Why isn’t my spray bottle working?

A spray bottle can stop functioning perfectly due to a number of reasons. 

  • The nozzle could be blocked
  • The straw could be blocked
  • The pump could be defective
  • The inner tube or straw is too short

First, try to diagnose where the problem is coming from. If you think the nizzle is blocked, then just follow the simple instructions below on how to unclog your spray bottle. 

If you have tried that step and your spray bottle is still not working, then you might have to fix the nozzle or get it replaced. 

How do you make a spray bottle work again: Blocked nozzle or straw?

  1. Remove the pump from the bottle.
  2. Soak it in hot water and soap if necessary. Twist the nozzle to and fro to loosen it. You can also try filling the bottle with some hot water and working the pump to clear it. (Don’t make the water too hot. The plastic may not support it). Soaking in some vinegar helps clear blocks too. 
  3. Check if the straw is clogged. Run it in hot water to clear it up. If the nozzle is still clogged, then use a pin or brush to remove debris. 
  4. Fix the pump back in. Don’t tighten the nozzle too much, or the pump will not work. Fix it so that it is just snug and secure. 

How do you make a spray bottle work again: Defective Pump?

If the spray bottle does not work even after cleaning the pump and nozzle, then the issue could be with the pump mechanism. A pump spray bottle works depending on a spring-loaded plastic piston that is operated by a trigger or vertical pump mechanism. The piston retracts automatically each time you spray. This creates a vacuum in the chamber that sucks more fluid from the bottle through the tube. If the pump system is not working, then the piston seal could be damaged.how do you make a spray bottle work again

Another reason why the pump may not be working is if the spring is broken or pops out of position. If the spring is accessible, then you can find another similar size spring at a hardware store and replace it. But if it’s not, you might just have to replace the pump. Try to fix the bottle with a spray pump from another used spray bottle. 

Read this for more help on how to fix the spray bottle pump mechanism.

How do you make a spray bottle work again if the straw is too short?

If the straw of the spray bottle is too short, it will curl up and not be able to reach the fluid at the bottom. To prevent this, you can buy a one-foot length of 1/8-inch plastic tubing from a hardware store. 

Cut the existing tube keeping an inch remaining attached to the sprayer. Then push the 1/8 tubing over it. Cut the tubing a bit longer than the total height of the bottle. You can also attach some 1/8 inch metal nuts to the bottom so that it weighs the tube down and keep it immersed in the liquid when you move the bottle. 

If none of the above guidelines work, then I’m afraid you will have to go out and buy a new one from a hardware store. It always helps to save the bottles of cleaning detergents and other liquids that come with a spray pump mechanism. You can wash them well and use them as a spray bottle. 

The choices you make whether to reuse or recycle a single plastic bottle will definitely go a long way in impacting the climate. 



How do you make a spray bottle work again? Conclusion

If your spray bottle is not functioning well, it’s a good idea to try and fix it rather than go and buy a new one. First, identify the cause of the problem. It could be a defective pump or a clogged nozzle. If everything you try to repair the bottle does not work, then buy a new one!


Also read: Spray bottle alternatives for a greener home.

*All pics are courtesy of Unsplash.com


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