Whether you’re using them to moisturize your hair, polish your countertops, or simply clean your houseplant leaves, a spray bottles can quickly get smelly. At times, it’s just a faint musky odor. More frequently, it’s a nauseating smell of sour milk. Whatever the case is, unless you do something about it, it will only worsen.
And no, “do something about it” doesn’t mean throwing your old spray bottles away. It simply means giving them a thorough rinse once in a while, which can be easier said than done.
Learn why spray bottles start smelling after a while and how you can clean them to ensure they’re just as fresh as the day you bought them.
Why Do Spray Bottles Smell Bad?
A spray bottle for hair, face, makeup, household cleaning supplies, and more generally doesn’t have much of a scent when you first get it. However, after just a few weeks of using it, you’ll notice an odd smell.
Don’t worry. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the product’s gone bad (although you should always check the expiration date on your cosmetics, just in case). It usually just means that you haven’t cleaned your spray bottle properly.
Unlike regular containers like jars or tubes, spray bottles have many hard-to-reach nooks and crannies where the excess product can build up. These areas can be the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria that exude unpleasant smells.
Unfortunately, since they’re so hard to reach, you’ll need to use elbow grease to clean them if you want to reuse your spray bottles.
Should You Reuse Your Spray Bottles?
When your spray bottle becomes stinky even after you tried cleaning it, you might start wondering whether it’s even worth it to keep using it. The answer is always yes. Unless the nozzle and the pump mechanism are broken, there’s never a good reason to throw your perfectly functional spray bottles in the trash.
Primarily, you’ll only be unnecessarily polluting the environment. We produce around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste each year already. While you alone can’t affect global waste production, if everyone does their part and reuses or recycles as much as possible, it will make a difference.
Why You Need To Clean Your Spray Bottles Thoroughly
The foul odor isn’t the only reason your spray bottles need a frequent, thorough cleanse. You’ll also want to eliminate decayed and expired substances, remove clogs, and avoid cross-contamination of products.
Cross-contamination is never a good thing, whether you’ve been using a spray bottle for cleaning supplies, cosmetics, or anything. You could introduce unsafe chemicals to your facial spray and damage your skin. If you accidentally mix some household cleaning products, the consequences could worsen.
How To Clean Your Spray Bottles And Remove Foul Odors
To keep your spray bottles free of odors and nasty contaminants, you’ll need to know how to clean them properly. Although it’s trickier than cleaning a regular jar, it should still take no more than a few minutes of your time.
Rinse The Spray Bottle
Start with a light rinse. Remove the safety cap, unscrew the head of the bottle with the pump, valve, and thin plastic tube and rinse them all under warm water for a few minutes. That will remove excess buildup and simplify the following steps.
Flush The Pump Mechanism
If your spray bottle isn’t too smelly, you can flush the pump mechanism by filling a cup with steaming hot water and placing the head of the bottle in it. Press the trigger a few times (pointing the nozzle away from you) so that the hot water can travel through the pump mechanism.
If the bottle has a powerful odor, you could use vinegar or baking soda. The process is the same. Fill a cup with hot water, add two tablespoons of baking soda and flush the mechanism. Alternatively, fill the cup with 1:1 hot water and vinegar and do the same thing. While the vinegar will initially have a strong scent, it will evaporate after a while and take the foul odors with it.
Soak The Parts In Soap And Water
After flushing the pump mechanism, soak all the parts of your spray bottle in warm water and soap – including the bottle itself, the safety cap, and the nozzle with the pump mechanism. Leave them to soak for about half an hour.
Then, take a few cotton swabs, dip them in water and soap news dairy, and run them along with the nooks and crannies of your spray bottle.
Clean The Bottle
After soaking, it’s time to clean the bottle. If the bottle’s large enough, you could use a regular sponge and dishwashing soap. If it’s a tiny bottle, put some dishwashing soap on a straw cleaning brush and run it along the inside of the bottle. Rinse it under running water and carefully remove the labels from the bottle if there are any.
Sterilize The Spray Bottle
Although it’s not always a necessary step, you could sterilize the spray bottle. The simplest way to do it is by placing the parts in boiling water for about five minutes.
After you’re done, pat the parts with a paper towel and leave them to air dry. You’ll have a clean, odor-free spray bottle ready for use.
While cleaning your spray bottles is a somewhat lengthy process, it’s well worth it. It will keep the bottle free of any foul odors and coin master ensure that its products are safe for use.