a hack from me

This probably isn’t even worthy of a post. But I have never let that stop me before.

My children are horrid with the shampoo bottles. They would spill them out, accidentally they would say, or leave them laying on their sides to pour out onto the little shelf and run down into a pool on the shower floor, or drink it.

Okay, I don’t actually have any evidence of the drinking it, but what else would make them go through an entire bottle of shampoo in one shower. What?

It drove me crazy. To the point that I would stand in the bathroom and ration out the shampoo into outstretched hands sticking out from behind the shower door. But after a few days of that, and a stern lecture, I would let them try themselves. Because what a drag to spend your entire evening in the bathroom handing out dollops of shampoo.

Then one day about a 18 months or so ago I was shopping at our local big box store and came upon an enormous bottle of shampoo that had a pump top. It was $20 and when I figured out how many ounces of shampoo was in there compared to the normal sized bottles I was buying, it was comparable. So I bought it and brought it home. And it has been wonderful.

I just refilled it for the second time ever with cheap Suave dollar a bottle shampoo. Remember I have boys who don’t have all that much hair.


They don’t waste the shampoo at all anymore. I had concerns that they would pump and pump and let the shampoo run out onto the shower floor for fun, or whatever reason they do it. But they haven’t. Probably because each pump does not give you that much shampoo. In order to make a big mess you would have to stand there and really give your arm a workout.

And so I discovered another thing about my children, they are basically lazy. And in this case it works to my advantage.

20 Responses to “a hack from me”

  1. Jeana Says:

    I don’t think I can safely call anyone lazy, when my kids are 6-11 and still use the Johnson’s baby wash in the pump bottle. It’s a shampoo AND a body wash! I agree about the pump making my life easier.

  2. mamabeck Says:

    that’s AWESOME! I’ll put a hugemongous pump bottle on my shopping list! It’s much cheaper than replacing 2 $2.00 bottles a month!

    Thank you!

  3. diatribal Says:

    I have been doing this for years…with my husband! He uses way less this way! I have even gone so far as to use the first empty bottle for his liquid bath soap. It saves on “bathtub clutter” this way!

  4. maria Says:

    Okay - but what about toothpaste???? Not only do they get it everywhere - but I’m about to hide my $6/tube sensadine from #1 son b/c he likes how it tastes.

    Thanks for sharing. I always learn something from you.

  5. Kate B Says:

    I love your blogs so much because you are so flippant about the amazing things you do - raising all those kids and homeschooling and keeping such a neat, organized house - really, all amazing accomplishments. And I especially love your ideas, tips, and tricks. Most all of them are new to me, and some of them are like lightning bolts of brillance. “This probably isn’t even worthy of a post.” Never!

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    I like the hand soap pumps that make the soap foamy, too. They really cut down on usage and so I justify buying fruity-smelling soap (which I just like smelling on my kids - and so easy to know if they washed or not).

    Maria, I get the Kid’s Crest in the stand-up tube. It’s harder to squeeze - if you WANT to squeeze out a lot you can, but it’s less likely to happen by accident than the regular tubes.

  7. Katie Says:

    It’s also worth trying solid shampoos. You can get them from places like Lush, http://www.lush.com/ which are pretty common in the UK, not sure about the US.
    You’d really have to go some to waste it, it cuts down on packaging which is great for the environment, isn’t tested on animals and contains far less artificially made chemicals.

  8. chris Says:

    ARGH the toothpaste! Yes my children like to squeeze it out all over the place. I have tried all the different types of toothpaste tubes, but it doesn’t stop them.

    What I have done that has lessened the problem somewhat is to buy each kid their own tube of toothpaste. They seem to take care of it better when they have ownership of it. Also, if the entire tube of Spiderman crest has been squeezed out and the sink painted I know exactly who to look at.

    For a long time I kept the toothpaste downstairs in the kitchen and they would have to bring their toothbrushes to me to get the toothpaste. The added bonus to that was that I knew they were actually brushing their teeth.

  9. Rachel May Says:

    What fantastic ideas - both the shampoo and toothpaste issues.

