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HOW TO STERILIZE GLASS DROPPER BOTTLES FOR DIY SKINCARE

There comes a time in any DIYers life where you gotta sterilize a few glass bottles. Making your own skincare is a great way to reduce single-use packaging and customize your products. Alternatively, refillable skincare is getting more accessible each day- but you'll need to ensure all containers are safely sanitized before refilling!

Our simple 5-step guide to sanitizing your glass dropper bottle will have you refilling with more confidence and less contamination!

Our guide for how to clean the glass droppers (including the pesky pipettes!) can be found at the bottom of this blog post.

STEP 1: CLEAN & SOAK

Ensure your bottle is empty. Products containing oils (like oil-based serums) can't go down the drain and should be put into your trash.

Once the bottle is empty, give it a quick rinse to flush out any residual product. To help release any labels and ensure the container is clean, soak overnight in soapy water.

STEP 2: RINSE, REPEAT

Remove your labels. Depending on how long you soaked your bottles, this may take some elbow grease! Spritz with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any stickiness.

Once de-labelled, rinse twice with warm water to get the remaining soap out of the bottles.

STEP 3: BOIL FOR TEN MINUTES

Being careful not to burn yourself (glass containers will get very hot) use tongs to place your glass bottles in boiling water. Boil for ten minutes.

After ten minutes, use tongs to remove your bottles. They will be extremely hot so simply set them on a surface to allow them to cool down before handling.

STEP 4: RINSE IN 70% ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

Once your glass bottles have cooled completely, rinse in 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Submerge the glass bottles completely to sanitize.

If you’re confident you can clean the whole inside surface of the bottle, pour just enough isopropyl alcohol into each bottle to clean. Simply swish and empty!

STEP 5: AIR DRY

Lay fresh paper towel down on a clean surface. Position each bottle upside down on the paper towel to let it drip dry.

You’ll need to wait until the bottles have air dried completely before refilling.

It's important to wait for all alcohol and and any residual water to completely evaporate before you refill or reuse. The best bet is to not be in a hurry and leave them to dry overnight, or for 24 hrs.

Glass Bottle

Creating glass containers can be accomplished by one of two different processes – the Blow and Blow, or the Press and Blow process. Each process is chosen based on the kind of glass bottle being made. All glass bottles start out as raw materials. Silica (sand), soda ash, limestone, and cullet (furnace-ready, recycled glass) are combined into a specific mixture based on the desired properties of the bottle. The mixture is then melted at high temperatures in the furnace until it becomes a molten material, ready for formation. The type of glass this mixture will produce is known as soda-lime glass, the most popular glass for food and beverages.

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STEP 1: CLEAN & SOAK

Ensure your bottle is empty. Products containing oils (like oil-based serums) can't go down the drain and should be put into your trash.

Once the bottle is empty, give it a quick rinse to flush out any residual product. To help release any labels and ensure the container is clean, soak overnight in soapy water.

STEP 2: RINSE, REPEAT

Remove your labels. Depending on how long you soaked your bottles, this may take some elbow grease! Spritz with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any stickiness.

Once de-labelled, rinse twice with warm water to get the remaining soap out of the bottles. 
 

STEP 3: BOIL FOR TEN MINUTES

Being careful not to burn yourself (glass containers will get very hot) use tongs to place your glass bottles in boiling water. Boil for ten minutes. 

After ten minutes, use tongs to remove your bottles. They will be extremely hot so simply set them on a surface to allow them to cool down before handling.

*Disclaimer* Do not boil glass droppers! Parts with plastic components will start to melt and soften in boiling water. See below for our tips on cleaning glass droppers.

STEP 4: RINSE IN 70% ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

Once your glass bottles have cooled completely, rinse in 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Submerge the glass bottles completely to sanitize. 

If you’re confident you can clean the whole inside surface of the bottle, pour just enough isopropyl alcohol into each bottle to clean. Simply swish and empty!   
 

STEP 5: AIR DRY

Lay fresh paper towel down on a clean surface. Position each bottle upside down on the paper towel to let it drip dry.

You’ll need to wait until the bottles have air dried completely before refilling. 

It's important to wait for all alcohol and and any residual water to completely evaporate before you refill or reuse. The best bet is to not be in a hurry and leave them to dry overnight, or for 24 hrs.
 

TIPS FOR CLEANING GLASS DROPPERS

Since you can’t boil the plastic parts of glass droppers, it is harder to ensure proper sanitization. In general, we don’t recommend re-using droppers unless your using them for something else (other than cosmetics). Keep in mind, contaminated products are far worse for your health and pose a higher immediate risk to you- so don’t risk re-use if you’re unsure!

But, depending on the style of dropper, you may be able to remove the glass pipette from the plastic dropper head. Simply pull and wiggle the pipette a bit to get it free from the cap. 


As with the guide above: put the glass pipettes and plastic heads in with your bottles soak overnight

When they're done soaking, you can use a cotton bud and soapy water to clean the inside of the pipette and dropper.

Repeat this step with water twice to rinse.

We do not recommend boiling the small glass pipettes as they may break.

Instead, after rinsing off all soapy water, submerge the plastic heads and glass pipettes in 70% Isopropyl Alcohol. Remove and allow to air dry completely. 

Due to the design of the dropper, it can be hard to tell whether or not it has completely air dried- putting you at risk of contaminating your product. When in doubt, use a new dropper.

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