Shower Gel – Do it yourself!!

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For some time already, we have been using natural soap bars at home in order to avoid the shower gels, which come in a plastic bottle. Apart from the plastic packaging, we have also started to realize the amount of chemicals which are being used in the production process. We both decided it would be a good time to start living without plastic packaging and chemicals. Living in Bangkok, we have been coming across a wide variety of great natural soaps, so the transition period has been easier than expected.

As I am the more zero waste person in the household most of the new homemade products have been a blessing for me. My husband still misses his shower gel, so I started to do some research and found something worth trying out. Remember, that any recipe you try out will still require some time from you as well as some personal adjustments, because everyone has different preferences….

As castile soap is quite pricey in Bangkok, I have tried the recipe with the natural soaps, which I have purchased locally and it has worked for us.

What you need (apart from the natural soap):

  • sharp knife or grater
  • large pot
  • funnel
  • whisk

You can either use a glass flip top bottle or a recycled shower gel/ shampoo plastic bottle from before (Gel must be cooled down before using a plastic bottle in order to avoid leakage of chemicals). Some people prefer not to have glass bottles in their shower in case of breakage. There is nothing wrong to up cycle some existing products.

Depending on where you purchase your soap, the recipe will require some adjustments. Here is what has worked for me so far:

  • Cut 100 grams of soap into smaller pieces (Soft soaps work well with a knife whereas you would use a grater for the harder soaps)
  • Add the soap pieces to the pot with 500 ml water. Soap should dissolve quite fast and become bubbly. Make sure to stir constantly! It shouldn’t burn to the bottom of the pot.
  • After the soap has dissolved, the mixture could still be quite liquid. Let it sit for a while, but continue stirring. It will turn eventually into a gel type liquid.
  • Let the mixture sit over night and stir it the next day. In case you are not satisfied with it, you can either add more water or soap.
  • Fill the bottle to 3 parts with the gel, but leave some space in case it turns harder over the next few days. You can always add some hot water!

If you prefer a creamier shower gel, then you could blend it in the mixer for about one minute.

Additional treatment options:

  • Replace the water with natural tea (chamomile, lime blossoms, sage, thyme) – works well as an anti-inflammatory
  • Add two tbsp of either coconut, – olive, or almond oil, then add it to the mixer – especially for people with dry skin

As you can see, making your own Shower gel is easy and you will actually know about every single ingredient in it. Have you tried it already? If yes, what have you used? What has worked for you? Would love to hear more about your experiences…

Would love to learn more from this community. What has worked for you?

Are you quite mad? A Zero Waste journey in Bangkok? …..

Are you quite mad? A Zero Waste journey in Bangkok? …..

It’s been quite over a year now, that I started to aim for a Zero Waste Lifestyle in a city of over 14 million inhabitants – Bangkok. I still get the odd looks and questions why I would even think of something like that, when life could be lived so much easier… And I agree that it sounds mad, but it has become one of the most rewarding journeys in my life.

Here goes my story….

I have always considered myself quite “green” taking my reusable bag and bottle with me everywhere. (“I must have been hallucinating”…) I remember that going on vacation with friends and hubby last year to Koh Pangan was the first time, I took a closer look to what I found on the beaches and roads around me. Of course, I have seen the waste issues around Bangkok many times, but never really questioned it until I was on vacation that time April, 2015. I guess, it really opened my eyes and made me think. How plastic or wasteful had my life become?

Taking a closer look at my own waste – September 2015

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I was blown away by my own waste production… Packaging of all kinds (food packaging, cleaning products, beauty and menstrual items, etc.) I was part of this ever-growing consumer circle not realizing the impact of my own carbon foot print. This is when I started to re-evaluate my life again:

  • Plastic bottles, bags and Straws had already been banned for as long as I can remember!!!!!!
  • Packaged food items: I banned Styrofoam from my home knowing that this is one of the worst pollution items as we cannot upcycle or recycle it!! This required a re-thinking process for both of us, but it was an immediate change we could implement right away.
  • Local food markets replaced packaged fruit and vegetable items… I couldn’t believe that I had developed such a bad habit. Living in Bangkok, we have plenty of local food markets, where one can shop without plastic wrapping, if you bring your own bags..
  • Bathroom: The Oil Cleansing Method replaced my endless supply of facial cleaners with a few simple steps… It was amazing to discover how much money I spent on chemical cleansers and moisturizers and now I wouldn’t go back…., Homemade toothpaste and deodorant, Shower gels were replaced by Bar soaps, Shampoo (still struggling to find a better solution), Conditioner – Apple cider vinegar, which has so many different uses, Sanitary towels by a menstruation cup, Plastic toothbrushes became Bamboo toothbrushes, …..

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  • Household Cleaning Materials: All non-sense cleaning products in plastic containers were replaced by the old and common recipes from the past, … Vinegar, baking soda and lemons have been doing an amazing job, Soap nuts have become my new best friend in the laundry department and the list continues…..

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Of course, all these changes didn’t happen overnight. Its been an adaptation process over this past year and a lot more has happened/ changed, which I am proud of.

So I want to finish my post today with a quote from from Bea Johnson (Author “Zero Waste home):

“Start small. Start anywhere. It feels good because it’s the right thing to do – and that’s contagious.”