You’re a hipster, riding your unicycle to REI

Aaaaand she’s back.  Boom.  My mother is probably so surprised to see a comeback post that she’s spilling her morning OJ on her computer as we speak.

I know you’re all probably just as excited about MNM’s comeback as you were about the Return of the Spice Girls in 2007/2008, and I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being back on the wagon.  However, unlike the Spice Girls, I have no “zig-a-zig-ah.”  Sorry, but I’m just not as exciting as Sporty, Posh, Baby, Scary, and Ginger.

Tell me watcha want!

Tell me watcha want!

“But, MNM, why – after two months and 16 days of silence – did you choose to grace us with a new post on February 7?  Why?”

Of course I could have taken any number of opportunities in the past two months and 16 days to make this comeback (and do it at a more leisurely pace), but MNM is a procrastinator.  If it’s not due the next day, then it’s not yet time to worry, let alone panic.  So it’s only fitting that I should be under the gun during this comeback…under the gun because (SPOILER ALERT!) I’m taking on a new challenge beginning March 1!  (And before I take on Challenge 2: Maid Up, I have a few things to finish from Challenge 1).

When I finished Challenge 1 on October 1, 2012, I knew there were a few things still left to do, namely:

  • cost analysis on 12 of the 22 products I tested
  • updates on 8 of the 22 products I tested
  • the “where is she now?” post
  • ranking the products

But after six months of No ‘Poo, no deodorant and no free time, MNM needed a week off…and then another…and another…and here we are.  With just 22 days to finish up.

So let’s get down to hand soap.  If you remember, I made a pretty successful brew back in September out of Aloe Vera Gel, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, olive oil, Vitamin E oil, and warm water.  The soap works pretty well, although I think I went a little heavy on the olive oil (my mother claims that the only reason she doesn’t use it is because it leaves her hands feeling a little slick, and I must say I think she’s telling the truth, because I’ve noticed a bit of the same).

The soap has been lovingly displayed on the edge of the kitchen sink for about four months (getting occasional use), and we still have some left, so it seems to be a pretty good value.  However, I found that my homemade soap is actually more expensive than our regular store-bought variety.


  • Equate Antibacterial Hand Soap (7.5 oz) = $0.98
  • PER OUNCE = $0.13/oz


  • Aloe Vera Gel (12 oz) = $3.97
  • Castile Soap (16 oz) = $9
  • Olive Oil (16 oz) = $5.44
  • Water (I don’t count this)
  • Vitamin E Oil (1 oz) = $12.99
  • TOTAL (45 oz) = $31.40
  • PER OUNCE = $0.70/oz

So you’re paying a little extra for this soap…and you have to make it on your own…and it leaves your hands a little – ummm – glossy.  But look at the upside!  You don’t buy your soap off the shelf at Walmart, you made it yourself!  You’re a rebel!  You’re bucking the system!  You’re unconventional!  You’re a hipster, riding your unicycle to REI in a flannel shirt and vest with a kite attached to the handlebars (even though you have none on your unicycle) and a few literary magazines and a Jack Kerouac novel in the front basket.

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Take the best shortcut you can find to make watery soap

As a child, one of the most valuable lessons I took away from Beauty and the Beast was that there are two kinds of shortcuts: Good shortcuts and bad shortcuts.  The good shortcuts are identifiable by the sunny atmosphere and the happy birds chirping; and the bad shortcuts are equally easy to identify by the ghastly setting and the eerie hooting of owls.  Your horse (Philippe) will instinctively recognize the good shortcut, but you (Maurice) will stubbornly disagree with him.

Your horse (Philippe) will instinctively recognize the good shortcut, but you (Maurice) will stubbornly disagree with him.


I took one of those shortcuts yesterday when I made liquid body wash / hand soap.  However, as soap does not have a sunny atmosphere or make an eerie sound (and I know my horse would take whichever shortcut would get him back to the barn fastest whether it be good or bad), I’m quite in a pickle trying to determine which type of shortcut I took.

This liquid soap recipe that I found (read more about it HERE) is not a complete homemade job.  It involves glycerin, water and – here’s where the shortcut comes in – a premade bar of soap.  Everything I’ve heard about making soap from scratch involves lye, which involves fumes, which involve chemical reactions, which involve explosion dangers.  Needless to say, when I came across a recipe that did not come with a “Warning: May burn off eyebrows,” I was in.

So – the shortcut.  I used a bar of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, which – as we know from THIS post – meets MNM’s all-natural standards.  Here’s the recipe:

  • ½ C soap (grated)
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ tbsp glycerin
  • Grate the soap, mix all ingredients, heat until flakes are dissolved, allow to cool.

My homemade liquid soap works exactly like regular – it foams and cleans and rinses – with one major difference: My soap is the consistency of water.  Trying to cup it in your hands is like trying to catch a goldfish with your toes.  But I’ve read on Savvy Housekeeping that the soap may thicken upon standing for a few days, so we’ll see how that goes.

And if this recipe doesn’t work, I’m sure I could find a baking soda brew somewhere that would work as a bodily cleanser.  After all, we all know how successful BS is as a shampoo…