Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 59

The Shoppe Newsletter No. 59
www.theshoppe.com.au 
In this Issue:
- Green Cleaning is Clever Cleaning
- The Problem with Detergents
- Recipes: Soap Jelly, Extra Strong Oven Cleaner
- Time to Talk Body Odour
- Recipes: Lavender Deodorant Spray and Deodorant Powder
- Product of the Month: Tea-bags & Coffee Grounds!
- Recipes: Snail & Slug Deterrent and Heavy Duty Deodorising Soap (using coffee grounds!)
Green Cleaning is Clever Cleaning
Why buy commercial cleaning products when your home can be cleaned just as effectively using cost effective, non-toxic, safe alternatives?
   It does not matter with what the home has been cleaned - as long as it is clean. Family, friends and relatives will be just as impressed with a clean home whether it be with expensive commercial products or cheap safe, chemical free alternatives. In fact they most likely would not be able to tell the difference!

The Power of Advertising
    Through very clever and powerful advertising we have equated ‘cleanliness’ with the use of chemically based commercial products. Most of these products contain powerful chemicals (usually toxic) that are often quite expensive to purchase. In most cases a range of separate products are sold for different cleaning tasks (which boosts sales for the manufacturer) when in fact one single cleaning product can be used for a range of cleaning tasks.
The 4 Advantages of Green Cleaning 

♦   SAFER: Cleaning without the use of chemicals will benefit the health and well-being of you, your family and the environment. Green cleaning methods are less likely to cause sensitivities and reactions.
♦   CHEAPER: Green cleaning saves you money. It's more economical to use a few simple alternatives for all your cleaning rather then purchasing numerous commercial products for individual cleaning tasks.
♦   BETTER for ENVIRONMENT: Green cleaning contributes significantly less to the problem of toxins (from chemically laced cleaners) leaching into the environment or as residue from the manufacture of commercial cleaners. It also means less containers (of which disposal is a problem)
♦   REASSURANCE: It’s re-assuring to be familiar with safe alternatives for cleaning. It allows for more ‘control’ over what chemicals are introduced into your household and fosters less dependence on commercial offerings.
Green Cleaning – The Basics
    I do all my cleaning with four basic items: bicarb soda, vinegar, bar of soap and eucalyptus oil - and for a little extra cleaning strength I'll make a spray using cloudy ammonia (see recipe Green Cleaning Chart download) - which discourages me from buying commercial cleaning products as an expensive back-up. Here's a run-down on what each of these items will do:

Bicarb Soda: Abrasive cleaning, scouring, stain removal, deodorising, whitening, water softener.
Vinegar: General cleaning, deodorising and disinfecting. (Lemons may be substituted if available)
Eucalyptus Oil: Deodorising, disinfecting (when added to other ingredients), stain removal (hard-to-remove stains), odour enhancer, rejuvenating leather and vinyl
Pure Soap: Soap (bar of soap) can be used as a replacement for the entire range of detergent based products you are currently purchasing - it's definitely much cheaper and less chemically orientated. Turning soap into soap jelly (see recipe below or refer to Green
Cleaning Chart download) is the best way.
'Green Cleaning' Chart
   I've put together a chart listing specific areas of the home for cleaning and the best 'green' way to clean.  
To download your chart click here: Green Cleaning Chart (PDF)
e-Booklet No. 23 - Green Cleaning
Alternatives for commercial cleaning products using four basic ingredients: bicarb soda, vinegar, eucalyptus oil and pure soap. Covers an array of common commercial products and lists what can be used 'instead of'. Safe, economical, practical and good for the planet!  Recipes for: soap jelly, surface spray, oven cleaner, disinfectant, carpet deodoriser, heavy duty scouring paste, air-freshener spray & more. Price: $12.00  For download info - click here
The Problem with Detergents
    Most detergents are synthetic products that do not fully breakdown in the environment with harmful chemical residues remaining for thousands of years. Commercial detergents also come in containers and packages that further add to environmental problems. Many detergents are poisonous to plants and animals – they work their way via drains into our water systems to pollute and damage normal cycles of ‘life’ – which is, of course, detrimental to humans, the environment and animals and plants. In fact, in some cases, detergents are more harmful to the environment (and ourselves) then the grease and grime they are supposed to remove.
    Today in Australia alone 4 million tons of detergents go into local waterways, drains, etc. Up until 1907 pure soap was the only cleaning agent used – now synthetic detergents dominate a whole range of ‘soaps’ and ‘cleaning products’ available – in fact the only time we encounter ‘pure soap’ is as a simple bar of soap or ‘Lux’ soap flakes – ALL OTHER products (including shampoos, detergent powders, shower gels and the like) are detergent based. Synthetic detergents work by breaking down cells to disperse the dirty residue for easier cleaning. Other chemicals are added to the detergent mix to create froth and bubble, scent, texture, etc. – it is the combination and use of all these chemicals on a frequent basis that make detergents toxic.
     On the other hand, pure soap* is natural, non-toxic and biodegradable (that is, able to break-down readily and quickly in the environment). Pure soap is also less toxic to plants, animals and humans and contain less chemical additives. It, therefore, makes good sense to replace detergents with pure soap whenever possible.

