For some time now, I've been squeezing the last drop from many purchased items. Then it dawned on me that MAYBE not everyone realized how much we throw away in "empty" tubes of toothpaste or hand cream. I have some suggestions for extracting the most from the plastic to metal tubes of toothpaste to hand cream.
Then consider the concentrated products, like liquid dish soap or liquid laundry soap, that we slip into using in the same quantities we once used the non-concentrated version. I'll share what we do to be certain we don't waste concentrated products.
Then there are items we just will not buy because we cannot get the last drop out of the container. Squeeze bottles of mayonnaise are wonderful, but we don't buy them. We go for the quart jar that one can squeegee with a flexible spatula. Those quart jars used to be glass, and we could put up summer tomatoes in those quart jars. Now the quart jars are mostly plastic, but we still save them for multiple uses that I will share with you in this post.
1. Tubes: My new favorite way to squeeze the last drop out of toothpaste and other tubes, both plastic and metal, is the little pink squeeze thing in the picture above. All my life, we have used the handle of a toothbrush to squish the toothpaste toward the cap and then have rolled up the end. That's better than nothing, but it does not work on these plastic containers that unroll, as you can see in the picture above.
If you have a plastic tube or metal tube of the many, many products that come in tubes, from glue to hemorrhoid ointment, something like that pink squeegee tool works better even than the little tools that help you roll the tube, because so many tubes today are made from a material that just will not stay folded!
I found the pink squeeze tool at Walmart, in a package of two. It was in the toothpaste area on the end of an aisle for impulse purchases. When I find them again, I will be getting LOTS of them. THEY WORK! if you know of another source for these, please let me know!
The luxurious and delicious Crabtree and Evelyn Lavender Hand Therapy was a gift, but it is worth every cent of its $15 price tag. This is a metal container, and there is hand cream still in this tube. After squeezing the lingering cream down to the cap, my uncle cut open the tube with his pocket knife.
There is enough of this fabulous cream for at least three applications. I've finger-squeegeed the flat sections, and have the cap end in a zipper plastic bag for my next application.
My favorite hand cream, the Neutrogena, has a short plastic tube that would not work with the pink squeeze tool. When I have squeezed as much as possible from it, I cut off the end and scrape out as much as possible with my finger. Usually I can get five or more applications by cutting open the container.
As I scrape the sides down toward the cap, I cut off more plastic to make it easier to access the wonderful cream. Keep the tube you have cut open with scissors in a plastic zipper bag to keep it from drying out.
2. Concentrated products: Lets use Dawn concentrated liquid dish washing soap as an example.
Human nature and habits being what they are, it is SO EASY to slip back into squirting the same amount of soap into the sink from the concentrated bottle as I once did from the non-concentrated version. When you buy a concentrated version of a product you are not paying a premium for the water that dilutes it appropriately for use.
I've saved multiple Dawn plastic squeeze bottles, and now, when we buy a new bottle of the concentrated soap, I fill the empty bottles and add water to the appropriate consistency so that none of us use more than necessary. It takes just a few minutes and DOES save money over time.
If you don't have a collection of bottles waiting to be filled with the properly diluted product, start with the bottle you have and add water as you empty the bottle. Save that bottle, and divide your next purchase between the bottles, etc.
One step beyond that. I dilute shampoo and dish washing soap a bit more anyway to stretch the product. I once read that Americans are addicted to seeing suds. Suds do not translate to guaranteed cleanliness. if you are washing your hair every day, for example, you don't need full strength shampoo. Think of how many products are on the market to remove shampoo BUILD-up!!!
3. We DON'T buy mayonnaise in squeeze bottles. I explained above why we prefer to buy the quart jar. Same with mustard.
The ketchup bottles I refill with a generic version of ketchup. Hubby got it into his head that he only liked a certain brand of highly-advertised ketchup. Of course it was one of the more expensive versions. I've been putting generic ketchup in his favorite ketchup bottle for years now, and he has never noticed the difference.
Actually, Unc likes brand name Dawn dish washing liquid soap. I refill those brand name bottles with a generic version.
Now, there are many more great ideas being posted on my Facebook page for squeezing the last drop out of purchased products out of a container. Take a look and share your ideas either here in the comments or on the Facebook page.
I KNOW there is much I have to learn from you, and I look forward to reading your ideas!