Toiletries ~ My solution

My Bathroom Cabinet. You will notice two tubes of toothpaste ~ I am not sure how that happened. There are two deodorants for me but that is because one is almost empty.

When I asked readers to write in about topics they wanted me to discuss here at 365 Less Things Shirls sent in this request…

What to do with the dozens of body lotions and shower creams people keep giving me as gifts or that I’ve bought myself. My skin has become super sensitive in my old age and these products irritate rather than soothe. Trouble is, having opened them I can’t regift them or donate to the charity shop. Yet tossing them seems such a waste.

Rebecca B.A.R sent in this very good and helpful suggestion…

I would ask friends/family if they wanted them. If not, I would see if any of the local homeless shelters or the domestic violence office would want them to give to their clients.


I would also say that just because the toiletries you have are open doesn’t mean you can’t donate them to a charity shop. They are not going to be eaten so I don’t see that they can’t be sold to someone who might want them. Just drop them off personally so you can check to make sure they are accepted.

If you are a member of a craft or social group why not take them along to your next get together and offer them to your fellow members with the explanation that you have become allergic to them. Don’t even worry if some of these product may have been given to you by the members of this group. They will understand when there are allergies involved and won’t make the same mistake of gifting you any in the future. In fact to avoid receiving any more toiletries as gifts in the furture would let all your friend loved ones know about this allergy problem.

In general I have a few suggestions when it comes to toiletries.

  • Only buy one type of product at a time. One shampoo, one conditioner, one lotion, one sunscreen, one deoderant… Multiples just clutter up your space and add decision making time to your routine. (You may need a set for each bathroom)
  • Do not buy a replacement until the current one is just about used up.
  • Be a responsible consumer. If the product isn’t quite what you like persevere until it is all gone anyway. So long as you aren’t allergic to it or it has the opposite effect to what you expected it won’t harm you and you will know better next time.
  • If the product does cause a reaction or does not perform as advertised I would suggest taking it back and attempt to extract a refund from the retailer.
  • Before trying new products see if you can acquire a trial sample to test. Some shops and department stores are better for this than others. If you care to investigate on line, you will find that some manufacturers will send you product sample.

Here are some alternate uses for toiletries if you really can’t tolerate using ones you already own for their intended use~

  • Shampoo can be used as hand soap or body wash (Check this Link for more ideas)
  • Mouthwash as drain cleaner or toothbrush soaker (Check this Link for more ideas)
  • I use body lotion to shave my leg (Check out this Link for more ideas)
  • I have been known to use toothpaste to clean silver jewellery (Check out this Link for more ideas)

For more great ideas for alternate use for toiletries just google ~ Alternate use for (Insert the the name of the products) (eg alternate use for shaving cream). The computer is an invaluable tool when it come to decluttering.

Good luck and happy ablutions.

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter a fashion accessory or obscure clothing item that no longer matches anything you wear or your personality for that matter.

Today’s Declutter Item

This faux fur collar belongs to my favourite leather jacket. I think I have probably worn it on the Jacket twice in the eleven years I have owned it. Heaven knows why it hasn’t been decluttered before now.

Faux Fur Collar

Something to be grateful for today

I have to go in for day surgery tomorrow and I have got the 8am slot. That is like the jackpot of time slots. I only have to fast in my sleep and surgery couldn’t possibly be running very late at that time. Yay!!!

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Ahh, toiletries………I’m sure they breed in bathrooms whilst our backs are turned. I decided to get back in control of the toiletries last year by taking an inventory of them and working my way through each category and vowing not to restock until I’m on the last dregs of things. I have skin which is fine as long as it’s not insulted by too many products, so I keep my regime very simple and have gradually trained family and friends not to give me smellies as gifts. If any slip through the net, they are discreetly thifted in another town. I keep only the toiletries used every day on show. Things used at less frequent intervals are in a lidded plastic box. This stops them getting dirty and makes cleaning up the bathroom the work of seconds.

    • Smart move GreyQueen. Toiletries were one thing I was ahead of the game on after my last move. I performed a use it up challenge prior to the removal because the removals company don’t like to pack liquids when transporting internationally.
      When I the started my 365 Challenge I got even more ruthless. It is lovely to have an uncluttered bathroom cabinet.

