17 Great Ways To Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles For Survival

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17 Great Ways To Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles For Survival
17 Great Ways To Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles For Survival. Photo – Unsplash (PD)

I’ll admit it, I’m a huge fan of the ubiquitous 2-liter soda bottles. And like 5-gallon buckets, I think they’re far too under-utilized by preppers. In fact, 2-liter soda bottles can be used in a variety of ways and I would imagine I’m only grazing the surface here. The best part is that they’re 100% free. Here are 17 ways I think you can re-purpose a simple 2-liter soda bottle, enjoy…

1. Block of ice – I’d imagine many of you expect to keep your refrigerated food viable for longer using ice in coolers. You can easily accomplish this by freezing water in 2-liter soda bottles creating a nice block of ice. Just be sure to fill it about 90% full to avoid bursting the soda bottle since water expands as it freezes.

2. Emergency drinking water – When that block of ice melts, you now have a portable source of potable drinking water. I would suggest you clean the bottle first with soap and water and then simply fill it with tap water. Of course, you don’t have to freeze water stored in 2-liter soda bottles but it’s a nice benefit. Beyond that, they’re FDA-approved, shouldn’t degrade, and very durable. It’s a win-win.

3. SODIS – Now, when they’re no longer a viable block of ice and you’ve consumed the water inside, you can still make use of 2-liter soda bottles to disinfect any collected water using the SODIS method. Granted, there are some considerations, such as the bottle must be clear for this to work, but I’m positive you’ll love these bottles even more once you learn how.

4. Food storage (short term) – I’ve seen many people suggest that you can easily store food in a 2-liter bottle (video) and while I agree, it’s not a 100% perfect solution and shouldn’t be considered viable for long-term foods. That said, could you easily store bulk foods for years on end without trouble? Sure. I wouldn’t worry too much about it at all.

5. Fruit fly and wasp trap – We’ve used 2-liter soda bottles for years as a very successful gnat and fruit fly trap inside the house. You can also use them to trap wasps (video) as well.

6. Hand washing station – You can easily makeshift a hand washing station by hanging a 2-liter soda bottle upside-down and unscrewing the cap ever-so-slightly such that a trickle of water escapes thereby allowing you to wash your hands and conserve water.

7. Fish trap – Though I’ve never tried this one, apparently you can create a makeshift fish trap too.

8. Water filter – Create your own biosand filter (video) in nearly any container, including a 2-liter soda bottle. Just pile the appropriate amounts of gravel, activated charcoal, and sand and you’ll have a viable makeshift water filter in no time! Well, you do have to wait a week or two for the biolayer to form but, hey, who’s counting?

9. Mini greenhouse – If you’re trying to get your plants started in the spring but are unsure about the weather, you can cut the bottom off a 2-liter soda bottle and help to protect vulnerable plants.

10. Upside-down planter – Bored with growing your plants right-side up? No problem! Flip it around like this (video).

11. Self-watering container – Similar to grow buckets, you can make your own self-watering mini-grow bucket using a 2-liter soda bottle.

12. Drip irrigation – Here’s something else I’ve never tried but I hear you can make your own drip irrigation system.

13. Boil water – Here’s something else I’ve never actually tried but apparently you can suspend a bottle of water over a campfire and boil water so long as the flames don’t lick the bottle. I’ve also heard that you can actually put a completely full bottle of water (with the cap on) in a campfire and not melt the bottle… that remains to be tested.

14. Water bailer/scoop – Again, cut the bottom off and now you have a water bailer or. You could also cut it at an angle and turn that same water bottle into a makeshift scoop for grains or whatever you like.

15. Makeshift funnel – As with the above suggestion, cut the bottom off but remove the cap and you have a nice, free, funnel.

16. Makeshift pillow – I know this is stretching it a bit but you could rest a weary head atop an inflated soda bottle. I know it’s not a comfy down pillow but it sure beats a hard rock.

17. Emergency floating device – Tie a few of these together (inflated and with the caps) and you’ve got a makeshift floatation device.

So, what uses can you think of? I would love to hear them!

By Damian Brindle


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  • By Michele Betlejeski-Bentley, January 30, 2014 @ 13:19

    We do the ice block idea all the time– I’ve used different sized soda bottles in a large construction water keg– it keeps the gator aid cold for almost 12 hours and doesn’t water down the gator aid! I have also used the ice blocks as the cold base in a cooler. they keep things nice and cold for almost 10 hours if you go in and out of the cooler and almost 15 if the cooler stays closed.

  • By LF, November 15, 2014 @ 00:51

    How about planters for veggies or for kids to grow flowers? Our family had green thumbs so we plant in everything!

  • By Silas, November 11, 2016 @ 08:29

    Use them as skylights in dark buildings. For sheds and buildings without extra ceilings, just mount them in a roof so they hang down like light bulbs. Seal around hole with silicone. Maybe add a little cheap (97 cents at Walmart ) landscaping solar light for free nighttime light.

  • By ed, February 10, 2017 @ 04:49

    You can also cut around the empty bottle (after removing the base) in a spiral-fashion to make cordage! VERY strong & can be tightened (ie: shrunk) if heat is applied carefully – thereby making whatever you knot-together VERY tight indeed!

  • By Nan, May 21, 2017 @ 15:43

    I use a pop bottle (one liter as well as two liter) when I’m camping to keep my feet warm at night. I put a sock over the bottle to make sure no burnt feet. Also if you don’t have a heating pad it can double for one if you have stomach pains or the like.

  • By Shane, July 27, 2019 @ 20:05

    First off never even put boiling water into a soda bottle, especially if you plan to drink it later. The plastic cannot handle the temperature. You can however make a solar still out of one.

  • By Gabby, November 14, 2021 @ 07:55

    Sir reading above about boiling water in a bottle is true. I’ve done both by hanging over a fire and just putting it in the fire. Just make sure the bottle is full, don’t put on the cap, the heat and pressure will make it pop. The one thing you have to worry about is the cardigans in the plastic and what they’ll do to you.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Preparedness Uses for 2 Liter Bottles - SHTF & Prepping Central — January 28, 2016 @ 18:15

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