Posts tagged water

Effortless watering

I’m all for time-saving, eco-friend, low cost, diy, etc.  So with us moving towards using less and reusing what we have used, I found a really nice idea to help me water our gardens.

These little bottles will also help me teach my boys to save water and water plants wisely.

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Water Weeds are killing our river

Our local newspaper, the Daily Dispatch, run this article this morning.

Deadly weeds choke Nahoon river – A noxious water weed is once again choking the life out of the Nahoon River, which is home to myriad species including bass, geese, fish eagles and otters. Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds, first threatened the river’s ecosystem last year. Now the out-of-control alien plant has blanketed large stretches of the river, with the worst outbreak occurring near the causeway that links Dorchester Heights to the Stutterheim road.

Residents living along the river bank have now questioned the municipality’s efforts in keeping one of East London’s most popular rivers unpolluted. Joan Hempel, whose farm borders the river, said: “I am dismayed at the state of the Nahoon River. The rapid growth and spread of the hyacinth has already affected the wildlife. “It seems the entire ecosystem is being choked and destroyed by this alien invader plant.” Hempel has sent numerous reports to the Department of Water Affairs hoping to pressure government to act.

“To date no one has responded or reacted to my report. I was hoping to alert them to the alarming spread of the plant. Andrew Lucas, Department of Water Affairs provincial director of water regulation and use, said clearing invasive alien plants was the responsibility of land owners. Lucas said if the land belonged to the municipality, it was the responsibility of the Working For Water team. “I have not investigated the areas myself but the influx usually stems from residents,” he said.

Lucas said residents used the weed, which has a beautiful purple flower, to decorate their ponds and water features. “When it starts to overgrow they dump it in the river.” According to Lucas this reinfects the river system and the problem starts all over again. The water hyacinth has caused a decline in fish populations in Africa. – Taken from Dispatch.co.za  15/02/2011

Ok, so if Water Affairs doesn’t want to help the river then what?  A classic case of passing the buck, our politicians are very good at doing that.  Pity they are not as good at anything else.

I found this info on Wikipedia…

When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely; this dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles). The plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitos, the classic vectors of disease, and a species of snail known to host a parasitic flatworm which causes schistosomiasis (snail fever).

Solution – I will definitely be sending our political parties a strong email.  What nonsense is this passing the buck, if it isn’t your mandate then help us to get the right people in to fix the problem.  Be part of the solution, Don’t add to it – silly man.

Wikipedia’s article has some interesting results at the end…

Industrial utilization

Since the plant has abundant nitrogen content, it can be used a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas. However, due to easy accumulation of toxins, the plant is prone to get contaminated when used as feed.

Exogenous

The plant is extremely tolerant of, and has a high capacity for, the uptake of heavy metals, including Cd, Cr, Co, Ni, Pb and Hg, which could make it suitable for the biocleaning of industrial wastewater [7], [8], [9], [10]. In addition to heavy metals, Eichhornia crassipes can also remove other toxins, such as cyanide, which is environmentally beneficial in areas that have endured gold mining operations [11].

Water hyacinth is also observed to enhance nitrification in waste water treatment cells of living technology. Their root zones are superb micro-sites for bacterial communities.[12]

Food for thought – this weed is not all bad, it’s just not any good in our Nahoon river.  An import bit of information, that I will include in my emails.

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Herbs, Herbs, Herbs

I found this really great, fun site http://www.phuthu.co.za  It is a local SA site with some really awesome pics and interesting stories.  If my browser wasn’t so slow, I would look through the whole site just to see the rest of it.  There are some really useful tips on herbs.  I know we can get most of them at nurseries in SA, I’m not sure about the rest of the world.  When in doubt, ask at your local nursery…

Herbs – Culinary uses and more…

Basil
Basil is one of the most versatile herbs with sweet basil being the most commonly grown. It needs average soil, sun and semi-shade and is frost sensitive.

Culinary uses: Pasta sauces, stews, soups, salads, pizzas or blend basil with pine nuts to make pesto. It goes very well with tomatoes.

Medicinal uses: It is quite useful for exhaustion and digestive upsets such as stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhoea. Drink basil tea to relieve tension and migraines or rub the fresh leaves on your temples for headaches. Crushed basil leaves can be used to take the sting out of insect bites.

Cosmetic uses: Crushed basil leaves will stimulate hair growth. Use in bath oils.