  2. Something that took me a while to find out, and a lot of people don’t know – many places will take toiletries back or exchange if you try a product once and can’t use it. It’s usually higher end places (these are usually the ones that are gifted to me – places in the U.S. like Body Shop or Sephora) though I have had luck doing it in some drugstores too if I was insistent.

  3. And for opened things you can’t return, I see a lot of people give all kinds of toiletries away on Freecycle. I got several bottles of shampoo/conditioner that way!

  4. OH how I understand this one. I am very allergic to any makeup product and most things that go on the skin. I am also very allergic to the smells in things. So everything I use has to be scent free and then very, very well investigated. ANYTHING that comes to me as a gift is immediately returned. Many people don’t think about how scented candles, scented hair spray, perfume, etc. can set someone off if they have allergies. My good friends and family all know to not give me anything like that so I’m pretty safe now. When it comes to toiletries in the house I have become very careful to only get what I need for the monent becuase I have also learned that somethings if left too long begin to change. They may look and smell the same but the chemicals in them can change and it causes me to have more problems. I think you are right Colleen in saying that you should not stock up and if you don’t like/can’t use something send it out the door to a shelter or some place like that.

    • You are so right to these products changing over time. Many of them have an oil component too the goes rancid. I finally threw away a moisturiser yesterday that had been hanging around way too long. It had a funny smell to it. I was glad to see the back of it as it was one product I had two similar ones of. Perhaps I should have found a new home for it instead of trying to use it up.

  5. Maybe it’s just my personal “yuck factor”, but I’d be grossed out to find that I had purchased a stranger’s open/used bottle of lotion, etc. from a thrift store.

    Accepting used goods from somebody on Freecycle is one thing, because you’d know the containers had been opened.

    Otherwise, I think if a personal care product has been opened, we just need to bite the bullet and throw it away.

    • PS I hope all goes well with your surgery, Colleen.

    • I’m with you on this too Becky. I’m so easily weirded out by other people in general that I couldn’t fathom using products used by a stranger. It weirds me out enough to try on clothing at a store if I suspect someone else has tried on the same outfit before me. Lord help me if I see someone else’s make-up smudges on a shirt or dress collar! argh! bleh!

    • Hi Becky,
      many people who shop at the thrift store tend to be a lot less sensitive to using used items no matter what they are. I certainly wouldn’t donate them if I thought they were past their best by date.

      • I knew you wouldn’t donate anything that was past its prime, Colleen. It’s probably just me–I’ve always had a weak stomach, and many things that wouldn’t bother somebody else make me just about gag.

        Take thrift store shoes, for instance. My husband happily buys and wears shoes and boots from the thrift store, but I just can’t bring myself to. I’m afraid I’d have to go barefoot first. The thought of somebody else’s foot in the shoe just makes me cringe.

        • I can understand your opinion Becky. I am not so keen on thrift store shoes either. Although I have donated several over the last couple of years. I think a good shoe is a shoe so well loved and worn that it is past being donated when you are done with it. That is why I choose new ones wisely these days.

        • same here. shoes and underwear are items I would never buy second hand.
          shoes, because I like to think that my feet are special and need an innocent shoe that can slowly shape onto my feet. I never liked the thought that someone else’s feet shaped my new shoe. its not so much about my disgust of other peoples feet (I try to keep that thought out of my way), but the feeling of comfortable footwear. I would always buy new if it comes to shoes that I wear on a daily basis. Ski-boots or iceskates however, I buy easily second hand – or in this case – second foot.

  6. The thrift stores I frequent accept opened used toiletries, which personally gives me the heebie-jeebies, but to each their own.

    Regarding alternate uses, conditioner is my all-time favorite shaving cream, but I’ve also been using shampoo to use up some older stock. I’ve been doing my own little “use it or lose it” challenge for months where I either have to use up or toss a product before I can get something new and it’s amazing how long the stuff in my linen closet has lasted!

    • I use that giant ugly green block of olive oil soap made by Kiss My Face for just about everything. Body & face cleanser as well as a shaving cream of sorts. It sure keeps down the number of bottles, lotions & potions in my teeny tiny little shower.

      • Colleen Madsen

        Hi Becky,
        good for your thrift store. If it might end up in the bin anyway why not try every avenue to find a new home prior to that eventuality.

        There seems to be so many alternative for shaving legs with. I particularly like moisturise/body lotion because it doesn’t require water and I can shave outside the shower.

