Buying spices can be very expensive, until you realize you pay quite a bit for the packaging too! Zero waste spices might seem like a hassle but it’s actually not that difficult and the first step to making your collection zero waste or low waste is repurposing any old containers you already have! You definitely don’t have to buy a whole new matching set of containers for this!
My mom is an actual angel and often saves me containers of random things incase I can use them for my zero waste kitchen! A while ago she gave me a few spice shakers and a grinder that were empty and I thought it would be the perfect timing to show you how I clean these for repurposing!
If you’re lucky you get easy peel labels that peel right off, sometimes they peel off easily but break off a little in the process. No problem! It takes a little bit more effort but it’s still easy and clean. The picture above was easy because the label left ZERO glue residue!
Another easy label are paper labels with water soluable glue. Just soak the container overnigh and use some dish soap to scrub off whatever is still left. Sometimes labels like these glide RIGHT OFF after a night of soaking, with zero glue leftover. When labels leave residue or are difficult to remove, there is still hope. Look at the label below:
This might come off with a lot of soaking but I wanted to show you how you can easily remove glue residue with items you have at home. Firstly, peel off anything you can and asses what you’re left with.
This one wasn’t as hard as I’d expected but it ended up sticky and not clean at all. That’s where my natural recipe for ‘glue be gone’ comes in to play. It uses to ingredients you have in your pantry: olive oil and baking soda!
Mix the two ingredients to receive the texture you want. I prefer a bit of a dryer, thicker paste (so more baking soda) because it stays in place bette and after leaving it on for a while you can scrub a little better!
Here you can see what the paste should look like, next step is rubbing it on every surface that is still sticky or has any glue residue. Leaving it for a few hours works, but you’re best off leaving it overnight to let the oil really get to work.
After letting the mixture sit overnight, you can add a little dish soap and use a scrub brush or rough cloth to scrub off the mixture, you will be left with silky smooth glass (or plastic!).
After cleaning a few containers this is all the actual waste I was left with, and you only have to do this once! After you cleaned the containers you can use them for YEARS to come. Refill them at your local zero waste store, spice store or even market! Don’t have any of those? Consider buying big bags of spices with friends and divide the cost. You can often recycle clear plastic if it’s clean! Every little helps. Consider buying local and organic too, those choices have a great impact on our ecosystem as well!
PS: Some containers can be difficult to clean on the inside, glass can go in the dishwasher or you can put some soap inside, close the lid and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! If you still have anything stuck, you can use a knife to carefully remove it. After washing up your containers you can airdry them and start using them once dry. Curious to know more about zero waste spices. Check out my YouTube channel for a full video on how to do this!