* Any bar of soap is considered ‘pure soap’- however in this commercial world many bars of soap now contain added chemicals. Always check the ingredients label and buy soap that has the least amount of added chemicals. Alternatively – make your own soap so that you have control over the ingredients – ‘pure soap’ is a simple blend of lard (or oil), water and cleaning medium such as caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). For info about making soap at home go to: Soap-making
Green Cleaning Recipes:

How to Substitute Detergents with Soap

    Use a bar of soap for personal bathing (in place of body washes, show gels, etc.). Transform a bar of soap into a soap jelly mix to replace all your detergent based cleaning products.
Here’s the recipe:

Recipe: Economical Soap Jelly Mix (detergent alternative)
(One bar of soap will make 20 litres of washing mixture!).
Grate one bar of soap. Put one half in one 10 litre bucket. Put the other half of grated soap in another 10 litre of water. Add ½ cup washing soda and 2 litres of boiling water to each bucket. Stir both buckets until mixture has dissolved. Top each bucket up to full with water. Leave to cool to form a thick jelly. Approximately one cup of this mixture per wash (in the washing machine) will be sufficient for a full load of washing. It can also be used for other washing tasks in place of ‘detergents’, i.e. dish-washing, hand washing, hair shampoos, pet shampoo, shower gels, body wahses, etc.
This mixture will make enough soap jelly to last some months – all from one simple bar of soap – how cheap is that?!

Recipe: Extra Strong Oven Cleaner
   Mix together 1/3 cup bicarb soda with 1/4 cup vinegar. Add 2 teaspoons soap jelly (or biodegradable detergent). The mixture will froth a little due to the combination of alkali (bicarb soda) and acid (vinegar) so make sure it is in a suitably large container. Once the frothing has settled apply the paste to the inside of a warm oven. Scrub difficult spots if necessary. Wipe off paste (and oven residue) by first spraying with warm water.

Fore further information:
e-book No. 50 - Recycling Soap
Transforming a simple bar of soap into a array of safe, environmentally friendly products - either in the form of grated soap or soap jelly.
Contains recipes for: rose liquid hand soap, lemon dish-washing soap, rosemary & lavender hair shampoo, soap-based garden spray, wash-balls, heavy-duty cleansing powder, soap-bags, old English wash-balls, 'gourmet soaps' (pet soap, honey soap, etc.), beeswax polish (containing soap) and other interesting uses.
You'll be amazed at the things that can be done with a simple bar of soap - including making putty, poultice and as a drawer liner. Price: $12.00  Download info here
e-Booklet No. 3 - Simple Soap-Making
Making soap from the basics using just 3 ingredients: lard, caustic soda (lye) and water, soap is surprisingly easy to make. This simple method for making soap is similar to Grandma's approach to soap-making. Instructions are step-by-step covering moulds, possible problems, maturation, colouring, scenting, utensils, precautions, history of soap. Information includes variations to basic recipe for: almond oil soap, oatmeal, honey, herbal, scented, cucumber, sand-soap, antiseptic soap. Price: $12.00 Download info here
Green Cleaning Workshop Download
(My entire Green Cleaning Workshop in a 30 page download!)
Learn how to do all your cleaning with just four basic household items.
Never walk down the supermarket cleaning lane again!
Safe, cheap and environmentally friendly.
Contains recipes and procedures for making:
Deodorising powder, Disinfectant, Air-freshener, Furniture polish, Heavy duty cleaning powder, Soap jelly, Lemon dish washing soap, All-purpose surface cleaning/stain removal spray.
Plus many other recipes & cost saving ideas!  Price: $25.00   To download go to: Workshop Downloads
Time to Talk Body Odour
   The ‘personal products’ business means big money for manufacturers. Clever advertising depicting naked women bathing under a waterfall (what relevance that has to deodorants is anyone’s guess!) or a particular deodorant (for men) having the ability to attract women! People are obviously easily swayed when it comes to personal smell and appearance! However the production of such products has a huge impact on the environment. Plus in terms of chemicals has an impact of the welfare and health of humans.