Other uses: Bunches of fresh basil hung in the kitchen will keep flies away. Dried basil stalks burnt on a fire can keep the mozzies away.

Lemon Grass
Lemon grass can grow in any soil and doesn’t need a lot of water. It is inactive during the winter months and sensitive to frost. Parts used: The stems, leaves and essential oils.

Culinary uses: Soups, marinades, stir-fries, curries, salads, coconut milk, rice and as an alternative for lemon rind and to flavour tea’s and drinks. The stems can be kept in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks if wrapped in a paper bag or wax wrapped.

Medicinal uses: Used in a tea it has a calming effect and can soothe the digestive system and relieve stress.

Cosmetic uses: Makes a good facial steam for teenage skin. Great for treating an oily skin or oily hair: one cup of fresh lemon grass and two cups of boiling water.

Other uses: Insect repellent.

Rosemary
Rosemary will grow in most types of soil but prefers light, sandy soil with good drainage and a sunny spot. It can tolerate cold temperatures. Rosemary has more fragrance if you pick it and leave it for a few days. Rosemary and sage are good friends and will grow well together.

Culinary uses: Meat (especially lamb), bean and tomato dishes (use sparingly as it’s a strong herb). Use the twigs for kebab skewers.

Medicinal uses: Drink as a tea for migraines and cramps. Also treats blood pressure problems, jaundice, vertigo, gout, aching joints, obesity and toothache. Use the oil externally as an antiseptic for sores and wounds.

Cosmetic uses: Good rinse for dark hair, can reduce falling hair and treat eczema on the scalp. Use as a mouthwash and facial steam. Known to remove freckles and wrinkles: Boil 50g flowering rosemary tips in 500ml white wine for 2 minutes. Leave to stand for 1 hour, strain and apply to your face with cotton wool twice a day.

Other uses: Fish moth repellent in cupboards/drawers. The stems will keep your linen smelling fresh or keep mozzies away when tossed in a fire.

Chilli
Chillies are easy to grow and varies from very hot to mild. It requires full sun and rich well drained soil. Water frequently, especially when in flower. Feed with a liquid fertiliser once a week; sensitive to frost. Parts used: Fruit.

Culinary uses: Add to chutneys, pickles, Indian, Mexican and Thai dishes and of course on pizzas!

Medicinal uses: eases digestive problems, chronic pain and cluster headaches.

Rocket
A herb you either love or hate. It likes loose, rich, composted, well-drained soil. Water it well in dry weather, although the roots must not be saturated. Withstands frost, summer storms and cold winds. Parts used: Leaves, seedpods and flowers. Can be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Culinary uses: Soups and stews, salads, sandwiches, sauces, marinades, garnish. Particularly good with tomatoes.

 Medicinal uses: It’s a great tonic, can be used as a cough remedy when boiled in honey, prevents colds and treats fluid retention, anaemia, digestive upsets and bladder ailments.

Other uses: Treat skin blemishes and makes a refreshing foot bath. Can be used as plant food. Add to compost heap or plant around your compost heap.

Mint
Don’t let it loose in your herb garden, it takes over, rather plant it in a pot, not too small. It should be repotted yearly, preferably in spring and watered daily. It needs sun / partial shade, moderate temperatures and rich, well drained alkaline soil. Keep different types of mint apart; prevent interbreeding by keeping the flowering heads cut. Peppermint and spearmint are the two most widely used mints.

Culinary uses: Sauces, jellies, vinegar, green peas, potatoes, garnish or use as a refreshing tea (avoid jewel mint or pennyroyal as they are bitter). Goes well with lamb dishes.

Medicinal uses: Pennyroyal should not be used by anyone suffering from kidney problems or by pregnant women, use other mints instead. Colds and congestion: Pour a litre of boiling water over a cup of fresh mint springs, cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale. Make a peppermint tea to help digestion, colds and influenza. Crush the leaves in oil and massage the affected areas for migraines, rheumatism and muscular aches. Use peppermint oil on bruises and scratches.

Cosmetic uses: As a hair conditioner for oily hair, and it can heal rough/dry hands and feet. Add to bathwater to easy tiredness and aches and pains.

Other: Pennyroyal in cupboards and beds as an insect repellent for ants and fleas. Bunches of mint in your kitchen will keep flies away. Peppermint can be rubbed into the skin to keep mozzies away (test on the wrist first).