  7. Of all the things I have too much of – toiletries have never been one of them. I don’t stock up on hairsprays, shampoo’s, etc even if there is some exceptionally wonderful sale. It never fails that I’ll bore with whatever shampoo I stocked up on anyways.

    I don’t have sensitive skin or have allergies (seasonal notwithstanding) so just about anything works for me….but what I can’t tolerate is scented anything. It is a sure-fire way to end up with a wicked headache.

    Thankfully I am past the point of folks giving me lotions, scented soaps, etc so that kind of stuff no longer shows up in my house & thus is not an issue anymore. A few good years ago I made sure folks knew I’m not a scented-soap, perfume or lotion fan. I didn’t just go around to all my friends, family & co-workers & announce this…but I did find subtle ways to throw it into conversations.

    Otherwise, I would think if you end up with some scented lotion you do not care for – it’s best to be polite about it, but find a way to tell any future gift-givers you prefer not to receive scented lotions. Maybe just bring up in some random conversation that you had recently been diagnosed with dermatitis allergies & that scented lotions & soaps have finally been deemed the cause & that your physician strongly recommended you steer clear of such things from now on out!

    Speaking of doctors…..Colleen I do hope your surgery goes well. What with the world time & date changes, by the time I post this comment you’ll probably be finished with your surgery & thus I hope you are recovering nicely & doing well. Chin up kiddo! Get well soon!

    • I firmly agree that you shouldn’t actually have to say “please don’t buy me toiletries”, just letting people know about your allergies ought to be enough of a hint (relying of course on peoples’ memory recall abilities) not to do this. This thought had crossed my mind while writing the post.

      Good and bad with the medical procedures. They only performed 1 out of 3. I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet but I can only assume the first procedure wasn’t effective enough to be about to carry through on the second one which made the third one redundant for now. Hopefully this means I can come back another day for the 2nd & 3rd procedures but I won’t know about that until tomorrow.

  8. Hope the day surgery goes well, ideal slot really!

    I have GOT TO GET THROUGH my 4 deodorants. They really don’t ‘use up’ as fast as I’d hoped!

    Sorry Jane, Becky & min hus. I’d be more than OK using lotion from one someone else had used. I mean the lotion they used didn’t go back in the bottle! I think society now is making us more and more one use, scared of infection etc, which is a shame, cause it adds more waste/rubbish into the system.

    • Hi Snosie,
      may I ask why it is that your have four deodorants in the first place?

      One thing about deodorants ~ When my hubby and I go on vacation we use the one deodorant. So long as it is a neutral scent he doesn’t mind and I couldn’t care if it was a manly scent I’ll still use it to save me carrying one. Sometimes I think this would be a good method at home.

  9. Hi 365’ers – I’m going to put my hand up and say our bathroom cupboards are pretty well under control these days and considering our main bathroom is shared by 3 teenagers, that’s a high five to me. I do have to stay on top of it though, as their hair care and skin care needs can change pretty quickly.

    BUT I do find that I have 3 cans of hair glitter spray that I can’t seem to find new homes for. Golden glitter, silver glitter and multi colour glitter. 🙂 Dates back to when my daughters were in the junior end of the ballet school. Tried to give them to my niece but my sis-in-law wisely forsaw glitter everywhere in her house. Decided it was best to confine it to my house! 🙂

    Dizzy – I know you’d put your hand up for them!

    • Hi Moni –

      No thanks got six of them here, thanks anyway. A good use for the glitter spray is for a bit of dazzle on costumes and shoes, the lacquer holds it there and it looks great on stage and just lifts off after a really good shake, a quick wipe over of the shoes lifts it right off. Another use is to send it to school for art projects, just warn the teacher to do it cos it can get a bit stinky (best sprayed outside). 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Moni, why don’t you just offer it the ballet school.

        • Hi Colleen – first off, good to hear you are on the up and up. I completely missed that this morning and felt such an idjeet when I put two and two together.

          Would seem obvious but that wouldn’t be until the December concert that it would be of interest. However, tonight I have been asked to put together some outfits for three junior girls who are on their first comp. Costumes left over from my girls: Check. Headgear: Check. Glitter Hairspray: Check.

  10. Hope your surgery went well Colleen. Rest up and take it easy won’t you?

    Ha! No makeup or toiletries clutter here either. I’ve always hated spending money on that sort of stuff so have only one eyeliner, blush, mascara etc. Actually, my mascara must be more than 6 months old so time to turf it and get a replacement…

    • Hi Loretta,
      I only ended up getting one out of three procedures done. I guess the first one ended up not being so brilliant so the doctor had to stop at the. I will talk to him tomorrow.

