Fixing leaky squeeze bottles

By | Tuesday, July 07, 2015 5 comments

If you use squeeze bottles for arts & crafts or in the kitchen, you are no doubt aware of the sad fact that they always leak. Well, okay, maybe not always, but most of the time. This can be anything from frustrating to disastrous. I use squeeze bottles in my kitchen and am endlessly annoyed by this. Most often I use these bottles for dispensing simple syrup. I love lemonade, so I always keep lemon juice in the fridge along with a squeeze bottle of simple syrup. A few tablespoons of lemon juice, a squirt of syrup, cold water and ice, and I’m good to go. Except that the squeeze bottle is always sticky - because it leaks.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this phenomenon, the bottles leak at the point where the top screws on. It doesn’t matter how much you tighten it, it will leak.

I’ve tried a couple different brands, but they are all pretty much the same. I have some Tablecraft bottles that I got at a local kitchen supply store, and other bottles made by Tar Hong Plastic Manufacturing (sold under a variety of names), which I got on They all leak.

The other day I was so tired of leaky squeeze bottles that I decided to throw mine away and buy new ones. I went to to see what others were saying about different brands of bottles. Some had more negative comments than others. Some were clearly worthless. None were without critics.

While searching for the squeeze bottle of my dreams, I ran across an astonishing posting by a reviewer. I was looking at the comments on a set of New Star 26146 Plastic Squeeze Bottles when I found a review by someone calling themselves “djd in Woodbridge”. He or she describes a simple and apparently 100% effective way of stopping these leaks. It sounded too good to be true, but I had to give it a try. To my amazement and pleasure, the technique worked perfectly. I present it here for your enjoyment, but I take no credit for figuring it out. I am entirely indebted to “djd in Woodbridge” for this brilliant solution.

Quite simply, you sand down the top of the bottle until it is flat and smooth. Djd Woodbridge recommends 100 or 120 grit sandpaper. I used P400 Emery cloth (slightly finer than 320 grit sandpaper), which worked great.

Place the sandpaper or emery cloth on a flat surface. Hold the bottle upside down with the top against the sandpaper. Using circles or figure eights, lightly sand the bottle top until it is flat and smooth. Try and keep the bottle’s opening as flat and level as possible while sanding. Note that you will want to rinse the bottle before use.

After the bottle’s rim is sanded, you should find that the cap seals perfectly.

You can test the seal by putting your finger over the spout and squeezing the bottle. There should be no leakage around the bottle cap. Yay!
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  1. Thank you for the post - it certainly makes sense. I will try it tonight!

  2. I tried it this past weekend and it seemed to work when I filled with water at home to test but whet I used juice or wine or leaked. Any ideas why?

  3. DAMN!!! So simple...Yet, Genius. Thank you.

  4. Just sanded my bottles. Didn't leak on first test. Time will tell. Thank you!

  5. This was driving me crazy, so I Googled. Some also say to try that very thin, stretchy (PTFE) plumbers tape.


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