Send in your bathroom and
laundry saving tips.
- I find chewing parsley is
a great breath freshener - no need to buy any more
mouthwash. - P.M.
you think your mascara has run out or dried out just stand
it (the container) in a cup of hot tap water for a few
minutes I get 1-2 more months use from the mascara.
Susie, Hawkes Bay.
Store your roll-on deodorant upside down.
It will last for weeks longer. - JD, Havelock
If you drop your powder eye shadow or blusher and it
breaks into pieces, don't throw them away.
Close carefully and you can use it all. - JD,
Always cut "empty" tubes of face creams etc in
half. You will
be surprised how much there is left.
My record is 4 weeks of daily use from an
Re-close by inserting one half into the other. - JD,
Floss. Buy a ball of string (coated) from your hardware
store. Cut to required length.
Split to thickness you want. - C.M from Kawerau
- By using hand towels and small sized bath towels when you
have children you are still able to change them often but
don't have as many loads to do because you can fit more of
them into the machine. After a shower or bath you can hang
all the wet towels (not dirty ones!) on the line in the
sun and save yourself washing when you don't really need
to. I use about 1 teaspoon of eco laundry liquid (much
less than recommended on bottle) per load (and cold water)
and washing always comes out clean.
For really stubborn stains or icky things that need
to be sanitized use Sard wonder soap (one bar has lasted
me about 4 years) rubbed directly onto stain and soak in a
bucket of warm/hot water for a couple of hours before
tipping into machine for a normal cold wash. Sunlight has
an amazing sanitizing effect on towels and bedding and is
much cheaper than using the dryer or hot water for the
whole wash. Wait until machine is full to do a load
(unless you have half a load and know it is about to rain
for a week!) - Pip, Nelson.
- Shampoo, conditioner, skin lotion, toothpaste and may
household products come in heavy plastic containers. When
these appear to be empty cut across the centre and scoop
out lots more form the sides and around the neck. Use a
heavy kitchen knife. Store in labelled pill bottles. -
- We all shower often and wash lots of shampoo and soap down
the drain. The shampoo is perfectly fine to wash the body
with and we shouldn't use much (for the sake of our skin,
environment and wallet)...so I wash with the shampoo suds
from my hair before they are washed away. - J.F., Kawerau
This is a trick I
learnt when I was tired of paying for haircutting.
I have long hair (just above my waist) and when I
want to trim it, I just get a hair tie and scissors.
I lean forward and brush all hair forward and put
it in a ponytail. I
then pull the hair tie down as far as I want to trim and
then cut. It
gives a great layered look without the cost.
I have only done this with wet hair. SandyA,
I wash my hair with
Sunlight soap. Where it was becoming very coarse and
straight with commercial shampoo, it now gleams and is
soft to the touch. I no longer need to use conditioner
either. So cheap and good! Reader, Masterton.
- Throw away your shampoo and conditioner!
All your hair needs is a daily sluice with warm
water while you have your shower.
Before you do this give your hair a good "head
down" brushing. It
is almost a year since my hair was shampooed, and it is
softer and silkier than it ever was.
Also, my scalp is way healthier.
If you have any doubts, just read the list of
chemicals on any bottle of shampoo! - Jean B, Nelson.
- I am 60 and my red hair is loosing its colour with some
grey coming through. I
buy cheap Henna powder at the Trade Aid shop and make a
paste with a heaped table spoon. I wash my hair normally
and use the paste as a conditioner. I leave it in for a
few minutes and rinse out. My red hair restored! Looks
natural, and is good for the hair and the environment. A
NZ$6 bag lasts a whole year. I usually do this after a
hair cut so every 6 weeks. There is also black Henna for
those with a different colour at some Chinese markets. -
- Found out from a book written by a beautician that the
best thing to wash your hair with is soap! She said the
reason most of us need to
use conditioners is because of the
shampoo we use - they strip hair of their natural
oils. Her recommendation was to put soap scraps
(or grated soap) in a mug to about quarter full,
boiling water and stir
to dissolve. This
will produce a gooey soap which is great for washing hair,
economical too! I've
used this for ages and find it works really
well. - frugalite from Hamilton.
