Sunday, July 20, 2014

DIY -- detergents

This isn't really about DIY, although you can find websites out there that will give you soap formulas.
Why didn't I DIY soap?
Because it isn't soap without lye in it, and lye is caustic, and I didn't feel like having it shipped to me.
What I did do is buy some Castile soap which is made of vegetable oils and lye.  I bought something with no fragrance.
You can spend less buying a no-scent/no-dye detergent.
You are probably thinking "ew, phosphates."
Google it.  At least one major manufacturer is cutting phosphates from its entire detergent line.
But you've still got propylene glycol (also used in radiator coolant), polyvinyl acetate, xyloglucanase (whatever that is), and so on.
You can use castile soap for anything.  Pets, dishes, teeth, carpet steaming -- the web will tell you what to mix it with for all these things. I used diluted Castile soap to wash my hair when I got paint in it.  THEN I used my herbal cleaners. 
(Yes, I've gone no-poo as an experiment.  Will report when I use up what I bought.)
There is one caveat: Castile soap will react with your water and deposit salts on surfaces, leaving a feel as if there's a film on them.
What you do about that is give your things a vinegar or lemon juice wipedown.
One site warns not to try to get this result with one swipe.  That would mean mixing the castile soap and the vinegar, and the soap will stop working the way soap is meant to.  (For the curious, soap is a base and vinegar is an acid and they neutralize each other.)
Now I still like bleach-based products for my bathroom and for my kitchen floor.
But think how many bottles you would get rid of if you could switch to just one thing.  And every single one of those bottles is made with petroleum based plastic.
Plus detergents are more or less a hazard to your pets (propylene glycol).  Castile soap may give them the runs for a little while, but unless you bought something with a fragrance, that's all it will do.

And now the kicker.  You know all those anti-bacterial products that kill 99% of germs?
Where do the other 1% of germs go?
Well, they don't pack up all their stuff and hire a moving van because the environment is too toxic.
They survive and breed more just like themselves.
So pretty soon, it will be just like MRSA, the flesh-eating bacteria.  Our hospitals and the antibiotics used in them have created a deadly situation.  Norway has banned prescribing antibiotics and they don't have 19,000 deaths from MRSA every year.
So with Castile soap, at least you're not breeding super bacteria.

It's worth a thought.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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