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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frugal Friday: Two Alternatives to Buying Hand Soap

Cold and flu season has arrived... in full force at this house! We've been doing an incredible amount of hand-washing as a result. (Hmm... Maybe we should have been doing more to keep us healthy in the first place!) Fortunately, I have a nice supply of hand soap pumps on-hand. But having a sick kiddo got me thinking about hand soap. (Maybe it was the lack of sleep last night making me ponder such lofty topics as hand soap.)

I happened upon a few great hand soap sales a while back, so I did stock up. However, those will eventually be gone. I was looking at a couple of alternatives that should get the same job done.

Dish Soap

If you've been couponing for any length of time, I'm sure that you have an abundant supply of dish soap. The other night my mom asked me if I had an extra bottle that I could give her, and I was actually able to ask her which brand she wanted. The stuff is always on sale, and I'm forever buying it.

But it doubles nicely as hand soap. In fact, some of the bottles even say "antibacterial hand soap" right on them. That's a must for us in the kitchen... That whole raw meat thing just grosses me out! I can squirt some dish soap into my hand soap pump, and voilá! instant hand soap.

An added benefit is that if I have just a pan or two to handwash after dinner, I can squirt a little soap from the hand soap pump into them and wash away!

One of my grandpas used to be a mechanic, and he would actually take a bath with dish soap when he got home. It was the only thing that would cut the grease he had accumulated by the end of the day. So why not use it as a hand soap?

Body Wash

This idea came about when I tried a bodywash/scrub that I wasn't crazy about. It smelled okay, and it cleaned just fine. I just didn't like the scrubby stuff in my shower pouf. (That's a little personal, isn't it? Well... good thing we're all friends here!) I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away! I had gotten it free, but it was a HUGE bottle of soap. Instead, I used it to refill a hand soap pump we had just emptied. It's a little thick for the pump to handle, but it's just grown-ups using it. We can get it to work long enough to use it up.

Do you have any other ideas that help you avoid buying hand soap refills? If anyone out there knows how to make refills for the kids' foamy soap pumps, I would love for you to leave a comment! Emma's "Mr. Hippo" soap is almost empty, and it's the foamy stuff.

For more great frugal living ideas, stop by Frugal Friday hosted by Life As MOM.


Rachel B said...

I just started refilling my foamy handsoaps. I took a little shower gel and filled the foamy bottle about an eighth full. Then I filled it up the rest of the way with water, not all the way to the top. Stirred it around (I suggest a coffee straw because a spoon is too big for the bottle neck) being careful not to make it suds up too much. Then I had a great smelling foamy soap. My family didn't even notice. I used Avon shower gel but you could probably use almost anything.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

We have used dish soap in all of our hand soap pumps for years. Most hand soaps actually make my hands break out in a rash. I am able to use a couple of different dishsoaps without that problem. I love using dish soap to wash my glasses in the morning!

Ann said...

Here is how you can make your own foaming soap.

Pour one tablespoon of liquid hand soap into an empty foaming soap dispenser.

Fill the rest of the dispenser with warm water (leaving a little space at the top of the container).

Screw on the lid and shake.

Pump the pump a few times to get it going.

Easy and cheap :)

Kelly said...

I always run to the Dollar Store and purchase the big bottles of shower gel, cheap, and easy. They recently just had some on clearance at mine for .50 so even better.

Dishsoap eats the heck out of my hands, i have tried so many brands and all do it, but i still use that in the kitchen;p

sarah said...

I buy a big bottle of dish soap and put it in a glass veggie oil dispenser (it looks nicer in the adults bathroom then a pump) I feel it about a quarter of the way with dish soap and the rest with water. Shake it up a little and it lasts forever. You don't need as much to clean your hands because even with the water added in it it's still very concentrated.

Jodi said...

I actually use cheap shampoo as hand soap! I can usually find shampoo for free with coupons and sales, but it's often not what I want to use on my hair. It works great for hand soap, though.

Michelle said...

Great ideas! We have taken to using only body wash in the bathroom ~ I seem to accumulate a lot of it through sales, freecycle and trial sizes. The Bath and Body Works goes in the kitchen which is used mostly by Mom!