Sixth month check-in part III

For all the good I managed to do in my kitchen and pantry areas last quarter, the laundry room and master bath were kind of hit and miss. Um, maybe mostly miss if we’re being honest.

Here are my goals … and what happened with each in blue:

The new detergent situation. I'm kind of depressed.

The new detergent situation. I’m kind of depressed.

The laundry room

  1. Jar of bulk laundry detergent or soap nuts (Found bulk laundry detergent, which was really expensive. Tried making my own, and it works pretty well. However, Eric told me Friday he doesn’t think it’s getting his white t-shirts clean. We’ve had this issue for a while, purchased and homemade, so I’m not convinced it’s mine that’s the culprit  Still, for familial peace, I purchased detergent on Saturday in a cardboard box. In another twist, Deb — hi, Deb! — commented that homemade detergents, be they dishwasher or laundry, are known to wreck havoc on plumbing. And having a dishwasher that’s possibly reflecting that issue … well, I guess I’m okay with purchasing laundry detergent again, even if the plastic scoop drives me nuts. Trying to decide if I want to swallow the huge bulk price or not. Kinda sad how this one played out because I actually really like the homemade stuff.)
  2. Jar of homemade stain remover (nope)
  3. Repurposed spray bottle of DIY hardwood floor cleaner (ditto)
  4. Scrub brush (Found one with a bamboo handle and plant-based bristles. It’s gorgeous, but I have yet to use it.)
It's like a cloud. I do have minimal regrets.

It’s like a cloud. I have minimal regrets.

The master bath

  1. Unwrapped soap for the shower (check)
  2. Plastic containers of bulk shampoo and conditioner (check)
  3. Safety razor (YES! This thing is scaring me less and less, although I did finally cut myself — but that’s because I’d dropped it and then didn’t make sure the head was still securely screwed into the base. It wasn’t, and the head twisted and … bam. Still, I’m a fan.)
  4. Bidet (???) (I did a lot of research on this, and I can’t figure out how to get around needing to dry off afterwards. Which means that toilet paper isn’t necessarily out of the picture. And I’m still not willing to consider family cloth. Anyway, this is on the back burner indefinitely.) 
  5. Paper-wrapped facial soap (check — but I recently found something I like even better, which is a homemade face wash from One Green Planet: 1/3 cup liquid castile, 10 drops of essential oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil. It doesn’t seem to be drying out my face, it takes very little product to get a nice lather, and breakouts have been minimal as I make the switch over. Win.)
  6. Repurposed bottle of DIY calendula oil (check. Love that stuff.)
  7. Reusable tins of DIY products, i.e. makeup, toothpowder and lotion (yes to makeup — although I’d like to make a solid version of the face powder — and lotion — I like to use coconut oil, a bit of beeswax, and several drops of Citrus Bliss essential oil. And yes to toothpowder — my dentist said it was fine, but having been warned against wrecked enamel by Laurie A. — hi, Laurie! — I was a little leery of just using straight baking soda, so I mixed in some other ingredients like cream of tarter and bentonite clay, and felt pretty good about myself. BUT THEN. I had to go back to the dentist and he was like, hey, didn’t we talk about baking soda for toothpaste? So yeah, that’s fine, but only use it at night — it cuts the acidity, which is great — and then use regular toothpaste in the morning so you’re getting your fluoride. And I was like, dude, I thought we’d come to a conclusion on this! However, I’m noticing that my teeth are much more sensitive since using toothpowder, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. I’ve got vague plans of checking out options in the natural foods section. I’m undecided if homemade toothpowder is even a good idea now.)
  8. Jar of DIY cotton kleenx (nope, didn’t even try)
  9. Jar of DIY cotton balls (a very nice reader sent me a knitting pattern I’m about to let Johanna loose on) (also a no)
  10. Jar of toothpicks as a floss replacement (???) (nope. Didn’t look into this at all.)
  11. My plastic container of crystal deodorant (love my deodorant!)
  12. And a bottle of purchased sunscreen, since I’m not sold on homemade versions being strong enough (yeah, although we used leftovers from last year.)
My new best friends homemade facial soap and safety razor.

My new best friends homemade facial soap and safety razor.

A few things that happened that weren’t on any lists:

  1. For all my unwillingness to use family cloth in place of toilet paper, I love my reusable cloth menstrual pads. I kind of forgot about them, though, because it’s going on three years and it’s just something I do. If we need a post just on that, I will gladly write one.
  2. I also kind of forgot about the fact that I stopped dying my hair a few years ago. I hit 41 and was like, what am I even doing? This stuff is terrible for my head, my lungs, and the environment. So I stopped. It took a year and 10 months to completely grow out, and I’m not going to lie, I look in the mirror sometimes and am like, wow, that is not what I was expecting to see. But I’m good with this choice. So that’s why you won’t see hair dye on any of my “change” lists. However, I totally understand the desire to use the stuff, so you won’t catch me throwing any stones.
  3. The toilet paper situation has returned to what we were doing pre-project, which is getting the value pack wrapped in plastic. The paper-wrapped TP was so uncomfortable — you know it’s bad when you use the work bathroom and think that stuff is a cloud all of a sudden — and the family hated it.
  4. I made the laundry room cupboard the catch-all for both laundry and bathroom cleaners for the convenience of the rest of the family — Abby and Eric are in charge of the bathrooms around here — and this way they don’t have to run around the house trying to figure out what to use.

What I need to work on in the coming months:

  1. The laundry room cupboard is more cluttered than I’d like it to be. I have another whole cupboard that I don’t even want to show you because it’s just filled with random crap and it’s embarrassing. I want to clean that out and evenly distribute the cleaning supplies inside both.
  2. I feel like the master bath is really what I need to concentrate on — the kitchen is taking care of itself at this point, although I certainly still have goals there. This room is harder because I share it with Eric, who is unwilling to try some of my grander plans. The same could be said about the girls. I’m thinking of calling another family meeting, but this time instead of asking what one item they’d like to keep (like I did for food), I’ll ask what’s one item they’re willing to try DIY or low waste.
  3. I also need to get that jar of reusable kleenx going for reals, as cold season is upon us. I’m not sure why snot (and menstrual blood, I guess) grosses me out less than urine and poop, but I’m okay with it.
  4. And those reusable cotton balls? Need to get serious about that, too.

Next up: I’m trying to decide if I have enough tips to make “easy ways to go zero waste in the laundry room and bathroom” into a post. But I’m also kind of worded out right now (and I imagine you are too — my posts this week have been ridiculously long), so it’s possible I’ll get lazy and just post a recipe or something.