Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Best tool for cutting the bottom off gallon plastic milk jug

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

Okay, the bread knife wasn't gonna do it.
I figured before I tried everything in my arsenal I'd just come here and ask....

What do you use to cut the bottoms off of your gallon milk jugs???

Susan

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I use a pair of kitchen scissors from the Dollar store- works great.

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

Okie doke.
I'll try scissors next.
Thanks Jo.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Susan,

are you cutting the bottom all the way off, or just cutting it open / in half?

I too have found a good pair, but not an expensive pair, does a great job. I used to use a steak knife, with the serrations - it would slice thru nicely, but all the lines were uneven.

Terese

Santa Rosa, CA(Zone 9a)

The scissors worked perfectly. I poked one of the ends through and then it was pretty easy cutting.
I cut the whole bottom off thinking I would use the top of the jug like a little greenhouse over the top of seedlings....
Susan

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

I've stood at the sink with my milk-jugs and plastic water-bottles all lined up and I've wielded various scissors and even my Fiscars garden-clippers (probably not the BEST use of these) and what I've found that works the best is a box-cutter. 'Course, you have to be VERY careful because those suckers are sharp. But on my Hood milk jugs (thicker plastic than the opaque ones) the scissors just don't do it.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Emily.... I've notice that too. the thicker ones, -- i use a lot of vinegar jugs... it is hard for scissors to get thru them easily...

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

Box cutters are my choice

(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

This is my first time winter sowing but I have used milk jugs for other reasons. I usually make a clean cut with a knife or box cutters and then used my trusty pair of "it'll-take-your-finger-off" titanium scissors. I'm thinking I might need something more heavy duty for some apple cider and Arizona tea jugs I have.

Brady, TX(Zone 8a)

Hope ya'll are still looking for a good cutter -- these are the best I've found: http://www.leevalley.com/EN/home/PrintPage.aspx?p=59398&ap=8 -- I think they're "famous" for being able to cut pennies!

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Tikipod, how do you get the labels of the Arizona tea jugs?

Felisa

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

Great idea for using at home. Those scissors are usually used in emegencies by paramedics and firefighters to cut the clothes off of patients. Maybe I can find them locally at the medical supply store.

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I use soda bottles for winter sowing. I don't drink milk or juice, but do drink diet soda. I put the bottles in these blue trays that hold 8 bottles each so they are very easy to move around. I like that each is a separate "greenhouse". I channel my inner Sharon Stone to make holes in the bottoms with an ice pick, start the center cut with a box cutter or old knife and finish it with an old scissor. I make three cuts in the bottom part perpendicular to the center cut so that I can fit the top of the bottle on top of the bottom. I like that they stack together to save space "off season". Super easy.

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

LoL @ GardenQuilts (Sharon Stone) where do you find the blue trays? I was hoping to aquire 4 of those bread trays for my WSing. If not I may have to purchase some milk crates. I thought the bread crates would work a lot better for futures use in the garden.

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

The bf showed up with them. filled with soda bottles. He has an uncle who is a manager at a supermarket chain. Sometimes he gets a good deal on some close out. This time it was soda. I have seen stacks of them outside supermarkets, I am not sure if they are available or waiting for trucks, it wouldn't hurt to ask.

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

I checked with the supermarket today. If I'm correct, they are bread crates. They belong to the bakeries. The bakeries will rent but not sale. ;-(

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I'll have to take some pictures if the snow we may get isn't too deep. The ones I use are the same ones that are used in trucks and stores to hold 2 liter soda bottles. I have seen them stacked next to dumpsters behind grocery stores. I suspect they are there for the trucks to pick up. I don't think that they want you to take them, but I am not certain. These are different from crates. The only thing that they hold are bottles.

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

Ohhhhh, they are the trays that hold the two liter bottles?

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

Yes, each tray holds 8-2 liter bottles. They are really handy and keep the bottles from blowing around the patio.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

GQ -- that was as sweet score, especially if you use a lot of those 2Ltr bottles.

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

The bf thought that they would make it easier to carry in the groceries.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Felisa..I have found out that if I put real hot water into the milk jugs, replaced the cap on for a few minutes, most labels will peel right off real easy.
Also it's okay to leave the labels on but I found it easier to see through the jug if the label was removed. I didn't want to miss any spouts coming through!

Anita..I found my plastic milk crates at Value Village which is a local thrift store for only $1.91 each. Check thrift stores like Goodwill or SA too. People bring donations of stuff in those crates. Sometimes the thrift store uses them to display records or wallpaper rolls,etc. Also check on FREECYCLE. Or your Habitat for Humanity resale store. I even found a brand new mini-blind at the Thrift store last January for only $3 and it has made a lot of plant markers for the inside of the milk jugs.

Good Luck!

