Saturday, June 6, 2009

Random Things to do on a Saturday Afternoon

Recipes aren't just for food. Recipes can be for just about anything like making a liquid fertilizer from concentrate to making foamy soap. Today, I'm doing both. One is because my veggie garden is in full swing and needs some nitrogen to make everything ginormous! Two, because my foaming soap dispenser needs to be refilled.

Now, there isn't much else to say about the garden other than to post pictures. Will do that in the next post. This post is all about making soap.

I confess that I'm addicted to blogs. I don't know why. Perhaps because they're short and my attention span is short. Perhaps it's because the writing is down to earth, most of the time. And perhaps it's because blogs provide endless opportunities for projects that I can do. I'm not arty or crafty, but I can make foaming soap! For great frugal project reading I recommend: Room Farm. I'm dieing to try some of these (GF Vanilla Extract, here I come!) For great homemade cleansers, Healthy Vegan Blog fills all my needs.

My first attempt at homemade cleansers was homemade Foamy Soap (recipe here). For those more adventurous than I, and those not allergic to almonds, you can also try Fancy Homemade Foaming Hand Soap.

The basic principle of the recipe is this: 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water. You can also add in essential oils to make fun scents. I used Trader Joes Pure Castile Soap, filtered water (because homemade soap deserves better than straight up tap) and tea tree essential oil (tea tree oil is reputed to have natural antibacterial/antifungal properties).

I mixed up a half cup of water, two tablespoons of soap, and a few drops of tea tree oil in a half pint mason jar, screwed on the lid, shook the heck out of it and used a funnel to pour it into my foamy soap container.

Which brings me to the most important part of this recipe: equipment! Foamy soap containers are different from regular soap dispensers. They are meant to make soap come out as a foam rather than a liquid:

I used one from Ballard Organics, a local soap making company. I've also heard that Kiss My Face makes them. After refilling, screw back on the lid, pump and enjoy the foam!

Now some of you are probably going, why would you do this! It's an easy way to save money. When I originally bought my container, I paid about $6 with tax. Normally, I use Trader Joes Handsoap in the clear bottle with a purple label. It costs $2.99 plus tax. It also uses a plastic container. Even if I refill the TJ's handsoap container, I still am using straight soap. TJ's castille soap was $3.49 plus tax for 347 ML. I used 30 ML of soap (aprox. $.35), $.000001 in water, and maybe $.25 worth of essential oils. That makes my foamy soap cost about $.600001 per refill. Versus $2.99 for TJ's soap or $6 for Ballard Organics soap. When you think about it, for the Ballard Organics's soap, you're paying like $2 for ingredients, packaging, and distribution, and $4 for water. foamy soap makers have a great money making scheme going!

Enjoy your foamy soap!