Sunday, 19 October 2008

Welcome to my new laboratory!

I took a few pictures of my new laboratory this afternoon, while making rosemary and nettle shampoo!

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Saturday, 18 October 2008

In tougher economic times, make your own surface cleaner!

In fact, why not do it anyway? It's cheaper, fun and smells great. :-)

I've been using a homemade surface cleaner for well over a year. It's not quite as tough as a chemical one of course, but for most stuff it's fine. The only time I've used a chemical one is when I moved out of a property and wanted to give it a really good final clean (and was pressed for time), and when I spilt propolis tincture on the cooker (that stuff is a devil to get out!). 

Next time you finish a bottle of surface cleaner, keep the bottle, and get ready to refill it with your own mixture. There are loads of recipes out there for making this stuff, the one I've been using comes from the book 'Better basics for the home' and is called: Basic Formula for antiseptic all-purpose cleaner.
  • 1 teaspoon antiseptic essential oil - I used 50:50 lavender and tea tree, but it also suggests: thyme, sweet orange, lemongrass, rose, clove, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary or birch). From a cost perspective, I think orange is the cheapest. I think lavender and tea tree make a really good combination and smell great.
  • 1 teaspoon of washing soda
  • 2 teaspoons of borax
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
  • 2 cups of hot water
Shake it all up and it's ready to use! Now to see how much we're saving... there are some ingredients to be bought upfront, but once you have them they last a long time because of the small amounts. I used Soap Kitchen for most of these (postage about £1.99), so let's see:
  • Essential oil (lavender 10ml for £1.75 and tea tree 10ml for £2.35)
  • Washing soda (52p a KG from Asda)
  • Borax (0.99 for 250g)
  • Liquid soap (£2.15 for 250ml)
So for the amount we made in the recipe (which just about fills an average spray bottle):
  • 2.5ml of lavender = 44p
  • 2.5ml of tea tree = 59p
  • The rest of the ingredients together are at most a couple of pennies
That comes to £1.05, but using sweet orange oil (10ml for £1.20) you could get it down to about 62p. Of course, shopping around for the ingredients, and buying them in slightly larger quantities, will also bring the price down. It's great to be able to make up a bigger batch and then just top up your bottle as needed.

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Health news: Dr. Crescence Allen Reveals Why She Chose Alternative Breast Cancer Treatments

A very interesting article on Cresence Allen's approach to cancer:
I can only speak for myself. I viewed having breast cancer as a wake up call to look at my own life, lifestyle and personal psychology rather than it being a terrifying assault. I viewed it as a growth opportunity. Of course I had to force myself to view it that way, but I would rather take that position than view myself as at the mercy of randomness...

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