Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 54

-The Self-Sufficiency Shoppe Newsletter No. 54-
In this issue:

- The Amazing Attributes of Vinegar
My Favorite Uses for Vinegar - interesting ideas and recipes,

-  Just Change One Small Thing
- The Many Uses for Rosemary

- Rosemary recipes
- -Homemade Paint Alternative - White-wash
!The Amazing Attributes of Vinegar!
   When it comes to environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives vinegar wins hands down! Its uses extend far beyond that of any commercial product. It features as an alternative in almost every aspect of the home. Vinegar is also very ‘planet-friendly’ - chemical free, cheap and safe. Perfect in every way. So good in fact that it is ‘commercially unviable’. The more products available commercially for individual use the more money can be made from consumer sales. But with vinegar its uses are so vast that it out-strips the necessity for many similar commercial products – and, of course undermines commercial profits. “What’s the point of that?” (tongue in cheek!).
One important point: There are different types of vinegar. Use cheaper (home-brand) white vinegar for cleaning and similar jobs. Use better quality naturally-based vinegar – such as cider vinegar – for personal care jobs. So what can we use vinegar for?

Here’s the list of vinegar’s most significant uses:

Cleaning: The mild acidity of vinegar cleans and helps strip dirt and grease. Spray dirty surfaces with vinegar to remove grime and grease.
Disinfecting: Vinegar is a mild acidic anti-bacterial agent that kills organisms - ideal as a disinfectant. Use to disinfect and clean toilet basin, drains, bathroom basin and bath, tiles etc.
Skin Care: (Cider vinegar). Ideal as a skin astringent for balancing oiliness, restoring acidity (particularly after using alkali based soaps). It’s a natural & safe anti-bacterial agent for dealing with acne and mild skin infections. (Not suited to sensitive skin). Dilute: 7 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Apply with cotton wall ball to face (after cleansing) or add one cup vinegar to bath water.
Deodorising: Ask Grandma – she’ll tell you the best way to eradicate odours from the kitchen is to dampen a tea-towel with vinegar and swirl it around the air! A more modern technique is to pour equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray as necessary to ‘clear the air’. As the acid odour of the vinegar dissipates it takes with it all other odours. Add a little fragrance – such as a few drops lavender essential oil to enhance the odour.
Hair-care: An ‘after shampoo’ hair rinse of one part cider vinegar to 3 parts water will condition and leave hair shiny. (Leave rinse in the hair – do not wash out).
Personal Deodorant: The mild deodorising and anti-bacterial properties of vinegar make it an ideal deodorant. Make up a spray solution of one part cider vinegar to eight parts water. Add essential oils - such as lavender - for aroma if desired
Foot Care: Bath feet in a vinegar-water solution to deal with smelly feet and tinea.
Insect Repellent: Rub or spray cider vinegar onto the skin to make it ‘unpalatable’ to insects - such as mosquitoes.
Culinary: In the kitchen, besides preserving food, it can be used for such jobs as souring milk or cream, stiffen egg whites, prolong shelf-life of cheese, whiten potatoes, and more. Handyman: Use vinegar to clean paint brushes, loosen rusty nails or screws, rejuvenate leather and moisten dried glue.
Laundry: Vinegar will deodorise clothes (add a cupful to laundry tub during wash cycle). It will also clean residue/debri from inside drainage pipe and pump (ensuring your machine last longer) and help whiten whites and brighten dyed colours.
Pesticide Removal: Soak and wash store purchased fruit and vegetables in vinegar to remove chemical residue from commercial sprays and pesticides. Dilute one part vinegar to three parts water.
Garden: A pure, undiluted spray of vinegar will erradicate weeds, moss and algae.
(Source: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 31 – April 2010)
Further Information:
Surprise, surprise! – I’ve put together a whole e-book on the many uses for vinegar.
e-book No. 33 – Versatile Vinegar
Covers the many uses and recipes for vinegar …
including: cleaning, culinary, preserves, hair-care, personal care products, skin care, garden use and so much more. You'll be amazed. Many recipe ideas including disinfectant and how to make vinegar, including cider vinegar. 17 pages
Price: $8.00   For download information click here
For more information about vinegar in specific areas:

e-book 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! Includes quick reference Green Cleaning Chart. Recipes for: soap jelly, surface spray, oven cleaner, disinfectant, carpet deodoriser, heavy duty scouring paste, air-freshener spray. 22 pages  Price: $12.00 
For download information click here

