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#188361 - 11/15/09 08:13 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Kona1]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: Kona1
Natives in the high mountains of South America will save their urine to wash their hair.

I read that ancient Romans did the same for dental hygeine.

Talk about a potty-mouth! lol

#188364 - 11/15/09 12:55 PM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: MDinana]
rbruce Offline

Registered: 05/25/04
Posts: 153
Loc: California
Cody Lundin covered hygiene pretty well in his last book "When all hell breaks loose."

#188374 - 11/15/09 06:37 PM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: rbruce]
Meadowlark Offline

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Northern Colorado
Sue wrote:

What are your plans for soap? Hands, body, dishes, laundry.

Hands -- bottled lavender handsoap, then bar soap.
Body -- bar soap.
Dishes -- biodegradable dishsoap, then bar soap.
Laundry -- biodegradable laundry detergent, then Zote laundry bar soap.

So, do you plan to store a couple of years worth of soaps and detergents?

We currently have at least a year's worth of bar soap, and about 4-6 months worth of the others.

Do you plan to make your own soap? And if so, with what?

Nope. Soap is relatively inexpensive and easy to store.

Would you be replacing soap with some other kind of cleaner?

Hopefully not! Although salt/sand and hot water can work in a pinch.

Some things I learned in the Peace Corps:

* In a desert or dry climate, full bathing is only needed once a week, at most. (Unless one has dysentery or other problems)

* "Army baths", that is, a washcloth and a small water bucket, use far less soap and water.

* Leftover bar soap scraps can be collected and put in the toe of old hosiery to be used to wash dishes.

* Really dirty dishes benefit from scrubbing with salt or even sand.

* A large bottle of good shampoo can last for at least 8-9 months. Just pour a very small amount into a travel-sized plastic bottle filled 2/3 with water, and shake vigorously. This soapy solution should be enough to use for several uses. When the travel bottle is empty, repeat.

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back

Current kits: http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showgallery&Number=241840

#188400 - 11/16/09 12:49 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Meadowlark]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Sand will take dried crud off dishes, but it doesn't do a thing for the bacteria, nor for grease (assuming you had grease).

Salt or baking soda will work, but where will you be getting it? Are you storing large amounts?

If you store a year's supply of soap, what will you do for the second year?


#188409 - 11/16/09 01:59 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Susan]
LED Offline

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1474
I know my grandmother never bought soap her whole life. Always made it with olive oil and lye from potash IIRC. She used an old wooden loom (still in the basement) and hand made all her families clothes, rugs, curtains, etc. Smart lady. I figure if it was good enough for her its good enough for me.

#188411 - 11/16/09 02:22 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: rbruce]
nurit Offline

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 191
Loc: NYC
"Cody Lundin covered hygiene pretty well in his last book "When all hell breaks loose.""

+1. I never knew, for example, that clothing loses some of its ability to insulate when it's dirty.

#188415 - 11/16/09 02:42 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: nurit]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I make my own laundry detergent. i can list the amounts but its about $4 for a 5 gallon batch, as a concentrate. Some of the dry ingredients will last 4-5 batches. The soap aspects are something we already stock for several months but not years.

cool note for Off Grid clothes washer: 5 gallon bucket with lid. Cut hole in lid and insert a toilet plunger. Put in some clothes and water. Twirl/agitate with plunger. Hang dry.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#188420 - 11/16/09 04:11 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Susan]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
A bunch of crumpled green straight leaf grass + sand will do the dishes pretty well (removing crud and grease). Bacteria? What bacteria? Just wash it right after every meal, rinse and let dry preferably in the sun.

For the laundry the best ancient method I know is trampling clothes in a bathtub (some detergent needed though). Clean clothes and clean feet - guaranteed.

Proven hair shampoo:
make 2 tbs of powdered oatmeal, stew it with boiling water, add 1 fresh egg yolk (optionally add 1 tbs of honey). Massage this dough into the hair, let it dry for 15 minutes, rinse.

Weekly body wash - make yourself a sauna. Use a bunch of fresh crumpled grass as a sponge to scrub the skin when sweating starts.

#188421 - 11/16/09 04:41 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Alex]
Pete Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1360
One of the most fascinating comments I've heard came from a guy who was once in the Marines, and then did a lot of outdoors work. He told me that he only used one piece of cookware for eating his food while camping. He would prepare several dishes in it - I guess he meant a snack, am entree and maybe some dessert. His interesting remark was the following: He claimed to have found a way to prepare these dishes so that by the time he was done eating - the cookware was entirely clean again. He did not need soap or detergent at all. Somehow the foods he prepared did the job for him.

Unfortunately, I never got a chance to find out how he did this. But I don't think he was lying ... he had some kind of system. Maybe it wouldn't work on all foods, but it did work for whatever dietary regimen he followed.


#188424 - 11/16/09 06:58 AM Re: Soap for the long run? [Re: Pete]
Redbeard Offline

Registered: 08/25/08
Posts: 22
Loc: CA state of confusion
read this somewhere...tried it. it was QUITE effective.

If you cook a meal that has some grease/fat over a WOOD fire, you have everything you need to clean up.

Add a bit of water (hotter is better) and some of the ash from your fire to the pan. Tada! You have basically begun to make lye soap in the pan. Scrub it out with some pine needles. The solution/paste can be rather harsh, so be sure to rinse your hands well.

Be sure you use water that is safe to drink.
Hotter the water the better
Harder woods are better than softer woods.
You can help heat up the paste/solution by tossing in a chunk of hot charcoal
When the charcoal cools you can use it to scrub the pan
Never Land On Your Face

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