- Who needs shampoo? Not me. I'm a 68 year old male with
thinning white hair so when I shower all I use is a refill
bottle of Palmolive Liquid Hand Wash for everything
including my hair. It does a great job. I use Dove
"Beauty Bar" when just washing my hands and face
in the sink and find it also makes an excellent shaving
cream. I devised a mesh covered box to hold the soap,
which allows it to dry out after use and one block lasts
me for months. - Peter Cox, North Shore City.
- I found this on a frugal living website and have been
using it for some months now. My hair didn't need to
"Adjust" and I just mix the baking soda in a
little warm water and
add the White vinegar neat after rinsing the baking soda
off with water- seems to work very well and saves heaps on
shampoos and conditioners!!! "My daughter turned
me on to a real gem! We use one to two tablespoons of
baking soda in some warm water to shampoo our hair. We use
it almost as a paste. Just massage it gently through your
hair and scalp and then rinse with apple cider vinegar,
distilled white vinegar or lemon juice. It may take a
couple of days for your hair to adjust, but when it does
adjust, your hair will look, feel and behave better than
ever! I have thick, curly hair that is shoulder length and
it works great on me! My daughter has long straight hair
and she loves it too! - Janis M. in East Providence, RI" -
Try using clothes washing powder for cleaning your oily/greasey
hands. Works a treat and is very cost effective.
- I now buy basic handwash, and dilute it 50/50. Just as
good Mouthwash can also be diluted 50/50. - Janice,
- RJ from Auckland assked if
anyone had any tips to clean the soleplate of their
clothes iron. They say, "I have tried baking soda, and ceramic
cleaner (the iron is ceramic after all) but nothing will get it off as
I use a detachable teflon sole plate, not cheap but they
last a long time and nothing will stick to them! Before
that, I used to do the old 'salt trick'. Spread a layer of
table salt on a sheet of newspaper. Move warm iron back
and forth until clean. Discard salt and repeat with clean
salt if necessary. Wipe iron on clean, damp cloth, tapping
on ironing board to dislodge any salt in the steam holes.
Finish by rubbing a candle stub over the plate and iron
over clean newspaper until all traces of dirt and grease
are gone. Never, ever, use abrasives (like sandpaper) to
clean! - Emma, Auckland.
My mother would place salt (the fine pouring kitchen salt)
onto a piece of brown paper and run the hot iron surface over
the salt - work the iron back and forth until it comes clean.
This was for metal iron but imagine it might also work on
ceramic. Jayasri, Christchurch.
I remember cleaning the base of the iron by turning it on and
then ironing salt on brown paper. Worked a treat! - Summer
This is a tip that
was given to me years ago and it really works. Use wet and dry sandpaper
to clean the soleplate. Use
the sandpaper wet, then wipe off. Take
care not to get the steam holes gunked up with the resulting black goo and
do a test iron on an old piece of cloth before you start ironing. LM,
Use left-over perfume or aftershave that no one likes as
fabric freshener. - Ann, Matamata.
If you add a few
drops of essential oils to your load they will come out
smelling nice. Also if you use a dryer try adding a couple
of drops to a clean rag or face cloth and add to the dryer
with your load. That way the smell lasts longer. - Kla,
few drops of tea tree oil in your wash will make it smell
fresh and lovely and have the added benefit of being
antibacterial. - LAJ, Sydney.
- Buy baking soda from Bin Inn and add to wash with laundry powder. You can also
reduce the amount of laundry powder by about 1/5 as baking
soda is also a cleaner. I use equal amount of baking soda
and laundry powder. - Motel Owner, Whakatane.
a cheap fabric conditioner I use a few drops of either tee
tree, lavender or eucalyptus oil to the final rinse. -
Jacks Nan, Christchurch.
Fairhall from Nelson uses shampoo when she runs out of
laundry powder and says it works just as well.
- I buy big bag of Laundry powder and it lasts for ages and
use tablespoon which makes it last even longer. - L.M.,
- Liquid Laundry Detergent. You need: Hot water, 1 bar
Sunlight Soap (grated), 1 cup washing soda. In a large
saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover.
Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted.
