17 Ways to Re-use Parmesan Cheese Containers

January 12, 2011 Six comments View all articles in Re-Use-It

Our Recycling Basics article tells you that type 1 plastic is very common and accepted in almost all recycling centers. Parmesan cheese containers happen to be made from type 1 plastic, or PETE, and can be re-used in a number of ways before being recycled. But why would you want to re-use a container you can easily recycle? Because re-usable products are often cheaper than the many single-use products they replace. Re-purposing products also reduces disposal needs, costs, energy, and raw materials. So before you recycle your Parmesan cheese containers, and especially before you throw them away, re-use them in any number of the following ways.

Note: If you re-use these containers for food purposes, know that plastics of this type are very porous and are known to hold odors and trace elements of their original product. Even after the container has been thoroughly washed, those with severe dairy allergies may still have serious reactions from the trace amounts of allergens left in the plastic.


  1. Fill your clean, empty Parmesan cheese container with baking soda, then sprinkle this kitchen staple into your damp sink, stovetop, or refrigerator shelves to get them spic-and-span.
  2. You can also use a Parmesan cheese container to sprinkle baking soda over your cat's litter box to absorb odors. The same technique works with your carpets as well; just sprinkle baking soda over dry carpets in the evening and vacuum them in the morning.
  3. Use Parmesan cheese containers to mix and store glitter and confetti that you or your kids can sprinkle over greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and other craft projects.
  4. Does someone in your house like cinnamon-sugar on their morning toast or oatmeal? Avoid the spilled-sugar-on-the-kitchen-floor nightmare by combining in a Parmesan cheese container two cups of white sugar with three to four tablespoons of cinnamon, then sprinkling over your food.
  5. Sugar comes in a plastic bag that's difficult to store and awkward to use. But keeping it in a Parmesan cheese container makes cooking or baking with sugar convenient and mess-free. This is a particularly handy way to sprinkle powdered sugar over your favorite foods.
  6. Keep a Parmesan cheese container filled with baking soda in your shower. Once or a twice a month, sprinkle some baking soda onto damp hair, massage, and rinse to remove shampoo and product build up (especially before perming or coloring). While you wash your hair, the baking soda will also be softening your skin and cleaning soap residue from the bath tub.
  7. Parmesan Cheese Container nails
  8. Use a Parmesan cheese container to sprinkle grass seed, weed killer, fertilizer, and red-ant killer in small locations in your yard. Be sure to clearly label the various contents of each container.
  9. A Parmesan cheese container decorated with ribbons or bows is a creative way to give friends and family edible gifts like small cookies or candies.
  10. Use a Parmesan cheese container in the garage to hold nails, screws, and bolts.
  11. Don't store your kids' Cheerios or Goldfish crackers in plastic bags, put them in a Parmesan cheese container. The container's pour spout and secure lid reduce the amount of spilling, so it's great for long-distance car rides.
  12. Fill a Parmesan cheese container with sidewalk salt to easily de-ice your sidewalks.
  13. Have your kids decorate a Parmesan cheese container and use it as their savings jar; half of the lid fits dollar bills and large coins.
  14. Give Parmesan cheese containers to your kids to play with in the bathtub or sandbox.
  15. Mix and store your own shake 'n bake bread or crumb coating in a Parmesan cheese container.
  16. Have a playful cat or dog at home? Put a ball inside a Parmesan cheese container and watch your pet chase it around for hours.
  17. If you regularly use cotton balls for makeup removal, you know the large plastic bags they're packaged in are both bulky and unsightly. Fill a Parmesan cheese container with cotton balls so you can keep them at-hand on the counter or easily pack them when traveling.
  18. Fill a Parmesan cheese container with powdered laundry detergent so you don't have to heave your economy-sized box of detergent to the laundromat with you. Just make sure you remember to bring the measuring cup along with you!


desiree on June 22, 2012 at 9:01 p.m.

i like idea 12 because kids need to learn how to save up

Lori D. on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:59 a.m.

They would also probably make a great dispenser for Epsom salts near your bath. You could probably even decorate the containers and fill them with Epson salts to give to friends. :-)

billy bob on May 10, 2016 at 2:22 p.m.

You could also put pencils in the opening.

Paul on April 2, 2017 at 2:54 p.m.

I use them for garden seed dispensors

April Rippel on Sept. 17, 2017 at 7:37 a.m.

We take the nail and screw storage one step further. We screw the lid to the underneath part of wooden shelves, then screw the bottom part of the container into the lid so that it hangs under the shelf, that way they take up no top shelf space.

Jerry on Sept. 26, 2017 at 7:36 p.m.

also great for homemade powdered coffee creamers....

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