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

SA stores have a "half price day" also. I have been popping in for cashmere and angora sweaters to unravel and reknit for gifts and such. I am also always on the lookout for flower pots.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Just another suggestion for making those holes for drainage in the bottom of the milk jug or soda bottle, or whatever and for the air circulation holes up near the neck of the jug or bottle...use a soldering iron tool. In just a few minutes, that baby heats up and in seconds you can do all the holes needed. Just be careful, that tool gets very hot and make sure to place it on something that won't burn. Last year that was what I used. My husband had two and at first I asked him about it, he had a fit and wasn't going to let me use it. He's picky about somebody else using his tools but when I asked him when was the last time he used either of his soldering iron tool, he gave in and gave the old one to me. I would plug it in and lean it on a ceramic tile that I have, so it wouldn't burn a hole into my new counter top or anything else surround it. I'd try to do a bunch at one time, then I'd unplug it and let it cool down. It doesn't take long for it to heat back up. Works like a charm..it you want larger holes, just move the tool around a bit or hold it longer in one place. Be aware, it does produce an odor when it melts the plastic..Soda bottles take longer to do than milk jugs because their bottoms are molded and thicker than a milk jug. If you don't have one..I think you can buy one cheap and just use it for your wintersowing project.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

This past January when I started WS, I started out using a carpet knife, aka sheetrock knife; switched over to regular scissors, then kitchen sheers, back to sheetrock knife. I wonder how an electric carving knife would work? They have serated edge blades so maybe not, plus you wouldn't want to use it for cutting meats after that. Maybe if you can find one at Thrift store cheap that works, might be worth a try. I recall Token over at Gardenweb used some type of power saw..it's name is escaping me but if you are a member over at GW, you might find some of his pictures of him cutting the liter soda bottles that gets saved for him by his family and friends. I think he has a demonstration with photos on his blog www.seventhstreetcottage.com. look on the side categories about wintersowing. I think it was a band saw he was using to cut the liter bottles but you can double check his blog.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

There are also hobby knives that heat- they are used to cut plastic template material- and Joan's has 40% off coupons eternally- you might check there. Also an old woodburning tool-

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

>>He's picky about somebody else using his tools

Mine too. If i ever use his tools, I make sure they go back exactly where i found them... made that mistake once with a drill bit. whoops.

I too, know the guy from 7th street blog spot... i know him from a different site though. He WS's an amazing amount of containers.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

diamond9192002 ~ if I can suggest, dumpster diving for those trays you wanted. I got a slew of them from a restaurant dumpster. I had watched them stacked up by the dumpster for weeks and one day when I went by they were all tossed in a full dumpster so I felt free to have at it!

I cut the jugs with scissors mostly, sturdy knife on the heavier vinegar jugs as well as poking (& twisting) the drain holes in the bottoms with the same knife.

I agree on the using someone elses tools after all, mine are mine, mine, mine!!! lol

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

I have never done any dumpster diving but I'm half tempted LoL. There's really no problem with using boxes after they breakdown I can throw them in my garden. Thanks Podster, I'm going to keep an eye on some dumpsters in the area.

(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

Oh my, I'm late to reply to this but I haven't tried to remove the label of the Arizona tea jugs yet. In fact I think my Dad may have thrown them out.

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

Podster, my mother came home with a crate the same size that the bread comes in but it has taller sides. I hit the jackpot! I was preparing myself to dumpster dive but allI had to do was shop in my mother's garage. They are very sturdy but light weight. I will post a picture later.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Good deal! Sounds like you owe her... lol

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

Big time!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

sounds like a great score, Anita.

amazing what can be found in our parents garages or attics.

(Anita) Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 6a)

LoL if you only knew my DM, she proabably has somehting tucked awaythat each of us wants to take home. LoL I'm willing to guess that she probably tries to send something home with me at least twice every week. LoL Bless her heart!

Monson, MA

New to forum 'what is winter sowing'? Is it early planting outside with milk jugs for added warmth?
I live in MA. zone 5...thanks

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

in a sense... yes.

I'm sure you've seen some of the images posted within the forum...

Winter Sowing can start as early as Winter Solstice, Dec 21st -- but most of us are pretty busy during that time and do not start until January or February -- depending on our locations.

We sow our seeds in containers like Milk Jugs... the containers mostly protect the seeds from 'pests' such as critters and birds, and from being washed or blown away with weather.

the seeds will germinate when the conditions are right -- then we plant them out when the conditions are right.

hope this helps a bit... and Welcome to the Winter Sowing forum.

Terese

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Welcome to the Winter Sowing forum, Ladyslipper! Terese has summed the WS process up nicely--if you want more details, go to the "sticky" at the top of this forum entitled "Help for Winter Sowing." Grampapa collected a LOT of great information, along with helpful links.
--Emily, who is going to go locate her box-cutter and start prepping those milk jugs!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the reminder Emily. It is a nice mindless task that fits in after the holiday frenzy and before tax time. LOL

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Felisa...and others...when you wash your milk jugs out, use hot water, put the milk cap back on, shake the water up and let it sit for a minute or so, then you'll be able to peel most labels off. I was surprized how easy it comes off. Wished I'd know that when I was doing refunding umpteen years ago, trying to get that upc off so I could send in for a rebate. I've also found out that if you find a milk jug that somebody has stomped on, try filling it with hot water and it's pop right back out. Do this over your sink, just in case it leaks.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP