Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shampoop: DIY Can Be Good For Your Head

I hate certain scents. It's hard to tell if I am actually allergic to them or just hate them so much that they dry out my mouth and make it hard to breathe. Things like fabric softener and Mountain Fresh Scent in laundry detergent. If a person has really loaded it on, I can't be on the same side of the room with them. So, in lieu of risking a wheezy whiney wife and having to buy a 10 dollar bottle of laundry soap, the husband began to make our own. And, besides having to own a large pot to stir it in and a place to put it, it is fairly simple. And wicked inexpensive. It made us take a step back and begin to suspect that there was very little reason for the prices attached to these all natural green products beyond greed and we began to look for other things to make, leading us into the wild and woolly world of home made cleansing and body products.

Okay. Maybe not wild. Or woolly, really. But I live with a scientist. Figuring out percentages in ounces can be fun. I swear.

We have begun to put together different products to start a line of skin creams, body oils and soaps. I don't want to tell you how because when we build our Etsy empire to be followed by our mail order empire to be followed by our vendor table at street fair empire, I want you to NEED us. But the truth is, you really don't. The advantage we have over you is that we invested in the basics...which pay for themselves really quickly....and we have been experimenting with different varieties of smells and textures.  Also, when it comes to soap, there is the issue of some math to be done to make the fat vs. lye balanced. But, between you and me and the wall, it takes balls to charge 5 bucks for a bar of soap if you knew how much a batch costs and how much you get in it. Unless there is money cooked into that fancy hippy soap, you are getting schtupped.

The laundry soap costs about three bucks a batch. All natural. Three ingredients. Cleans great. It looks a little weird, but so what.

I found a recipe for dishwashing detergent. Again under three bucks for a gallon of this stuff.

We also make our own mozzerella cheese. Super super easy. Renin, Citric acid, milk and some salt. Takes twenty minutes. If you screw it up, it is ricotta.

The husband makes his own beer and wine. Okay. THAT is a little more expensive because you have to have equipment, but, really, after all is said and done, he gets a lot of hootch that would cost way more in the store and he has say about the elements that goes into it.

In the long run, it is good to know the basic elements that make a product work just to know what you is rubbing into your skin or onto your dishes that you eat from. But people who normally will analyze their food products down to the cow the milk came from don't think twice about what is exactly in the soap you are dumping into the clothes you are wearing as long as it is biodegradable and "green."

What is it? Really? At least  consider that if you look at the recipes for some of these things, you will know what you are actually paying for. Because you will be astonished at how often you are paying for packaging and profit and then a little teeny bit of ingredient. And maybe you might want to take a shot at making your own.

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