Conundrums

So we’re almost out of dishwashing soap (the sink kind) and since my partner, Lionel (aka AL), knows that I’m collecting the various ingredients for making our own laundry detergent, he asked if maybe I was thinking about the dishwashing soap.  So I looked up recipes — and a popular recipe starts with 2 cups pure castile (vegetable oil-based) soap, then add a 1/2 cup of water.  Then essential oils if you like.  Simple right?

Okay, so getting castile soap is pretty easy — who hasn’t seen Dr. Bronner’s big impressive bottles with all the crazy writing all over the label?  But the price I’m seeing retail is $60/gallon.  When I look hard, I can find it online for $45 or so with shipping.  So if there are 16 cups to a gallon, then I’d be able to make 8 bottles of dish soap out of gallon.    $45 divided by 8 is $5.63.  Are you telling me that if I make my own dish soap at home, it will likely be more expensive than just buying the Seventh Generation Dish Soap I buy in the store?  I’ll have to check what exactly we pay at the supermarket (which will be more expensive than the 6-pack deal I found online for $15 plus shipping, which means each 25 oz. bottle is about $3.35).

So it’s possible that I’d save a tiny amount by doing it the Bronner method rather than just buying Seventh Generation at the store, but I’m not interested in homesteading as some kind of rich environmentalist’s pastoral dream; I also need to save money by being able to provide for my own needs!  (Of course, I’m usually on the other side of this argument when it comes to food, which I still maintain is worth the extra money because you get it back in nutrition and lack of health problems.)

Maybe the other methods like using soap suds have a better cost savings.

I’d expect the regular liquids to be cheaper because they’ve got economies of scale on their side, but Seventh Generation too?  Bronner!  Get with the program!

Now I have to see how safe and environmentally-friendly Seventh Generation really is.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. my sister actually uses the bed bath and beyond coupons in stacking methods to get her dr. b’s. Like she buys however many make $15, then used 20% off for each bottle as well. Of course she is a single person so she makes FAR less than a family would need

    Reply

  2. Posted by waytogohomesteader on September 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Really interesting. I always forget about Bed, Bath and Beyond for shopping, yet those coupons do come pretty regularly (especially just after moving). When I lived back west in Artificity there was one in a really prominent place (though I think even there I forgot about it), but here I don’t even know where one is. Since I think Bronners is cheaper than the shampoo we buy though, maybe I’ll come back around to this.

    I couldn’t find anything wrong with the dish soap I already use and found an online deal that reduced the $3.79 I paid at the supermarket with a 6-pack at $2.04 per bottle. We just got it today. I’m disturbingly pleased by having saved this amount. You’d think I won a cash prize.

    Reply

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