The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Cleaning Product Recycling


Cleaning product packaging is essential for the safe transportation and storage of products. Fortunately, detergent bottles and many other cleaning product containers are designed to be remade. We need your help close the loop, reducing and eventually eliminating packaging waste.

Recycling Steps:

recycling steps

  1. Consider product packaging when purchasing. Look for packaging made with recycled material or if it’s designed to be refillable. You might also consider if the product is concentrated, because a concentrated product uses less packaging per dose compared to a standard product.
  2. After fully using, empty the container and rinse it out. If there is product left in the container, use it up or follow the disposal directions on the label. A rinsed and dried bottle is easier to recycle. Read our Product Disposal FAQ.
  3. Separate the bottle from the spray nozzle or pump, unless the recycling instructions indicate that the trigger can be recycled with the bottle. For non-refillable products, you often dispose of this top piece and recycle the bottle. If it has a cap, that is often also recyclable and may be left on.
  4. Check to see if the label should be removed. If the bottle has a wrap-around label, it may need to be removed and discarded. Check the recycling instructions on the bottle. Perforations are often added to make these types of labels easy to remove.
  5. Recycle according to local instructions. Check the label and your local recycling center to see if it is recyclable. and can help. It may seem counterintuitive, but when in doubt, throw it out. Otherwise, it may cause recycling contamination, and a whole batch of recyclables might need to be thrown out. Making new bottles from recycled material requires high-quality recyclables.

Closing the Loop:

recycling loop

Together, we can eliminate waste! Every day empty cleaning product containers are being picked up from our curbsides and turned into new containers that are filled and sent to grocery store shelves. Learn about our industry goal to close the loop.

Detergent and liquid soap bottles are usually made from #1 plastic (PET) or #2 plastic (HDPE). Most recycling programs accept these types of plastic. They are recycled at higher rates than any other type and can be recycled again and again. In 2018, 2.8 billion pounds of these plastics were recycled in the United States alone, making up 98.9% of all recycled plastic.

Is It Recyclable?

To get simple, helpful instructions, look for the How2Recycle graphic that is on many cleaning product labels.