How To Fix a Spray Bottle
Troubleshooting the pump spray bottle
A spray bottle is essentially a straightforward pump mechanism composed of a piston, tube, and nozzle. Upon pulling the trigger, the plastic piston moves upward and drives the fluid in the tube out through the nozzle.
Upon releasing the trigger, the piston moves downward, producing a vacuum that pulls fluid back into the tube for the subsequent spray.
If your spray bottle is no longer functioning properly, it may be due to a blockage in the nozzle, a damaged piston seal in the piston chamber, or the tube not being fully immersed in the liquid within the bottle.
Determining the specific issue with your sprayer requires a visual inspection. If you notice that the trigger lacks pressure, then it may be due to a broken seal.
If the tube is not immersed in the liquid, the problem could be the length of the tube.
If the trigger feels difficult to squeeze and there is pressure, it is likely that the spray mechanism is blocked. In such a scenario, the tube should be checked to ensure it is touching the liquid.
Check out our below cleaning tips to fixing your spray bottle.
Unblocking adjustment cap or nozzle
To address a blocked nozzle, it is advisable to initially confirm whether the adjustment cap on the nozzle is open. It is not uncommon for the adjustment cap to be inadvertently closed, leading to a blocked nozzle. It is recommended to double-check this prior to pursuing further troubleshooting measures.
If the adjustment cap on the nozzle is open but the sprayer is still not functioning, the next step is to unscrew the nozzle head from the bottle. Fill a sink with hot water, ensuring that the water is not boiling, and pull the trigger so that hot water is drawn into the spray bottle pump. This should flush out any remaining cleaning solution that may be causing the blockage. If the blockage persists, move on to the next step.
To clear a blockage in your spray bottle, submerge the spray mechanism in a bottle of white vinegar and spray the vinegar through the pump. Allow the vinegar to sit for approximately 30 minutes before rinsing it out. The vinegar’s acidic properties can dissolve any obstructions, resolving the blockage issue.
In case the blockage is at the nozzle, you can use a small pin to gently clear out any obstruction in the nozzle hole.
Lengthening the tube on the Sspray mechanism
On occasion, the length of your tube may be insufficient, preventing you from fully utilizing the cleaning solution in your spray bottle. This can be quite frustrating, isn’t it?
In hardware stores, plastic tubes are available for sale that can be cut to the required length. By using some basic crafting skills, these tubes can be slid over the current tube to extend its length.
To ensure the new plastic tube remains securely attached to the original tube and reaches the bottom of the bottle, you may consider using a metal nut to secure the connection point, and an elastic band to provide additional support. This will prevent the tube from curling to either side of the bottle, and ensure it is weighted properly.
One of the most effective cleaning tips I can offer is how to optimize the use of your spray bottles.
No liquid drawing up
When you activate the trigger, you should observe small bubbles inside the plastic tube consistently drawing up liquid. If you find that there is no movement through the tube, it is highly probable that the tube has a small hole or tear.
If the hole or tear in the tube is located at the top or bottom, it can be resolved by cutting off the affected portion and reinserting the tube into the spray mechanism. In case the damage is in the middle of the tube, you may use clear plastic tape to wrap around the tear or replace the tube with one of a similar size.
Identify and fix other problems
In the event that the piston fails to retract after pumping, a common cause is a missing or broken spring. Occasionally, the spring may simply be out of position. Replacement springs can often be found at hardware stores, but accessibility may be an issue. If the piston seals are compromised and the spring isn’t accessible, the sprayer will need to be replaced. If the seals have failed and the trigger still functions, but the sprayer produces only a small amount of fluid, you may be able to enhance its performance by spraying vegetable oil through it.