Archive for the "bathroom" category

How can I reuse or recycle toilet seats?

Apologies for the break in blogging – I’ve been super busy with other things over the last month. And in my absence, Recycle This had its sixth birthday! Happy Birthday website! :D

Anyway, moving on: we’ve had an email from Stephanie about toilet seats:

I just came into about 25 toilet seat all different colors (red, yellow, green, blue….) I know they can be reused but I’m stuck. I thought the game horse shoes but they don’t have the open front, I was even suggested picture frames! Please help.

An unusual thing to suddenly acquire but they would make very fun (ok, silly) picture frames in a bathroom.

I’ve got half an idea in my mind about using them to hold open rubbish bags or laundry bags – I can’t quite formulate it into an actual reuse — after a few weeks of not posting, I’m clearly out of practise at coming up with ideas so I’ll had it over to you guys.

What would you do with some unwanted toilet seats? Do you know anywhere that would take them to reuse for intended purpose? Or can you think of any fun or practical reuse or recycling suggestions?

I’m presuming, because they’re different colours, that they’re plastic but do feel free to make suggestions for wooden ones too in case anyone has those to use up instead.

How can I reuse or recycle a unwanted solid deodorant bar from Lush?

Kathryn has emailed us asking about reuses for a solid deodorant bar:

I recently bought a solid deodorant from Lush (this one). It smells nice, but it’s not right for me. Other than using it to keep my sock drawer fresh, could I do anything else with it? The ingredients are listed as including chamomile vinegar, bicarb and essential oils, so I’m thinking I might be able to use it in some other cleaning function… crumble it into the washing machine?

Any thoughts?

Lush has a full ingredients list – and info about each ingredient – on their website — can any cosmetics experts give us their reuse opinion based on those? Most of the key ingredients are also used in their soap bars but I’m wondering if the combination of astringents in this bar might get in the way of cleaning power… anyone know?

I like the sock drawer idea – I also wonder if it would be cut in half and used as a deodorant in undesirably aromatic trainers. Any other reuses to take advantage of the nice scent?

What would you do with it?

What can I reuse or recycle to make soap moulds?

I made my first batch of cold-process soap earlier in the year – it took FOREVER to trace, but we’ve loved the resulting soap so I need to make some more.

Ever since I made that first batch, I’ve been on the look out for what I can use as moulds this time around. Last time, I had two old food trays for bar soaps, but when I ended up making a lot more soap than I’d originally intended, I grabbed whatever else I could find – some shaped fruit trays (small hand soaps), an old round ice cream tub (too wide when sliced into discs so had to cut them into semi-circles, which was a bit odd) and the square edged plastic bottles the olive oil had come in (nice size hand soaps, but it was awkward to get it out). (The latter two can be seen in the picture.)

All sorts of packaging has been subject to my “would it make nice soap?” eye. A few weeks ago, I was reading about someone else’s soap making on Simple, Green, Frugal and she mentioned using poster tubes (with the bottom sealed up) to make nice sized round soaps. As we’ve not had any posters or the like delivered recently, we haven’t got any of those but it got me thinking about similar cylinders: a litre-ish, straight-ish juice or pop bottles would probably about the right size, although it’d probably be awkward to get out like the olive oil bottle. That led me down another juice line: John has got a bit of an obsession with chocolate soya milk at the moment which comes in tetrapak containers – that would be a nice size for square bar soaps and be easier to cut out…

Anyway, long story slightly shorter, what else can I reuse or recycle to make either interesting shaped soaps or simple practical ones? If you make your own (cold-process) soap, what do you use?

Do you have any upcycled moulds that you can reuse again and again rather than destroying (like would happen with the poster tube or my juice containers)?

Or on the flipside, anything you’ve used that you’d urge other people not to use?

(A few notes for non-soap makers: the soap mix at the point of pouring is about body temperature for “cold-process” soaps so plastic melting is not usually an issue, but it is incredibly caustic at this point, and will react to metals other than stainless steel. It’s poured into the mould when it’s hit “trace”, a gloopy rather than full liquid stage, and left to set in the moulds for a few days, then popped out of the moulds to continue “curing” for a few weeks before use.)

How can I reuse or recycle fibre glass baths?

Rosie has emailed:

My partner brought home 3 brand new fibre glass baths (minus handles) which were going to be thrown in the skip. Any suggestions for use and does anyone want them?

That’s just the type of thing I’d want to bring home too – they seem so useful (and so new!) that I’d struggle to resist ;)

They’re bigger than a lot of the things we feature on here so I think the reuses are going to be limited, unless you have a lot of space. Old baths are regularly reused by people with horses or livestock in a field as drinkers, or buried by people wanting a quick and basic pond. I know also some people with large gardens/allotments use them as deep “no dig” raised beds or for containing crops that have a tendency to be invasive (like mint). I’ve also long been interested in aquaponics – I wonder if a bathtub could be used for the water bit of that…

Away from animals and growing, I sometimes play the “what I would do if I had loads of workshop space” game (all crafters do that, right?) and one of the things that would probably feature on my list is a really big dye bath so I could dye long lengths of fabric etc in one go. It’s a will-never-happen thing for me, but I’d probably find a bathtub if I ever did have the space.

If you don’t have room or the need for those type of reuses, someone on your local Freecycle/Freegle group might want them instead. Due to so many people having bath renovations these days, there are a lot of old baths knocking around – but it certainly doesn’t hurt to offer them on there.

Any other suggestions for Rosie either for reusing/recycling ideas or for ways to pass it along?

How can I reuse or recycle out of date contact lens solution?

Good friend of Recycle This Petra has been in touch again:

Here I am again with another item that you hopefully find interesting enough to put on your website.

Still cleaning my cupboards :-) , I now found several out-of-date bottles of contact lens liquid. It’s the storage and insertion liquid, not the soapy cleaning stuff, although it says that it can also be used for cleaning. I can’t find any ingredients, except that it contains certain additives for conservation.

Does anyone know if there’s anything I can do with it. I don’t wear my lenses any more due to too dry eyes, so this is what is left.

As I’m a glasses wearer, I’ve not had enough experience with the liquid to know what it could be used for – I do know that those solutions are sometimes just saline, but I don’t know if that’s the case with Petra’s stash.

Has anyone else had leftover contact lens solution? What did you do with it? Once they’re out of date, can they be used for other not-so-critical things? And if so, what?

As it’s such an unknown area to me, I’d love to hear your ideas for this!