Fill a large bucket with 9.5L of hot water, add hot soap
mixture. Stir until well mixed. Then add the washing soda,
again stirring until well mixed. Set aside to cool. Use
1/2 cup per full load, stirring well before each use (will
gel). - B.W.,
- A good and economical laundry powder recipe I found out
about is: 1 bar sunlight soap (grated), 1 kg washing soda.
Grind it all up in a blender or food processor, in batches
if you need to. If do in batches, pour each batch in a
large bowl then, when finished, mix well before putting
into container/s. Use 1
tablespoon each average load. - frugalite from Hamilton.
- If I run out of wool wash when doing my woollies I use
some shampoo. Also use it to wash combs & hair
brushes, once a week I give them a good soak. - J.H., Edgecumbe.
- I have a large family
and am a single parent.. I am forever running out of
washing powder. i came across this liquid laundry
detergent recipe. Mix 1/2 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup of very
cheap shampoo, 2 t of bicarb, and 2 t of white wine
vinegar in a clean bottle. add 2 litres of water and
shake. its ready to use.. add fragrance such as 2 t of
lavender oil.. it said it was for delicates, soft woollens
and anything fine but I have been using it in all my
washing. - VJC, Wanganui.
- After facing yet another pile of wet towels to wash and
dry, I sat down and did a radical rethink of the
situation. I remembered two things that have now made my
towel washing and drying a breeze. My family were drying
their hand on a bath size towel. I remembered that my
mother used roller towels when I was a child, so I cut
three spa pool size towels lengthwise and joined the ends
in a loop. I bought a hook type towel hanger from Bunnings
and we now have a hand towel that lasts several washes by
rotating the towels round the hanger. - Rebecca
- When I run out of washing powder I grate sunlight soap
into the washing machine, to wash clothes. It gets them
clean, and lemon fresh scented. Saves on petrol as well,
and also on other things that you usually grab at the
supermarket when you go in for one thing, and come out
with 5 6 things. -T Roberts, Otorohanga.
- My husband built a clothes line on a pulley system which
holds three loads of clothes. We have an extension on our
house and there is a space behind our house, under cover,
but gets the breeze and I hang my washing out at night and
retrieve it in the morning.
I have a dryer but very rarely use it. - Jenny; Paremata,
- My laundry is in the
garage so I have installed a ceiling mounted pully for
drying the clothes. It is convenient being right next to
the washing machine and it is very efficient as our garage
faces north and gets very warm. I do not own a tumble
drier and don't have to rush to retrieve the clothes when
it rains. Tumble driers cause a lot of fires as well as
using a lot of power. In Summer my clothes are dry in less
than an hour, in Winter I leave them overnight. Pulleys
are made in the North Island I bought mine new on Trade
me. - Canny Scot, Christchurch
- Its amazing how much lipstick is left in a tube once you
have worn it down to the tube. With the help of a lipstick
brush, I can get another 2 months out of my lipstick! - A
recycler from way back, New Plymouth.
- Forget expensive baby
oils full of petrochemicals. Olive oil works the best as a
moisteriser on children from birth. Last for AGES as well.
- J.M. Christchurch.
- I now buy basic handwash, and dilute it 50/50. Just as
good Mouthwash can also be diluted 50/50. - Janice,
- To soak my cloth nappies I add about 5 drops of T.Tree oil
to the soak bucket (I have a toddler and newborn in cloth
naps and this is enough for both sets of nappies - could
use less for just one set of naps).
This saves on more expensive nappy soakers, is
natural, and a bottle that costs under $15 will last me a
year. I also
have made my own nappy liners, instead of buying the chux
cloth like supermarket liners.
Just buy a metre of microfleece and cut to size.
I got 16 double folded liners out of a metre piece
and have used these now for over 2 years and they are
still in great condition.
Waste falls off easily into toilet and anything
left comes off with a quick scrub. - J Oliver, Galatea.
- I have always used cloth nappies, and wash
them in warm sometimes hot water with Lux flakes, then hang them in the sun.
Also I soak them in cold water rather than Napisan. I only use Napisan if
there has been a tummy bug in the house, and then I put all the nappies
through Napisan for 5-7 days just to kill everything. Also my nappies are
always soft from being blown around in our Wellington winds! I find this
cleaning system quite economical. M.W.
