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Buying weights for exercise can be expensive. Instead, save two identical detergent bottles and fill them with water, kitty liter, or sand to use as weights in strength training. Choose a bottle with a good handle that fits your hand and is easy to grip.
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Scoop it Up
The heavy plastic used to make most detergent and bleach bottles is ideal for making an inexpensive scoop. When the bottle is empty, rinse it well well and use a utility knife or X-acto knife to cut around the circumference at the middle of the bottle. Use the bottle half with the handle to scoop up fertilizer, rock salt, pet waste, or to use as a dustpan.
If it gets messy or broken, toss in the recycle bin and make a new one.
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Weigh It Down
Empty detergent bottles filled with sand or water can be used to hold down a tarp or portable sports equipment like a pitching net or basketball hoop.
Keep a couple of bottles filled with sand or rock salt in the trunk of your car during winter months for the weight, to de-ice dangerous sidewalks and to create traction for tires.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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Fill It Up
After rinsing the empty bottle very well, use the same techniques for creating a scoop, and then cut off the top part of detergent bottles to create a funnel for all those messy jobs such as transferring paint, filling the lawnmower with gasoline, or changing the oil in equipment. The funnel can then be tossed in the recycle bin.
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Make a Tool Caddy for the Garage
Large detergent bottles make a perfect tool caddy for the garage. Cut a hole in the side leaving the handle intact and fill with the necessary tools for the job you're doing.
Smaller bottles, cut the same way, are great for separating and holding nails, screws, and other small pieces. You can even label the outside with a permanent marker for quick access.
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Clear the Way
Store rock salt or kitty litter in a clean and thoroughly dry detergent bottle, tightly capped. When the snow or ice storm hits, you can open it, hold it by the handle, and sprinkle away without ever taking off your gloves.
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Create Sturdy Craft Templates
If you enjoy crafting, you know that each time you use a paper template it changes size just a tiny bit. For plastic templates that can be used many times, use the plastic of a laundry bottle.
Simply cut off the top and bottom from the bottle and discard in the recycle bin. Slit the remaining circle of plastic so it will lie flat. Mark off the template with permanent marker and cut it out to use over and over again.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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If you want to apply a slow, steady supply of water to a plant, use a detergent bottle to create drip irrigation.
Wash out the bottle thoroughly; use a pin or very small nail to punch several holes in the bottom. Fill the bottle with water and set it next to the plant. The water will slowly seep into the soil and root system. This is particularly helpful for tender plants if you are going to be away for a day or so.
Small bottles prepared the same way can be used for potted plants.
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Crafts for the Kids
From piggy banks to Halloween and Christmas decorations, the laundry room offers plenty of creative materials for craft-making.
Create snowmen from white bottles and monsters from colorful bottles by adding felt or foam decorations. Detergent bottle lids make perfect bells or can be strung together in a chain.
If you want more than the always popular summer camp bleach bottle piggy bank, try a detergent bottle lamp.