Squeaky Clean

2 Feb

No- it’s not the campaign motto for my upcoming election.  It’s a belt-tightening endeavor I undertook about a year ago to lower the monthly amount we spend on house cleaners, body cleaners, etc. I first tackled the floors.  We have very old heart pine floors throughout the house and I want to be gentle on them.  They’ve done a great job supporting all the house habitants for the last 100 years, so I think it deserves a little TLC. Hense- Vinegar.

White vinegar solution: picture courtesy Housetweaking.com

Yup, plain old distilled white vinegar does wonders for your floor.   I mix about 1/4 cup into a gallon of warm water along with a few drops of essential oil.  I don’t want my whole house to smell like died easter eggs, so I bought some organic essential oils of lemon, lavender and scotch pine. I put the pine into the floor mixture.

But I don’t wash my floors that often (I know, I know- quit nagging), so I looked around the house for other ways to save money using natural cleaners.  Where do I spend alot of money on cleaners?  Well- my shampoo, for sure! I was buying Pureology shampoo and conditioners for a while, which put me back $15 a bottle. Yowza- that’s about $300 a year on just my shampoo and conditioner. So I decided, that’s a good place to start.

Ever heard of the No ‘Poo regimin? When I mentioned this to a friend, she said, “I didn’t think that was a biological option.” No, silly- not THAT kinds of Poo (but I do love the double entendre). It’s the giving up of shampoo and conditioners for natural cleaners.  There’s an idea out there that if your shampoo doesn’t lather up, it’s not cleaning your hair.  Generations of marketing gurus have brainwashed us- me included! Well no more.

So I started the No’Poo regimin I found on Glue and Glitter, a cute little blog also written here in the Atlanta area.  1 part baking soda to 3 parts water in one bottle for cleaning, and 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water in another bottle for rinsing. This worked for a while, but I got a little frustrated with the bottle of basking soda solution leaking everywhere. I had re-used an old shampoo bottle, but it’s designed for thick gooey gel, not a thin liquid. So the lid got all crusty with dried baking soda, and I’m a little too OCD to deal with that.

Stainless Steel shaker from generic big box

So I’ve experimented with this over the last year and come up with a solution that works on my very limp hair. Be forewarned, I’ve read around on the blogosphere and found that most people cannot use this formula on their hair.  But it works for me and that’s what counts.  Are you ready?  I bought a powdered sugar shaker and sprinkle straight baking soda on my hair in the shower.  I rub it in and let it sit on my hair for about 2 minutes while I shave my legs. Then rinse. Voila! I follow up with the vinegar rinse.

Recycled glass cruet


I’ve just started with the vinegar rinse. For a long time, I just did the powder because I like how it gave my hair texture and body. But this winter, I’ve noticed it’s getting a little dry, so I started with the vinegar rinse. Having mentioned my disgust for the smell of vinegar, I cover it by pouring in a bit of lavender oil and lemon oil.  I have to shake up the bottle before I pour it on, but I LOVE how my hair smells once it’s dried.  Much better than the chemical flowery smells of the shampoos I used to buy.

Well, I am completely hooked on my new hair regimin and so happy with how much money I’m saving, too.  I bought a 4 pound box of baking soda for $3, the shaker for $5, a gallon of ACV for $4, the essential oils for about $10 and the cruet for $3. I use the baking soda and essential oils for other cleaning tasks, but all told the $25 investment is cheaper than one month’s supply of shampoo and conditioner.  And this has lasted me well over a year- I expect it will last me at least another year, too.

So there you have it!  Want to learn more about the power of vinegar and other natural cleaning solutions?  Check out some of my favorite blogs:

The Vinegar Institute

Real Simple Solutions on YoungHouseLove

Cheap Laundry Detergent on the Empress of Dirt


One Response to “Squeaky Clean”

  1. Sam February 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Tee hee! No poo still makes me laugh.

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