    I just LOVE reading your blog, Chris. So practical. Never, ever, evah, EVAH doubt whether something is post-worthy. Somebody out here in the blogosphere will be able to use your ideas - I promise.

  10. Beth Miller Says:

    The shampoo-all-over-the-tub-floor phenomena has been the bane of my husband’s bathroom visits. Don’t know why this has been the heartbeat of his concern when he leaves countless little shaving/hair cutting hairs all over the bathroom sink, floor, shower right after I’ve cleaned the said bathroom. (always a running point of discussion for us). I love him dearly, and am glad he puts up with my bouts of insanity as well.

    I do believe I will try the mega-size pump idea! Very sensible. I so enjoy your writing and humor and perspective.

  11. Elaine Says:

    I use the pump shampoo as well and it is great. I’ve even been able to find conditioner in pump bottles as well.

    As for the toothpaste, we don’t have a problem w/it getting all over the place because I have a battle just getting them to use it :roll: and they are 14 and 11. I like the idea of their having to come to me to get the toothpaste so that I can ensure that they actually use some.

  12. Amanda Says:

    Great idea! We have a little shampoo pump-dispenser that hangs on our shower wall (just out of their reach!) but this would (will!) be perfect in their shower. I’ll bet that I can just reuse some other bottle I’ve got lying around, too…

    As for the foamy soap (see Elizabeth’s comment at 3:47 pm):

    You can reuse the foaming bottles forever, and they come out to be WAAAAAAY cheaper since you dilute the soap so much when you refill (1 part regular liquid soap, e.g softsoap, 2 parts water, shake). I think that it also does a better job on little hands since it’s already all bubbly and easily distributed.
    I like the dish soap one too, and refilling it with regular dishwashing liquid+water works fine too.

    Thanks for the great blog, Chris! It gives me hope in our big step the 3 kids (which must be half as much work as six? okay, maybe not, but I’ll keep telling myself that)

  13. Traci Says:

    You are FANTASTIC!! We have had the same lecture/me standing in the bathroom passing out shampoo while all shower on and off for years. I never thought to get a pump bottle. I am going to buy one right now…see I’m leaving!


  14. MomofThree Says:

    I have had the same problem with my now 8-year-old son. As a matter of fact, he dumped out a whole bottle of Suave kids conditioner two nights ago. My solution? You dump it, you pay for it. I bought a new bottle at Wal Mart today and he is required to hand over $2 out of his piggy bank. It was a special “treat” that I was able to go to Wal Mart kid-less today, but if he had gone with me I would have required he hand the bottle to the cashier, open up his wallet, and pay for it himself.
    When he got angry one day and broke his electric toothbrush, he had to go to Wal Mart, select a new one, and pay for it.
    Love your blog!

  15. Ashley Says:

    I have that exact shampoo! It lasts forever. Not as long as at your house though, I do have 4 girls with lots and lots of hair!

  16. Qtpies7 Says:

    Oh the shampoo that has gone down my drain! Or all over the bathroom floor, or wherever it is going.
    I’ve thought about sitting in there and watching them shower to make sure they aren’t using half a bottle at a time. My 16yo dd goes through CONDITIONER like crazy, and I don’t think a pump bottle would stop her. But I think it would be great for the little ones and shampoo! Great tip, thanks for sharing!

  17. Laura Says:

    Well I think it is a terrific idea!!

  18. Leighann Says:

    I would have been in the nut house by now if not for the pump bottles for the shampoo and conditioner! I also used to ration out the shampoo before the introduction of the pumps. I was amazed to find out what all I could get done while the kids were bathing on their own!

  19. Susan Says:

    I myself have 7 children and oh could I go on about “wasted” products. I did find a great solution to the tooth paste problem….Use the Gel kind. I thought it would be runny and I would only have an bigger mess but suprisingly it is thick. So, not only do we not have messes any more, but it lasts for months even with 7 kids brushing twice a day.

  20. sadie Says:

    If you have a costco membership, they have the huge bottles of shampoo & conditioner in the pump top bottles… two-bottle packs are like $8-10, and if I took the time to do the math, I think that would come out even cheaper than refilling with Suave. :)

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