Use an oral medicine syringe to dispense fish tank chemicals

Another super-smart hack from Tracy Hengst:

We have a million of those oral medicine-dosing syringes around our house. You know the kind… they come with infant meds, the kind you get from your pharmacy, etc. Although we use them for playing doctor, I feel bad just throwing them away.

So the other day when I was trying to painstakingly measure out the "chlorine reducer" drops for our fish tank, I had an aha moment. I pulled out one of the droppers and, wouldn't you know it, it took me 2 seconds to measure it out – compared to several minutes using the built-in cover/cup included with the chlorine reducer bottle. To make even easier, I've taken a permant marker to indicate my fish drop fill-line. So, there you go, I managed to gain back 1 1/2 minutes of my busy life :)

I would love to hear ideas from other folks about what they do with their old oral syringes.

So? How have you reused those oral syringes?

Related: Serve lunchbox condiments in a medicine syringe


  1. says

    As summer is coming in the distant future, I thought I would add that we like to use these as awesome water gun types. Fill up a bucket of water so that you can easily just pull and shoot. It let’s of a great long stream depending on how hard you push.

    It’s also great in motor development for the little ones.

  2. Rachel says

    Alton Brown taught me that these work great to measure extracts when baking. I handed out some of my extras to my mom and brother so they could benefit too.

  3. says

    We use them as bath toys along with empty dishsoap bottles (the kind with squirt top) and our daughter loves squirting water -particularly if she’s having a bath with a friend.

  4. says

    We use ours to dispense honey for coughs. Way less chance for a sticky mess then a spoon, easy to trasnsport to the kids room in the middle of the night, the toddler can easily and cleanly get some honey to quiet the cough. And a dip in some hot water then some soap and it’s easily cleaned.

  5. Karl Bielefeldt says

    They’re also great for measuring water for the water quality tests for your tank.

    Just a side note, it makes me extremely nervous to associate medical devices as toys with my kids. If I can get them to hesitate for even half a minute before playing with something potentially dangerous, I feel that’s an extra layer of protection in addition to our normal precautions.

    I also don’t want to let my own guard down. If I ever see my kids playing with a syringe, I don’t risk wrongly assuming it’s a benign one that we allocated as a toy.

  6. Tracy says

    What a great idea for liquid cooking measurements !! This would definitely make it easier for my daughter’s to help out (and make less mess at the same time).

  7. says

    After running them through the dishwasher, I use them to get the juices out of a pan of cooked meat while leaving the fat (which rises to the top) behind.

  8. Jen says

    Painting projects. Little cups of paint, squirt– new art!

    I do love the idea of using them as mini liquid measures. And, of COURSE, AB was the one who thought of it!