- Even the cheapest disposable nappies cost more than using
cloth. With our 6th child nearly out of nappies now, we have
estimated that we have saved $15,000 by using cloth nappies
for all of our children.To wash a load of nappies costs
about 20cents per load and doing 3 loads per week brings it
to a total of 60c. I buy washing powder on special always
and use two level tablespoons per load ( front loader).The
powder costs about 10c per load and the other 10c is for the
heating of the water ( 30 degrees). Line dry or use drying
racks in the winter and you save heaps of $$$$$.I have
bought 4 dozen nappies over the years and have been given
4-5 dozen ( seconds). I use pins and plastic pants which I
wash by hand- no nappy rash either. I have never bought a
pull-up when toilet training. I just use trainer pants and
when I go out I pop a cloth nappy on the child if I'm not
feeling confident that the child will 'hold-on' or not. I
agree cloth nappies do take more time, but really it's not
that much work. Imagine $15,000 off your mortgage! -
- I brought some plaster
from the supermarket 2 weeks ago, only about 30 plasters
in the packet. And today I was in the famous $2 shop and
they have a packet of plasters with 2 long strips, so came
home and cut them up into normal size strips, and I got 85
plasters. What a good idea. Go for it. D.M.
- Similar to the toothpaste idea, I've just about finished
up a soft plastic tube of face scrub and another of
foundation. I chopped the tops off the bottle with
scissors to get to the rest that I couldn't squeeze out. -2nd
generation Oily Ragger, Wellington.
- My husband uses dove
soap to shave with, he has sensitive skin and finds that
it softens his beard and gives a smooth clean shave with
no rash. - Off the grid, Otorohanga
- Don't buy those expensive shaving gels, go back to the old
shaving brush and soap: You can get organic shaving soap
for under $5 on-line; There's no wastage like when the
propellant runs out in the tins; It's much better for the
environment with no cans, plastic, propellant, strange
chemicals; There's less bulk to take when travelling;
There's no hassle with pressurised cans when flying. -
Good liquid soap using Dove soap and tea
tree oil. Buy Dove soap when it is on sale at $1 a bar. Grate it finely add
three cups of boiling water, stir till dissolved. When cool put in a few drops
of tea tree oil. Great anti-rash liquid soap for the shower. - Sam, Te Puke.
If you do not want to fight scum on your shower walls, then use shower gel. We
have a motor home and when using soap the smell when emptying our grey tank,
(sink, Shower water,) was horrendous. Now there isn't a smell at all. -
When moving into a newly built house, take time to rub the glass walls of the
shower with "Turtle Wax." Then
polish off. We have been living in
our home now for 3 years and taking care to wipe down the walls after each
shower, have scum free glass. We were advised to repeat this after 6 months. -
- Shower with a bucket. Use
the water to water your household plants
I would like to share ideas on making
great skin care products that are a fraction of the
price of bought ones and more effective too. I use Fatty
Cream (about $8 for 500gms from the chemist) as a base.
Spoon out enough to 2/3 fill your recycled small
container. I add another 1/3
almond or safflower oil and whip it up together
with an ice cream stick. This is a good general body
moisturiser. You can add a few drops of your favourite
essential oil to add fragrance. For face cream I add some
squeezed vitamin E capsules to the basic body mix.
(Rosehip oil is wonderful too.) To make a vitamin A cream,
I add some squeezed cod liver oil caps instead.
Great for cracked heels. - Allie,
Another beauty tip. Keep
a few used tea bags in the fridge. Makes a great moist
compress for puffy eyes in the morning. Its the caffeine
that does the trick, that being the main ingredient in the
expensive eye creams. - Allie,
- If you trun your hand cream bottles up side
down, it's amazing what is there when you think all is finished. - R.W.
Gather all the old pieces of hand soap and place in a jar.
Fill with water and let it dissolve. It becomes
liquid and is ideal for hand washing, washing woollens
etc. Mike, Auckland.
