new soap, old bottle + new d*s guest blogger

by Grace Bonney

after 5 days of computer drama, i am finally back in the land of working computers and ready to start the week off on a better foot- technologically speaking. so i wanted to kick off the week by welcoming one of my favorite bloggers, jan of poppytalk, to the d*s guest blog! jan has joined us before but i’m always thrilled to have her voice on the site. today she’s sharing a beautiful sneak peek into one of her favorite canadian homes, so click here to check it out! (welcome, jan!)


i also wanted to share these fun new cleaning products called ‘new soap, old bottle‘. NSOB sell brand name liquid soap packaged in old plastic soda bottles, plastic water bottles and glass beer bottles for. each bottle is cleaned, sanitized and processed for reuse as packaging for your favorite brand of liquid soap. this is something that many of you could (and might already) do on your own, but for those shoppers who’d prefer to buy rather than make, this is a fun alternative to the heavy plastic packaging you get with major brand soaps. click here for more info and to shop online.


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  • I love reuse but this is probably not suitable for people with small children in the house.

  • nice, of course bar soap is still less wasteful.. no package except a piece of paper, and you aren’t shipping all that water weight

  • I’m definitely going to use this idea the next time we end up with a water bottle. Much better than buying new spray bottles for homemade cleaners.

    Christine – I don’t have kids, so just curious why it’s not a good idea for small children? Is it b/c it could look like a drink?

  • Yes, emilykristin, very tempting for children b/c it could look like soda or juice. A few years back there were problems w/ fabulouso (sp?) cleaners because they looked like grape juice. Also, they don’t have child safety tops.

  • Yes, emilykristin, very tempting for children b/c it could look like soda or juice. A few years back there were problems w/ fabulouso (sp?) cleaners because they looked like grape juice. Also, they don’t have child safety tops.

    Here’s a link to a Consumer Reports alert on the subject: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/consumer-protection/consumer-interest/child-safety-alert-cleaners-that-look-like-beverages-306-poison-control-child-safety-in-the-home/overview/

    It also states that “federal law prohibits toxic formulations from being sold in packaging that looks like a food container”.

    Still, I love the idea of reuse I would just prefer it for natural cleaners, i.e. vinegar/water solutions, etc.

  • Those bottles are BETTER suited as cleaning solution containers than as food containers, if you ask me. Personally, I love glass jars. My friend megan makes them into terrariums. they’re great. and nobody’s going to try to drink them.

  • I love the idea and the design, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t package environmentally friendly cleaners in these. It would make a lot more sense!

  • I feel like I’m missing something. I’m all for re-use but I’m not getting how cleaning & sanitizing old bottles, filling them with toxic house cleaners purchased in bulk and shipping them to consumers is less wasteful than any individual going to Costco and buying dish soap in bulk and using it in a sponge wand or dispenser. I think the impulse toward re-use is great, but I feel like the intent of this project got lost in translation.

  • The idea is good, but are we missing the fact that they are just repackaging brands that still insist on using toxic ingredients?

    These are harmful to us and to our water supply and the creatures in the ocean….this is greenwashing people, sorry.

  • Thanks, Christine! Makes sense.

    I totally bypassed the fact that these are repackaged namebrands and just thought of them for homemade cleaning solution. But good point – the repackaging of toxic chemicals only deals with a very very small part of the problem of disposable containers, and if these are just going to be thrown away after their re-use, then it’s not actually that great at all.

  • I just buy bulk containers of windex and other cleaners and keep refilling the same spray bottle…really could care less about the shape of the bottle or the type on the packaging, that’s why the cabinet under the sink is never a see-through one.

    Also, you shouldn’t be keeping chemicals within reach of small children no matter what kind of package they are in.

  • after viewing a documentary called “addicted to plastic” i think we should all make more of an effort to stop purchasing plastic in general (i know, i know… easier said than done, right?). i was shocked to find out that even in the most remote parts of the world’s oceans, there is more plastic waste floating around than there is plankton (and other such food source for marine life), the ratio was something like 10:1 (plastic:plankton).
    green rant over.

  • It’s a “green” gimmick. Who is their customer base? People who don’t care about using toxic chemicals generally don’t care about re-using old bottles. Also, doesn’t seem entirely legal – unless they got permission to use the words Windex and 409 without the logos and company names?

    • sarah

      i can’t speak to the legal name issues, but i can speak as someone who still uses a few chemicals in her home. just because i use soft scrub and windex doesn’t mean i don’t want to reuse bottles. i usually buy the refill container and use as little plastic as i can, but i wouldn’t assume that because someone uses windex they don’t care about being eco-friendly.

      i know i should use only vinegar and water but i’m still greening myself in steps….


  • I said generally. Of course there are people out there who know about green issues but haven’t fully made the switch yet. I meant the general population.

    You should try vinegar + water though. At least for windows + mirrors + easy jobs. You might have to scrub a bit harder but think of the workout! : )

  • It is an interesting concept, however I have some major reservations about how they are going about this. If they are simply pouring bulk product from another manufacturer into bottles, are they doing so in a clean/sterile environment? What happens if someone is poisoned, or has a skin reaction to the product — or if it spills in shipping, do they have MSDS sheets on all the products? Have they micro-challenge tested each product to ensure the preservative system works and the product will not mold on the shelf? Are the stamping lot codes on all of the bottles/cartons for any recall need? I’ve seen sooo many products that small gift shops carry that are clearly made in someones kitchen it amazes and frightens me. Personal and household care products are serious business, and unfortunatly, it is almost too easy for anyone to sell product that doesn’t meet the minimum FDA requirements.

  • I purchased 3 bottles from New Soap back in May. It’s been 5 months and I still have yet to receive my products! They keep saying they’ll ship it in the next 30 days… but it’s already been 5 months. 5 months! Unacceptable.