Quick Tip: Avoid Lotion Bottle Frustration with a Spatula

My wife goes through a lot of body lotion. I’m not griping about that; why would I have a problem with smooth and supple skin?

The problem is what happens when the bottle is almost empty. The bottle design is terrible, so the pump can’t reach the remaining lotion. My wife then has to pop the top off the bottle and use the pump as a kind of manual application wand. This doesn’t seem to bother her, but it drives me crazy.

Because the lotion is fairly viscous, it doesn’t slide quickly if tipped upside down and tapped out manually. Plus, because of the pump handle, it’s hard to balance upside down for long periods of time to let it drain out naturally.

I have a different solution to this problem. Just like stubborn cake batter, I use a spatula to scrape out the leftover lotion. I simply cut the bottle in half, then transfer the remaining lotion into a fresh bottle (there’s always enough space in the new lotion bottle).

To illustrate this isn’t a pointless exercise, I measured the amount of lotion left behind. It’s a full quarter-cup, or almost 10 percent of the total lotion bottle.

Sure, using a spatula in the bathroom might be a little strange, but it’s the best tool for the job. It’s not the only kitchen-bathroom crossover gadget, either. Dental floss is a fantastic emergency replacement for kitchen twine.

  • Nancy

    I use the same lotion as your wife.  I take the pump off, put a zip-lock baggie over the top with a rubber band, and then suspend the bottle upside down from a kitchen cabinet handle with a second rubber band.  Whack the side of the bottle occasionally during the day to get it all out.  Less messy than your strategy, but yours probably gets the last drop of the lotion better than my method.

    • http://themanlyhousekeeper.com Mark Evitt

      Your method is great, too, because then you can squeeze the bag empty.

      Mine is a little messy – or at least, requires washing a spatula. Just the same, it is very satisfying to get every last drop of lotion out of the bottle. 

    • Liss
  • http://www.catelinden.com/ Cate

    I do this, too. I just store the extra lotion in a small Mason jar with a screw top. It works great and I feel like I’m actually getting my money’s worth.

  • Toni J

    I have the same problem, but have a different solution. In your method the old lotion sits on top of the new, and as the pump sucks from the bottom the old stuff could be transferred from bottle to bottle. I use lotion without preservatives, so I want the oldest lotion used first. So I tip the new stuff on top of the old. The problem of course is then the bottle never changes… So I haven’t found a perfect solution yet!

  • Margaret

    I’d like to know how you get the old lotion (which, as you mention, is thick and doesn’t flow easily) into the small hole opening of the new bottle. I cut my old bottle in half and scrape out the remaining lotion just like you, but haven’t figured out how to get it into the new bottle.

  • jinx

    I cup a hole in the bottom corner of the bottle. Tip the bottle so lotion goes to the opening and let it drain into the new container. It gets almost every drop out and I do not lose any on the spatula. I also use the new container a bit so there will be plenty of room for the leftovers. This also works with ketchup etc.

  • willow1100

    This is a great tip, but here is another way to do it. Before you throw out your next empty bottle of dish soap – save the top. It has a cover, and a pointed spout. Make sure it will fit your bottle of lotion. When your pump no longer works, exchange it with the saved top. Grab the bottom, and use gravity to shake the rest of the lotion down to the top of the bottle. I usually bring my arm with the bottle up, and then swing it down in a forcefull way several times. Then all you have to do is open the tip, and squirt the lotion into another bottle or jar. If the lotion is really thick, you may still have to use the spatula to get the rest from the walls, but most of it, can be gotten out this way.
    Love, love your blog. I am proud of you as a man. You are a great example and a role model of what a real man can be.

  • jmarie

    I cut the plastic container or tubes in half and scrape out lotion in the upper part and put it in bottom part, squeeze the bottom half of tube/container and slide the original top over it. You are using it fairly quickly so it does not seem to spoil, as the product gets lower in the bottom container just cut it down a little more. I saw this in a nail salon once and have been doing it every since.

  • Marv

    I found the easiest thing for me to do is to use a piece from the plumbing department that is slightly larger than the opening of my lotion bottle. It’s not going to thread on or anything just something to keep the two openings lined up properly. Then just up end the old lotion bottle on top of the new lotion and wait for it to drain out. The best size I found for my main stream brand of lotion is called a 3/4″ union for PVC pipe. It costs about .50 cents at a box store.

  • rose

    Haha, I do the same thing!

  • Jane Shulsen

    Try microwaving the lotion bottle, then simply pour the liquid into the new bottle. It will return to its original viscosity when it cools.

    • Larseck

      Microwaving the bottle works awesome! I’ve done this with ketchup before, but never thought about trying it with lotion. I combined four bottles into one! Just be careful, the lotion does get hot.

  • Liss

    Have you heard of the new product that is coming out? Its called “Last drop bottle top” and it solves the problem of getting the last out of the bottle. I want to buy one for my house! here is the link to their facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lastdropbottletop

  • Sam

    Cool method! Have you ever heard of MyBotto? They have a product made for this exact problem. It’s a stand that holds bottles upside down so that gravity gets all the lotion (or shampoo, gel, etc.) out for you. Check it out!

  • Robin Phillips

    Scraping with the spatula is a really good idea. I do that also. I save my old body butter containers with lids that my kids buy me. I scrape the excess lotion into the jar and you can either add sugar or salt and make a nice smelling scrubs!

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