Trust me when I say that we’ve all had spray bottles break down on us at least once in our life. Whether it happened while cleaning your bathroom, watering your beloved houseplants, or wiping the windshield of your car, these pressure-operated dispensers have a specialty of malfunctioning during the most crucial of times.
If you can’t or don’t want to buy another spray bottle, then you’re in the right place because this guide will take you through the steps you can take to fix your spray bottles.
How do I fix my spray bottle?
To fix your malfunctioning spray bottle, you first need to identify what’s causing it not to work correctly. If it’s a clog, you can physically break down the build-up with a needle or use vinegar and alcohol to loosen the accumulated particles.
If the spring is the one acting up, you can first disassemble the spray bottle, if possible, until you can access the spring. Then, you can either realign it back to its original position, stretch it out, or replace it with a new one. Meanwhile, if the spray isn’t working due to the inner tube coiling, you can substitute it with a different tube from another bottle.
Make sure that the tube submerges under the liquid. You can also prevent future curling by attaching something heavy, like a nut, to the free end of the tube.
How do I begin fixing my spray bottle?
The first vital step in fixing your spray bottle is to troubleshoot it so you can guess what component is broken or malfunctioning. If the bottle isn’t spraying any liquid or feels like something is blocking the fluid within the system, then built-up dirt or oil might be clogging the nozzle. This is especially the case for spray bottles that contain oily substances.
If you need to squeeze the trigger multiple times fast to get something out, then it might be due to the spring, and so it will require a small and simple modification that you can perform at home. The spring is also likely at fault for spray bottles that don’t automatically retract after gripping or pushing down the trigger.
You also need to check whether the hole of the inner tube is submerged into the liquid. Bottle sprays will never work if the tube is not below the liquid level because of the physics involved in the spraying mechanism. Thus, the container must have sufficient fluid to submerge the inner tube, or the tube shouldn’t be curled so it can reach the liquid.
How do I fix a clogged spray bottle?
If you suspect that hardened deposits are causing your spray bottle to act up, then you simply need to clean the nozzle area. However, before you get your alcohol, vinegar, or hot water, you should first try to unscrew the nozzle cap with a quarter of a turn and check if it’s spraying. If it is, then the nozzle cap might have been just too tight for the liquid to pass through.
If not, proceed to unscrew the cap and rinse it with hot, running water for a few minutes. You can use tongs or other tools so that you don’t scald yourself for a spray bottle. While the water flows into the cap, you can also try scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.
Then, you can do the same for the nozzle itself. If you can reach the accumulated dirt with a needle, try poking and breaking it down to unclog the nozzle more easily.
If it is still blocked, you can immerse the whole spraying apparatus, along with the nozzle cap, in vinegar for twenty to thirty minutes. After the desired time has passed, take it out of the vinegar bath, rinse it with warm or hot water, and check if it’s spraying again.
You might want to use alcohol instead of vinegar if you used the spray bottle for hair sprays. Alcohol is a better solvent for resins, which are part of the formulation for most hair sprays and are usually the culprit for hairspray bottle clogs.
How do I fix a faulty spray bottle spring?
If your spray bottle’s trigger isn’t retracting by itself, or if it requires quick, successive squeezes to get a decent spray, then you should check the spring nested inside the cylinder body. Start by disassembling the spray component to its most basic parts.
Note that if you can’t access the spring without permanently breaking the spraying contraption, then you may just need to accept that the spray bottle isn’t fixable.
However, if you can access the spring, then here are the ways to deal with your spray bottle’s defective spring. First, if it was just jammed or misaligned, then just remove the spring, realign it correctly, and reassemble the spray bottle. The trigger should now be retracting on its own with the spring properly functioning.
If it still isn’t working properly, then you can try to stretch out the spring as the last resort. Only do this if no other method fixes your spray bottle. Before stretching the spring, you’ll need to prepare something to grip it as it is dangerous to do it with your bare hands.
If you’re a certified handyman and you have heavy-duty gloves suited for working with tools, then you can stretch the spring with your own hands while wearing the gloves, of course. Otherwise, pliers or metal clamps are very much suitable for the job.
Now, stretch the spring to about one and a half times bigger than its original size. You can also try to stretch it to twice the actual length, but keep in mind that stretching the spring too much would make it useless instead. Next, put the spring back into its place and reassemble the spray bottle. Lastly, check if the piston, along with the trigger, is retracting automatically now.
If all of these methods aren’t working, you can always buy a spare spring from your local hardware store. But if you’re going to the hardware store anyway, you probably should consider purchasing a new spray bottle instead since finding the right spring can be stressful and difficult.
How do I fix a spray bottle’s inner tube?
The inner tube of a spray bottle, which acts as a path for liquid product to reach the nozzle and be dispensed, curls with time, and thus, it is unable to reach the bottom of the bottle. To fix the curling tube, you can try to look for tubes from other spray bottles.
Preferably, these tubes should be from spray bottles that are taller than the one you’re trying to fix. If you want to make sure that curling doesn’t happen again, you can attach something heavy — like a nut —near the end of the tube. Make sure that the metal won’t react with whatever is being stored in the bottle.
In the case that you’re unable to attach a nut onto the end of the tube due to the risk of contamination or unwanted reaction, you can also use tape to secure the tube onto the side of the bottle.
How do I fix a jammed perfume spray bottle?
Besides the piston, spring, and other parts, perfume bottles can have a plastic or metal ball inside the spraying contraption called the pea. When too much force is applied to the trigger, the pea can sometimes cause the spray bottle to jam.
To fix a suspected pea jam, you can also start by taking apart the spraying part. Since perfumes are often stored within glass bottles for aesthetics, separate the spraying part from the bottle first and keep the bottle away from where you’re working to avoid accidents.
Once you can access the pea, check if it’s stuck inside the spring or if it isn’t appropriately seated below the spring. Jams usually happen because of the ball entering the spring. Next, take a needle and poke on the ball to free it from being stuck. Then you need to push it until it is once again below the spring.
Lastly, check for any accumulation within the tube since the ball could not achieve its original purpose of dispersing the particles suspended within the fluid. If there are any, try poking it with a thin needle. Reassemble the spray bottle and test if it is now unjammed.
Spray bottles breaking down in the worst of times can be a frustrating experience, especially since it’s used a lot within the house for cleaning and gardening, among others. There are times when you just need to concede and accept that you need to replace your spray bottle.
However, sometimes, all it takes to repair it are a few quick and simple nudges here and there. Therefore, fixing a spray bottle on your own saves you not only time but also money, and even the environment too!