15 Uses for Plastic Ice Cream Buckets

Despite my mild lactose intolerance, I still have a weak spot for good, old fashioned vanilla ice cream. So, when I find those gallon buckets of ice cream on sale, I’ll usually pick one up.

Not only do they last quite a while for quick treats for the fam, but I particularly like the buckets themselves. In fact, I always keep them to use around the house.

They’re pretty rad in the versatility department.

15 Uses for Plastic Ice Cream Buckets

1. Small Toys: My eldest son is six and my youngest is two, so some of his toys have small pieces that his little brother shouldn’t have. We sort those toys–like the action figures which come with no less than a bajillion little accessories–into the buckets and then he can put the lid back on and slide them right under his bed.

2. Tub Toys: I poke a few holes in the bottom using a hammer and a nail. The boys can put their favorite bath toys inside and excess water can still drain out.

3. Cleaning Supplies: I have my cleaning supplies sorted into different buckets depending on which room I use them in. Then I can just pick the right bucket and go.

4. Cleaning Rags: I cut up old towels, rags and shirts to clean with, and keep them in a bucket. As I’m cleaning around the house, I always bring a spare bucket along to drop dirty rags into so they don’t touch clean surfaces, bleach won’t get on clothing and I don’t have to keep walking back and forth to the laundry room.

5. Sick Buckets: It’s gross, I know, but every mom will encounter more than her fair share of kids with stomach bugs. It’s sometimes hard for little ones to run all the way to the bathroom in time, and the handles on these buckets make it much easier to grab in a hurry.

6. Art and Craft Supplies: Whether they’re crayons for the kids or goodies for my own side projects, ice cream buckets hold a whole lot. And, because of their lids, they’re easy to stack.

7. First Aid Kits: Those little first aid kits are great for bandages, but fully stocked kits need more room. I keep a kit in my house and one in the back of my minivan.

8. Cookie Cutters: I store my cookie cutters in these handy containers, and since I have so many, I even have them divided by holidays.

9. Dog Food: My kids like to help feed the puppies in the morning, but they have a hard time manipulating the big bags. So, I keep an ice cream bucket filled with dog food and toss a small butter container in as a scoop.

10. Soapy Water and Rag: These buckets work well for holding soapy water and a washcloth when you’re going fishing with the kids.

11. Camping Catch-all: Keep all the little things you’ll need, from matches to extra garbage bags, in there and everything will stay dry and in one easily accessible place.

12. Picnic Place Settings: Tired of trying to hold down napkins and paper plates? Put everything you need into an ice cream bucket and slap a lid on those babies.

13. Plastic Grocery Bags: Cut a small hole in the bottom and line it with duct tape. Then when you get shopping bags, put them in the top and when you need one, pull it out of the bottom. The handle can even make it easy to hang in a utility closet.

14. Extra Buttons, Nuts or Bolts: If you buy a new shirt or piece of furniture that needs to be put together, they sometimes come with extra small pieces. Put them in a little baggy or envelope, mark what they’re for and toss them into one bucket.

15. Toilet Brush or Plunger: I keep my toilet brush and plunger in a closet, because generally I don’t think of them as conversation pieces. I pop them, yucky end down, in an ice cream bucket and when they need to be sanitized, I just pour in a bleach and water solution.

I love reusing plastic food containers in new ways and ice cream buckets are no exception. They can hold a lot of loot, are easy to mark and can be used in any room of the house.

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  1. Thanks for the tips. I store sugar,pinto beans, flour,detergent and soak my sons dirty socks. My husband uses them when painting around the house, he says they are handy on high areas, he puts the handle around his wrist with enough paint to finish rather then having to stop to get more paint,they are sturdy.

  2. avatar Barbara says:

    Fits with my motto “Use if up, wear it out, make do or do without!”

  3. Thanks for sharing. These are great ideas for these. We buy these too. I’m going to have to start reusing them.


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