Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eco-friendly Cloth Femine Pads from Montana Solar Creations

Natural personal care is colorful and ecofriendly with these cloth feminine panty liners from Montana Solar Creations.  These cloth pads are made with 100% cotton fabric and are even sewn using solar power.  Having just learned about the dangers of microplastic from washing synthetic fabrics, I like that these pads do not contain a polyfleece fill.

These snap backs close securely and fit normal to wide panties.  These pads are suitable for protecting underware from light incontinence, light menstrual bleeding, or discharge.  Lots of colorful sets are currently available at the Montana Solar Creations online Etsy store. 

Soiled pads can be soaked first prior to laundering naturally. Some people use water from soaked menstrual pads to fertilize plants, most often trees or non food plants.  This is a hot topic with a lot of discussion at Green Thumbs on

Montana Solar Creations provided these pads for review under no obligation.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Natural Laundering Options - DIY Recipe

We have been using natural or fragrance-free laundry solutions for a number of years. Recently two different friends needed to borrow the washer and dryer, and I was overwhelmed by the smell of the chemical fragrances of the laundry solution and dryer sheets that they had brought over to use with their laundry.  The marketing on the dryer sheet box was very deceptive.  It said 'Lavender' and had pictures of flowers, but it was just scented with something synthetic.  Synthetic fragrances are made with proprietary ingredients, so it is hard to know what exactly is in them, but many contain harmful Pthalates and other ingredients which lead to allergic or asthmatic reactions.  An introduction to synthetic fragrances with more info can be found at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  These fragrances wash down into the water supply and are harmful to the ecosystem.

In the past I used a variety of unscented powdered detergent from Arm and Hammer.  I alternated using it with soap nuts and soapwort root. I still use soapwort and soap nuts together in a mesh bag for very lightly soiled laundry, like sheets or towels, quilts, and darker colored items. I have found that you need to use the soapwort roots together with soap nuts otherwise whites will come out very dull looking.  

If you have children who like to get very messy or if you have diapers to wash, you probably won't find soapnuts and soapwort very satisfying.   But you might like this homemade laundry soap recipe from the Family Homestead.  I suggest following this recipe precisely, as it is not particularly forgiving to modifications.  

Lavender Lemongrass Hard Hand soap by AquarianBath

1/3 bar of soap (We use about 2 oz of a hard hand soap)
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder 
~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size

Grate the soap and put it in a large pot.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Add the soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel.   Use 1/2 cup per load. 

You can also add a few drops of a deodorizing essential oil to the batch such as lemon, orange, cinnamon, or use Lavender essential oil.  Stir up the solution before using it each time as it will separate.  Do not use more than 1/2 cup per load or you may find the solution will fade out your colored fabrics.  Sometimes I will add a drop or 2 of essential oil to the load if there is anything stinky in the laundry.  This laundry soap is not a magic bullet for soiled items that need pre-treatment to prevent stains, but it does the job for regular loads.

I am a big fan of line drying laundry to save energy.  However when it is raining out or when I want to soften up the laundry, I like using felted wool dryer balls.  The balls bounce around in the dryer to help soften up laundry that has been out on the line.  They also eliminate static.  These dryer balls are from Bog Berry Dryer Balls.  Brooke provided these to me to review under no obligation.  They are very effective and I love the colors.  They came in a handy drawstring tote, perfect for travel to a laundry mat. These dryer balls are made from local wool.  

I like to add up to 4 drops of my Lemon essential oil to one dryer ball to deodorized any loads that need a little extra freshening.  The essential oil comes in handy for drying diapers, loads left in the washing machine a bit too long,  kitchen rags, or potty training clean up rags.  It feels good to know that the deodorizing essential oils, my favorite being lemon, actually help to remove odors instead of just masking them in the way that chemical fragrances do. 

With these natural and chemical fragrance free laundering options, is there any other pollutant in our wash that we need to look out for?   Nov 1, 2011 researchers concluded in an article published in Environmental Science and Technology that laundering of synthetic fabrics such as polyester and acrylic were contributing to microplastic pollution.  These microplastics are contaminating beaches and working their way up the food chain.  Even worse microplastics have been shown to absorb toxic chemicals such as PCBs, DDT, and dioxins.  Learn more in this article at Ecocoture.  Shop with ecologically safe laundering in mind.  Choose cottons, linen, hemp, or wool.  Skip the polyfleece.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seaside Herb Society Annual Fair in Ormond Beach Saturday March 23rd

The annual Seaside Herb Society Fair is coming up again this coming Saturday March 23rd.  We will be set up to sell soaps and other products from 8 am to 1 pm outside the Bailey Riverbridge Meeting house at 1 North Beach Street, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Most of our selling these days is online, so in order to keep things organized for online selling (and fun and low stress), we are just bringing out a small variety of items for the fair, including the big favorites among the Herb Society ladies which include our original Carrot Shampoo bar, Flaxseed microwave herb pillows and my Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Balm, which is now available in Massage oil.  

If you would like something in particular from Aquarian Bath, visit the online store, select your items, and check out with the free local pick up option at check out.  You can pay at check out or at the fair with cash or check.  Not sure what you want?  Leave a comment below if there is something in particular you would like to see at the fair on Saturday.