      Good on you with the toiletries and makeup. The thing is that this should be normal for people but like everything else we have learned to indulge too much over the years. I like not being spoiled for choice it makes cleansing and beautifying so much simpler.

  11. My husband has allergies to almost any fragrance and many chemicals in toiletries and lotions. We keep ours as simple as possible, even sharing the same kind of deoderant. If I receive any lotions or perfumes I immediately pass them on. Usually, they don’t even make it in to the house. Friends are always excited to accept the freebies.

    I’ll be thinking of you in the morning (my tonight) and praying for health and surgery success.

    • Sometimes fate sets in and determine the sensible path for us. It isn’t a great way but it is effective.

      As for the surgery, I am still alive and kicking, dopey as all heck but. It is very relaxing.

  12. I read an article (about a decade ago) that said hair conditioner made an excellent substitute for ladies shaving cream. I always use more shampoo than conditioner, so this is a great way to use a product up and save yourself some money too.

    • Hi Kimberley and welcome to 365 Less Things. I am the opposite to you, my husband and I use the same shampoo but I am the only one who uses the conditioner and it still runs out first. I have long red hair that tend to frizz while he has a crew cut. A bottle of moisturiser however lasts me for ages because I rarely think to use it even though my skin is terribly dry. I do however use it to shave my legs with which I also get lazy about because I don’t have that much hair on my legs and it is very fair so it is hard to see. I guess I have minimised my beauty routine to the point of ridiculous. 😆

  13. Colleen, all the very best for tomorrow morning – I’ll be putting a “word” in, for you. I do hope it is nothing major.
    As you say, at least you don’t have to wait all day with an empty stomach!

    Best wishes,

  14. Best wishes for a speedy recovery from surgery!

  15. Hi Colleen,

    Hope all went well with your surgery, you should be eating a roast lunch by now and relaxing. When you get home, jammies, choc biccies, cuppa, book and your laptop (if you absolutely have too) in that order!!

    Take care and stay well 🙂 🙂 🙂

  16. Hi 365’ers,

    Just a quick point: If you can use Mouthwash as a drain cleaner, what the hell is it doing to your mouth!!! WHAT THE!! just saying 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hey Dizzy, OMGoodness I so agree with you!!! Mouthwash as drain cleaner, really? My sentiments EXACTLY!

    • I’ll tell you this Dizzy, my dentist said it does nothing so don’t waste your money on it. I personally never used it before my dentist told me that because it makes my mouth feel raw afterwards and usually followed by ulcers.

      • Coca Cola is a good cleaner as well. Remember the penny cleaning science project form American Middle school. It rots your teeth and God knows what it does to your inside while it is piling on the calories.

        • You should just see what it does for rusty nails and hinges!

        • Check out on ‘You Tube’ what it does to a hard boiled eggs’ shell!!! Whoa Coca Cola is only good when it’s mixed with ‘Jack Jim or Johnnie’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dizzy and Colleen – my grandmother used to mixed half a teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water as mouth wash. Coincidently it was also her remedy for mouth ulcers……..

  17. Colleen, REST AND GET WELL!!! Good luck at surgery, although I have to agree I’ve no idea what time I’m even on let alone your time, too. So you are probably already done. And hopefully DONE with whatever this surgery was done for! 🙂

    As far as toiletries, since we just moved over the pond we pretty much had to start from scratch once we got home (as Colleen mentioned, some stuff just doesn’t go the international moving distance!). So we are good for not over indulging in too much extra supplies on hand. I gave away a lot before we moved, and friends where happy to receive it, even if it had been opened (although they knew it was only used by us!).

    Great idea to use things for multi-purpose vs what it was initially intended for! 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle – if you don’t mind me asking, which pond did you cross and from where to where?

    • Thanks for the good wishes Annabelle. It was 12:35 in the afternoon when your comment arrived and I came around about half an hour after that.

      Now that you have been forced to declutter the toiletries you should have no reason to let them mount again.

  18. I got my daughter onto using Witch Hazel ($9 from the chemist) to use as toner, she’d tried all sorts but likes this best. Not as harsh or chemically or sting-y. I had read about it in a book on cheap and home made skin care products, things like mashed up mango face packs.

