I am looking forward to using our own soap soon. We've got all the ingredients and are just awaiting Sweetheart making the soap molds. Until then, we use all sorts of soaps, some handmade, some store bought.
I started using vinegar for conditioner over a year ago. I used just plain white vinegar and filled up an old conditioner bottle with it refilling as needed. It worked fine. Somewhere along the way, I started using apple cider vinegar and I don't know why. I think I ran out of white, but had the apple cider on hand. I'll just finish that bottle off that and decide what to do from there. You can steep herbs in the vinegar, but I never have. I never seem to remember until I'm in the shower and then it's too late!
I still used regular shampoo until it ran out. I had tried using baking soda for shampoo because I'd read others were with great success. Me, not so much. Turns out--you need to dissolve the baking soda in water first, not just rub the powder on your head. Ohhhh. Lesson learned.
I read a link off of Tonia's one day that explained it all better than I can, or have time to do. While I love Tonia's site and heartily recommend its reading, the blog with the shampooing info I am not endorsing. I've not read around it to know where she's coming from on things. The direct link to the shampoo post is fine.
I keep the baking soda in just a canning jar in the bathroom with a spoon. In the shower is just an old plastic jar with no lid I'm forever reusing. When I go to turn the shower on, I put a spoonful of the baking soda in the jar and fill it with the hot water. I do not recommend filling the jar with soda and water after a shower and just letting it sit. Why? When you dump it on your wet head the next morning, it's freezing. Ask me how I know...
After I wet my hair, I pour the soda water mixture on my scalp a bit at a time rubbing it in to my scalp. When I'm out of the mix, I just rinse it all with the water. Then I pour some of the vinegar in the old shampoo bottle either directly on my head, or mix it with water in the same jar I used for the soda. It bubbles. That's fine. After I do the vinegar rinse, I rinse my hair once more.
My hair only has ever smelled like vinegar one time and that was because I forgot to rinse out the straight vinegar. Live and learn. (Keep it out of your eyes though as it may sting. Surprisingly, I haven't done that one. Sweetheart just warned me.) Really, you won't smell like Easter eggs doing this! It's like using vinegar for cleaning, which I do all the time. There is no smell when it dries.
All this takes less time to do than to write. It takes no longer than regular shampooing. For me, it takes even less because my hair is so crazy thick that it takes forever to get regular shampoo out of it. My hair is naturally wavy and pretty long. This all works great for me and I get less tangles than I ever did using regular shampoos and conditioners and I think I tried them all.
Why would anyone do this? Well, for me it actually works BETTER than the standard products. Also, it is a lot more natural which is better for all of us in so many ways. (The link goes into more details about the common chemicals in shampoo.) It's also A LOT less expensive. I haven't bought shampoo or conditioner for over a year now and I used to go through bottle after bottle because my hair is so long and thick.
Shan's site for homemade laundry detergent. However, last time I looked I couldn't find the link. Sorry! Here's what to do though.
I feel like Pioneer Woman whenever I line everything up on the counter like this. Of course, if I was Pioneer Woman, there would be large quantities of butter involved. And better photos. And more people reading and commenting.
32 cups of water, and essential oils, if desired. NOTE: Washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda. Both are by Arm & Hammer, but they are not the same. It should be in the laundry area of the store.
Grate the soap. I just use a regular cheese grater and it only takes a minute or two.
Put six cups of water in a big pan and melt the grated soap. Stir. This should only take a few minutes (5+-) depending on your heat. Don't walk away with the temp to high. It will boil over. Again, ask me how I know. At least it smells nice when it does.Once the soap melts, add the borax and washing soda. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add four cups of hot water to your bucket, or other storage container. Pour the soap mix in. Stir well. Add 22 more cups of water to the bucket. Stir. Add a few drops of essential oils, if you like. I added lavender this time, but peppermint is nice, too!
Let the detergent sit for about 24 hours to gel, if you like. I try to remember to stir it a few times as it's cooling and gelling just to help keep it from separating. I don't always remember. I just keep mine in the bucket with a towel over it on the dryer in the laundry room. Use 1/2 cup or so per load. I just kept the cup from the last jug of laundry detergent I used about a year ago. I've been using this recipe for about a year now with no complaints. I just pour it directly on spots as needed as well instead of special stain removers.
Again, this is something that is easy, more natural and a lot less expensive. It also takes less time to whip up a batch than it does to go to the store. I've run out of soap while still having laundry. When that happens, I just scoop it out and use it ungelled. It still works just fine. Once our own soap is ready and I'm out of Ivory, I'll just grate that up. Can you tell I'm looking forward to soap making?
I've got more to share from making cheese and butter this weekend, but it'll have to wait. This has taken too long already. Hope you're enjoying these ideas. I'm off to finish dinner!