I have a mostly-plastic spray bottle that I use to spray water. I used to be able to set it to spray in a wide cone or a narrow stream, but now it only wants to spray in a narrow stream. Any ideas of how I should try to diagnose and fix this?

The inlet at the bottom of the tube feeding into the nozzle seems fine. At various points in time I have used this to spray alcohol, vinegar/water mixture, bleach/water mixture, and hydrogen peroxide/water mixture. Sometimes I have stored it full for a long time.

Update: There was a spring inside the nozzle with a plastic piece at the end; it looks like this got knocked askew. I messed it up more while trying to fix it and the spray profile got a little worse, so maybe the problem was caused by an issue with this piece. Bonus question: Does anyone know where I could get a replacement for these components?


  • You should look for a new spray bottle.. If it a garden sprayer, contact the manufacturer for spare parts.
    – JACK
    Sep 3 '20 at 23:29
  • Hardware stores sell good spray bottles. Some are even chemical resistant. Sep 3 '20 at 23:34
  • 2
    You could try taking it apart and soaking the tip/nozzle in a bath of rubbing alcohol or lime scale remover. But it is likely the cheap plastic parts are worn out.
    – Alaska Man
    Sep 4 '20 at 0:00
  • Thanks, that's really helpful! I'll let you know if I remember.
    – capet
    Sep 10 '20 at 22:27

I purchase quite a few spray nozzles a year for work. Water, windex, citrus cleaners and even cutting oil are most of my uses I find chemical resistant rated spray nozzles work best or the spring and ball start rusting and fail quickly. It sounds like your nozzle has some solids blocking it taking it off a squirt or 2 then rinse the cap may fix it , with all the different solutions you have used it must be a chemical resistant type to last that long I get them online for between 1-2$ most of the time they disappear. Chemically resistant ones do tend to last the longest.

  • Thanks a lot! Do you know of any chemically resistant ones that can also be used while the sprayer is upside-down?
    – capet
    Sep 24 '20 at 6:38
  • 1
    I guess if you pull the tube out it could be used upside down. All the ones I get the tube is separate from the sprayer if you still wanted to use the filter on the end of the tube it could be cut short so when upside down just the filter sticks up maybe 1/2”
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 24 '20 at 13:07
  • Cool! I never thought of that.
    – capet
    Sep 24 '20 at 13:11

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