Turning Detergent Jug Into Tote

Introduction: Turning Detergent Jug Into Tote

Depending how large your family is you may go thru a fair amount of clothes detergent and be stuck trashing(or recycling) the leftover jugs. Ive thought of a way to get some more use out of it before it ends up at the curb. The totes can be used for storing supplies for projects or other things.

We've got the jugs for 150 loads - they hold about 2 gallons of stuff. We us all All 'free and clear' but any brand/ size can be used. Second picture shows finished project.

As with any instructable you are ultimately responsible for your own
safety. If you do not feel comfortable using any of the tools mentioned then do not proceed.

If you're still reading at this point means your ready to go:

<<<<<<< Materials Needed >>>>>>>>>

Used detergent jug - preferably clean inside and out. Remove the cap & dispenser

Utility Knife

Hole saw and drill

Permanent marker

Work gloves - just in case. We are dealing with sharp pointy things here!

Sandpaper (optional)

Step 1: Cutting Out Handles

First step is to mark out your cuts. Measure twice cut once. You may have heard that before. Ive done so many of these i usually skip this step. Scroll to the end if you need help fuguring where the marks go.

Now its time to cut the holes for handles. If you leave this untill after you've made the rest of the cuts then the plastic is flimsy while cutting the rest. Needless to say it makes cutting more dificult /dangerous.

I used a hole saw on my drill but you could use utility knife.

With any cuts on this project just make sure any corners are rounded. If you cut anything square watch out for over cuts. Where two straight cuts intersect. this could be point of failure.

Center the finger hole (one each side) on the 'flat' between the original jug handle and the vertical face (with the detergent logo).. Hole saw may leave burrs which you can either sand off or shave with utility knife.

Once you've cut the finger holes offset about 1 1 /2" from this on the top and sides and cut these. Do this before you cut other pieces or its going to be flimsy again.

Step 2: Cutting Off Top of Jug

Last cuts you will make will be the horizontal cuts that will separate the top from the rest of the tote. Once again its important to make transitions in direction rounded. Any square ( read 90 degree) cuts can lead to overlap and future failure/ tearing of plastic.

You may be able to use scissors for the last of these cuts or to tidy up cuts made by utility knife.

No mater what tool your use to make the cuts !! BE CAREFUL !!

Optional: sand any rough edges or use utility knife to shave off the rough bits.

Step 3: Fold Back 'handles' You Jug Is Ready to Use.

Last step it to bend back the handles so they stand up straight rather than follow the original angle they laid at.

You're done!. These show the pieces you're left with:

New tote, top - which you can still recycle, two discs from finger holes.


As with any instuctable you are ultimately responsible for your own safetly. If you do not feel comfortable using any of the tools mentioned then do not proceed.

Ive been making these for some time and notice that some jugs have thicker plastic than others even by the same company. Some may be less durable/ suitable for heavy loads. It all depends on what you're going to be using them for.

This my first Instructable - thanks for reading.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Great idea! I'd love to use a couple of these to lug kid stuff to the park