e-book No. 30 - Natural Skin Care: Natural economical alternatives to commercial skin-care products using 5 basic ingredients: oatmeal, vinegar/lemon, herbs, almond oil and beeswax/honey for all your skin care requirements - cleansers, scrubs, masks, astringents, toners and moisturiser. Plus other alternatives using what's available in the garden or kitchen. Numerous recipes for cleansing creams, moisturisers, masks, scrubs, astringents and cleansers. Includes herbs suited to skin type and making a herbal infusion. 25 pages Price: $12.00  For download information click here

e-book  No. 22 - Homemade Air-Fresheners and Deodorisers: Suggestions for deodorising the home cheaply and naturally without using expensive, chemically-laced commercial air-fresheners or energy consuming devices - pot pourri, natural flowers and plants, lemons, vinegar, incense, essential oils, candles, etc. Contains recipes for homemade air-freshener spray. 15 pages  Price: $8.00  For download information click here

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

e-book No. 20 - Natural Insect Repellants:  All natural safe methods using common household resources. Covers: ants, cockroaches, fleas & mites, flies, mice, mosquitoes, moths, silverfish, weevils. Presented in two stages: Prevention/deterring and/or extermination. Includes recipes and suggestions for personal insect repellents. 24 pages Price: $12.00   For download information click here

e-book No. 55 - Handyman Hints: Contains: environmentally-friendly ideas for the shed, garage, carport. Covers: ways to remove difficult stains (car oil, rust, mildew, stains on brick surfaces), polishing, water-proofing (canvas, shoes, boots), natural treatments and techniques for wood, recycling, glue alternatives, car care, etc. 26 pages Price: $12.00
  For download information click here
My Favourite Uses for Vinegar:
My philosophy is – if you buy a bottle of vinegar then make full use of it in every way! But I do have my favourites that work well for me – which are:

Homemade Disinfectant:
Half fill a recycled plastic bottle (an old vinegar bottle is ideal) with cheap (white) vinegar. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Add a four drops eucalyptus oil and 2 drops green food colouring. Apply lid and shake. For lavender disinfectant use lavender oil and pink/purple colouring.
(NB: I make up three types of disinfectant – green with eucalyptus oil or herbs; pink colouring with lavender oil; and yellow colouring with orange/lemon peel (contains natural essential oils). I use each in different areas of the home for different reasons.

Easy Herbal Vinegar: Place sprigs of your favourite fresh herb or flower into a bottle of vinegar. Leave to infuse one week before using. (In fact when arriving home from shopping before the vinegar bottle goes into the laundry cupboard I insert a few sprigs directly into the bottle ready for use later).

Cleaning: I use a vinegar-olive oil based (half/half) mixture to wooden floors as a polish and use the same mix for my handbag, shoes and similar items. Make sure to polish well after application as it’s a little unpleasant with globules of the mix remaining on the surface! I add 1/2 cup of my vinegar-based disinfectant to the floor washing water (along with homemade soap jelly). A combination of vinegar and bicarb soda makes a great oven cleaner – safe, cheap and effective!

In the laundry: After every 2-3 washes I pour a cup of my homemade disinfectant in the washing tub. The vinegar deodorises not only the clothing but the washing machine, hoses, etc. (You can use plain undiluted vinegar if homemade disinfectant is not available).

In the Garden: Spraying undiluted vinegar onto troublesome weeds discourages their growth. I usually repeat the spray up the three times for it to be effective. To remove moss and algae: Vinegar (1 part vinegar with 3 parts water) sprayed onto walls, pathways and other areas will prevent algae and moss growth.

Personally: I use a vinegar-based underarm deodorant when it suites as an alternative to chemically based deodorants. If my scalp seems a little over-oily I will rinse through a vinegar-based rinse to help alleviate dryness, shine and condition my hair. I take a daily dose every morning of a teaspoon good quality vinegar in a glass of water to energise and clear the system! Cider vinegar is very effective in neutralising the effects of insect bites – dab with vinegar or place over the area a tissue or cotton ball soaked in vinegar.

Drain cleaner: For blocked or smelly drains pour a tablespoon bicarb soda down the drain followed by ½ cup vinegar. After frothing subsides pour in a cup of two of boiling water to finish the job. Much cheaper than calling in a plumber!