    • Yep go the Witch Hazel, but if I mashed mangoes and slapped it on my face I reckon I’d be scraping it off and eating it. Throw clay on your face and eat the mango whilst the clay pack dries! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hi Dizzy – I also recall that strawberries were another one. I was like “What a waste!” till I realised that a couple of bucks in season is waaaaay cheaper than something from the shops.
        Kiwi fruit and mango have enzymes so take away the dead skin as face packs – and can also be used as steak tenderisers. Obviously not the same piece of fruit ie don’t scrape it off your face and slap it on the piece of rump steak. Just the same principal.

  19. Hhhhmmmm about the toiletries,

    I was such a product junkie, OMG I would try all sorts of things, for smell, taste, texture, looks, colours etc etc. I am (was, sometimes still am) a real sucker for packaging, yep advertising and commercialism and all the trappings always made me look, eventually I would buy (after some consideration) something so I wasn’t totally a buy ‘right now’ but I always ended up buying! I fear it is an addiction and like anything else addictive it is mindblowing how you look and SNAP!!

    Thankfully the Beast is somewhat tamed and I do walk away after I have seen it, held it, smelt it, had the packaging dazzle me with all it’s lovelyness and then I pitch it away from me and form a cross with my fingers and run, run, get away…… I think I need more therapy hahaha!! It gets easier and easier to be a good shopper for the things that I need now and not things I just want to try. I am happy to say though that now I look at things and don’t really see them anymore, unless it is something I need, if it’s on special then all the better. I’m so over wasting money full stop!!

    I have passed creams to family or friends because they know only I handled it to some degree, but I have sent many pump bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, gels, lotions, toothpastes, hair products, face lotions, hairsprays, deos etc to the Local Churches for them to dispense to where ever it is needed. Pump bottles or tubes are fine and they are very much appreciated. That got rid of all my ‘stupid purchases’ now when I shop I do regularly purchase a few extras of ladies and mens toiletries to be donated to the Church to be used in their shelters etc. That, I feel, is money well spent for someone who is doing it tough.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  20. Thanks for bringing up this subject. I simplified my toiletries by a great deal over the last few years. All I actually use are soap, shampoo (shared), toothpaste (shared), face cream, apple vinegar (to disinfect blackheads and pimples) and suncream in summer. I also own a quite minimal make-up set, but no duplicates there either.
    The only reocurring problem are body lotions that somehow keep turning up as presents. I get soap regularly as well, but that’s okay, as I use soap. But body lotions – I just never use them and if I do, I want a lotion that really feels good and somehow nurishes my skin – most body lotions from the shops seem to just emerge into a nasty film on my skin instead. I’d rather use plain olive oil.

    • Haha, I use deodorant as well, especially in summer. 🙂

    • I think, I’ll try the de-static one with my body lotion – but still, I fear the lotion would last more than 5 years that way – I should just kick it out. 🙁

  21. I’m still on my use it up challege concerning the toiletries. Did throw out an eyeshadow thingy yesterday as I realised it must be at least 5 years old! (cringe.) I might be doing the use it up challege for a while still though, as with short thin hair and a dislike for artificial smells I find it hard to use big amounts of soap/ shampoo etc.
    I do recommend not bying mouthwash too, as it does nothing except give you a fresh feeling (as if brushing doesn’t do that). And many mouthwashes contain high doses of alcohol (like 14 to 20 %, in drinks thats considered strong!) not something you want your kids to use and just like any alcoholic drink it is suspect of causing oral cancer.

    • Good luck with your use it up challenge hunter_xs. And thank you for the backup on the mouthwash issue. I think it is just another marketing scheme. My son does use a fluoride mouthwash but that is purely for the fluoride treatment he needs due to the enamel damage to his teeth while in hospital for a month after his accident. The same dentist recommended it for him that said all other mouthwashes weren’t worth using.

      • Hi Colleen – kids with braces have to use the fluoride one too.

        • That doesn’t surprise me. Braces are not easy to clean around. It is a wonder the teeth survive the process. My kids teeth aren’t perfect but they never wanted braces so I saw no need to torture them. As it turns out it would have been a huge waste of money on Liam as he chipped or broke off most of his front teeth in the cycling accident. One even dislodged but managed to hang in there and straighten itself. I was amazed.

