A liter is a metric unit used for measuring the volume of a liquid. If you need to measure out a liter of liquid and don’t have a measuring jug handy, there are various ways you can estimate a liter using household objects that are commonly known to have this capacity.
One Quart Milk Carton
One gallon, when converted to metric units, is very close to four liters. This means that any gallon container you have can be filled to a quarter of the way up to give you one liter of liquid. If you have a one-quart carton of milk, or any other carton such as orange juice or apple juice that contains one quart, will give you a very similar measurement to one liter.
If you need one liter of liquid for a recipe, you could fill up an empty quart carton, and this will give you roughly the right amount.
Half a Soda Bottle
Soda bottles come in a standard size across most of the western world, which is two liters. This means to understand how much one liter is, you could equate it to half of the size of a soda bottle. Two-liter soda bottles are the regular large size you will find in the grocery store, or the family size of soda bottle you might get when you order a takeout pizza.
Household Cleaning Bottles
Household cleaning products such as dish soap, antibacterial surface cleaner, glass cleaner, and oven cleaner all typically come in bottles that contain 32 fluid ounces. This will be indicated by the label showing a capacity of ‘32 fl oz’.
Thirty-two fluid ounces is almost exactly the equivalent of one liter, so if you want to get an understanding of how much one liter is, then find one of your cleaning products that is labeled as 32 fl oz.
If you need to measure out a liter, then don’t fill up an empty cleaning bottle because it could still contain some chemical residues from the cleaning liquid, which would be very harmful, not to mention unappetizing, to consume.
Number 3 Can
Cans for food come in standardized sizes. The number 3 can is one of the larger types of can that you might find in a grocery store if you wanted to buy a large amount of passata for a tomato-based pasta, or sometimes you can find number 3 cans that contain canned fruits such as peaches or pineapple.
The number 3 cans hold 32 ounces that is almost the equivalent of one liter. Therefore, if you need to measure out a liter of liquid, you can do so in an empty number 3 can; just be sure to wash it out thoroughly first, so you don’t get any chunks of canned fruit in your liquid!
Large Shampoo or Conditioner Bottle
Large containers of shampoo or conditioner come in one-liter bottles, so if you want to visualize roughly how much liquid one liter would be, you could look at one of these bottles.
The one-liter bottles of shampoo or conditioner are the larger size versions, bigger than the standard shampoo or conditioner bottles you might buy. The one-liter bottles are the bulk-type size of shampoo that might come with a squeeze pump to access the product.
If your shampoo and conditioner bottles are labeled in ounces, then it is the 32 oz bottle, and you will need to convert it to roughly the equivalent of one liter. The smaller standard-size shampoo bottles will usually have a measurement of between 7 and 10 ounces. You would need three or four of these bottles to reach an amount that would be equivalent to a liter.
Ziplock bags come in various sizes, with one of the most common being the one-quart bag. As we know, one quart is roughly the equivalent of one liter, so a one quart Ziplock bag will hold approximately one liter of liquid. The dimensions of a Ziplock bag that will hold a liter of liquid are typically around 7 inches wide by 7.5 inches high.
These are great for storing all types of items and for keeping food fresh, but they can also be great for storing liquid in the refrigerator or freezer. If you want to portion out soup, casserole, or other liquid-based foods for use at a later date, you will know that the quart Ziplock bags will hold approximately one liter.
Food Storage Containers
Food storage containers come in various shapes and sizes and can also be made from different materials such as plastic and glass. Some of the most common sizes of food storage containers are the 16 oz container and the 32 oz container.
As we already know, a 32 oz container is roughly the equivalent of one liter, so if you need to measure out one liter of liquid, you could fill up your 32 oz food storage container. If you only have the 16 oz containers, then simply fill up two containers, or fill up one container twice to reach one liter.
Ice Cream Container
The smaller ice cream containers, such as the size of carton you would usually buy Ben and Jerry’s in from the grocery store, have a measurement of 16 oz. 16 oz is the equivalent of half a liter, so if you need to find a liter measurement, you can fill up two of the small ice cream cartons.
The larger ice cream tubs commonly containing Breyers. For example, have a standard measurement of 1.5 quarts. This means that to figure out how much one liter is in this kind of ice cream carton, you would need to fill an empty carton two-thirds of the way up.
4 Large Baby Milk Bottles
There are two sizes of bottles for newborn babies; the smaller size that holds approximately 4 oz, and the larger size that holds between 9 and 10 oz. To find a liter, you could fill up four of the larger baby bottles.