Soap Gets A Makeover

By now we all know I like to hide functionality behind something pretty. Wait, you didn't know that? Get thee to the archives!

I apologize. I'm easily distracted. Anyway, this post is about my fancier-than-necessary kitchen soap. May I present to you dish soap on the left and hand soap on the right. Don't you just love the clean lines and absence of product labels?

OK, now that we've handled the introductions, it's on to the details. The dish soap is the easier of the two makeovers and, sadly, I can't take credit for this. I totally stole the idea from hubby's grandmother when we stayed with them a few weeks ago - Hi Grandma! All you do is pour dish soap into a cruet with the handy drizzle spout. Seriously, that's all you do.

As you can see, the spout makes it easy to drizzle just the right amount of soap into the sink, which is great for me because I am a terrible over-squirter with a regular dish soap bottle. Also, I realize the demonstration would have been easier to see had I not chosen clear dish soap. My bad.

As for the nitty-gritty how-to details, there's not much I need to tell you. Any liquid dish soap will do; I personally cheap out with the unscented grocery store brand. The nice thing about the cruet is you can save some dough by buying your dish soap in bulk, but you still have the convenience of a small dispenser. I'm also pretty sure any old oil cruet will work. I didn't buy this one for the project, I just happened to have it on hand.

Enough about that, now let's talk about hand soap! Thrilling, I know. Again, I can't take full credit for this because I was inspired by this genius design project by Nathalie Stämpfli I'd seen floating around the interwebs. You can click the link for more info, but here's the gist: liquid soap is mostly water. That's bad because water is being transported unnecessarily; the liquid soap is heavier, larger in storage and the packaging is made of plastic. Bar soap would be the answer if it weren't so slippery and generally icky. Take a peek at Nathalie's brilliant solution:

image source

A soap dispenser that creates flakes from bar soap! As much as I love her design, I can't sit around waiting for it to be mass-produced. So, armed with some DIY spirit and a rock-what-ya-got approach, I decided to modify the idea and make it my own. Even better, my version didn't cost me any money and I like free things. Being unemployed will do that to you.

The container is an ordinary canning jar - left over from some homemade apple sauce Luke got for Christmas - and the soap is grated Dove brand bar soap. For those following along at home, you can grate your soap with a plane or box grater...

... or with a fancy rotary grater.

I tried both but I preferred the rotary grater - it was faster. If you don't have a rotary grater, the box grater worked just fine. Just make sure you use a fine-toothed grater, because you want to end up with nice, small flakes like this:

After I had my flakes in the jar, I made holes in the lid to create a shaker. For those following along at home, I drew my hole pattern with a marker, punched pilot holes with a hammer and nail, then made the holes larger with a power drill. I could have used a special bit made for drilling through metal, but the lid was soft enough that it wasn't necessary.

Here's where I have to admit that you could very easily use a parmesan cheese shaker - you know, the kind on the table at pizza restaurants - instead of making your own. I didn't because I would have had to buy one and that would require a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond and I can't ever get out of there without buying stuff that wasn't on my list.

Once you have your shaker all loaded up, it's not hard to figure out how to use it.

I will say this: you're less likely to drop some flakes if you wet your hands first and the hotter the water, the easier they melt and lather.
I didn't bother, but you could always match your soap dispensers to your kitchen (or bath) decor by using stickers, ribbon, decals or colored soap. Me, I'm a sucker for clear glass and crisp white soap.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin