Our New Shower, and My Homemade Shower Products

posted by Andrea | 08/22/2011
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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any pictures of our bathroom renovations. We’ve made TONS of progress, but after working on projects all day long, I really don’t feel like taking pictures and blogging about them all night long!

However, I’m super excited to show you a few pictures of the brand new, walk-in shower in our master bathroom… and to share a few more of my homemade shower products {they are SO SIMPLE to make!}

Ok, so let’s start with the shower…

This is the entrance to our shower {the trim is all Bright White and the wall color is Antique White by Behr}.

You can read about what I’m storing in these baskets and other creative bathroom storage ideas here.

And here’s a look at the inside of our shower. I’ve ALWAYS wanted a completely white subway tile shower…so I’m thrilled with how it turned out! You can’t really see the floors, but they are small white hexagon tiles that look really old fashion.


Even though I went with all white tiles {yes, I love neutrals} I think the monotone pallet allows the detailed tile-work to really pop.


Do you see that cubbie hole next to the shower lever? That’s where we keep our shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, and facewash — it’s probably one of my favorite features of our shower  because it means that all of our shower “clutter” is concealed!


However, you might notice that those don’t look like traditional bottles of shampoo, conditioner, facewash, etc. — and that’s because they aren’t traditional.

They are my “homemade shower products”!

1  = Homemade {oil} Facewash — you can read all about that here

2 = Homemade Conditioning Rinse — just half water, half vinegar

3 = Homemade Shampoo Wash — nope, it’s not dish soap — just baking soda and water!

**We still have a couple bottles of store-bought body wash left, but after that’s gone, we’ll be switching over to Dr. Bronners soap for our bodywash/shaving cream. I’d also be open to making body wash, but I’m not really sure where to start with that one!


My Homemade Shower Kit:

Ok, let me go into a little bit more details about these homemade products.

I’ve been using them instead of traditional store-bought products since the beginning of 2011 and have absolutely NO desire to switch back {yes, Dave uses them too}.


I can’t even tell you how much Dave and I both love the oil cleansing method for washing our face. We’ve both seen our skin improve since we started using this method at the beginning of the year, and my dry skin issues are nearly gone! Plus, now I only wash my face at night and just splash a little water on it in the morning.

You can read all about how I make my oil cleansing facewash here but it’s just a mixture of caster oil and sunflower or olive oil!



I’ve already shared many of the different uses for vinegar — but I really want you to know how much I love using vinegar as an extremely simple, effective, and practically free hair rinse.

All you have to do is find some sort of bottle {I used a small dish soap bottle so it would squeeze out nicely} and fill it half full with water and half full with white or apple cider vinegar {no it’s not an exact science}. Then, after you shampoo your hair {or use my baking soda hair wash} simply squeeze a little  over your wet hair and scalp — then rinse well.

And I personally guarantee your hair will NOT smell like vinegar at all!!



Ok, I’ll admit that this one was the most difficult for me to comprehend when I read about it over at Simple Mom. I didn’t think it could possibly work — but it does, and Dave and I have both been “converted” to washing our hair with this simple baking soda mixture.

Just find another squeeze bottle {I used a larger dish soap bottle for this since we use it more often} and fill it with 1 T. of baking soda for every 1 c. of water. I have short, thick hair {see picture}, so if you have really long, curly, or extremely thick hair, you might want to add more baking soda.

I can fit 4 cups of water in my dish soap bottle so I add 4 T of baking soda and shake it up until it dissolves. This mixture will last us a few weeks {and we both use it every day}.

Why I’m Using Homemade:

I’m actually NOT a huge “green” freak — and even though I have absolutely nothing against going green, I definitely don’t go out of my way to live an overly “green” life. Yes we recycle, we reuse, we try to limit our trash, we make lots of food from scratch, I can and freeze almost all our fruits and vegetables, etc. etc.

However, the main reasons I make our own facewash, shampoo, and hair rinse are not because it’s “green”, it’s because…

  • They are WAY cheaper — like practically free! A box of baking soda will probably last you over a year if you made your own shampoo — and I can find boxes of baking soda for $0.50 or less! Vinegar and caster oil aren’t much more.
  • They are SO quick and easy to make. I was shocked at how simple all three of these products were to make. It takes me less than 30 seconds to whip up a new batch, and one batch lasts several weeks/months.
  • They don’t have strong chemical smells. I’ve always had a pretty sensitive nose, but being pregnant has made it even more sensitive. So the smells of traditional toiletries really started to bother me. My homemade products don’t have any smell, besides the vinegar, but that rinses right out.
  • They are better for our shower and our drain. Since I clean my shower with vinegar and I clean our drains with baking soda and vinegar,  I figure these products will be great for our shower and drain! They don’t leave soap scum like regular products so I honestly don’t have to clean the shower as often.
  • I know I’m doing something good for my body. I’m sure you’ve all heard how putting chemicals on your skin isn’t great for you. Well, even though I’m not totally organic and natural, I feel like this is one simple, inexpensive way I can do something great for my skin, my body, and my health.

So that’s it — our new shower and my super simple homemade shower products!

