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Laundry soap containers

 
gardener
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We go through tons of laundry soap, so I buy the largest containers I can get. I buy the liquid kind.  We have old plumbing, crummy water pressure, and a water saving washer, so the powder kind often doesn't dissolve, and the cloths don't get clean.   Does anyone have an idea to use the containers, or make something with them?   I hate to throw them away.  I am trying to reduce what we contribute to the landfill, and I have 2 garbage toters, and I am going to go to one soon.   These containers are pretty big, but I can't seem to find a good way to reuse, or reimagine them.  Even the internet wasn't much help.  Thanks
 
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Could you check with a recycling center?  Ours still takes them.

I wonder if you could try pre dissolving some of the powdered laundry soap and add it as a liquid?

Sorry, I don't have any upcycling ideas for that many or even a few....


 
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I use the ones shaped like this (NOT this brand! Just first container pic I saw that looked right)



for hand washing on the property, I wash them out well, and put water in them, no little clear cover on them. Lay them on their side, and you have push button hand rinse water where you need it.

They also cut down to rooting pots (wash them CLEAN first!) that don't tip over.

What shape are the ones you have? I may have ideas, if they are different shaped than mine.

:D
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Thanks I don't know why, but assumed I couldn't recycle them.    I have thought about dissolving the powder first, it would probably save money, and come in a better container, but it seems like more work than I want to do at this time.  
I love the hand washing idea, I'm stealing that one.  The container I use is similar to the picture, All brand. Thanks again for the input.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Try cutting them down too, they make a great rectangular basin, very stable. Could put one below the spout of a water filled one :)
:D
 
Judith Browning
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:Thanks I don't know why, but assumed I couldn't recycle them.



Recycling centers are taking less and less but last I went to ours they still took #1,2 and 5 plastics.  It looked like the bin included colored plastic jugs also but the Eco brand we keep on hand is an almost clear #2 plastic.  I like to use soap nuts, sometimes washing soda and borax and sometimes the eco liquid.

Pearl's ideas are great...sounds like you have enough jugs to fill a greenhouse with planting containers...then the tops could still go to recycling maybe?


 
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Where I live, cooking oil comes in similar shaped containers. I like to use them for planting pots, especially for plants that I will have to move in and out of the house seasonally, since the handle makes them easy to move. I cut off the spout and leave the handle on.
 
pollinator
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You can make scoops out of them.

Hold the handle like you are shaking hands. Keep all the screw-tops screwed on tight. Container is well rinsed and dried.

With a sharpie, start just in front of the handle and go down diagonally to the opposite bottom corner, around the bottom, and matching line on the other side going back up to just in front of the handle.

Cut it out. Use them for sand, compost, soil, vermiculite, pellets for your stove, animal feed - the uses are infinite.

Is my description good enough for everyone to understand?

How do I load a picture into a post?

Ok, I am summoning Pearl, judiciously, with a cup of chai.


ETA - Uploading the photos, thanks Pearl, hope it works.

Is there a PEP Badge for this?  :)
Scoop-1.jpg
[Thumbnail for Scoop-1.jpg]
Scoop-2.jpg
[Thumbnail for Scoop-2.jpg]
 
Pearl Sutton
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Lee Gee:
When you are posting, look at the bottom of the reply area, a tab labeled attachments, click it, hit "upload a file" then find the file on your computer, and submit. Picture will be at the end of your post :)

I take my chai back into the kitchen to clean up the mess I just made in there... :D
 
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I used to buy my laundry soap in a 5 gallon bucket.  That way I use the container when done,  I always need 5 gallon buckets around the place.  

Azure sells them  https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/household-family/laundry/detergent/liquid/regular/sweet-zephyr-laundry-liquid-fragrance-free-hot-cold/21072?package=NF989

$61 for 5 gallons of laundry detergent,  from their description " 5 gallons does 960 Medium-loads " so that is a bit over 6 cents a load.  SO, very inexpensive and not a packaging problem as we always need 5 gallon pails, and the detergent lasts a very long time, years for my family.
 
pollinator
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I know it's not possible everywhere, but isn't there some outlet in the US where you can refill your container?  I've had the same laundry container for the last 8 years.  In the current climate of "save the planet" you could approach your outlet and ask them if it is something they would consider doing.  If enough people asked and there was enough of a demand, who knows what changes could take place.  Just a thought.
 
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Olga Booker wrote: refill your container? .


Or possibly put them on craigslist, people often want these containers for a variety of reasons.

I use a lot of 5L plastic jugs (vinegar, shampoo, cleaning supplies, soy sauce, etc etc etc), and have had my eye on this for a while for the workshop.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Sue Reeves: THANK YOU! That's going to be on my next Azure order :D My computer and slow internet connection chokes on their website, I tend to stay in the area of it that I look at the food stuff, and not look around. I ended up getting their paper catalog, their website's so bad for me.

Tereza Okava: Oooh, I do a similar thing with matched heavy duty cardboard boxes that I cut hand holes in and put labels on. That's neat! Have to think on that, that's not a common size around here, but 2.5 gallon cat litter jugs are.  
 
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In this area the jug containers are recyclable but I’ve switched to something called Dropps. They’re little pillow shaped things the size of a matchbook, called pods by other makers. These are non-toxic, citrus scented and I think the cost is around 15 cents per load. Can’t remember exactly as I bought the big box (300ish?) about a year or two ago. No waste, no plastic, 1 time shipping of a shoebox size cardboard container. Seems like the lowest carbon footprint and least environmental impact. And they work great.
 
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We started using seventh generation laundry soap last year.  The outer shell is recyclable and compostable, and the inner shell has a softer, easier to recycle plastic liner.

The problem with this soap is the measuring cap is too large.  We usually use two or four tablespoons of laundry liquid but with this, half a teaspoon is enough for a very dirty load.  Putting some in a hand soap dispenser and saying one squirt for regular, two squirts for extreme dirt trained the humans to use less.  

I also make a laundry powder with grated bar soap (real soap, not the bars that have soap plus stuff), baking soda, and borax.  When I use this, I need to put some vinegar in the fabric softener compartment for the final rinse to get the soap residue off the inside of the tub.  
 
pollinator
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Some good ideas at this link: https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/21-nifty-ways-to-reuse-plastic-jugs-and-bottles-at-home/

I keep some of my soapmaking/personal care product supplies (e.g., Epsom salt, fine and coarse bath salts, powdered citric acid, etc.) in containers like those, stacked under the sink.

If the plastic is food safe, there are other uses:

Dry food storage. If you save and dry beans from the garden, or buy your rice or flour in bulk, you should be able to get them into the container using a funnel, and they'd be easy to pour out and easier to handle and stack in the pantry than bags. Maybe good for storing dog food or other animal food.

Store water in them for power outages or other emergencies, or for camping.

Some other ideas, you could cut them and use them as forms for making hypertufa plant pots or adobe bricks or cement stepping stones, cut and hang on a wall or put on shelving against the wall as lightweight planters for smaller items like herbs or succulents, partly bury in the ground and use as planting pots for things that you don't want to spread in the garden like mint.

If you have too many for your own use, yes, as others have suggested it would be great to give them away (craigslist or whatever). These will definitely be of use to someone who would be happy to have them, and I feel strongly that as a society we need to get out of the habit of sending plastic to the dump or even recycling if someone can make good use of it. Kudos to you for reaching out in this forum for suggestions on how to divert these from the waste stream.

 
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