How to Recycle an Old Hot Water Bottle

Ten Methods:Gardening cushionPet hair remover mittUnusual vaseFoot restQuirky fashion bagBathtub shapesiPad coverMoney keeperIndoor plant watererStopper earrings

When your trusty hot water bottle springs a leak or loses its ability to retain warmth, it’s usually only fit for the bin. Yet, in a time where we’re more conscious about throwing things away, it’s nice to be able to find a way to reuse the bottle than discard it. Save some rubber and do something good for your creative soul by recycling your old hot water bottle into something new.


  1. 1
    Before attempting to reuse the hot water bottle, let it dry out first. Simply hang it upside down over a faucet, dish drying rack or hang from your clothes line until it dries out.

Method 1
Gardening cushion

Kneeling in the garden can be made much more pleasant by turning your old hot water bottle into a comfortable and waterproof cushion suitable for laying on grass or dirt.

  1. 1
    Remove the stopper from the hot water bottle.
  2. 2
    Fill the hot water bottle with fabric scraps, cotton wool balls, rags, foam peanuts, etc. Fill as much as you can push through the stopper hole. It can help to use a ruler, stick or similar item to stuff the material inside the bottle.
  3. 3
    When you can’t fit anymore stuffing inside the bottle, screw the stopper back into place.
  4. 4
    Keep the bottle with your gardening gear. Use to lean on whenever you’re gardening. Keep it clean by wiping down after use and hanging up to dry.
    • This cushion can be used for other purposes too, such as a car seat bolster cushion, a head pillow for camping or lying in the grass, a rest for the iPad when outdoors, etc.

Method 2
Pet hair remover mitt

Pet hair sticks fast to couches, carpets and furnishings. Rubber pads make it really easy to remove and your old hot water bottle is ideal for transforming into a pet hair collector.

  1. 1
    Cut the bottle open following the seams.
  2. 2
    Cut a square or circle shape from each side of the opened bottle.
  3. 3
    Glue the pad onto a gardening or other long-term glove. Allow to dry.
  4. 4
    To use: Simply put the glove on and wipe over the area where you’d like to collect pet hairs from. The rubber will pick up the hairs and can be brushed off with your hands or washed off.

Method 3
Unusual vase

If you have a wall area that needs to be prettified, the hot water bottle vase might just meet your artful need!

  1. 1
    Attach the hot water bottle to the wall where you’d like to place floral arrangements. It can be attached one of the following ways:
    • Use a self adhering hook with a strong adhesive attached to the bottle.
    • Attach two eyelet screws to the edges of the hot water bottle and attach string from hook to hook for hanging on a wall hook.
  2. 2
    Place flowers into the bottle vase. A dried flower bunch or a single long-stemmed flower make ideal flower displays.
    • Try matching the flower colors with the water bottle for the most effective display.
    • If adding water, be sure there are not leaks up to the level you plan on adding water.

Method 4
Foot rest

If you have tired or sore feet, an old hot water bottle can be used to rest them and even do basic foot exercises on while sitting in front of the TV.

  1. 1
    Check that the hot water bottle can be filled with air without leaking. If there are leaks, this method won’t work.
  2. 2
    Pump some additional air into the hot water bottle to make it taut. Screw the lid in place.
  3. 3
    Place your feet on the hot water bottle when seated. You can either simply rest your feet on it, elevated slightly, or you can gently pump or roll your feet on or across the bottle for gentle stretching exercise.
  4. 4
    Add more air as needed. Store flat.

Method 5
Quirky fashion bag

This is a really wacky but fun design idea for those who love the idea of recycled clothing.

