How to Make Everyday Items Last Longer
April 24, 2009 by Gwen
It’s time to rethink the way we use our consumable products. We can’t give up our toothpaste and soap but what if we could stretch them out a bit more and make them last longer?
The key to finding the optimal amount of any product is to experiment. Get out of your old habits and start being aware of what you are doing. Once you achieve usage awareness it will be easier to determine the perfect amount of product. Start by scaling down what you are currently using. Do it slowly, over several days, until the product seems to lose its effectiveness. Once you hit that point, revert back to the amount used in your previous try and you have the sweet spot.
It may not seem worth the effort at first but using less really doesn’t take much effort at all, just a little consideration. Here are 8 products to get you started and once you’ve changed your thought process about them, see what else you can use less of in your home.
Did you know that most people use much more toothpaste than necessary on their toothbrush? A pea size amount is really all you need and does just as good of a job as twice the amount.
If you use a soap pump, one pump often gives you more soap than you actually need to wash your hands. A tightly wound rubber band around the base of the pump will prevent the pump from being depressed all of the way but should still give you plenty of soap to get your hands nice and clean.
Shampoos come in squeeze bottles which mean that it is super simple to squeeze out more than you need. This is especially true if you have teenagers or children in your home.
One way to start making sure everyone uses only as much as they need is to start pouring the shampoo into pump-type dispensers. One pump is lots for short hair and you’ll cut down on shampoo waste. Plus, if you are going to start pouring your shampoo into pump dispensers then you can start buying your shampoo in bulk and save even more money there.
Drying your razor blades after each use will extend their life, sometimes making them last months instead of days. It is the water droplets that do most of the damage to the blades, causing them to rust and oxidize. Simply blotting your blades on a towel after each use will help to get rid of the water that shortens the life of your blade.
A great way for men to save on shaving cream is to grow a beard and give up shaving. If this isn’t an option, then how about trying something completely different? A little bit of inexpensive hair conditioner can be used in place of shaving cream and doesn’t dry out your skin like soap does.
If you check your dishwashers’ manual you will see that the amount of detergent you need depends on your water’s hardness level. Often, the softer your water, the less detergent you need. To check your water’s hardness just give your local water company a call and they can give you that information. Then check your manual and see how much detergent you really need.
Most scoops that come with your laundry detergent are based on the maximum amount of detergent needed for the worst laundry circumstances. However, most times our laundry does not have heavy stains and sometimes we run smaller loads than others. These things affect the amount of detergent you need and if you do a little experimentation you may determine that you are using too much.
One way to double the amount of dryer sheets you have is to rip them in half before throwing them in the dryer. You won’t notice any difference in your clothes and you now have 2 dryer sheets for the price of 1. Feel free to experiment with this, try ripping them in thirds and check the effectiveness, or don’t bother to rip them but reuse them over and over again until they no longer do their job, or just get rid of them altogether.
These simple tips will sometimes double and triple the amount of usage you can get out of a product. So don’t be afraid to experiment with other consumable products, I’m sure it will make a difference in your grocery bill.