Parsley
Parsley needs a sunny spot and rich, moist soil. Parts used: leaves and stalks. Don’t grow parsley close to tomatoes or roses to keep them free of insects.

Culinary uses: Soups, stews, sauces, garnishing.

Medicinal uses: Parsley tea treats kidney and bladder infections and can be used as a slimming aid. Don’t take more than one cup a day and don’t use for more than 5 days. Parsley juice can have a soothing effect on eye inflammation and conjunctivitis. It has oestrogenic factors: control menstruation and help menopause. Crushed, warmed leaves will treat insect bites.

 Other uses: Breath freshener after eating onions or garlic.

Herbs: Medicinal uses and more

Aloe Vera
Sunny spot with poor, well drained soil. Grows best in frost free areas. Aloe can be grown in a pot and only the herbs older than 2 years should be used for its properties.

Medicinal uses: Healing of wounds: burns, blisters, sunburn, heat rash. Aloe is known to stimulate the immune system, treats constipation, indigestion, eczema and fungal infections like ringworm and thrush. It should not be used by anyone suffering from piles.

 Cosmetic uses: Can be used in a moisturising cream, shampoos (for dry and itchy scalp) and in suntan lotion.

Chamomile
These pretty flowers makes for powerful medicine. Camomile is easy to grow and likes partial shade and light as well as well drained soil. Pick the flowers often to lengthen its spring life. A great companion for most plants.

Culinary uses: Add chamomile tea to granadilla juice for a relaxing drink, can be served as an after-dinner drink to ease indigestion.

Medicinal uses: Relieves stress, anxiety and digestive problems, improves immunity, treat inflammations of the skin and other skin disorders (surgical wounds), diarrhoea, insomnia, headaches and in babies: colic, vomiting, teething problems, restlessness.

Cosmetic uses: Can makes hair lighter and promotes hair growth. Use in a facial steam or a soak to soften hands. Add to your bath for a relaxing treat or to soothe sunburn.

Lemon Balm
Needs filtered shade and rich, moist soil. Dies down in winter and needs to be cut back hard to encourage new spring growth.

Culinary uses: Teas, soup, milk, custard, sauces, fruit salads, refreshing drinks, puddings, poultry, fish and cheese dishes. It compliments cucumber, celery and asparagus. Freeze in ice cubes to decorate drinks.

 Medicinal uses: Treats insomnia, herpes and digestive problems, cold sores, eczema, depression, anxiety, fear and improves concentration. Soothes insect bites.

 Cosmetic uses: Use in a facial steam (it apparently slows down the aging process!) and improves oily hair. Mix with aqueous cream to soothe aching feet.

 Other uses: Bunches of lemon balm will deter moths. Use green leaves to polish wooden furniture.

Southernwood
This herb needs full sun and grow in any soil although it prefers it dry. Parts to use: leaves and sprigs. If planted near fruit trees it will repel fruit flies and fruit moths.

Medicinal uses: It treats menstrual disorders and has antiseptic properties (rashes, scratches and grazes). Use as a bitter tonic: coughs, bronchitis, mucus, congestion. Eases pain and swelling.

Cosmetic: Use as a rinse for greasy hair, when combed through hair it can stimulate hair growth.

Other: Potent flea and moth repellent. Very effective in potpourris. Sprinkle dried, powdered Southernwood around ant holes to combat ants.

Feverfew
Easy to grow and needs full sun. Parts to use: Whole plant and leaves.

Medicinal uses: A powerful migraine preventive, treats digestive problems, relaxes spasms, reduces fever, has laxative effects, deals with menstrual problems and relieves period pain. Take Southernwood after childbirth to encourage the cleansing of the uterus.

Other uses: Mouth rinse, household disinfectant, moth / insect repellent.

Lavender
Plant lavender in containers (small batches) as it has the tendency of taking over. It likes a sunny spot and dry, well drained soil. Can be badly affected by frost; cover the lavender with grass.

Culinary uses: Flavour jams and vinegar. Great addition to marinades for game. Use crystallised flowers for garnish.

Medicinal uses: In oil as antiseptic for insect bites and stings. A lavender-stuffed pillow aids sleep and will calm a restless child. Lavender tea will treat headaches and relieve anxiety. Lavender water makes a great mouthwash.