  1. 1
    Cut the top of the bottle off. You could cut it curved or straight, however you prefer.
  2. 2
    Attach handles. Glue or staple gun handles on each side of the top of the water bottle. Suitable handle ideas include:
    • Leather or fabric straps
    • Plaited twine or sisal
    • Rubber lengths
    • Braided fabric
    • Old belts
    • Anything else you can find around the house.
  3. 3
    Another way to turn the hot water bottle into a bag: Make the base of a bag (back, front, sides but not top); reserve the hot water bottle as the top of the bag. The base of the bag should be wide enough for the bottle to reach over from the bag back to the front, as a “lid”. Place a bag clasp into the portion of the bottle that was once the top. It’s quirky and will require some daring experimentation but it can look very different when done!
    • In some versions of this bag, old military truck tarp was used as the back and sides of the bag.

Method 6
Bathtub shapes

For the children’s enjoyment, you can cut out various shapes such as animals, plants, clouds, dinosaurs etc.

  1. 1
    Find suitable templates for making the bathtub shapes. Look online or in craft books for shapes that your kids will enjoy. They should be a good size for small hands to hold. Turn the designs into cardboard patterns for tracing around.
  2. 2
    Cut the hot water bottle open to make two flat sides.
  3. 3
    Place the cardboard patterns onto each side, drawing around them using a Sharpie or similar marker. Try to use as much of the rubber as possible by keeping the patterns as closely together as possible.
  4. 4
    Cut out the shapes. Discard the unused edges.
  5. 5
    Keep near the bathtub for playtime. They should stick to the edge of a wet bath and float in the water as well. When not in use, ensure that they are left to dry out so as not to mildew.

Method 7
iPad cover

This can be one quirky way to keep your iPad safe when carrying it.

  1. 1
    Measure the iPad for fit by laying it on top of the hot water bottle to check the bottle is large enough before proceeding.
  2. 2
    Cut the top of the hot water off. Cut in a very straight line.
  3. 3
    Slip the iPad inside the hot water bottle. This is just to check that it fits well. Remove it and continue to make the cover.
  4. 4
    Using strong glue, stick two large press studs at the top at even spacing. These will serve as the closure for the iPad cover.
  5. 5
    Slip the iPad inside, snap the press studs closed and presto, you have a padded iPad cover for safe transport. Smaller hot water bottles could be used to contain eReaders, half size iPads and even cell phones. Use your imagination as to what will benefit from using this cover.

Method 8
Money keeper

Ditch the traditional and oh-so-yesterday money box for a money hot water bottle.

  1. 1
    Simply slip your coins in through the bottle opening and screw the stopper in place each time.
  2. 2
    Amass as many coins as will fit in the hot water bottle.
  3. 3
    Lug full hot water bottle along to your bank and be happily surprised at how much you’ve saved. Or leave it lying on the back seat of your car filled with parking money that nobody will ever think to steal because it looks like... a hot water bottle.

Method 9
Indoor plant waterer

Provided there aren’t leaks in the old hot water bottle, it can be used to water the plants.

  1. 1
    Simply fill with cold water and tip over indoor plants as needed.
  2. 2
    Keep the stopper out at all times in order to prevent mildew growth and allow the bottle to dry out between uses. Either hang somewhere such as behind a sink door or hall door or keep in a utility cupboard.

Method 10
Stopper earrings

You’ll need two hot water bottles for this one.

  1. 1
    Attach earring findings to each stopper, threaded through the stopper hole.
  2. 2
    Wear with amusement. Things can be improved greatly by decorating them but they’ll still be a very unusual fashion statement––be prepared to carry it off!


  • A hot water bottle ceases to be useful for its original purpose when it no longer stays hot but goes lukewarm or cold quickly. Of course, when there are leaks, splits and gashes, the hot water bottle is no longer useful as a hot water bottle either.


  • If you find that mildew/mold has grown inside the bottle and it's not possible to scrub it off or remove it with vinegar or a similar product, then discard the hot water bottle. It may present a health risk.

Things You'll Need

  • Old hot water bottle
  • Drying rack (optional but helpful for ensuring the bottle has dried out)
  • Stuffing (for cushion)
  • Scissors (for some projects)
  • Other sundry items as outlined above

Article Info

Categories: Home Organization & Recycling