Do any of you have a great “recipe” for homemade beauty products — especially body wash???

If you do, please share!!

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Leave a comment


  1. Jane


    Hi Andrea,

    Just wondering if you still use baking soda for your hair?


    Andrea Reply:

    I do — but not every shower. Dave didn’t really like using it, so we switched to regular shampoo. However, I feel so confident that the baking soda gets my hair cleaner and leaves less residue. If it were up to me, we’d still be using the baking soda all the time — but it’s not worth “arguing” about and I know Dave would rather not use it. So, I just use it once every couple of weeks to make my hair feel squeaky clean!


  2. Liz


    Are you still happy with your all white tiles and grout? We are beginning a bathrrom remodel and this is the exact look I want but I am afraid it isn’t practical.


  3. Gabrielle C


    My scalp used to be itchy a lot, but after a few months of using your recipes for shampoo and conditioner, no more itch! I wash my hair once every 2 or 3 days, and it works fine. However, I’ve noticed that my hair has started collecting a lot more fluff (I see it on my comb). Just wondering if you might have any ideas why this might be? Could the baking soda or vinegar be making my hair more electro-static or something? Thanks


    Andrea Reply:

    Well YAY for no more itchiness! However, I’m not sure what to say about the “fluff”. I really have no idea! I think you would notice if your hair had more static… have you changed anything else? Like new towels, different laundry soap? That’s just so odd!


  4. Chris


    I was just wondering if you and Dave are still using this? I have tried the baking soda but only for a few washes at a time, then my hair gets kind of gross.


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, we do both still use these products for our hair — but we both have REALLY short hair and I do think that makes a difference. Once in a while, we’ll switch over to traditional shampoo for a few days, and then go back to the baking soda. I actually feel like my hair gets cleaner (less residue) with the baking soda — but I use hairspray every day for my short hair and I think it can be hard for traditional shampoos to get ALL the hairspray out.


    Chris Reply:

    Thanks for answering.


  5. Amy


    I’ve been using Ivory soap (the cheap, basic, 99.4% pure – or 94%, can’t remember) for both body wash and shampoo. Rinses wonderfully with the vinegar rinse. Ridiculously inexpensive. Someday I’ll be using my own homemade soap, but I haven’t made it there yet. 🙂


  6. Angela


    I don’t know how to make my own soap but if you turn bar soap to liquid it goes a lot farther and bar soap is cheaper to buy also i make it smell amazing by adding love spell essential oils. 1. bar of soap 30¢ 5-6 drops of essential oils and some water and i have creamy silky soap that smells like Victoria secret


  7. Nola


    I’m looking forward to trying this. I’ve been staying at home since I had a baby and have been making all sorts of things at home that we usually buy. I like to use the glass bottles that iced coffees come in for most mixtures. Not sure if that is the best idea in the shower though. I’ll probably use the bottles I empty from my old hair/body products.


  8. Joy


    homemade shampoo and conditioner work so well, after awhile i like the smell of apple cider vinegar but if you dislike the smell, lemon jucie works just the same. homemade bodywash is very easy to made all you need to do is shread up a bar of soap and mix a gallon of water with it heat it up until the soap is dissolved if you use lye soap it will continune to thickn over time. you can use soap you want but the cheapest is going to be ivory


  9. Jane Mcclure


    I have been reading the baking soda/Apple Cider solution, been wanting to try. But I have colored hair, what would it do to the hair color? make it disappear sooner? Any ideas? Looking to hear from all of you. Thanks


    Andrea Reply:

    i’m honestly not sure. I have highlights and it doesn’t seem to affect them at all, but I don’t have experience trying it on fully colored hair.


  10. Stephanie


    I have been using this method for a 3-4 months and I’m finding it is making my hair look greasy and very flat. I’m wondering if anyone else had this trouble? Or how to fix it?


    Cora Reply:

    I tried the baking soda wash & vinegar rinse for about two months and I had the same issue. My friend did it for about six months and her hair literally started to break off. We both have very fine, fairly straight hair straight hair combined with sensitive skin types.

    It may have to do with a lot of factors, but it just isn’t for everyone. I’m back to buying baby shampoo and doing a vinegar rinse once a week.


  11. Margaret


    Thanks for all of your suggestions. I am making most of my products now to save money. Here are two of my absolute favorites.
    Bathroom cleaner (but you should see what it does to a stainless steel kitchen sink.
    12 oz white vinegar heat and pour into squirt bottle.
    12 oz blue Dawn dish soap.
    I use it to clean everything sink, toilet, and shower. I keep it in the kitchen too for the stove and sink. Degreases

    Body soap. This is really a no poo shampoo recipe but I like it to wash with.
    8 oz water
    3 oz castile soap I love Bonners almond scent
    1 oz jojoba oil ( I think any would work)
    20 -60 drops essential oil. I dont use this.
    It seperates so shake well before using. I have it in a squeeze bottle. I just squeeze a couple drops in my hand and swab my body then rinse, quick easy and cheap. I mostly just wash smelly parts and let the water clean the rest. I am 70 so I am all about not drying my skin. I put a few drops on a cloth for my face but I think Ill try your oil face cleaning.


