Many commercial household cleaning products—glass and window cleaner for example—routinely come in a bottle with a handy sprayer. And we love that, as long as it works the way we expect that it should.

First, there’s the problem of a bottle design that makes it impossible to spray out every last bit of product because that tube doesn’t go all the way to the bottom. Or the mother of all frustrations: When the nozzle clogs up or for some other reason the thing just refuses to spray. Grrrrr!

Angry young woman because spray bottle won't spray

There’s no way to fix that bottle design, but with a little diligence you should be able to get the sprayer unclogged and working again for at least as long as it takes to use up the product (hot water, a paper clip to clear the nozzle, taking it all apart).

The sad truth is the nifty sprayer that comes with that window cleaner or all-purpose cleaner is meant to be disposable. It was designed to die about the time you need to buy more cleaner. Think of these sprayers as you do cottage cheese containers and screw-cap soda bottles. They’re considered single-purpose, one-and-done. Know this going in and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.

The solution is to stop relying on cheap, disposable sprayers. Understand the difference between disposable and quality spray bottles, then choose to own a few of the latter.

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