- When my kids were
little I sewed up flannels (facecloths) to make a square
pocket with velcro along the top side. All the small
scraps of soap went in to these pockets the kids used
these to wash. no more nagging about leaving the soap in
the water etc. Barb, Ashburton.
your soap is too small to use dont throw it out. Save
it in a dish and when you have what you think is enough
finely cut up the pieces. Place the prices into an old
saucepan and add water. Boil it up and stir it about then
pour into blocks and let it cool and there you have it
more soap. Soap varies in price from $2.50 to $4.50 for
just one bar. Ray Manicaros, Tauranga.
- Penny-pinching. As
well as unwrapping my bars of soap on arrival home from
the supermarket, I cut each bar in half. D
asks: "Does anyone know where (or if) 'Pearson's Sandsoap' is
available? I have the remains of my last bar and it beats all the fancy
new bottled cleaners." If you can help Dot please click
Pearson, a relative of the inventor, has sent us this
fabulous reply. In answer to Dot- Pearson's sandsoap has
not been available since about the 1950's when my great
great grandfather's company went out of business after about
70 years of trading. I believe someone bought out the name
and continued making soap but my understanding is that the
last person who knew the secret recipe didn't divulge it!
The soap was made using pumice sand found on my great great
grandfather's property in Hamilton, the only remaining bars
are those in museums around NZ and Australia.
from Auckland replies; "Pearson's sand soap is no
longer in production but the NZ Historical Places Trust sell
sand soap bars on their website for $3.00 each.
Here's the link." Link
I was reading in the soap category, that someone was looking
for Pearsons sand soap.
On the internet [eBay of course] I saw lots of what
is called 'pumice soap' which is the same thing - much
beloved by chimney sweeps, motor cycle restorers and
farmers. If one
is mushing up ends of soap, why not add some pumice powder
and make your own? Penny, Balquhidder, Scotland.
- A great way to save money and avoid Sodium Laureth Sulfate
(for the health conscious!) is to make your own hand soap
and dishwashing liquid. This is extremely easy! Take one
bar of scented soap (or plain if you prefer), grate to a
powder on your kitchen grater / lemon zester, and add 4 -
8 cups of boiling water slowly. If you have it, add a Tbsp
of liquid Glycerine. Beat, blend or stir (beware, this can
be FOAMY!) until well mixed. The top thick creamy foam can
be skimmed and put in a jar, for use as shaving cream, the
liquid can be bottled and used for hand soap, general
cleaning, dishwashing liquid etc. If using for the dishes,
don't expect lots of bubbles, just enjoy cleaner, shinier
dishes! - SJG, Blenheim.
- I buy a four pack of soap (only on special), then remove
wrappers put in hot water cupboard. This makes them hard
and last much longer. - D.M., Katikati.
- Recycled Soap Slivers. Collect all leftover soap slivers
and grate them on the grater. Any colour is fine. Put them
in a bowl, added a little water, and mash them all
together. Form a whole new bar with the shavings and let
them dry a few days before using them again. Saves heaps.
I make my own soap for allergy reasons and I always have
little leftover bits - these makes the oily rag go even
further! - Margs, North
- When your children are small squash the toilet roll to
stop the roll pulling as easily to reduce consumption. -
- I use my toilet cleaner to refill the Toilet Duck rather
than spending a fortune on refills. - Chooki, Wanganui.
- Many readers have written to us with this
tip - to remove unwanted odours from the "bathroom" simply strike
a match above the toilet bowl. No need for expensive deodorisers! - Oily
- You know one of those toilet duck refills
that you clip over the rim of the toilet to keep the toilet nice and clean,
dont refill it with another toilet duck block. Just put a morning fresh
tablet inside the refill, its those morning fresh dish washing tablet.
They do dissolve quickly but you only need to use one tablet a week to keep
the toilet really clean and it really does work. D.B.
- Use an old duck container to fill with
bleach. Ideal to clean the toilet and kill any germs as well as being a cheap
cleaner. - S.G.
on bathroom subjects, I use tissues, which have been in my
pocket all day, but not used to wipe my nose, for the
toilet. I fold a little toilet paper around it and presto!
- Do you get annoyed by every single toilet cleaner
commercial? They pour a whole lot of chemicals down the
loo and into the environment and NEVER clean the seat
where you actually come into contact with it. As you can
tell it's a pet hate of mine.
