Empty lotion bottles that still have product left in them are a common frustration. Pump bottles in particular seem designed to leave an inch or two of lotion stuck at the bottom.
While it may seem like a trivial “first world problem”, the truth is companies like Unilever intentionally use inefficient bottle designs to profit from wasted product. In an era of rising prices, it’s understandable consumers want to maximize what they pay for.
Fortunately, with a bit of effort there are ways to get every last drop of lotion out of the bottle. Here is an overview of the most common techniques, ranked by effectiveness and ease of use:
The Heat Method
The most effective method is heating up the bottle in hot water, which liquefies the lotion for easy pouring. Just place the bottle in boiling water for 2 minutes. This allows you to retrieve nearly 100% of the product. The only downside is it takes more active effort.
Cutting the Bottle
Cutting the plastic bottle open gives full access to scrape out all the lotion. It’s reasonably effective, but does require careful use of scissors on thick plastic. Leaving a mangled bottle out may seem odd to guests.
Flip and Shake
Simply turning the bottle upside down and shaking the lotion down takes advantage of gravity. Easy to do, though propping up the upside down bottle can get messy. Gets most of the lotion but some inevitably stays stuck to the sides.
Add a Squeeze Top
Replace the pump with a salvaged squeeze top from another bottle for easy access. Convenient if you have spare tops, but not as effective at getting the last remnants.
Insert a Tube
Engineers often use vinyl tubing to extend the pump’s reach into the bottom of the bottle. Ingenious but time consuming and still leaves some lotion behind.
While it takes some extra effort, determined consumers can fight back against wasteful packaging and get full value from the products they pay for. With the right methods, you can enjoy moisturized skin without footing the bill for leftover lotion.