Get That Last Load From a Bottle of Detergent!





Introduction: Get That Last Load From a Bottle of Detergent!

About: Self-taught computer geek. Professional Unix systems administrator.

I've always thought that a bottle of liquid laundry detergent was poorly designed. Sure it has a handle, and a pour spout, and the convenient cap that doubles as a measure for the soap.
All good features.

The problem is the integrated pour spout.

It keeps you from getting that last bit of soap out of the bottle.

I decided to find out how much and I was amazed that it was equal to the amount needed for a typical "large" load of laundry. (As indicated on the back of the bottle)

Hence this instuctable. It shows you how to get every load you paid for.

Step 1: "V" for Victory.

At the base of the spout, on the side opposite from the handle, cut an upside-down "V" in the bottle with a utility knife. The "legs" of the "V" should be about a half-inch long. My example is a little bigger than that, which is fine.

The pointy part should point toward the top of the bottle.

Now pry out the center of the notch you created.

Step 2: Free the Hostage!

Pour the trapped soap into the cap from the spout you just created.

Step 3: Voila, That Last Load!

Now you can poke the plastic notch back into the bottle and recycle it.

With practice, this process only takes a few seconds. I keep a folding utility knife in the laundry room for this.



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    27 Discussions

    I do the stick the finger and pull out spout thing too. AND put water in it to get the last drop out. I am so thrifty I almost drive myself

    It's simpler to just leave the sealed bottle standing on it's cap for the next time you need it. The last bit will drip into the cap and be ready for use just by unscrewing upside down. I do this with also with shampoo bottles (who doesn't) and all sorts of other slow moving liquids.

    2 replies

    I do that with the shampoo and it works. On the laundry detergent bottle, there is a drain hole in the pour spout so that when you put the cap back on the residue can drip back into the bottle. However, the spout extends into the bottle a couple of inches. So I can't see how setting the bottle upside down is going to get the soap out. Also with some brands they don't heat seal the spout into the bottle, so if you don't mind soapy fingers you can just pry it out. I avoid all that with a couple of quick cuts with a utility knife. Thanks for mentioning the upside-down bottle trick though. If you're patient you can get all kinds of things out of their containers. I think mustard takes the longest.

    Or you could just fill the bottle with water and dump it into the wash a couple of times. Then you could really get the rest out quickly without having to do all that work.

    1 reply

    I do something similar to get the last shampoo out of the bottle when I shower. You don't even have to stop the shower to do it.

    Wow, that seems like work to get the rest of the soap out... I just take some plyers that I keep handy pull the plastic spout out, add some water, shake... then pour. No need to cut the bottle.

    I just think it is easier to stick you finger in the top of the bottle and pull the spout out. I do that on all my laundry bottles/and softners.

    put a little water in the container. Just like the 'shake and pour' kids'.

    I just cut mine in half and throw it in with the washing. Works a treat!

    you can pop the spout out, thats what I do, just your finger under the spout, and pull, its pops off, I use the same kind has in the picture and it works with that one and every one i have tried.

    Most detergent bottles like this already have a small hole in the top behind the pour spout, where the handle is. You just turn the bottle around and pour backwards to get rest of the soap out.... no need for any cutting, just flip it around.

    ....Don't have a sink in the laundry room. ....You won't be able to pour all of the water/soap out either. ....and most importantly, I'm lazy. ; - )

    You can hold the bottle inside the washing machine, while its filling, to catch some water. You'd probably be able to get more detergent out by double or triple rinsing, anything left in the bottle would be very dilute by then, whereas the straight detergent residue left after notching and draining would contain much more actual detergent. This would be exacerbated by the viscosity of the detergent, which leaves a whole lot stuck to the sides, unless you let it drain for a loooooooooong time, which kind of negates the laziness factor.
    I take home unrinsed detergent bottles from work (recycling center), rinse each one into a load of laundry, then bring it back. I actually stopped cutting the bottles out of laziness. I suppose laziness is relative. I'm also much too lazy to post my own instructables, but think nothing of spending all my free time posting inordinately long comments on everybody else's.

    I'm not trying to get every last drop of detergent out of the bottle. I'm sure I leave a lot in the bottle. I like doing it this way so I can measure the detergent. Even with the cutting, it doesn't take more that 15 seconds or so.

    Buuuuuuuuuut, plastic containers like detergent bottles are supposed to be rinsed before recycling anyway, at least in ideal world. Maybe 1/3 of the bottles and cans, that come to my dump for recycling, have been rinsed beforehand.
    Woe betide you if you say that you don't recycle your detergent bottles at all. In such a case, there would be no other option than the administration of a sound beating.

    Yeah sorry, I was just venting a bit. Unrinsed detergent jugs are much more benign than other things that I've seen (and smelled) in the recycling, such as dog food cans. I don't know why, but people seem to want to recycle their dog food cans unrinsed, and trust me, they work up a hellish funk after a few days...

    Actually, rinsing the recycling is one of my pet peeves. I don't like the idea of someone having to mess with my leftovers. I know I wouldn't want to. We also make sure to crimp the tops of our tin cans so that people won't get cut on the lids.