Why You Shouldn’t Use Clear Bottles When Decanting Bathroom Products

published Nov 18, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

In the world of Instagram cleaning and organization trends (yes, this is a thing), there’s nothing as aesthetically-pleasing as items decanted in uniform glass bottles. Whether in a bathroom or kitchen, decanting things into clear containers (glass or acrylic are usually the favorites) is a quick and easy way to make everything look just a little more put together. Plus, this means you can clearly see products and know immediately when you need more of something—whether it be soap, cereal, or laundry detergent pods.

But decanting isn’t always the best plan of action. When it comes to bathroom, kitchen, and skincare products, clear bottles aren’t such a great idea—especially if the original packaging is opaque, says Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer of The Cleaning Authority. “Light exposure through a clear bottle could affect the quality of the product,” she explains. “The less transparent the container, the more it will preserve the product.” 

According to Carow Dispensing Success (a company completely dedicated to—you guessed it—selling dispensers and containers), different bottles serve different protective purposes. “In regard to light protection, the darker and more opaque the glass, the more protection it offers against oxidation,” the blog post reads. This oxidation process can ultimately affect the useable shelf life of things like makeup and skincare products, particularly if they sit in a location that’s exposed to UV rays. 

So what type of glass should you use? Amber glass is the only type that protects against visible light and UV rays. (Blue and green glass protect against visible light, but not UV. )

If you’re unsure which household products you can decant into clear glass rather than opaque glass, simply observe what kind of packaging the product originally came in. If the bottle or container is clear, then you can probably store it in clear glass without much worry. If it’s opaque, opt for an amber or green-colored glass container. It might not look quite as uniform as all those pantry shelves you see in organizing inspo, but your products will last longer.