          • My youngest has braces, but it wasn’t minor imperfection that prompted having the work done she was going to have ongoing problems, and I’m amazed at what a good orthodontist can do. Not cheap believe me, but the difference has made it worth it. I have been gobsmacked at the problems that jaws and teeth can generate in a persons life.

            My son age 17 has the most beautiful teeth, and I dread him landing face first while riding the concrete waves.

            Do you mind me asking but was your son in a mountain biking accident?

  22. Gosh Colleen, thanks for using my cry for help as post topic and thanks for everyone’s excellent suggestions about the disposal of toiletries and how to prevent the acquisition of any more. I never even thought of telling my daughter-in-law about my skin allergies and she has believed for years I love lavender soap and body lotions and bath oil etc. But she’s not the main culprit. I’m a shampoo and conditioner junkie. I have try to walk past the shampoos in the supermarket with my head turned the other way. I think the suggestion of inventorying everything is great. Then I’ll see what could go to the hospice shop and what will just have to be tossed. And I can’t wait to use a really horrible mouthwash to clean the drains. I only bought it because it came with a free toothbrush!

    • PS: The toothbrush was horrible too…

      • Hi Shirls,
        I am glad you enjoyed the post. I am always on the lookout for a conditioner that tames the frizz in my hair so I can understand your predicament. I have come to the conclusion that it is all advertising hype and none of them ever live up to that hype. I just try a new one every now and again, persevere with it if it isn’t so good and when it is all gone I go back to my old one until I am game enough to try another one. Actually sometimes I palm off the ones I don’t like to my son. He rarely complains so that works for me.

        I have to say I threw away my last toothbrush because it was terrible also. It had all sorts of bristles but everyone of them were tough on my teeth and gums. I have learned since that hard brushes and too much pressure applied isn’t good for your teeth or gums.

  23. Hey Girls,

    Just after my chin-wag about packaging and it’s loveliness I went hunting for an article I’d snipped for my niece about hair-care goods. This made me laugh but also realise that you don’t have to buy mid – high – ridiculously high priced products. It was about a panel of women that were asked to test shampoos & conditioners. Although 95% of the panel agreed that the products were great on their hair and that they would buy it only a small percentage were not ok with the results, they had unusually, thick or thin hair and one was tight curl. They had all the best brands etc and agreed that when they shop, packaging and advertising had a lot to do with their choice. Turned out they were all using a cheap end brand that catered to different hair types. The basic premise of the whole thing was to get the point across that you don’t have to pay a huge amount to get a great result. It made me laugh though just how programmed we have all become.

    I recently watched an experiment that was done with about 10 people all with a certain hair type. They were only allowed to rinse their hair with warm to hot water. No soap, shampoo, conditioner and no hair product to style. After 2 wks the Dermo checked their scalps and all were starting to show dryness and itchies & so on. At the month mark most were greaseballs but it was natural oils so their hair was glossy and healthy, just didn’t look as greatand their scalps weren’t too bad. The moral, as long as you clean your scalp with a gentle washing your hair is ok. You can survive without product. One guy was a redhead with lots of curls and he reckoned it was the best his hair had ever been. I don’t think I’ll give up my products completely but at least I know they don’t have to rule my hair!! Hahahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • I read a book on beauty and health back from the 1950s lately. It recommends that “hair should be washed regularly, about once every fortnight – but of course less, if you have particularly delicate hair or skin, as they shouldn’t take that strain too often”
      Of course it also advertises homemade shampoos like egg, beer, a vinegar rinse etc.
      It is interesting to see how this hygienic premises are so influenced by fashion – and I guess very much by the industry as well, as of course you sell more shampoo, if you recommend to use it daily rather than once a fortnight.
      Personally, I wash my hair using shampoo about once or twice a week and it works fine.

      • Hi Sanna I remember reading as a child Little House on the Prairie and Saturday (I think) was bath day in preperation for church the next day. And I remember reading something similar in Into The Wilderness where they scheduled town events around the traditional bath day in the community so everyone crowded into the town hall didn’t smell so bad……..

        I love modern plumbing!

        • 😀 Though of course, neat people (at least in the last one and a half centuries when one knew about hygienics as prevention of illness) washed themselves daily, just not a full bath, but rather only a wipe with soap and a wet towel.

          • Hi Sanna – yeah I’m really happy to live now. Do you know the saying “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” – meaning don’t thru the valuables out with the not-valuables? Apparently it came from the middle ages where the whole family used the same bath water and it went eldest first, and by time it got to the baby……it was pretty murky. Cringe!

