Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I had been thinking about all the cleaning products people buy. Laundry soaps and fabric softeners. Dish detergents. Floor and window cleaners. Shampoos and rinses. Heck there is even a special cleaner to clean the washing machines and dish washers. If there is something that needs cleaning I can bet there is a specialty cleaner just for cleaning it. Expensive too.
Grandma Mama had only one soap for everything. Sure there were a few cleaning products on the market back then but Grandma Mama only had her own homemade lye soap. She used that soap for everything from dishes, to laundry, to windows and floors to Saturday night baths and hair washing. Her own version of a truly all purpose cleaner.
I kept wondering if I could get by with only one type of soap for everything the way she did? I’ve done a bit of internet research and even tried a few DIY cleaning supplies over the last few years. Some of the DIY cleaners look a little promising until I really think about it and then they simply don’t make sense. Let me give you just one example. You want a DIY for making your own washing soda really cheap? Some web sites say you can make your own by simply oven drying all the moisture out of regular baking soda. Some of those sites have pretty elaborate detailed descriptions and photos. Now come on people…… that doesn’t make sense. If applying heat to baking soda turns it into washing soda then what the heck have we all been eating all these years when we bake our biscuits and cake? See what I mean? That’s just one example of the internet lies. Lies designed to get people to look even if it doesn’t make sense. Someone is making money off those lies.
Well anyway, what I needed was a pure soap with no chemicals. Something that would be similar to Grandma Mama’s homemade lye soap. There were a few that came to mind. Kirk’s Castile, Dr Bonner’s, Ivory, Lux, and Palmolive. Ok, the real test would be using bar soap on my hair. I have really long hair that is very thin due to my age. If a shampoo leaves my hair with tangles and static it just won’t work. So, over the last few weeks I’ve tried a couple of the soaps whenever I located a place to buy them.
None of those worked for my hair. During the evening news I happened to see a commercial for Dawn dish liquid being used on some baby ducks. Well now, if its gentle enough for animals with feathers and fur why wouldn’t it work for me too? I was already using Dawn for dishes so it wouldn’t cost anything to give it a try on my hair. It worked! I used the non-concentrated kind straight from the bottle. My hair rinse is 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey in a cup of water.
I’ve been using Dawn for all the cleaning around my house for over a month now. I’ve used it for everything from dishes to laundry to bathing myself and the furkid too. I was pleasantly surprised to realize Dawn does not dry out my skin. Grandma Mama had her lye soap and I’ve got my Dawn. This one item has eliminated the majority of the items on my non-edibles grocery list. How about you, do you use one soap or several?