  12. Liz


    Maybe this is a silly question but are the hair rinses safe to use on color treated hair? I have highlights and I’m nervous about making them brassy with the vinegar.


    Andrea Reply:

    unfortunately I don’t really know the answer to this. I have light brown highlights in my hair and have never had a problem with the vinegar — but of course every hair type is different so I can’t say 100% for sure!


  13. Nikki K


    I’d love to try the shampoo and conditioner, but I’ve got issues with dry scalp/dandruff. Do you know if this will help with that at all? I’d love to be able to break away from the nasty chemicals in the store bought dandruff shampoos.


    Andrea Reply:

    Nikki, I’m honestly not sure how this would work with dandruff. You could always try it for a week or so and see what happens??? Sorry I can’t be of more help!


    Nikki K Reply:

    No problem! I bought a jug of ACV and have baking soda on hand already. I’m going to try this out in the shower tonight. I also made your facewash and used it this morning and am in love!

    I did do some searching online about the dandruff and some places say baking soda is good for getting the flakes out of your hair and ACV helps with the scalp. So fingers crossed these will get the job done!


    Monica Richardson Reply:

    I was just wondering what your experience was. I tried it this morning. I have been out of dandruff shampoo for several weeks, so my scalp is in bad condition. I am hoping this helps. My hair feels very soft.


  14. Tracy


    I put my baking soda/water mixture in a condiment type squeeze bottle. You know those red and yellow bottles with the long nozzle? Walmart carries clear ones for about a dollar each. I make it fresh each time I wash my hair, so that it is warm. I found that I hated pouring it over my head when it’s cold! Brrrrr….


  15. Dianne@Baking4Six


    Hi Andrea,

    Here’s a link to homemade body wash etc… using castille soap. (Tips for washing cloth diapers, too.) Anyway, I’m new to blogging and I’ve chatted with Stacy over the past few months – she’s really nice & really funny. She’s close to your age – both of your blogs are similar -yet very different. Stacy’s daughter is 2 – so she’s relatively a new “mama”, too. Anyway, I think you might enjoy reading this post. 🙂 Dianne



    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the link Dianne!


  16. Kelli M


    Great ideas. Here are some great looking bottles for refilling again and again. I found over time, the ones that I had recycled were wearing thin and looking pretty bad…and the pumps wore out. These seem durable and they make my shower look pretty…bonus!



  17. Ann


    You are really going to pay $64 for 2 32 oz bottles of body wash?


    Andrea Reply:

    no way Ann!! I can get a pretty good deal through Amazon and have already gotten 2 32 oz bottles for $15.00 total. Plus I get 15% off through “subscribe and save”, free shipping through “Amazon Moms” and I can use my swagbucks to purchase the items so they are essentially free! So that’s a much better deal than $64 🙂


  18. Maria


    It does my heart good to see reused bottles of homemade cosmetics in such a gorgeous shower.

    I use lemon juice as conditioner. It does the same stuff as ACV but smells so much better.


  19. Telula


    I’ve been using Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse for a few months now. (1 part ACV, 3 parts water) And it works great! I started using it every time I showered (every other day) but it was too much for my scalp, so I use it once a week and it works amazingly well. My hair has never been so soft.

    I’ve been thinking of using baking soda as shampoo for a few weeks now, and as soon as my current shampoo is used up I’ll make the switch.


  20. Rebecca


    I’m totally going to try this. All of it!


  21. cassie


    Your shower looks great! Ya’ll did awesome. =D

    I’m going to have to try the shampoo and conditioning rinse. I already use the face wash. =D


    Andrea Reply:

    thanks cassie!!! Yes, you’ll definitely have to try the shampoo and rinse!


  22. Carlen Ensley


    I tried the baking soda thing for my hair but didn’t love it. Now I use a mixture of Dr. Bonner’s Castile Soap and water and LOVE it. Beyond love. I also use that as body wash, and for my three year old’s hair and soap. My hair is so much prettier, fuller and easier to style. I always buy Dr. Bonner’s from drugstore.com- it goes on sale fairly often plus I have some coupon codes and they have free shipping for purchases over $50. And $50 worth of Dr. Bonner’s will probably last a whole year. (I also use it for cleaning my counters and doing the laundry).


    Andrea Reply:

    Carlen, I would assume the baking soda wouldn’t be for everyone {I was SOOO skeptical at first!!} I have heard of others using Dr. Bronner’s for shampoo too so I might try that once I actually buy some. I’m guessing it will be able to replace several cleaning products around my house!


    Traci Reply:

    I know this is an old post but I hope you see it…lol I have tried the baking soda and water and the Dr Bronner’s… both made my hair feel like straw! I have fine, thinish hair..not the healthiest stuff… Carlen how much water and Dr Bronner’s did you use. I really want to go with natural products on my hair but just didn’t work earlier…


  23. Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos


    There’s a semi-homemade body wash on Crunchy Betty : http://crunchybetty.com/super-semi-homemade-body-wash. I’ve not personally made this…yet. She has a really great site of things that are truly good for you!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Becca, I’ll have to check that out!