          • I’m glad about that as well! 🙂

            But I’m also glad that I don’t let myself being triggered to believe that I need all these cosmetical trinkets that are advertised nowadays.

    • I have wavy hair and my hairdresser said to strictly only wash it when it needs it and that it will constantly vary according weather, hormones and/or environment, a quick glance in the mirror will tell you.

      And as horrid as it sounds one of the best deterrants for nits is to not send your child to school with shiny clean hair – especially not apple shampoo, apparently they just love that. Our two daughters had about 3 foot of hair each when they were little, so I stayed right up on all advice about hair lice. Of course, adding a drop of tea tree oil to shampoo bottle was even better as they don’t like that smell, but for the most part stretching out hair washing helped.

      I’m itching my head just thinking about the wee beasties!

  24. Julia St. Charles

    I always have ONE backup of things I don’t want to run out of — toothpaste, mouthwash, bar soap, shampoo, toilet paper. When I open the new one it’s time to write the item down on the grocery list. This way we are never out but we never have clutter, either. We do not have multiple TYPES of toothpaste, shampoo, etc. Just one backup of each regularly used item and we stick with that brand. Unscented hand lotion is used for shaving legs, moisturizing shoes and many other uses.

    Hotel shampoos, etc. from business travel go in the cabinet in the half-bath so guests have a choice of items. When we have more than will fit in the medicine cabinet in that room, unopened extras go to the homeless shelter and are VERY welcome as personal-size items.

    Many homeless and women’s shelters WILL take shampoo, lotion etc. that is partly used if it is clean and not expired. Wash the bottles to remove dust and residue before donation, and seal them tightly. Charity stores won;t take them for resale, but most shelters accept these items, also vitamins, etc.

    • I think most people would keep a back up of each essential toiletry item but I don’t because we have two bathrooms so there is always the option of using the one from the other bathroom if we did run out before the week was out. This rarely happens tough as we are only a couple of blocks from the shopping centre where I go every week to do my grocery shop. On the week where we get close to running out I get a replacement.

      As for hotel toiletries, I try never to use them because the ratio of packaging to product is too wasteful for my liking (environmentally that is). I love vacation accommodation that supply toiletries in large pump dispensers. You only use what you need and they are refillable which minimises waste.I take a small sample from home in a reusable bottle for short trips and I certainly never bring hotel toiletries home. It took me ages to use up the ones my husband would bring home from business trips. I have since trained him not to. If visitors don’t bring their own they are welcome to use what is in the downstairs bathroom.

  25. Hey Chicky-BaBES,

    If anyone is still dithering about toiletries let sort out the dilemma for you, made me laugh and made me thankful for 365 reminding us to keep our goodies in check hahahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

  26. If you are given toiletries you don’t want, or if you’re just paring down your inventory, food banks are a place to donate unopened items. The food banks in our area always have toiletries on their list of most needed items.

    • Hi Susan and welcome to 365 Less Things. It is a case sometimes of some do some don’t but it is always a case of simply asking. There is always someone out there who would be willing to take them I am sure. After that we just need to set strategies in place in order for these items not to build up again. Number one strategy is to let people know we would prefer not to receive these items as gifts.

  27. You should check out a website called “Living on a Dime”. There is wonderful information about using Baking soda and Red Wine Vinegar to wash and rinse your hair. I am getting ready to try this.
    The website is great for other information, too but it is about saving money and trying to help the environment. It is a very friendly website and you will enjoy it.

  28. Where did you get your fur collar for your leather jacket?

  29. “. . . . they wanted me to discuss here at 365 Less Things . . . . ”
    You mean, “FEWER things”.

    If you can count them, use “Fewer”
    If you can’t count them, use “Less”

    “There was LESS snow because of FEWER snowflakes”
    “FEWER cars means LESS traffic”
    “By discussing FEWER things, there was LESS confusion”

    I hope this helps.

    • Hi Marconi, thanks for the effort you put into that comment but no, it doesn’t help because I am already fully aware of the distinction between the two words. It is such a trivial misuse of the English language that I am not about to change the title of my blog after four years of using it. And you aren’t the first to point it out. However if you would like to discuss and clutter issues you have I would be more than happy to help. Just as I have helped many people in the past for no monetary gain but simply out of the goodness of my heart.

      Once again thank you for taking the time to help me with my use of the English language and have a lovely day.