Subject: The Shoppe Newsletter No. 60

The Shoppe Newsletter No. 60
In this Issue:
- Welcome to our Chemicalised World!
-  It's Official - Bicarb & Vinegar are better than most commercial cleaners!
- Top 5 Uses for Bicarb & Vinegar

- Money-saver: Turning Old Clothes into New
- Product of the Month: The Amazing Uses for Eggs
Welcome to Issue No. 60 of The Shoppe Newsletter!
   I began putting together The Shoppe Newsletter in 2005 – now ten years and 60 issues later I’m still going! Sometimes I’ve doubted the frustration and time expended in putting it all together – but when I look back I take heart that if just one person has changed and stopped using one less consumer product in the home then it was all worth it. Thank-you to the people that have encouraged me and responded with positive input – it’s what has kept me going. I hope you enjoy Issue No. 60.

Back Issues: Don't forget all Back Issues of the newsletter (except the first few – of which I have yet to up-date and re-publish) are available at You’ll find lots of hidden recipes and info: Go to: Back Issues
Welcome to Our ‘Chemicalised’ World!
  There’s been a run of news items recently about the dangers of chemicals in our lifestyle. It leads me to wonder where all this is heading. More and more chemicals are introduced into the products we buy every day. Products we eat, products for cleaning, personal care, the clothes we wear, and household goods, etc. are all chemically based in some way. We are in over-load and the effects are starting to show. Not so much for the older generation (who have had the benefit of a less chemically orientated start to life) but for the younger generation exposed to alien substances from a very young age. Researchers have even found traces of chemicals in unborn children in the womb due to their mother’s contact with day-to-day use of chemicals.
   The problem lies with the fact that chemicals are alien substances that Mother Nature (and our body) are unable to identify and process safely. The more chemicals we absorb or come into contact with the more dangerous it becomes for our health. And there is no reprieve - more and more new products are being created with more complex chemical compounds – and so the cycle continues. The consequence for the future looks disastrous – not only for humans but for the environment which also bares to consequences of what to do with all these alien substances.
The Solution:
  The answer is, of course, to have contact with and use less chemicals. It’s not so difficult. We all have a choice – even though we think we do not. There are simple safe alternatives to just about everything chemically-based that we use in the home and on our bodies. Here’s a copy of my ‘Household Alternatives Chart’ to help you get started.  Download PDF copy here
It's Official - Bicarb & Vinegar are better than most
commercial cleaners!
   It's official! Bicarb and vinegar are just as effective as most other surface sprays and cleaners! A recent newspaper item an article about Choice's testing of commercial household sprays found that simple (and cheap) bicarb soda & vinegar are just as effective as the expensive option. That's fantastic!
   Why do they work so well? The mild acidity of vinegar cleans and helps strip dirt and grease. Bicarb soda is an abrasive cleaner, deodorising agent and whitener. When the two are combined (alkali and acid) it gives extra cleaning strength. Plus they are both safe, ‘chemical free’ (or ‘low chemical’ in the case of bicarb soda) and importantly, very cheap! On contact the two combined will initially froth but then subside – it’s that reaction that helps remove difficult stains and spots.
   So now – thanks to the hard work of ‘Choice’ and many wise householders around the world - it’s official – bicarb and vinegar work just as well as most commercial concoctions at a quarter (or less) the price.                                                   (Article from The Advertiser 9.9.15)
Top 5 Uses for Bicarb and Vinegar!
Here’s my top 5 Uses for a bicarb and vinegar combination:

1. General Surface Cleaner – For surfaces such as bench and table tops, marks on wall, door frames, switches, laundry tub, kitchen sink – a sprinkle of bicarb soda followed by a spray of vinegar will remove the stain even before you’ve had time to reach for the sponge to wipe it all off!

2. Oven Cleaner: For slightly messy ovens a simple paste of bicarb soda and water applied to a warm oven – walls, glass doors, etc. will do a reasonable job. But for a stronger cleaner a combination of bicarb and vinegar is even better. Either sprinkle the area with bicarb soda and then spray with vinegar or make a paste of bicarb & vinegar – apply to a warm oven – then wipe off. It will remove dried food from inside the oven, from glass oven doors plus clean the metal oven shelves.

3. Shower Cleaner – The same technique for cleaning the oven will work for scum-laden shower walls, tiles and glass shower screen. Also works on bathroom basin, bath and other tiled areas.

4. Stainless steel and other metal surfaces: Bicarb and vinegar will do wonders for the stainless steel sink and similar surfaces. Apply a combined paste, rub well, and rinse off. Also very effective on barbecues, hot plates, and other metal items.

