Thursday, May 21, 2020

Keeping Clean - Alternatives

No matter what the conditions of the world - we tend to be a CLEAN society.  We want to keep clean, feel clean and look clean.
There are many alternatives using what you have on hand at home - and they can save you money.  We all like to save $!
CLEAN can cost almost nothing.

The other day in a post I told about how I make foaming hand soap.  It is frugal and uses up all the liquid odds and ends of body wash and hand soap that you have around.  So many times we are gifted (free) body washes that we may not use - this is a great way of toning them down and saving at the time.

You can make your own LIQUID SOAP from bar soap.  It is very easy!!
I have kept dozens of bars of soap around for years.  The only bar soaps I tend to use are the antibacterial/medicated for my face and coal tar soap - which I keep for rashes and poison on the skin (it nips it in the bud!).
So why do I have so much bar soap?  IN CASE!  Once I run out of liquid I can make my own for pennies.  I am NOT adding to the plastic rubbish overload of the world and  I am saving and using what I have.

1 - 4 oz. bar of soap
1/2 gallon water
a big pan
wooden spoon
Vit. E oil (for skin care)
Essential oil (fragrance)
Glycerin (for moisturizing)

Grate or chop your soap.  The smaller the pieces the better.
Boil the water and then add the grated soap.  Stir until melted.  Let it cool and congeal - it can take 12 - 24 hours to congeal.  Stir well and add any extras you want and stir again.  Then use a funnel to fill your own pump bottles.  Leave about an 1" of space and add a bit of water to top off (for consistency).
Store extra in a glass jar in a cool dark place.  That is IT!!!!!!
Here's a bit that I keep on hand, as well as the body washes I receive as gifts.  No excuses to not stay clean here!!!!!  I have gotten all of these on clearance or with coupons for little money or FREE.

BAR soap can be added to a small mesh bag (like a produce bag) and tied to the outside faucet for easy outdoor hand/nail clean-up!
You can do the same thing in the shower for a soap on a rope.  The mesh is good for cleaning and exfoliating as well.
You can use BAR soap for washing dishes in a pinch (as well as the homemade liquid).  This liquid could be used in the laundry as well - just don't add too much.  Years ago I even added a bit of grated soap to my laundry - when out of laundry detergent.
Use as shampoo in a pinch.

Self explanatory!  Not always.  Mouthwash is great for the purpose it was made - BUT it is antiseptic.  It can be used over small skin abrasions, bites and cuts.  Fantastic to have in your medical cabinet!!!!
I sometimes add to my shampoo mixture - it stops any scalp itching and helps heal dry scalp.
I also keep a bottle of salt water in the bathroom.  It is a great gargle for a sore throat or a sore in the mouth - very healing (I like to use Himalayan pink salt, but any is fine). I just use as a mouth rinse.
Salt water is healing in so many matters, as Rose recently reminded me.  In a PINCH you can brush your teeth with salt water as well - if out of toothpaste.
I had a patch of  itchy bumpy skin on my elbow for years (nothing helped) - and after Rose's reminder, I tried the salt water as a rinse.  2X is all it took and that patch is gone and hasn't come back!!!!!
I use it as a rinse on blemishes - basically heals over night.

Peroxide is so cleansing.  If you get a cut or scrape use a bit and it truly helps clean and heal.  Mix with water and use as a gargle for a sore throat or strep throat.  My doctor prescribed that for years when I used to get strep.  DON'T swallow (and yes, it tastes nasty) - but it sure works.

Can be used as toothpaste.  I do this at least once a week as a whitening agent.  You can make a paste of it and peroxide and get real whitening action.
Baking soda can be used to clean your hair once in a while as well.  
Make a paste of baking soda and water and put on a bee/wasp sting - it relieves the itching and swelling.
Throw some in a cool bath to help relieve sunburn pain.

I truly do not remember where I bought these - but it for body cleansing without water.  Nice alternative (especially if sick in bed)

I buy baby wipes whenever I get a deal.  Not only do I have them if family need them for babies or I can give with a shower gift - but I can use them as well.  We never know when there may a no water situation in our lives - it is nice to have choices!

Just a few more choices and ideas to bounce around.  There are so many alternatives to things we use daily - we just all need to be reminded once in a while.
Lack of money - stock is low - no worries!  Use something else.

I just think back to Grandma and Mom and all the "swaps" they made in everyday life and it all makes sense now.
Nice to know we have options!


  1. Thanks for the tips.
    I was surprised how long my hand soap refill bottle lasts when I started refilling the foaming soap containers. I'll try your recipe when I run out.

    1. It really does stretch it out when making foaming soap.
      Hope this helps

  2. Much of this was new to me, and the one thing I'll try for sure is adding a bit of mouthwash to my shampoo occasionally. I often have itchy scalp - I always assume it's a build up of shampoo and conditioner.

    Have a great day!

    1. It could be a build-up - but you just never know. It sure does help me. I add to mine every few months and it works.
      Have a good one

  3. We always gargled with peroxide after oral surgery, but it tasted awful.

    1. Yes it does taste nasty for sure - but it is so healing and cleaning.

  4. What do you think about homemade laundry soap? Do you think it's safe for our washers and pipes? Thanks for all these suggestions.

    1. Lots of people make laundry soap and have great success. I have never made it myself. I have thought about it - but have had so much laundry soap that I got for almost nothing, so I need to use that up.
      You might check with The Bluebirds are Nesting... site that I have listed in my favorites bar. I know Annabel has been making her own for years!
      You are quite welcome

  5. Always good suggestions Cheryl - and I read each post you write.

  6. I use free or ultracheap-to-me shampoo for the pump soap refills.

    1. Good idea!!!! Never thought about using shampoo for hand soap - yes the other way around - but not that! DUH!!!!! LOL

  7. I love the idea of putting the soap in the mesh bags. I have saved my mesh and plastic mesh bags for years not really knowing what to do with them. I just did not want to see them in the ocean! :( Anyway, I have always thought to make something cool and helpful with them so this may be it! thanks!

    1. They really help clean and foliate! You could also make kitchen/bath scrubbies out of them. Crochet together in some form. Just an idea!

  8. We always used the baking soda paste for stings, but did not know it was good for sunburn. Always used vinegar for sunburns.

    If you have a drain that is moving slow, put a couple table spoons of baking soda down it, and then add vinegar. It helps for a while. Do it on both sides.

    And I started when I would put it down one drain, I would take a wet dishrag and stuff in the other side drain, till the action could not come up that instead of going down!

    The last time I did it, I thought I had a mess for sure...I put it down the more direct side first. It all went down quickly.

    I did the other side, and it did not go down. I added water, still did not go down. But I had one of the little hand plungers that is for the kitchen sink...I grabbed it, and used it and it all went down and I have not had any problem with a slow drain since then.

    1. Baking soda must have 1000 uses!!! I have used it in the drain with vinegar many times as well. It does a pretty good job. Always have a plunger handy! Good idea on covering the other side of drain!

  9. Cheryl I just want to thank you for all your posts.
    You are a joy to read. Love all your tips and ideas.
    You always are cheerful and uplifting when I know sometimes, like us all, that you may not, feel cheerful at all. Your posts are so helpful in many ways to me and I am sure many others.
    So thank you.
    Pam in Texas.x

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Pam. You betcha I have those days - often many - but they don't help any of us.
      My husband used to call me Pollyanna! I just try to stay up and promote good.
      Thank you for being here!