How to Fix a Spray Bottle That’s Not Working

Spray bottles are everywhere in our homes, holding things like cleaning stuff and plant sprays. Sometimes these simple-looking bottles stop working, which can be annoying and waste what’s inside. Before you throw away a spray bottle that won’t spray, try these tips to get it working again.

How Spray Bottles Work

Mist sprayer

A spray bottle works in a basic way. When you pull the trigger or push the pump, a part inside pushes liquid out through the small hole. When it moves back, it pulls more liquid up from the bottle. Problems can happen if the hole gets blocked, parts get damaged, or the tube can’t reach the liquid.

Learn more about components of a sprayer.

Fixing Common Problems

Blocked Spray Nozzle

Often, the nozzle where the spray comes out gets blocked, especially with things that can dry up or form crystals. To fix this:

Unscrew the cap on the spray part and try spraying
Soak the spray part in hot water, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol (depending on what’s in the bottle)
Use a safety pin to clear any visible blockages
For bad blocks, soak the whole spray top
Tip: You can also use canned air (like what’s used to clean computers) to blow out tough clogs.

Close-up of a blocked spray nozzle

Dip-tube Problems

Sometimes the problem is with the dip-tube that sucks up the liquid:

Make sure the tube reaches the liquid
Cut the tube and add a longer one with a small weight at the end
Use a paper clip to straighten a bent tube
Tip: You could use a tube that coils instead of a straight one. This works better when you tip the bottle.

Problems with mechanism

When the mechanism doesn’t spring back or the spray is weak:

Look for a broken or out-of-place spring
Replace the whole spray top if the seals are bad
Use a bit of cooking oil to make the parts move smoothly.

Spray mechanism taken apart

Preventing Future Problems

Keep It Clean

    • Wipe the spray part after each use
    • Run warm water through it sometimes
    • For oily stuff, use a little soapy water

Store It Right

    • Keep bottles standing up to stop leaks
    • Store in a cool, dry place
    • Always put the cap back on

Buy Good Quality

It’s worth buying better spray bottles for things you use a lot. They might cost more at first, but they last longer and work better, which saves money over time.


With these simple steps, you can fix most spray bottle problems at home. Don’t let a malfunctioning spray bottle frustrate you – try these DIY solutions first!

Remember, a well-maintained spray bottle can last for years. By fixing instead of replacing, you’re making a smart, cost-effective choice.


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