Monday, April 23, 2012

Plastic Grates on My Nerves

I'm a big ol' treehugger. Recycling makes me super happy. Composting makes me super happy. It pains me greatly when Matt shops at Sam's and they individually package every single item inside the main packaging. (Seriously. He bought a pack of sponges a few weeks ago, and they came wrapped in plastic. Then when the plastic was removed, and each individual sponge was, again, wrapped in plastic. WTF? How is that necessary? This stuff isn't recyclable! Plastic never biodegrades!)

So anyway, I'd been running low on shower gel for like a week, and every time I thought about buying a new bottle, I'd think, "How many of these plastic bottles have I gone through in my lifetime?" It was depressing to think about it. Then I actually ran out of soap and didn't want to be stinky, so I bit the bullet and got some more. But the wheels in my head had already started turning.

I poked around Pinterest until I found a couple of different recipes for making your own body wash, and picked the easier-sounding one. I figured I could make me some soap, and then just put it back in my old body-wash bottle so there wouldn't be any unnecessary bottle tossage.

The only downside I could see to this plan is that our city does not recycle the thin cardboard that bar soap comes in. I just can't win.

But nevertheless, it was worth a shot for the gallons of body wash I figured I could make for a couple of bucks. I bought me a few bars of soap and got down to business.

Grating my bars of soap directly into the pot while watching New Girl.

I added a few drops of red food coloring into the water so my soap would be pink!

Hmm. Perhaps a little too much food coloring. It looks like Pepto Bismol.

Finished soap, cooling off. That's it?

I don't know what I was expecting, but the end result was way less body wash than I thought it was going to be. There's maybe (maybe) a quart's worth in there. It's also a lot more watery than normal shower gel is. All in all, I don't know if it's worth it to do this again, since the finished result isn't as good as normal body wash.

Would you ever make your own body wash? Do you think something like this would even make a dent in my grand scheme of saving the planet? (It's okay if you don't think so. Sometimes I need to be talked off a ledge.)


  1. I tried this out a little while ago with hand soap, because we had people coming over the next day and I did NOT have time to run to costco and get a new jug. I used a little hotel bar of soap that I had snitched from our honeymoon suite (because I have a THOUSAND of them), and it did NOT work EITHER! I was so bummed... The consistency was the right thickness but it was the consistency of snot (yick), and it doesn't lather at all anymore.
    It was worth the try though.

    1. What a bummer! Maybe it's just one of those things that only Martha Stewart or magic people can do...

  2. Cool project! I once made my own shampoo; it left my hair feeling like straw...

    Also - I was just scrolling through your blog to see if I missed any new posts (I like to read oldest-newest for some reason, it feels wrong reading them out-of-order) and the pictures made my eyes widen. I saw a pot, a cheese grater, and then a splash of red. I thought you severely hurt yourself Allie!

    As for your questions: Probably not, Most definitely! Every little bit counts after all, and stay right where you are.

    1. Haha, I'm sorry I made you freak out! It did look pretty blood-like ...

  3. I give you serious props for taking the time to do this project. Now we know it's not the most ideal DIY situation. But it's all about trial and error. Either way, good job and thanks for sharing!