How to Reuse Econo Mailer Boxes

What can you do with unused mailer boxes? Find out in this post.

Don't throw out your used mailer boxes just yet!

Reusing econo mailer boxes is not only practical, but it's also environmentally friendly. You won't believe how easy it is to breathe new life into old packaging materials. 

In this post, we'll give you some ideas on what you can do with your mailer boxes. That's not all — we'll walk you through prepping your boxes for reuse.

Let's jump right into it.

Should You Reuse Econo Mailer Boxes?


No question about it. Mailer boxes are built to withstand drops, bumps, temperature changes, and anything else life can throw at them during transport. That's why businesses use them for packaging.

Mailer Box by Kelsey Haver Designs

But there are times when businesses are left with way too many boxes in their inventory. For example, a brand refresh means disposing of old packaging materials to make way for new ones. What do you do with unused mailer boxes?

There's a good chance these boxes are still in optimal condition. Throwing them out would seem such a waste. 

Why not repurpose them and save money in the process?

The Benefits of Reusing Mailer Boxes

Most people reuse mailer boxes because they are committed to saving the environment. The more boxes we reuse, the fewer end up in landfills. It also creates a teachable moment for parents who want to educate their kids on the value of recycling.

Mailer Box Design by O'Soy

Reusing mailer boxes gives you a chance to declutter your home. If you've got a room full of unused mailer boxes, now's a great time to find a new use for each one. 

Also, there are many possible uses for used mailer boxes — some of which we'll list below.

What Can You Do With Used Mailer Boxes?

Let's talk about all the possible uses you could have for used and unused seasonal mailer boxes. There's more than you think. And they're all practical as well.

  • Repurpose for Internal Shipping — Sturdy, undamaged boxes can be ideal for inter-office deliveries or spare product storage.
  • Offer to Customers — Let customers know you have free boxes available. This fosters goodwill and keeps usable materials out of landfills.
  • Partner with Local Businesses — Retail shops, shipping centers, or non-profits (food pantries and kitchens) might happily take your used boxes to meet their packaging needs. 
Mailer Box by The Peach Fuzz

Need more ideas? Check out our other post, Creative Ways to Reuse Mailer Boxes.

How to Repurpose Standard Mailer Boxes for Shipping

When repurposing mailer boxes, a fresh start and a little TLC can go a long way. Before giving them a second life, you want to sanitize them to banish any lingering past odors.

If the box previously contained hazardous materials or is in poor condition, it's best to dispose of it.

That said, here are the steps to reusing econo mailer boxes.

Inspect the Boxes

Before you give your econo mailer box a new life, it's important to make sure it's up for the job. 

Here's what to check:

  • Structural Integrity — Give the box a good squeeze. Is it still sturdy or does it bend easily? Are there any tears, rips, or punctures that could compromise its strength?
  • Cleanliness — Is the box free of any spills, stains, or lingering odors from its previous contents?
  • Labels and Markings — Does the box have any old labels or markings that you need to remove?

Clean and Sanitize Boxes

Cleaning and sanitizing your standard mailer box is always a good idea. But you'll want to do it gently.

You can either do a light dusting using a dry microfiber cloth to remove any dust or cobwebs. To remove minor stains or marks, try using a damp cloth with a mild soap solution. Wring the cloth thoroughly so it's barely damp to avoid saturating the cardboard. Let the box dry completely before moving on.

Avoid harsh chemicals or excessive moisture. Cardboard can warp or weaken if it gets too wet.

Once the box is clean, you can move on to sanitizing it.

Sunlight has natural disinfecting properties. That means leaving the box in direct sunlight for a few hours will be enough to disinfect it.

Box Design by The Event Community

But if you prefer a more active approach, use disinfectant wipes with at least 70% alcohol. Test a small hidden area first to make sure the alcohol doesn't damage the cardboard. Wipe only the interior surface and let the box dry completely before use.

Once your box is clean and dry, you're ready to move on to the next step!

Remove Any Odor

If your econo mailer box has a lingering odor you want to eliminate, there are a few natural methods you can try:

  • Baking Soda — This is a classic odor absorber. Place a shallow dish filled with baking soda inside the box and leave it for 24-48 hours. The baking soda will absorb any lingering smells. Discard the used baking soda after deodorizing.
  • Coffee Grounds — Another natural odor neutralizer, coffee grounds are particularly effective for musty or smoky smells. Place a bowl filled with dry coffee grounds in the box and leave it for a day or two. Dispose of the used coffee grounds after deodorizing.
  • White Vinegar — For a stronger cleaning action, you can use a diluted white vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water).  Dip a clean cloth in the solution, wring it out thoroughly, and wipe down the box's interior. Avoid saturating the cardboard. Let the box air dry completely before moving on.

Peel Off the Labels

Remove any old labels or markings you don't want from your mailer box. Here are a couple of methods you can try:

  • Peel by Hand — With a little patience, you can simply peel off labels by hand. This method works best for labels with weak adhesion.
  • Heat It Up —  For more stubborn labels, a hairdryer can be your friend. Set the hairdryer on low and blow it over the label for 30-60 seconds to loosen the adhesive. Be careful though — don't hold the heat in one spot for too long to avoid damaging the box.
  • Use Alcohol — Use a bit of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover (acetone). Dampen a cloth with a small amount of solvent and gently rub the label until it lifts. 
  • Remove With a Sharp Tool — As a last resort, you can carefully scrape off the label with a razor blade or box cutter. Use extreme caution with sharp tools to avoid damaging the cardboard or injuring yourself. Only use this method if the other methods fail.

After removing the label, you may be left with some sticky residue. You can try wiping the area with a damp cloth or a bit of rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover adhesive.

That's it! You should now repurpose your used mailer boxes. It's that easy.


Reusing econo mailer boxes is a win-win for you and the environment. They're sturdy, versatile, and—with a bit of prep work—ready for a whole new life. 

We hope this guide showed you how easy it is to take your old mailer boxes — from inspecting their condition to removing any unwanted labels. 

So get creative with your standard mailer boxes and have fun giving them a new purpose. And when it's time to order fresh ones for your business, give PackM a call. We're more than happy to help.

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