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Foaming soap pump makeovers

We like foaming hand soap in our house (see the previous post for just one of the reasons why). For kids, it’s less messy than bar soap, and it pumps out, spreads and rinses off easier than regular liquid soap. We even use it in shampoo form – more suds for the hair and less running into the eyes.

Seeing two empty pump bottles laying around made me wonder if we could re-fill them with our own home-made version. And guess what? All it takes is just a portion of liquid soap mixed with water. We filled our pump containers about an eighth full of regular liquid soap and filled them the rest of the way with water. Voila! Turns out the technology isn’t in the soap formula, but in the pump itself.

I’m so happy we discovered this. Now a bottle of regular soap lasts us so much longer, and each amount of soap costs a fraction of what it did before.

Extra fun: I peeled off the labels on our used soap pumps and gave them each a makeover. See the “before” photo here. The colorful one above is for Chloe’s bathroom and the black and white one below is for ours.

Update: Even though I used “permanent” Sharpie markers, the ink actually comes off if scraped too hard. They’d probably last longer if sprayed with a fixative. I wonder what would be a better medium? Some sort of paint?

Floral designs inspired by Sandra Isaksson.


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Goodbye Sigg, Hello Klean Kanteen

After countless years of using old polycarbonate Nalgene bottles, we finally switched to aluminum Sigg bottles a while back after learning that our Nalgene bottles contained bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical also known as BPA. The Sigg bottles seemed like a reasonable choice, with cool designs and a better fitting top (unlike my Nalgene that constantly dripped water out of the cap threads). The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the mouth opening was small, making it hard to clean. After a while it would develop a strange smell and seemed to make water taste musty. They do make special cleaning tablets, but I never tried them. However, I was bummed to find out recently that the epoxy lining in our Sigg bottles were actually made with BPA, too!

A few months back, David opted for a Klean Kanteen. Sleek and much easier to clean with rounded corners and no smell. More importantly, it is made with toxin-free, high quality, recyclable, food grade stainless steel. When I came across a wide-mouth version, I also made the switch (and was tempted by the kid kanteen with sippy attachment!).

For the record, both new Nalgene and new Sigg bottles are now BPA-free. Also, Sigg says that their liners have not been proven to leach BPA, but there is some controversy that they knowingly hid the fact that BPA was used at all. We knew we had the BPA version of Sigg bottles because our liners were shiny gold, purchased before Sigg recently switched to their new ivory colored “EcoCare” liner. Here’s a visual comparison, so you can check your own bottles.

BIG NEWS!

While I was perusing mysigg.com I came across their voluntary exchange program. You can ship your old bottle back and they will email you a gift certificate code to shop online for a replacement bottle! Download a shipping label and return form (although you will have to pay to ship it back yourself).

Postscript: Just read My Body Burden on the 7Gen blog and found the information on BPA very interesting.


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Amazing DIY Dressers

I am always amazed when people are able to take an old, ugly or plain piece of furniture and re-purpose or refinish it into something new. David did a great job on our bedroom dresser and side table, turning it from a beat-up honey, to a smooth and modern walnut. These are a few other examples that really wow me:

This is the Decades, No. 1 chest of drawers by Wis Design. I wish I owned this gorgeous masterpiece. Their web site describes the project as a “Chest of drawers made out of discarded drawers, found and rescued from flea markets. A mix of different styles from earlier decades, with woods and knobs of various kinds, in a single piece of furniture. The old drawers are enhanced by the new frame in white lacquered MDF.” Check out their web site for the other 4 versions.

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One very enterprising DIYer re-purposed this dresser for his son’s nursery. He was given the dresser as a gift, and decided to turn it into a modern dresser/changing table. Very impressive. Via Apartment Therapy.

And lastly, I really dig this stenciled dresser by Lena Corwin, author of the book Printing by Hand. You can check out her process and tutorial on the Etsy blog.

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