Iron Out 5 Problems With a Spray Bottle | Reader's Digest

Iron Out 5 Problems With a Spray Bottle

Clever ways to put spray bottles to work.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Help with the laundry
An empty spray bottle can always be put to good use around your laundry room. Use clean, recycled bottles to spray water on your clothes as you’re ironing. Or fill a spray bottle with stain remover solution so that you can apply it to your garments without having to blot up drips.

Mist your houseplants
Keep your houseplants healthy and happy by using an empty trigger-type spray bottle as a plant mister. Clean the bottle by filling it with equal parts water and vinegar — don’t use liquid soap, as you may not be able to get it all out — let the solution sit for an hour, and rinse it out thoroughly with cold water. Repeat if necessary. Then, fill the bottle with lukewarm warm water, and use it to frequently give your plants a soothing, misty shower.

Cool off in summer
Whether you’re jogging around the park, taking a breather between volleyball matches, or just sitting out in the sun, a recycled spray bottle filled with water can make a great summer companion. Use it to cool off during and after your workouts, or while simmering on the beach (or in beach traffic).

Keep car windows clean
Be sure to include a recycled spray bottle filled with windshield cleaner in the trunk of your car as part of your roadside emergency kit. Use it to clean off your car’s headlights, mirrors, and of course, windows whenever needed. During winter months, mix in 1/2 teaspoon antifreeze, and you can spray it on to melt the ice on your windshield or mirrors.

Spray away garden pests
Keep a few recycled spray bottles on hand to use around the yard. Here are two immediate uses:

  • Fill one with undiluted white vinegar to get rid of the weeds and grass poking out of the cracks in your concrete, as well as ants and other insects — but be careful not to spray it on your plants; the high acidity could kill them.
  • For an effective homemade insecticide recipe that works on most soft-bodied pests, but won’t harm your plants, mix several cloves crushed garlic, 1/4 cup canola oil, 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon mild liquid soap in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Pour some into your spray bottle, and shake well before using.