Friday, October 12, 2007

bit less pestilence plus some elegant frugality

Mouse Plague Body Count:
One more dead mousie in glass house today.

Earwig Saga
I made up some derris dust plus soap plus water spray for the beans, but it promptly clogged the spray bottle. So I sort of just sprinkled it on and rubbed it around some of the leaves with my gloves. Fingers crossed 1,000,000,000 earwigs turn up for a bean bush snack tonight and buy it big time!

And now for some frugal elegance:

This is the recipe I have sort of cobbled together from lots of other online recipes, an the herbs in my garden for homemade shampoo:


  • ¼ cup nettle/comfrey/rosemary/tea
  • ¼ cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 tsp glycerin
  • ¼ - ½ tsp light veggie oil (olive, jojoba, almond etc)
  • Lavender or other essential oils
  • Rosemary tincture for preservative (optional)

Because I am still playing around with the ingredients, this is the actual trial recipe that I made the other day:

  • 1/4 cup or 60ml of freshly made comfrey, rosemary and nettle tea.
  • (or whatever is in your garden)
  • 1/4 cup or 60ml of liquid castile soap (the one I am using is 70% olive oil)
  • 6 drops of vegetable glycerin
  • few drops of lavender oil
Mix together tea and soap in a little bottle . Add glycerin and lavender oil and shake.

As with regular shampoo, wet hair and then squeeze shampoo onto hair and massage in well. It smells divine and is lovely on your face and body too.

Add more glycerin if your hair is really dry, and less if your hair is oily. The glycerin seems to give your hair that thick and full feeling. BUT lots of folks on the internets who try making their own shampoo, and who complain that it makes their hair greasy all seem to use a full tablespoon of glycerin in the mix and I think this is probably too much. It would seem that the glycerin is the one thing that can really make a big difference to how the shampoo performs - so perhaps just experiment with small quantities and see what gives the best result.

You may want to just use a little light veg oil rather than glycerin......or both. Hey, its YOUR shampoo, you can make it how you want!

And now for the conditioning spray. Again, this the the cobbled together base recipe I am aiming for:

Conditioning Spray:
  • ½ tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 1 cup freshly made herbal tea (as with shampoo - I just used the left overs or use plain water)
  • Lavender or other essential oils
  • Few drops glycerin
Mix ACV and tea into spray bottle
Add smells and small amount of glycerin
Shake up.

Spray onto wet hair after shampooing and before combing. Spray onto dry hair before brushing.
The spray should make your hair easier to brush and instantly shiny!

And this is what I actually made the other day: 1 tsp ACV, 125 mills tea, 1 ml glycerin

See notes above about glycerin. One batch I made had none, one had too much and now I think I have the mix just right! You might want to add extra or less ACV as well. Too much might make your hair a bit dry over time, and too little might not give you the shine that you want.

So there you go.

As you can see from the derris dust spray and shampoo recipe - I am definitely getting my moneys worth out of this 5 liter container of castile soap!

While we are on the topic of elegantly frugal skin care, and if you start using your shampoo as a face wash, you might like to start making your own ACV toner for the same reasons that you would use the Conditioning Spray.

In a little jar, mix up say a cup of water and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of ACV and if you have it, a little bit of witchhazel. When you get out of the shower, poor a little of your toner on a tissue or cotton wipe and gently wipe over your face. It is lovely, and fixes up the acid mantle of your skin after using the soap. I LOVE it!!!! and I am loving the way my skin is looking. I used to use ACV on my face when I was just a teenager, and don't know why I stopped!

So there you have it! Here is the lovely shoppie I have been sourcing my goodies from. Its not much use to you Killi, but might help give you an idea of what to look for.

Lovely Pickle has asked me to make her some natural moisturiser, so this is my next little challenge.

Have fun! May your lives be free of earwigs and mice!


Jill said...

Now, I am a complete novice, so I have to ask a few questions! Do you make the rosemary tea by just boiling water and rosemary sprigs from the garden? Cos I can do that! And the liquid Castile soap, where abouts in the supermarket do you find it? I have never heard of it. I really want to try this shampoo, thanks so much.

The Duck Herder said...

Hi Jill
Yes, I just made the tea by popping some freshly picked herbs in a saucepan with a bit of water, bringing it to the boil and simmering for a few minutes.

The liquid castile soap I got from the on-line shop I linked to in the post. They were lovely to deal with and a 5 liter container of soap is going to last me for ages.

Buying in bulk helps to keep the price way down, and you can use the castile soap for lots of things.

Hope that helps!