5. Clearing Blocked Drains: 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. It will deodorise the drain and disperse fat and food residue blocking the drain. Much cheaper than calling in a plumber!
For more ideas on uses for Bicarb Soda and Vinegar:
e-book No. 9 - Amazing Bicarb - 70 Uses for Bicarb Soda - A practical, money-saving guide on the multitude of uses for bicarb soda - from deodorising, whitening, cleaning, scrubbing - whether it be household, personal or in the garden. You'll be surprised and save heaps on commercial products. Includes recipes for carpet deodorant, shoe deodorant, deodorant body powder, scalp toner, powder cleanser, flea repellent. $8.00 To down-load: CLICK HERE
e-book No. 33 - Versatile Vinegar: The most useful and versatile household ingredient. A mild acidic agent that disinfects, cleans, deodorises, anti-bacterial, flavours, preserves and even curdles and sours dairy products. Contains suggestions for cleaning, culinary uses, 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 your own vinegar, including cider vinegar.  Price: $8.00 To down-load: CLICK HERE
Turning Old Clothes into New
  I recently cleaned out my wardrobe and sorted my clothing. Not to be the type to discard anything that may still have some value or wear I transformed some of the items into new 'life'.
   I turned old blouses into tank work tops (with sleeves and collars removed), cardigans and coats into vests, my old Indian 'mirror skirts' into cushion covers and a couple of pairs of trouser pants became carry shoulder bags. For most people the clothes they buy are dictated by (not only the cost and usefulness) but by the appeal of the fabric (colour, design, sentimentality, etc.). So it's quite rewarding to re-use that pretty fabric (that Grandma gave as a gift - for example) by creating a 'new life' so that it can be appreciated for even longer.
    Although I have some sewing skills that have been valuable in transforming the clothing - there are still many, many other ways to change the structure of clothing into something else or re-use the fabric, buttons, lace, etc. I've documented my ideas and experiences in Booklet No. 77 - Recycling Rags. It predominately covers suggestions for the 'non-sewer' so that it does not matter whether you have any special equipment (such as a sewing machine, over-locker, etc). I find it particularly rewarding when I wear a newly designed clothing item and receive comments from friends such as: "I like that - where did you get it from?"
What a wonderful frugal and environmentally friendly way to inspire family and friends! However, if re-using discarded clothing is not to your liking (or time) - PLEASE discard it thoughtfully by donating it to a worthy cause.

Here’s a couple of ideas from the e-book:
Make 'prayer flags' by attaching squares of coloured fabric to a length of twine. Write your very own messages (in words or symbols) in texta or paint. Hang in the garden or on the verandah.

Fancy Jar Tops: Cut circles of fabric to use as fancy tops (tied with ribbon) for jars of homemade goodies (jams, sweets, etc.).

Make a Herbal Bath Bag - Place 3-4 tablespoons of fresh herbs and/or flower petals into the middle of a 25cm square of fabric. Draw up the ends and tie with ribbon or string. Hang under the tap while filling the bath or leave soaking in bath while bathing or use as a foot bath bag.

For more ideas see e-book No. 77:
No. 77: Recycling Rags – Covers simple recycling techniques to the more complex. Suited to the craft person and non-craft person. Topics include: general recycling, new clothing from old, sewing techniques, non-sewing techniques, ideas for children, special techniques (weaving, plaiting, hooking, pegging, patch-work, quilting, appliqué. Contains instructions for making clutch-bags, bandana, hair scrunchy, draught-stopper, carry bag from old jeans, bath-bags and more. Price: $12.00  To down-load: CLICK HERE
Product of the Month – Eggs
   We probably only consider eggs a culinary delight. But over the years I have collected lots of interesting and unusual information on ways to use eggs - hair, skin, therapeutic, special preservation techniques, etc. It would seem that eggs were found to be useful in almost every aspect of daily life - not something that would lend well to modern day life. But upon closer examination the reason for this diverse usage of eggs is that in the past  nearly every household had a hen or two in the backyard for the household egg supply. A surplus of eggs during the peak of the hen's egg production cycle was quite common - so in order to make use of this surplus new and different ways to use eggs were devised. Not so irrational because eggs in themselves contain a multitude of useful characteristics - from their high protein content, vitamin and mineral content, co-agulation and binding ability, etc. But even though some of these ideas may be ingenious and diverse - I think in modern day standards many would not be that appealing for putting into practice.
   Grandmothers used eggs, for example, as a natural hair shampoo. The commercial push to sell Grandma commercially produced shampoos let to the infamous 'egg-cream shampoo' because she knew (and they knew she knew!) that egg was one of the best natural shampoos and the only way to get Grandma to buy commercial shampoo when it first came on the market was to offer it as 'egg-cream' shampoo. Ah the wonders of the commercial world!
   Here’s a few ways (you may never have thought possible!) to use eggs:

Egg Shampoo & Conditioner: Beat one egg yolk with one cup of water. Work thoroughly into the scalp. Rinse twice in cool water*. For the conditioner - Beat the egg white until fluffy. Work into the hair - massaging the scalp well. Rinse out and towel dry.
*Tip - Do NOT use hot water as it will scramble the eggs making it very difficult to remove from the hair!

Grandma's remedy to soothe an obstinate cough: Mix together 1 egg white, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar until frothy. Drink slowly for instant relief.

To remove spilt raw egg from the floor: Sprinkle with salt, leave 30 minutes then scoop up with ease.

Egg Pick-Me-Up: A famous treatment for hangover (the morning after the night before!). Blend together: 1 raw egg, ½ cup tomato juice and a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. Drink immediately as quickly as possible. (If you can tolerate the taste and thought - with a queasy stomach - then you are on the right track! There are many variations to this recipe - the above is the more popular).

More egg ideas in e-book No. 42:
e-Book No. 42 - Eggstatic: In past times every backyard contained a few hens for eggs (and meat). An over-supply of eggs was common - as a result people found quite ingenious things to do with eggs. This booklet is all about eggs - from cooking with eggs, health and healing, skin care, preserving & pickling, storing, egg substitutes, Contains many recipes , hints, forgotten information and creative uses! Price: $12.00  To down-load: CLICK HERE
Thank you for reading my 60th 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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