Reusing Essential Oil Bottles

Are you starting to become oil savvy and have a collection of empty essential oil bottles?  DO NOT THROW THEM IN THE GARBAGE!  YOU CAN RESUSE THEM!  Follow the steps below to see how I prepare the bottles to be reused!


The first step is to gather up all of your empty essential oil bottles.  You can do them all at once or just pick a few to do together.  I decided to use our empty Thieves bottles and the one empty Peppermint bottle I had.  You can see Thieves is a favorite in my household and we have been using it a lot this season!


The second step is to carefully remove all labels.  On the back of each Young Living bottle label there is a “peel here” printed small.  If you start to pull from there, sometimes it will come off nice and easily.  If you still have residue, no worries!  I will show you a few great tricks in step six and eight.  For now, just leave them be.


The third step is to open the bottles by removing the lid and drop reducer.  Once the drop reducer is off, you may be able to get a little more oil from the bottle.  What do you do do with it?  Well, there are many options, but I will tell you my favorite way to use up each and every last drop!  I make relaxing and refreshing epsom bath salts!

Start with a large glass jar or container.  I say glass, because some of the citrus oils can erode plastic.  Then fill the jar about 1/3 or 1/2 of the way with epsom salt.  Then split up the bottles in 2 groups.  I take one group of open bottles and dump the remnants into the jar of bath salts.  Once all the oil is out, toss the bottles, lids and drop reducers in the jar too.  The epsom salts will absorb any remaining oil.


The fourth step is to add more epsom salts.  Fill the jar, but leave room at the top to do the next grouping of bottles.  Then take a second group of bottles and dump their remnants and toss in the bottles, lids and drop reducers.


Put the lid on the jar and tighten it.  Then begin shaking it very delicately and make sure everything is moving around well.  It’s very important to do this lightly, because the essential oil bottles and jar are glass.  Shaking it around helps to disperse the remaining oil more evenly throughout the epsom salts.  After that just let it sit for an hour or more.


Now onto the sixth step – we are getting there!  Carefully dump the jar into a glass bowl, so you can sift through to get out all of the bottle pieces.  As I take out everything, I try to get as many salts as possible out and off of the bottles.  Then place the bottles and pieces in a separate bowl filled with water and a half capful of Thieves Household Cleaner.  The salt helped to absorb the remaining oil and the water with Thieves cleaner will help to clean the bottles for reuse.  If you are doing this at home and do not have Thieves Household Cleaner, another option would be vinegar and water.  I let everything sit for about 20 minutes.

For step seven, it is time to get the salts back into the jar.  You could very easily use a funnel for this.  I only had a plastic funnel and I just preferred to use a makeshift one instead to be sure no harmful chemicals leached from the plastic.  Remember, as I stated in step three, some citrus oils can erode plastic.  So, I erred on the side of caution and did it this way.  If you have a better option, by all means, go for it!

After everything has been sitting in the bowl with water and Thieves cleaner for awhile, I then pick up the pieces and gently rub away any label residue.  I did not have to do step eight, because the Thieves cleaner worked well at getting all of the leftover residue off.  If you are doing this and still have residue, Lemon essential oil works great!  I use this oil all the time for any stubborn gunk that won’t budge!  It is amazing!


For step nine, I dry off all the pieces.  I sometimes leave them overnight upside down on a dish drying rack.

Now that the bottles are all emptied and freshly cleaned, I can decide what to do with them.  In step ten, I show how you can take an old bottle and exchange the lid for a roller-ball and cap.  Young Living makes their own, which fit the bottles perfectly.  They are called AromaGlide Roller Fitments.  I mainly use roller bottles for pre-diluted oils or to create my own oil blends.


For step eleven, I completed putting all the clean bottles back together.  Now, here are some of my favorite ways to reuse them –

  1. Mix up a sleepy-time blend of Lavender, Peace & Calming and Cedarwood essential oils with V-6 and a roller fitment
  2. For those everyday aches, we use Pan-Away and Valor essential oils with V-6 and a roller fitment
  3. Create bottles specifically for the kids, pre-diluted and ready to use
  4. Make bottle samples as gifts for family and friends


Step twelve is pretty simple, but fun!  It is an optional step, but if you like getting creative, now is your chance!  I love labeling my jars, containers and essential oil bottles.  I didn’t go too crazy with this one pictured, just because the jar is decoration enough and there wasn’t much space for a label.  Sometimes it’s fun to use ribbon or twine, especially for a gift.

I hope you found this post helpful! Contact me if you have any questions!  I would love to hear from you!

Thank you,



*Disclaimer: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Read full disclaimer here.‎

16 thoughts on “Reusing Essential Oil Bottles

  1. thank you for your post, I just started to use oils and often wondered how to make sure I just sed all the oil so nothing would be wasted.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I was wondering how to best clean my bottles as not to waste any oils and to be able to reuse them. I love how you managed to do all that and end up with bath salts. 😀

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