How to reuse your old pill bottles

banner how to reuse your old pill bottles

One of our cats has a medical condition that requires two different pills each day.  The prescription is for 30 days so every month we end up with two small pill bottles that are no longer needed.

I did speak to my vet but sadly they can’t reuse them so it just becomes waste.  While our council does recycle plastic bottles, it is annoying that after just one month’s usage these items are discarded.  So I set out to find some re-use ideas.

[ The Problem ]

picture of dark pill bottle, medicine bottleThe problem I came across was the ideas I found online used the tall, cylindrical pill bottles.  Whereas the ones we get for the cat, have a narrow neck and what I call, “shoulders”.

This ‘shoulder’ meant that several of the ideas just didn’t work well because some items would get stuck inside.

So take that into consideration if you are choosing to reuse your bottles.  Some ideas work better for different bottle types.


This tip was on a youtube comment and I love it!  Put safety pins in one of the bottles and keep near your laundry hamper.  Then pin matching socks together so you don’t have to pair them up later when they come out of the machine.


I have long hair that seems to frizz up around my face, so I am always reaching for bobby pins.  Since it’s pretty frustrating digging through your bag looking for these as they always drop to the bottom, I have stored a set in one of these bottles. Easy to find, easy to fill.


For the pill bottles that had a slightly larger opening, I stored cotton buds.  Cut cotton buds in half and put a few in a pill bottle.  I actually have two bottles for these, one I keep in my handbag with me and the other in my Animal Rescue Kit in the car.


Great tip especially if you have small children as it keeps the pins in a child-proof bottle.  I store my drawing pins in the bottle and hang it from my corkboard.


For the smaller screws, tacks and bolts I am now keeping them in these bottles because they just get lost amid the larger pieces within the toolkit.


I do try and collect seeds from some of my plants.  Also if you buy seed packets, sometimes you might not want to use them right away or not use all, so store in the bottles.

I found this especially good after we had a leak in the shed and the seed packets got all wet.  Now they are safely stored in these dark bottles.


Keep your spare fuses stored safely


If you have a pill bottle that is big enough to hold some loose change, fill it up and keep it in your car for things like tolls, parking fees etc.  Or put in some rolled up notes and stash it somewhere as “emergency money”


You just need a small piece of card, wrap some thread around it in colours you may need (black, brown, white, red, navy) then push a needle between the threads to keep it safe.  Add a few small buttons and maybe a safety pin or two.

That way if you loose a button or bust a seam you have what you need to fix it.  Keep one in your car, one in your bag, one in your desk at work.


If you have a torch in your car you shouldn’t store it with the batteries inside, because even switched off the power of the batteries will slowly be leached out.  So (providing your torch takes batteries small enough to fit) keep them in a pill bottle keep in your car.

Also, great for storing the small watch batteries too.


Add a few plasters (band-aids), pair of tweezers, needle (for removing splinters), a strip of painkillers, alcohol wipes and you have a travel size first aid kit

[ Some Notes ]

  • Always fully clean and sterilise an old pill bottle before use
  • See if any charities can use them
  • See if your local council / city amenities centre can recycle them
  • See if your local schools / play groups can use them in crafts
  • To remove labels fill with hot water (not boiling as it can warp the plastic of the bottle) and wait, the label then peels right out

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Do you have any tips for reusing these bottles?  Share them in the comments section below.

Bright blessings



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