Monday, June 7, 2010

Laundry Soap

I used to make laundry soap for myself all the time but got out of the habit after I moved. Pity. Now that I'm especially concerned about limiting my plastic consumption, I've decided I'd get back into it. So here's what I did:

I gathered up the equipment

1. small pot
2. large plastic bucket for mixing
3. wooden spoon
4. paring knife (cheese grater would probably work better if I happened to own one)
5. measuring cup
6. Borax
7. Washing soda
8. Kirk's bar soap
9. Old empty soda bottle
10. Scissors
11. Fragrant oil

Pare or grate soap into a bowl or measuring cup. One bar of Kirk's soap is equal to about 1 cup of soap shavings.

Dissolve one cup of soap shavings in two cups of boiling water. Now you have liquid soap!

Pour two gallons of water into a bucket. I used one with a cover in case I felt like storing my finished product in it.

Add one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and the liquid soap. Mix them with the wooden spoon.

What you have now is lovely, slimy, viscous gel that personally I had to play with. If you have it, you can add fragrant oil to the mixture. I added lavender and tea tree oil.

Using a funnel (or in my case an old soda bottle cut in half to form a funnel) pour the mixture into old detergent bottles.

That's it! Now you're all done except for feeling very smug about your super green domestic skills.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Green Bathroom

Shower Curtain:
Instead of using shower curtains, we use old sheets. They keep the water in the shower and then dry quickly. They are also easily washed and can quickly change the decor of the bathroom (as if that mattered to me!).

Bath soap:
I choose Kirk's bath soap because it is vegan and packaged in paper. I also really like oatmeal and almond soaps that come without any packaging at all.

Hand Soap:
Rather than buying new bottles of liquid hand soap, I simply squirt some Dr. Bronner's into the old bottle and then add water. A little goes a long way. Now I'll have to figure out if I want to continue using Dr. Bronner's soap given that it comes in a plastic bottle. It lasts me for several months so I might keep it on my list of acceptable items.

Bathroom Cleaner:
I wash my tub and toilet with baking soda and vinegar. The baking soda is abrasive and the vinegar helps sanitize. Also, the two mixed together fizz in a very satisfying way.

Cleaning the sink:
I keep a spray bottle of a little Dr. Bronner's mixed with water and spray down the sink daily. Alternately, I use a mixture of vinegar and water.

Warm Days Again/ Plastics

It seems that I neglect this blog during the school year. I suppose I feel much more domestic as the weather warms and more of my focus in directed at housework rather than schoolwork.

Recently I have decided to much more consciously limit my consumption of plastics. We had eliminated plastic food storage containers, cups and dishes. I note that a couple plastic bowls saved for some reason have made it back into circulation after our metal bowls chipped. We have only one Correlle bowl left. When dropped on our concrete floors they shatter into shards and dust. I'll have to go to a second hand shop and pick up some more bowls.

I am finding that it is a challenge right now making the adjustment away from so much plastic packaging. Who knew how many of my healthy and organic foods were encased in the stuff? Very frustrating. I'll have to buy bulk foods and produce and learn to cook again. Drats. I hate cooking.