Squeezing out every last cent

July 11, 2009

One of the downsides of handy modern packaging is that it’s sometimes hard to get out that last little bit of something.

And this is an example. This hand sanitiser, in short supply currently because of people worried about swine flu, is no useless. This is because the level of the gel contained in there has dropped below the level of the tube that sucks it up into the dispenser. As a result, we’re out money because we can’t squeeze out those last few drops.

Now, some people would throw this away now because it is, after all, only a little amount of gel. Other more sensible people will unscrew the cap, and wait a minute or so for the gel to drop all the way to the cap end, and then use the remainder. But, that’s at least a dozen or more uses of that gel in there, and unscrewing the cap and waiting for it to trickle down involves an interminable wait when you have an infant on the changing table giving you hell about, well, anything.

So what to do?

Well, we’ve put the boffins here at Frugal Me onto this one, and we think we may well have an answer.

  1. tip the now-useless dispenser bottle of gel upside down until all the gel runs to the cap end.
  2. unscrew the top carefully, so as not to get gel all over yourself, and tip the remaining gel into the new bottle of gel you bought to replace the old one.
  3. relax in the knowledge that you probably saved 50c, while also not telling those manufacturers get the better of you.




  1. BTW, that is the artiest shot of hand sanitizer I’ve ever seen.

  2. it’s the “Go Wellington” bus that really sets it off.

  3. I do that (drip the old bottle into the new) with shampoo, and dishwashing liquid, and moisturiser, and liquid soap, and anything I possibly can. 5c here and 10c there – pretty soon you’re talking about a bottle of wine!

    • there’s a word for people who squeeze the last 5c out of a bottle of wine… 😉

    • 5c here, 10c there… Let’s assume an average saving of 7.5c. Assuming that you drink at around the $10 mark (that is, a fairly cheap bottle of wine or one sold as a loss-leader), that’s 134 bottles of hand sanitizer.

      At which point you should ask yourself: how clean do I need to be, really?

  4. Great article, and while we’re on the subject, I’ve noticed that hand sanitisers are set up to dispense twice as much soap as you actually need.

    This doubles the profit for the pharma. company.

    My solution is to tip half of it into a special cup at the side of the sink, to use the next time around.
    This strategy halfs my hand-soap bill. Not bad!

  5. I cut open bottles of moisturiser with the sam e type of dispensin g mechanism and put the smmall bit in the bottom in a smaller container – then have a handy travel sized pack (handy for putting on hands suffering from eczema when out and about)

  6. Did you know that after squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube, you can then cut it half about half way down and you can scrape the inside of the tube with your brush and get another couple of days worth of toothpaste.

    Did you know that if you’re driving along a multi-laned road, that if you change lanes (with indicating and checking for traffic) so that you remain on the inside lane of a corner you will be cutting off metres on the mileage of your car, which will add up over time to be kilometres …

    Just some of the things we do which makes us like this blog.

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