Many cleaning products come in disposable spray bottles and aerosol cans. Purchasing (or reusing) your own bottles allows you to buy bulk product and save money. There are a variety of bottles to choose from. Read more to make the best choice for your particular cleaning job.
Types of Refillable Spray Bottles
- Compressed Air – These bottles are commonly made of metal and are similar to aerosol cans in both look and function. They use compressed air hose to produce the spray. Though they produce a spray similar to aerosol cans, they do not omit the harmful gases into the air that damage the ozone.
- Hand Pump – These bottles are commonly found for a variety of purposes in cleaning and personal care products. They are often plastic and work by pumping the spray from the bottom container through an attached tube.
Choosing a Spray Bottle
- Size – Consider the size of the job when determining which size of bottle is needed. Larger bottles require less frequent filling while smaller bottles are easier for harder to reach areas.
- Materials – Spray bottles are available in plastic, aluminum, stainless steel, glass and other materials. Ensure it is compatible with the product it will be filled with. For example, some chemicals will corrode metal and others may eat through plastic bottles over time.
- Nozzles – The nozzles are just as important as the bottle itself. The nozzle determines how the product is dispensed, whether it be a spray, stream or something in-between. Some trigger nozzles are adjustable to offer both spray and stream options. Extensions are also available (for up to 12 inches) to get into hard to reach areas.
- Trigger vs. Pump – Triggers are extensions below the sprayer and are typically easier to use for repeated applications. Pumps have a small pump on the top that is compressed with one finger (think hairspray or aerosol can). While convenient, they only offer one dispenser (spray or stream) and can quickly become tiresome to operate for longer periods of time or to cover larger areas.
- Buying reusable spray bottles helps to reduce waste.
- Buying product in bulk is cheaper and can easily be used to refill these reusable containers.
- Aside from the environmental hazards caused by aerosol cans, they are also more costly. Aerosol cans require a propellant to operate. This propellant can consume 10-15% of the product weight. This leads to less product being available for cleaning.
- Aerosol cans that are not completely empty are considered hazardous waste by the EPA and several states.
The Cost Factor
- Air pressurized, refillable spray bottles are available for $25 – $60. (This does not include the air compressor.)
- Plastic hand pump spray bottles are economical and available for $1 – $6.
- If using the bottles consistently, it will helpful to keep replacement parts around (nozzle seals, filler caps, valves, nozzles, etc.) These parts are cheap to purchase and handy to have around when needed.
- When using pressurized air, ensure there is no water in the line. If there is, it can enter the bottle and cause corrosion on the metal. There are water removal devices available for air compressors that can be used to help with this as well.