Car Care: Being from a family of panel beaters and car repairers I am very particular about maintaining the appearance of my car. Vinegar is safe to use and good at cleaning spots from the car – such as dried bird droppings and road grime for the windscreen. Warmed vinegar works best – warm the vinegar in the microwave to just steaming – that way the job is two-fold – cleans and deodorises the microwave as well as the car!

Difficult-to-remove spots: I’ve found vinegar very good at removing paint splatters from glass (after painting window frames – for example), liquid paper from clothing, furniture, office equipment and chocolate stains from fabric. Perspiration stains on clothing soaked overnight in undiluted vinegar will wash out easily the next day. (Works well also for dirty, grease-stained tea-towels). Vinegar is also known for its ability to break down grease – including grease stains on walls, pavers, floors, etc. Simply apply an undiluted vinegar spray then scrub off with soap and hot water.

And just one more brilliant use …… clean the inside of the kettle/jug/coffee pot by filling with a mix of half vinegar and water. Bring to boil. Turn off. Leave 5 minutes and rinse out.

What have you got to lose? Swapping one or more of your commercial products with vinegar will make a significant individual contribution to sustainability and the environment whilst at the same time saves you money. 
Just change one small thing:
In your daily household activities or
Buy one less commercial product -  
Is a mammoth step toward a more 
sustainable lifestyle
The Many Uses for Rosemary
    Fresh herbs from the garden are cheap, safe-to-use and a sustainable alternative to chemically orientated products. Rosemary, in particular, is a stand-out herb for its resilience and availability for use all year round.
Being originally from the rocky hills of Greece rosemary grows unabated and abundantly anywhere – gardens, pots, balconies, roadside, etc.
Known mostly as a culinary herb (added to many savoury dishes) it also has other uses:
Skin Care - clears the skin, rejuvenates and restores blood flow, tones muscles & nerves. Well suited to: normal/oily/dry skin.
Hair Care – helps combat dandruff and baldness by stimulating circulation to the scalp and darkens/shines darker hair. As a hair dye it darkens and masks grey
Personal Deodorant – suitable as a mild body deodorant when used as a spray.
  I like to research the history of times past because it gives us an insight into how society has changed (for better or worse!). Herbs have many varied historical connections –
I particularly like rosemary as it taps into the superstitious nature of our past. It was considered a magical herb that ‘expelled evil’ and the ‘incense of magic spells’. Often used to protect the user from witches and evil influences (by placing it under the pillow at night) or hang in verandas and porches to provide protection and banishment of ‘bad influences’ and keep thieves at bay. It was sometimes placed in the dock of the courts of justice to prevent the spread of ‘gaol-fever’ amongst court attendees (if only it was that easy!). A reflection of how times really have changed and superstition no longer dictates our lives to such a degree – at least for some people!

Some interesting ways to make use of rosemary:

Rosemary Oil:
Collect a handful of fresh rosemary leaves and stems. Wash well and allow to dry. Place the herbs in a clean 500ml (or suitably sized) bottle. Fill the bottle with oil (olive oil, safflower, peanut or similar). Leave at least 3-4 days to allow the flavour of the rosemary to develop in the oil. Use for making salads or cooking or as a simple skin moisturiser. (Leave rosemary in the bottle for stronger flavour or strain to remove if preferred).

Rosemary infusion:
Place 3 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves (spikes) in an earthenware cup. Bruise a little with the back of a spoon to aid release of natural essential oils. Add 250ml boiling water. Leave to ‘steep’ for about 5 minutes or for a stronger infusion leave longer. Strain and use as required. Store in fridge and use within 5-7 days

Suggestions for use:
- Skin Care: Splash cool rosemary infusion onto skin after cleansing to restore skin health and vitality. Leave on the skin to dry – do not wash off.
- Hair-care: I add rosemary and lavender infusion to my soap-based shampoo to enhance the healing properties of the hair – the recipe for which is in The Shoppe Newsletter – Issue No. 47. Go to: Shoppe Newsletters
- Rosemary Room Freshener: Half fill a spray bottle with cider vinegar. Top up with rosemary infusion. Spray as required to alleviate odours.
- Personal spray deodorant: Fill a suitably sized spray bottle with one eight cider vinegar and remainder rosemary infusion. Use as a simple underarm and body spray. (For most people heavy chemically based commercial deodorants that interfere with the body’s normal functioning are not necessary. A simple natural herbal based preparation will do the job just as effectively!)
My favourite rosemary recipe:

