Coconut oil and your plumbing…

A cautionary tale about using coconut oil as liberally as I do.

For many weeks, now, I have been using coconut oil for almost every single application imaginable, and I have fallen more in love with it every day.

However, there is a note of caution I feel compelled to pass along: Coconut oil can and will block your pipes if not used very carefully.

Coconut oil’s very nature keeps it solid at under 76 degrees, and a liquid, above. This makes it the ideal moisturizer to slather on after a shower, but before towel-drying. Using it in the shower should be safe enough, as the water you are showering with will generally be hotter than 76 degrees.

However, if you are using it to brush your teeth with, as I have, you must remember to rinse the brush and all “spitting” with hot water, to prevent it from clogging the drains. I have already had this experience and the accompanying awkward conversation with my husband, the drain unclogger.

Since I realized it, I have been mindful to keep rinse water hotter than normal, and to let it run longer than usual. I have experienced no further problems.

This does not make coconut oil a bad bet for everyone with indoor plumbing, but is something very important to keep in mind.

I try to keep this blog as real as I can, and it feels important that I pass this message along as I tout the benefits of coconut oil for every possible use.

2 Months of Handcrafting…

Making America Awesome, again, through self-sufficiency!

Since I began my journey down the Handcrafted Road, I have learned so much, tried so many new things, and gained confidence from both epic successes and epic failures.

When I started this journey, I already made all my own bread and brownies. Since then, I have added quite a few things and began handcrafting them, rather than buying them. The list is pretty impressive, if I say so myself.

I have tried:

the reveal

the reveal

cottage cheese curd

cottage cheese curd

laundry ingredients

laundry ingredients

I like all of these products very well, and will probably make them again.

Here is a list of products I have mastered, love and use every day. I will never have to buy these items again:

green onions after over a week

green onions after over a week

ready to use, or store

ready to use, or store

cherry cashew vanilla granola

cherry cashew vanilla granola

boom. quart of liquid coconut-castile soap for $1.89

boom. quart of liquid coconut-castile soap for $1.89

Boom!  Body Wash.

Boom!
Body Wash.

soup!

soup!

I am also using a marvelous toothpaste made of coconut oil and baking soda. But I haven’t done a blog post about that yet!

My dream of providing healthy, effective alternatives to store-bought, chemical-laden products is coming along at lighting pace. Yes, it takes longer. Yes it is more work. Yes, it would be easier to buy them. But it is also cheaper, safe and gives me a chance to stick it to the Corporate Machine a bunch of times, every day.

All toll, I think it has been a successful 2 months! I can’t wait to see what I handcraft next!

Handcrafted Liquid Castile Soap

As good (or better!) than Dr B’s, but cost $1.89 a quart to make*. Simple, fast, effective, and safe for the lake down the hill from my septic system drain-field.

I started with 1 bar of Kirk’s brand coco-castile soap. This is an all-natural bar soap, ingredients: Coconut Soap, Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut Oil. 

the base

the base

I grated it with a hand grater. This was the hardest “work” of the whole project. It is a pretty solid bar, and if you have a food processor, you might want to chop it up in there. I don’t have one, or I would have.

kinda hard to grate, use a food processor if you have one

kinda hard to grate, use a food processor if you have one

 

Meanwhile, I put a quart of water into the tea kettle and boiled it. then, I added the still-boiling water to the grated soap and stirred until it was completely dissolved. It is a little bit slow, but it will happen. The smaller the soap bits, the faster the melt.

stir to dissolve soap bits

stir to dissolve soap bits

Once the soap is fully dissolved, I added a tablespoon of glycerin. This was added specifically to help keep my hands from drying while I was using this soap. I’m not sure it was even really necessary, but I had a good supply, so I used it. You can choose to use it or not. The soap is already very gentle and moisturizing, as all-natural soaps go.

adding glycerin for added moisture

adding glycerin for added moisture

Then, I put the liquid soap in a mason jar. The instructions for the liquid soap I found on youtube called for a 2 day rest on the counter, then a mix with an immersion blender on the second day. I did this, but as my soap had not separated at all, it was obviously unnecessary. I am also thinking the rest period was not too necessary, either. It was exactly the same, the day I made it.

store in tightly lidded jar

store in tightly lidded jar

This morning, I blended it and scented it with essential oil (lavender in my case, but I also toyed with the idea of peppermint for the dish soap), and shazaam! Liquid castile and coconut oil soap, every bit as good as commercial brands (Dr B’s) and soooooo much cheaper.

boom. quart of liquid coconut-castile soap for $1.89

boom. quart of liquid coconut-castile soap for $1.89

I will now be using this soap as the base for my body wash, laundry soap, and all my cleaning purposes. Cheap thrills for a more Awesome America!!! WOOT!

Handcrafted Moisturizing Body Wash

In my obsessive quest to replace all my products with handcrafted replacements, both for quality of ingredients and health benefits, I have been very busy. I have used coconut oil to make so many things I have literally lost count of them all. I can’t get enough of this stuff!

Today’s mission was to handcraft a body wash I could truly love. I started with this recipe from diy natural. But, as always, I tweaked. Hey, it didn’t include extra virgin coconut oil! Mine contains this:

body wash raw ingredients

body wash raw ingredients

  • 2/3 cup castile soap (this batch, I used the last of the Dr. Bronner’s lavender. I just made my own liquid castile soap, today, but it won’t be ready until Friday afternoon. Next batch, it will be all mine! *See next blog post for instructions on the world’s cheapest, easiest liquid coco-castile soap)
  • 1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey
  • 1 tbsp liquid-form (76 degrees+) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 100% pure lavender essential oil (you could also use peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, ylang ylang, patchouli, tea tree…whatever you like)

Measure out and add all the ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup/pitcher, and stir to mix thoroughly. Then, pour into an empty body wash or liquid soap dispenser, or squeeze bottle of your choice. Label clearly and use immediately!

Boom!  Body Wash.

Boom!
Body Wash.

Wonderfully creamy lather makes skin feel soft and clean, and the coconut oil might make it so moisturizing that you won’t need lotion after your shower.

I am going to use this for my hand soap next to the sink, because with all the handcrafting I do, I wash my hands at least three hundred times a day. It isn’t drying to skin and cleans thoroughly.

Voila! Money-saving replacements for an Awesome America!!!

*Follow-up: I have found the body wash to be a little more drying than I would like, so as a follow-up to the wash, I keep a little tub of pure coconut oil in the shower, and once I am all clean, I pin my hair up in a clip, and smear the oil all over. My skin is never greasy, the towels never get stained, and my skin is nourished and moisturized all day, afterward. I no longer need lotion after my showers.