Dilute and Save


Two empty pump bottles, a bowl, whisk, spatula, funnel, towel
and then shampoo 
and conditioner to dilute - let's do it.

Diluting products is now an unheard of household discipline.  Once upon a time, things were bought as concentrate to either dilute or to only use a tiny amount of, but now the concentrated versions of products get slathered around with wild abandon with no pause for a second thought. That is dollars down the proverbial gurgler in my book.

So many products are so concentrated that we can easily dilute them.  You will have to play around and see what percentage of dilution works for you, but here is a list of things that can be diluted.

Dilute with water:

  •   Laundry liquid (try 50/50)
  •   Liquid hand soap (try 25% water)
  •   Dish-washing liquid (try 50/50)
  •   Fabric softener (try 75% water)
  •   Shampoo (try 25% water)
  •   Conditioner (try 50/50)
  •   Fruit juice (always way too strong)
  •   Disinfectant (try 25% water)
Some other types of 'dilution':
  •   Dilute butter with olive oil - whisk together in a food processor for  a 'diary' spread  
  •   Dilute potting mix with your own compost
  •   Dilute apples with choko in apple pie
  •   Dilute liquid fertilisers to 25% the strength recommended  
  •   Shoe polish dilutes with paraffin oil or kerosene
  •   Cordial with the syrup from canned fruit
  •   Cream and flour added to scrambled eggs to 'stretch' the eggs.
  •   A teaspoon of stock powder to a cup of boiling water to double the 'cup-o-soup'
  •   Grated vegetables will stretch mince meat to nearly double.
  •   Very lightly whip pouring cream. This adds 1/3 the volume and is still pourable
Adding a little water to the following to refresh or extend them:
  •   When the Vegemite gets hard and un-spreadable, add a little boiling water and mix thoroughly
  •   To jars of mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce (or any sauce), honey etc. to get the last bits out of the bottle,
  •    A couple of drops of water into the empty toothpaste tube will produce another couple of 'goes' at it (massage it in with the lid on)
  •   Whipped egg whites can be extended with a couple of tablespoons of hot water. (M has a gorgeous pavlova recipe that uses this technique)

Here are some pictures on how I easily dilute conditioner.

Conditioner whisked in with 50% water
and still a thick mix

Still very thick so
you'll need a funnel to pour
back into the conditioner bottle

Ah ..... there it goes - glug, glug.
Use a spatula to get every last drop.

Pump bottles also tend to
help use less product too

Have fun with this concept and just experiment - you might be surprised just how much products can be diluted and still be totally effective.  Be wise however - you do not want the family complaining that things are watery, weak or bland.  If this happens, then it is an indication that you have been a little too liberal with the ol' H2O !

The perfect balance of dilution is when nobody notices.

Take care and stay nice.



  1. I never dilute things. I just use much less. It is the same deal in the end. Since I am the only person using these things, I am in control without all the hassle.

  2. These are great ideas. I remember reading recommendations to dilute shampoo and conditioner when I was a young woman. It works great. I'm planning to share a link to your post next week on my Weekend Reading list on my blog, Harvest Lane Cottage. Thanks for sharing! Let me know if you'd rather I didn't share your link.

    1. Thanks Laura - I'm totally happy for you to share this post as you see fit. The more people that can be encouraged to manage their money more efficiently, the better. Your blog looks lovely - I do very much like the background theme and the layout, very nice indeed.

  3. I have diluted conditioner and shampoo for many years now. Never thought about the toothpaste one though so will give it a try. Thanks for the tip. I also dilute dishwashing liquid because hubby uses too much.

    1. Yes, everyone at our house is way too heavy handed with the dishwashing liquid too.

    2. I don't dilute toothpaste, but cut the tube open after squeezing everything out. I cut at about 1/3 level, and then re-use the cut off 2/3 bit as a top.

    3. Ah yes Siebrie - such a good idea! There is always so much left in a so-called empty toothpaste tube.

  4. I always use the chopping blade on stick blender and reduce carrot to bread crumbs and use this to bulk out any mince meat we use. You can still add sofrito and make that chunkier. I also add grated carrot to falafel it makes it go further and helps with the texture if you oven baked them. I would never have thought about that with conditioner as I have long hair and to maintain it I use conditioner. I will try this trick

    1. The more you think about it the more things you will start to question and experiment with dilution or bulking out. Milk is another one too.

  5. Hi Phil. I also dilute shower gel to make foaming hand wash. I save pumps from all sorts of bottles and add them to bottles that are without. Dish washing liquid is a good example.

    1. Ah! That's a really good tip Wendy. Thank you


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