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How to Sterilize Old Containers

If you’re living a low waste lifestyle, you’ve probably got a cache of empty bottles and tops that you’re planning to reuse. You’re saving them from the landfill and you’re also conserving the energy it takes to manufacture new bottles and tops by repurposing. Our favorite R, reuse!

One issue with saving and reusing old packaging is contamination. This is especially poignant when using natural or green beauty products (which you are!) because the preservative systems used in these products aren’t usually as hard-hitting (or toxic) as conventional, “parabenic” products.

For this reason, it’s super important that we sterilize all old packaging before we refill it with new product. Think of it like this, your new product is only as good as the oldest product that was in that packaging! So if you refill a container that housed a cleanser made two years ago, your new fresh cleanser is essentially aged two years in an instant. Our products generally have a shelf life of 12 to 24 months!

Luckily, it’s really easy to sterilize your old containers. We suggest saving up a few of them and doing it all at once!

Stock pot that will fit your old packaging
Distilled or reverse osmosis water
Rubbing alcohol or vodka

  1. Prepare the containers and closures (screw top lids, pumps and mist sprayers). 

    For pumps and misters: make warm soapy water and squirt it through the pump until the water runs clear. This might take up to 8 oz of water. After squirting soapy water, repeat with clean, soapless water.

    For containers and screw top lids, wash in dishwasher or by hand.

  2. Place all containers and closures into stock pot, cover with distilled water. Bring the water to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before handling.

  3. Remove everything and let air dry.

  4. Pump alcohol through each pump/mister 10 times.

  5. Store in an airtight container until ready to refill.


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