One thing you may want to become proficient in is creating your own products for cleaning and self-care period these are things that may diminish in supply during survival events, and you can make healthier options and save money in the process by doing it on your own.
Many people do this without having any type of homestead and survival focus, simply because they want more eco friendly products to use in their home and on their body. You can make your own products such as soap, deodorant, candles, and cleaners that you use without the addition of toxic chemicals.
First let’s look at cleaning agents you might want to use on a homestead. You can make products to clean your counters and furniture, your carpet, dishes, bathrooms, windows and more.
You can mix up some white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and use that as an all-purpose household cleaner. If you dislike the smell of it, put a few drops of an essential oil scent you like to sweeten it up with a pleasant fragrance.
This mixture can get stains out of carpets, clear up any greasy surfaces, and make your windows shine without streaking. If you have any wooden furniture, mix some lemon juice, olive oil and water and it will polish it up perfectly.
Another thing you'll want to learn how to do yourself is make your own soap. Whether it's for your hands or your entire body and face, handmade soap can be tailored to your own personal preferences.
In the beginning, don't make it complicated. Start with a recipe and process that is easy for you to do. The more experienced you get with soap making, you can start to experiment with different ingredients, oils, and scents – or even a more complex soap-making process.
One way you can start with the soap making process is to get some lye and water, as well as any oils that you want to use. Using what is known as a cold process, you'll simply mix the water and lye before adding the oils and thickening the product so it can set up in a mold.
It's important that you finish the product up properly. Don't use it right away. You'll want it to cure for a few weeks in a ventilated area and then keep it dry from that point on. You don't want it to turn rancid.
How you store your soap is going to be important period you don't want to store it in direct sunlight, and you don't want to put it inside plastic containers where it will sweat and eventually rot.
Ideally, you will have a storage room where you can place it in an area where air is circulating around it so that it maintains its freshness and effectiveness until you want to use it.
There is another soap making process that you may want to eventually try, including the opposite approach, which is a hot process. This is where you will be cooking the mixture before you mold it.
You can make your soaps as rustic or as fancy as you want to. They can be plain, or you can add fragrance, coloring, and even herbs that may enhance relaxation or even give you more energy.
Another thing you may want to learn to make yourself is laundry detergent. You can use a supply of borax and grated soap with washing soda to mix a nice detergent. If you want a certain scent, you can add that in as well.
In an off-grid situation, you won’t be putting the detergent into a laundry machine, but using a tub and basin along with a washing board instead. Thoroughly clean your clothes before rinsing them and hanging them on a clothesline in the sun to dry.
You’ll want to learn how to make your own deodorant, toothpaste, and shampoo, too. For deodorant, many people use cornstarch, wax, coconut oil, and baking soda. You can add a scent like tea tree oil, too if you want to.
You can melt the oil and wax together, add the other ingredients and form it into a stick or keep it in a mason jar if you prefer. Many people are doing this now because of the cancer-causing formulas many companies have been known to use in their brands.
For toothpaste, many people simply dip their toothbrush into some baking soda. If you want to spice it up a bit, you can add a little bit of mint or some sort of artificial flavoring that makes it taste better.
You can also use coconut oil and sea salt in your toothpaste to help scrub the tartar and plaque off of the enamel of your teeth. This will not only protect your teeth, but it will also help protect your gums.
If you want to start making your own shampoo, you can do that with a little bit of liquid Castile soap, some sort of oil, and water. Feel free to add the essential oils of your choice to create a more fresh smelling scent.
You can even make a simple shampoo out of a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water. Put it into a storage container and use it whenever you need to. Don't make such large batches that you won't have enough space to keep it or it may go bad before you can use it.
If your homestead needs an injection of fresh scents, you can create your own air fresheners and scented candles (which, for the latter also provide light at night when you’re off the grid).
Make a simple potpourri on the stovetop using essential oils or the peels of ingredients like citrus fruits on your homestead. Simmer it slowly in water and put the finished product in a spray bottle that you can spritz around the house whenever you need it.
To make your own scented candles, you can choose a wax you want to use, like beeswax or soy, and add the essential oils that you want to fill your homestead with a lovely aroma.
All you have to do is melt the wax with the oil fragrance of your choice, add the wick to the container, pour the wax and mould it to whatever shape you want. Make sure you store your homemade scented candles in a cool environment so that they don't melt and release the fragrance too quickly.
Watch out for the next post in this series!
Dominus Owen Markham