DEODORANTS: Most deodorant products are aluminum based – with recently uncovered evidence of adverse reactions for humans.
BODY POWDERS: Talc is a mined substance that exploits the earth's resources. It also has possible links to health problems such as cancer and asthma.
The Alternatives:
Herbs – Thyme, rosemary, sage most suited as ‘deodorant’ herbs.
Powders - Bicarb Soda, rice-flour, corn-flour or orris root powder– use as dry deodorant or talc alternative.
Vinegar (Cider) – mild-acidic and anti-bacterial agent that helps prevent unpleasant odours caused by bacteria
Lemon juice – similar properties as vinegar
Dried flowers or flower water: rosewater or orange flower water (examples)
Personal Deodorant Recipes
Lavender Spray Deodorant: Pour 10-15ml cider vinegar into a suitably sized spray bottle. Add 100 ml water. Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply lid – shake well. Use 1-3 times daily as an underarm deodorant. This is a mild anti-bacterial deodorant that inhibits odour but does not reduce perspiration (essential for a healthy body).
Personal Deodorant Powder: Pour 3 tablespoons each of rice flour and bic-carb soda into a clean small to medium sized jar or bowl. Add the contents of a dried chamomile* teabag (available from supermarkets). Mix well. Apply with cotton wool or pour into recycled jar for sprinkling (punch holes in the lid).
*Substitute with any other preferred herb – i.e. lavender, rosemary, thyme.
Personal Perspective:
   I've been using, for my daily deodorant, the lavender vinegar-based deodorant spray for some years. It works well for me. However it may not work for other people - it just depends on your personal needs.  Some people tell me that a bicarb soda based powder works best for them.  And other people tell me that through what they've now discovered about deodorants and experimenting with different natural options they no longer found it necessary to use any deodorant!  Just goes to show the influence of advertising!    Pam - The Shoppe
e-book No. 2 - Homemade Deodorants
  Aluminium-based commercial anti-perspirants have proven links to health issues. Anti-perspirants work by inhibiting the flow of sweat. Deodorants, on the other hand, simply inhibit odour. It's safer to deal with underarm perspiration by focusing on odour rather than inhibiting the natural processes of perspiration. Covers: a practical approach, simple procedures and alternatives for deodorants. Contains recipes for spray deodorants, deodorant powders & creams using such ingredients as cider vinegar, rice flour, lemon, bicarb soda and herbs.
23 pages Price: $12.00 For download information click here
Product of the Month: Used Teabags & Coffee Grounds!
   Recycling is the way to go into the future. Sometimes the simplest of things, when reused, have the greatest advantage – not only in saving money but environmentally-speaking. Most households discard an large amounts of coffee grounds (coffee machines are currently very popular) and tea (loose tea leaves of tea bags). But these two simple commodities have lots of recyclable uses:
TEA (tea bags and tea leaves)

Window Cleaner: A tea solution can be used to clean and shine glass and mirrors. Very good for removing grime from the front windscreen of the car (and headlights).

How to make a tea solution
: Simply save all your used tea leaves and tea bags in a bucket for a week. Add a litre or two of boiling water. Leave one hour (or longer) to cool. Strain – and it’s ready to go for your window cleaning.

Wood Stain: Mask scratches and restore aged wood by coating with the same the ‘tea solution’ outlined previously.  A nice strong blend is recommended. It can also be used to rejuvenate faded varnished surfaces via the same technique.
Stubborn Stains: To clean stains from ceramic pots, tea cups, mugs or inside flower vases use a combination of tea solution and soap/detergent.
Dye: In times past a strong tea solution was often used to dye clothing (i.e. discoloured white tablecloths), hair, paper, egg shell, etc. Simply immerse the item in a cold tea solution – leave 1 hour or longer depending on the strength of dye required – then rinse. Great for masking stains on white table-ware and clothing! Cold tea dye was also used to enhance the colour of faded black or dark coloured clothes or fabrics.
Bites and burns: Apply a cool tea bag for instant relief! For larger areas soak in bath of cool tea solution (see recipe previously).
Puffy Eyes: Apply cool tea-bags to the eyes to relieve puffiness and swelling. Tea has a natural anti-inflammatory component.