Potatoes with Rosemary:
Ingredients: 1 kilogram (about 4 large potatoes), scrubbed, peeled, and thinly sliced, 1 large onion - peeled and thinly sliced, 2 cloves garlic – minced, 1/3 cup dry white wine, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Method: Boil the potatoes until tender (but still firm enough to hold their shape). Leave to cool. Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat and sauté onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add wine. Stir to combine thoroughly and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and rosemary. Mix well and mash a little with the back of a wooden spoon to form a large pancake. Season to taste. Raise the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and crusty underneath. Flip the 'pancake' and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the second side is crusty.
More information about rosemary:

e-book: Ways With – Rosemary:
Many recipes, hints and uses: including health (fatigue, insomnia), antiseptic, dark hair rinse, skin toner, mouth-wash, aromatic and perfuming, insect repellent and culinary (including dairy and drinks).
28 pages Price: $12.00  For download information click here
‘Ways With’ e-Booklet Set
    Utilizing what’s in your garden to the absolute fullest!
10 Booklets: Ways With MINT, Ways With PARSLEY, Ways With TOMATOES, Ways with LAVENDER, Ways with ROSES, Ways with ZUCCHINI, Ways With ROSEMARY, Ways With THYME, Ways With NASTURTIUMS, Ways With SAGE: You’ll be surprised at the many hidden uses for garden plants, flowers & produce growing right near your back door!
$12.00 each or
FULL SET (all 10 titles) - Price $96.00

For download information: click here

Homemade Paint Alternative: Whitewash
    Although ‘white-wash’ is commercially sold via hard-ware stores and similar outlets its origins stem from times past when whitewash was the only form of ‘paint’ – other than natural wood stains using oils (linseed) and natural dyes (cold tea, beetroot, turmeric - to name a few). It was used not only to provide an appealing white-paint look to the items but because it contained lime it was a natural way of repelling wood eating insects, etc. white-ants, wood-worms, etc.
   The main ingredient in white-wash is slaked lime (hydrated lime or ‘limil’) – a common building material for cements and mortars. (Slaked Lime – is common garden lime ‘treated’ via high temperature. In the olden days it was done very cleverly in a pit using wood, fire and old hessian bags – which is true sustainability and self-reliance!)
White-wash can be made in different ways and textures depending on the surface to be covered – such as cement (thick whitewash), sour milk (enhances affect), fat/lard (waterproofs), salt (thin whitewash), linseed oil (thick/waterproof). It can be applied to any surface with varying affects – although some types of whitewash suit specific surfaces (masonry, wood, tin, brick, stone, glass).
   Whitewash does not have the same characteristics as paint – it looks different (some would say ‘more natural’), applies differently (more layers) and lasts differently (often needs applying more regularly). But the ‘bottom line’ is that it’s cheap to make (much cheaper than commercial paint), sustainable (can be made using discarded or recycled ingredients), safer and less chemically oriented (for those that are chemical sensitive) and it feels good to make something yourself with little resources or practically no financial outlay!
White-wash can be coloured using natural earth pigments (i.e. finely ground coloured clays, sediments, earth) or for black or grey use carbon or ground charcoal (from your wood burning barbeque or slow combustion heater – for example).
For more information:
e-book No. 6 - Making Whitewash

  Natural alternative to paint - used before the advent of commercial paints. Homemade whitewash is safe, low chemical, low irritant and easy to make using ingredients such as: lime, salt, alum, lard, linseed oil & milk. Contains recipes for a variety of different types of whitewash: thin, thick, oil based, sour milk whitewash, includes colouring methods and how to apply whitewash. 17 pages Price: $8.00  For download information click here
Sourcing Ingredients - true sustainability:
   All e-books and workshop downloads contain a full page comprehensive list of the source for all ingredients in recipes and suggestions.  In putting together The Shoppe publications, workshops and recipes I've been very particular about using only ingredients that are: environmentally friendly, sustainable (i.e. grown or made locally), easy to find (supermarket, home or garden) and cost effective (so that its cheaper than the commercial counterpart).  I also feel strongly about using simple things that are unprocessed and untainted by chemicals and toxins. 
   All e-books and down-loads also contain a personal perspective on why and how I use the suggested alternatives and a little bit of history (sometimes humorous) about my personal experiences.                                                                             Pam - The Shoppe
Today is 21 June - the Winter Equinox for the southern hemisphere - an important day in earth's cycles of change.  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

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