I just use bleach to squirt around the bowl and
scrub with the brush.
I then pour onto a rag and wipe down both sides of
the seat and around the outside of bowl etc.
(I actually use toilet paper instead of a rag
because then the rag with bleach can cause trouble with
other washing in the laundry afterwards!) I would like to
try the vinegar handy hint I just heard about. Also
I buy sugar soap in concentrated form and water it down
for all sorts of cleaning jobs all over the house from
cleaning the carpet to walls to cupboards. -
My house is always
looking for mouthwash, and a cheap, easy way to make some
is to simply put half a teaspoon of baking soda in with a
small glass of water, gargle as normal. Also, for a set of
sparkling pearly whites, brush teeth with toothpaste as
normal, then brush again, this time baking soda sprinkled
on your toothbrush. Over two weeks your teeth will whiten,
and save you an expensive trip to the dentist! - K.O.,
- some people have mentioned cutting down their use of
toothpaste by not putting it along the entire length of
their toothbrush. The
easier way is to put it sideways across your toothbrush -
it's all you need. Also,
use only soft toothbrushes, as hard/medium toothbrushes
wear away tooth enamel and in the long run will cost you
more at the dentist in your old age when your enamel's
lightly, even with a soft brush. - ANG, Masterton.
Reading BOP Times today re toothpaste. Advertising always
shows full strip of paste to sell more, when you only need
enough to go across the brush. - C.L., Tauranga.
I read the item from
someone, saying not to use a full strip of toothpaste on
the toothbrush, and so save fifty percent. I am a retired
dentist, I always recommended my patients to use a good
quality electric toothbrush, and used to point out to them
that it would pay for itself in saved toothpaste, as you
can only put on a "blob", onto the small
circular brush, most people put a long strip, at least 3
times as much, on a normal brush, and then foam at the
mouth with excess paste. - C.W., Whakatane.
- How much toothpaste do we need? TV advertisements show us
to cover the whole toothbrush. Why not try and use a
little less each day and find out how little we actually
need! - JO, Christchurch
- When you think you have got all the toothpaste or hand
cream out of a plastic container, cut off the bottom of
the container & you will be surprised how much paste
or hand cream is left which can be used. - Kit
Toothpaste tube is empty, cut open the end and sides. Wrap
in Cling wrap and you have enough for a week. Also good
for hand creams etc. - Jean S
- When a toothpaste tube becomes empty, cut open one end and
keep closed with two clothes pegs. There could be enough
left inside for a whole week. - RJ
From Astar on the Good Morning Show. Natural Toothpaste
2 tsp aloe vera (a mild antiseptic)
2 tsp baking soda (a mild abrasive and deodorizer)
1 tsp organic cinnamon powder or pure vanilla essence
may need to add a drop or two of water to make consistency
you require. Store in plastic screw top container. I Use
peppermint essential oil - 1-2 drops as I prefer the taste
to either of the above. The last time I went to the Dental
school they commented on how good my teeth were looking. I
also have just noticed that they seem a little whiter as
well (? BS content). I used to use Sensodyne toothpaste but
now my teeth don't seem to be very sensitive at all to
hot/cold foods. - Margs, North
- I was given a new yellow
dress made of towelling, I decided to unpick all the
seams, I got one large towel from the back, hand towels
from the unpicked sleeves, two smaller bath towels from
the side pieces, and two flannels from the left over
pieces, I don't have a sewing machine, so I spent a day
hemming the seams by hand. Into the op shops once more, to
see what I can get. - Dianne.
- 1/3 cup of washing soda
dilete in 1 litre
of boiling water. Cool then add 9 litres of cold water.
Stir and leave until thick. I use 1 cup per load. Happy
washing. - D.M.
from Tirau asks, What can I do to make my washing smell
nice without spending a fortune on conditioner. C to
- For some time now I
have only used the medium spin on my washing machine. This
is considerably shorter than high spin and clothes dry
just as quickly on a sunny/windy day. - North Island oily
- Dont have a washing machine? Get a
wonderwash for about $50. It uses two tablespoons soap powder, and Ό of the
A Wonder Wash washing
maching is ideal for single items or camping. They can be
bought at camping stores and come up from time to time on