for expelling gasses. If the plastic composing the bottle returns to its original orientation it can be used to intake gasses, fluids, or light weight smaller particulars (small enough to fit through the hole that has been made, ie glitter or flower or tiny glass beads) . By compressing the bottle and inserted it into a medium like water or air. The fluid or gas will enter the bottle to equalize the pressure inside the bottle with the exterior environment. This is due to the bottles volume returning to its original volume.

Additionally many soap bottles once empty can serve the same purpose without requiring any tooling or modification. The only thing that would need to be done is sterilizing the bottles via the method described under the sterilization section.

Step 5: References/ Work Cited

1. Kampf, Günter, et al. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hosp Infect. 2020;104(3):246−51. .Accessed 7 May 2020

2. Lake, Rob, et al. "Potential For Foodborne Transmission Of Covid-19: Literature Review Update." Update (2020). . Accessed 10 May 2020

3. Fathizadeh, Hadis, et al. "Protection and disinfection policies against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)." Le Infezioni in Medicina 28.2 (2020): 185-191. . Accessed 10 May 2020

4. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 May 2020, Accessed 10 May 2020

5.1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Cleaning and Disinfection for Households.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 May 2020, Accessed 10 May 2020

6. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,“SARS-CoV-2 Viral Culture at CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5 May 2020, . Accessed 17 May 2020

7. World Health Organization. Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19: Technical Brief, 03 March 2020. No. WHO/2019-NcOV/IPC_WASH/2020.1. World Health Organization, 2020. . Accessed 10 May 2020

8. World Health Organization. Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus: Interim guidance 19 March 2020. No. WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC_WASH/2020.2. World Health Organization 2020. . Accessed 10 May 2020

Step 6: Ending Notes

Updated Info

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Suggestions for Improvement

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