Quick Tip: Using Up Dribs And Drabs

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Everyone in my family- myself included- has a bad habit of leaving a bottle of body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc, etc, etc. about a quarter full and moving on to the next bottle. This is entirely my fault because I constantly buy that stuff when I see it on sale, so we constantly have shampoo, body wash, and conditioner at the ready. We also have several gift packs of that sort of junk.

Finally, I got tired of my bathroom being piled up with all that stuff, so I got a giant bottle of shampoo that someone had bought at Sam’s (about 1/4th full, natch) and filled it up with all the dribs and drabs of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner, then put in several of the little bottles from gift packs in there. I figured it would smell like a hot mess, but surprisingly, it didn’t smell too bad.

I then handed the bottle to my oldest son who takes about 73 showers a day and told him to use it as body wash, and once this bottle was completely empty, I would buy him any kind of body wash he wanted. He liked the smell and liked how it made his skin feel smooth. (Probably due to the conditioner in there, my guess.)

It’s an easy way to use up the little bits you end up with!


  1. Diaper Cake Becca on January 18, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    My problem is that I tend to go through Conditioner faster than Shampoo…..so I buy the SET when I am almost out of Conditioner and somehow wind up switching before I am done with the Shampoo.

    I wind up using the half full bottles for my own bubble baths……cheaper and milder than the stuff I can buy at the store (and it probably smells better, too!!)

  2. Robin on January 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I too buy what is on sale, but I stash it in the closet till all the little dribs and drabs are gone.

  3. dani on January 18, 2009 at 4:58 am

    My sister using shampoo like water, because she is very OCD about her hair. My mom decided that since she goes through a bottle every two weeks, it was her job to drain them and use them again, or she would be buying her own.

    So, like once a month, the tops come off and she drains them all into one bottle, and you can FINALLY see our bathroom counter….at least for a few days.

  4. Would-be Housewife (formerly Wannabe, :) ) on January 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Excellent idea. I keep a glass jar and when I wind up with soap scraps (like the hard hand soap bars?) I save them it in. When I need to clean something, I then throw a few in some boiling hot water and use it as an all purpose cleaner. I just take a rag, swish it in the mixture and wander around scrubbing counters or toilets and sinks or whatever. It works, it is cheap, and I figure compared to most harsh chemical cleaners, it is probably safer. *shrug*

  5. Mom of three on January 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Another thing I do is set the bottle on it’s cap so that all the shampoo runs to the top. That way they don’t have to wait for it to run down, which I think is why they don’t use it. Since they shower, and I bathe, I usually end up with the last part. I use the manly smelling stuff on the dog, since I buy the dandruff shampoo for the men and the dog has yeast allergies. The girly stuff makes for good bath bubbles and if you don’t like the scent, you can always use it to wash out the tub.

    And hide the new bottle. I think a new bottle of shampoo is to a kid what a clean poop house it to a cat. It’s all about being first.

    And what he only showers 73 times a day? What do you make him sleep and eat outside the bathroom or something. LOL I thought my older two would never reach the stage where they would bathe independently of me reminding them. Now I am planning on sending them to college on the savings on the electric bill.

  6. Keter on January 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    @Tara – Cutting a bottle open sounds a little scary, but then I’m uncoordinated. ;o)

    The way I get all the moisturizer out is to add a little bit of distilled water, shake hard, and dispense the result into another container. I then add some more water to make a rather runny batch and place it near the shower so I can use it up where it is less likely to make a mess.

  7. Tara on January 17, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I do this with moisturizer (which I go thru ~piles~ of!). I got a light, nicely-scented face/body moisturizer from the first batch and have kept it up since then. I even cut the bottles open to make sure I’m getting everything – usually there is an 1/8 to 1/4 cup stuck to the sides of the larger bottles that I’d never get out otherwise.

  8. Ann at mommysecrets on January 17, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Great idea!!

  9. Mama Kitty on January 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    What a creative (and amusing) solution! We don’t seem to have this problem, fortunately. But I once did something similar with dibs and dabs of different flours. Pancakes are a very forgiving use of them.

  10. Keter on January 16, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    My husband is bad about leaving about an inch in the bottom of an old bottle of shampoo and then abandoning it for the new one. When I see a bottle getting low, I’ll add water to it to thin it out. Somehow, this magically transforms it so that it all gets used. Now if I could just get him to throw the empties out – he just leaves them in the shower…

    If a bath or liquid detergent product (not dishwasher detergent) is purchased that doesn’t work out, it gets repurposed in some way. A great way to use them up is to mix it with some generic dandruff shampoo, dilute it down with water, and use it for dog shampoo. I recycled an old laundry detergent bottle to hold this solution. The dogs’ hair isn’t sensitive to whether a shampoo is too drying, and the freesia scent smells that more like grape koolaid is still an improvement over how they naturally smell!

    Produce that turned out to be flavorless or woody, stale bread, and anything that otherwise doesn’t taste good or came with moths or weevils in it gets put out for the deer to eat.

    The thing that’s hard to get rid of if it doesn’t work out is cleaning chemicals, so I just don’t buy a large variety of these.

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