In the garden:
Add used tea leaves and tea-bags to the compost or sprinkle around the garden bed to provide extra nutrients to the garden (rose love it!). Indoor plants also lend well to a little tea added to their water.
COFFEE GROUNDS

Deodorising: Coffee is a natural deodoriser. Rub coffee grounds over hands to remove odours (i.e. onions, fish, garlic). Use to deodorize the fridge, smelly cupboards, car boot, etc. by placing a small pot or fabric bag of grounds in the problem area.
Wood restorer: Strong coffee robbed over scratched or faded wood will help rejuvenate and mask problem areas.
Dye: Similar to tea coffee grounds (or strong coffee solution) can be used to dye fabric, paper, hair, etc. See instructions under ‘Tea’.

e-book No. 75 – Natural Dyes & Colours explains the process of dying fabric using coffee or tea.
e-book No. 71 – Natural Hair Dyes & Colours explains how to lightly dye or rinse hair with coffee or tea


Recipe: Heavy Duty Deodorising Soap (with added coffee grounds!)
   Mix together: 4 tablespoons grated soap*, 2 teaspoons used coffee grounds and 1 teaspoon oatmeal**. Add 2-3 teaspoons cold water. Using fingers blend the mixture well – you may need to add more water or dry ingredients to achieve the right consistency. (Note: It may seem at first that there is not enough water, but eventually the mixture will blend). Roll the mixture into a ball or ‘bar’ of soap. Leave one week to dry.
*Grate a bar of soap (any type of soap will do) using a metal grater.
**Finely ground rolled oats (available from health food stores).

In the Garden:
Fertilize plants. Coffee grounds added to compost or garden soil add acidity suited to plants such as roses, azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas (the acidity helps turn pink hydrangeas into blue!).
Repel insects. Crawling garden pests (slugs, snails, ants) don’t like the feel or smell of coffee grounds so they make a great deterrent. Sprinkle around plants requiring protection. Composting: Coffee grounds add essential nutrients to your compost heap – so never throw them in the garbage – use to boost your garden soil!

Recipe: Slug and snail deterrent
Make up a strong coffee spray consisting of one part used coffee grounds and 10 parts water. Boil for 10 minutes, strain.  Spray onto plants and surrounding soil frequented by slugs and snails to discourage their presence.
My favourite ways to recycle tea & coffee residue
    I use tea bags as a base for my potted plants. Gravel is often recommended as a base (inside the pot) however in the absence of a supply of gravel I use tea bags. Not only do they help maintain moisture for the plant (in hot weather) but add nutrients. Indoor/verandah plants love it! I’ve found the pesky problem of ‘difficult to remove’ grime obscuring my car windscreen solved by simply cleaning with vinegar and tea!
   All my coffee grounds go into the compost bin. When I lift the lid on my bin I can smell the rich earthy aroma of coffee breaking down into the compost mix! How good it that!  No wonder the garden loves it.

For more recycling ideas:
No. 16 - From Waste to Want - 70 Innovative Ways to Recycle Kitchen Waste: Includes various uses for paper and cardboard, plastic wrap and bags, re-using food, egg cartons, rubber gloves, plastic containers, glass bottles and jars, cork, matchboxes, aluminum foil - even oven mitts, old cutlery and other discarded kitchen equipment. Save heaps of money!  Also has a section on 'glass cutting' - turning discarded jars and bottles into useful drinking/storage vessels.   25 pages   Price: $12.00    Click here for download info
  Some years ago I developed an interest in the origins of coffee and sources from which coffee can be made. In fact so popular was coffee when first discovered in 'The America's' some centuries ago many attempts were made at the time to mimic it's aromatic qualities using other types of roasted food sources (some good, some horrible!).  It made interesting researching and reading. The result is the following e-book ....

No. 64 - Coffee Substitutes: Making coffee from natural alternatives. In times past when coffee was not yet being commercially cultivated (and in short supply) people became adept at creating 'coffee alternatives' from such things as chicory, dandelion, sweet potato, beetroot, peas and more - all roasted similar to coffee - all covered in this booklet.   15 pages   Price: $8.00  Click here for download info
Thank you for reading my newsletter.
I hope it inspires you to make a small change to

your daily lifestyle.

Pam Marshall -The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe
email: theshoppe@tpg.com.au
web: www.theshoppe.com.au

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