Cosmetic: Treats acne. Use oil for massaging muscular aches and cellulite.

Other: Insect repellent: it will repel fish moths and draw butterflies. The leaves and flowers can be used in little netting sachets to keep your linen smelling fresh. Dried lavender leaves and flowers can be used for potpourri. Place on fires in winter for a lovely scent. Spread your washing over your lavender bushes for a lasting fresh smell.

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How to Make Caterpillar Repellent

How to Make Caterpillar Repellent

Theses nasty little buggers have eaten my plants to tatters – not even my succulents are safe!  I found this very easy recipe on eHow, take a look…

Caterpillars dislike the smell of orange. Public DomainButterflies are beautiful but long before they turn into those lighter than air nectar eaters, they are caterpillars. In order for those lovely butterflies to come around come spring time, they need to eat and more often than not it’s your vegetable garden they want to dine on. Just follow this quick easy guideline to make an organic caterpillar repellent that not only repels little squirmers but has a pleasant orange smell.

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of chopped orange peels
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Mist sprayer

    How to Make Caterpillar Repellent

  1. Put the orange peels in a blender or food processor. Actually any citrus fruit will work because the caterpillar is repelled by the scent and it has the add advantage of having a pleasant aroma for humans
  2. Pour the boiling water over the Orange peels. The boiling water will help to extract the important citrus oils.
  3. Liquefy the entire mixture and allow it to sit overnight at room temperature. Cover the mixture to help control evaporation.
  4. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and pour the liquid into a hand held mist sprayer.
  5. Fill the remaining space in the sprayer with warm water.
  6. Spray your plants. Start at the bottom and enjoy the scent.


Read more: How to Make Caterpillar Repellent | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2304735_make-caterpillar-repellent.html#ixzz1ChB1k5ww

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It’s raining, it’s pouring

It’s been raining in our town for most of the week.  I love the rain and it’s doing my garden the world of good, my washing pile, however, is looking to be taller than me.

This makes my bathroom look untidy and makes me sad, looking at this ever-increasing hill of dirty clothing and linen.  With my one son potty training, I have had to find cheap, household remedies for urine smells on linen, bed and clothing.

I use a process of elmination start at the top and work your way down the list until the smell has gone…

Beds, Linen & other furniture

  • Mop up excess urine and dry area as much as possible
  • Clean area with a mixture of white vinegar, water and tea tree oil
  • Let the area dry thoroughly, in direct sun if possible (works best for mattress and linen)
  • Sprinkle area with bicarbonate soda and allow to sit for 24 hours
  • Vacuum off the bicarb and the bed is really to be made
  • Extra smelly touch – for a pleasant, calming smell, I crush dried lavender and rosemary leaves and sprinkle on with the bicarb

Clothing

I found my boys clothing sometimes took 2 washes to eliminate the urine smell.  I adjusted my methods and did the same as with the linen. 

  • Rinse off clothing with clean water
  • Spray affected areas with a vinegar, water and tea tree solution
  • Spin wet clothes in your washing machine – the  dryer the clothes the better
  • Allow to dry thoroughly
  • Place clothes in a bucket with a mixture of bicarb and crushed lavender and rosemary leaves.  Cover with a lid and leave to stand for 24 hours
  • Shake off clothes and wash as normal

I know this sounds like a lot of work, I usually keep a separate bucket in our bathroom for these clothes.  I fill the bucket with water and a few drops of tea tree oil.  I then wash these clothes when the bucket is full, allowing me to wash a full load of clothes instead of only a few items.

Safety Tip:

As with all essential oils, please use reasonable caution and discontinue use if a reaction occurs. 

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The EcoWash Laundry Ball

The EcoWash Laundry Ball

Last weekend I bought an eco laundry ball – I was unconvinced that this large plastic ball with beady things in would do anything other than waste my money…I was completely surprised.

Not only did the washing come out clean, it smelt clean and fresh, very soft and with very few creases.  The added plus is that the expensive water recycling system we have planned for our garden and household use was not necessary.

We only need to by a water tank and loop the water back into the house.  No harsh chemicals to take out the water, no worrying about the effect it might have our plants.

A note should be made – I tried washing in warm and cold water, warm water is recommended on the box. Warm water had better effect.  Make sure the ball is put in the sun for at least 2 hours before initial use.  Clean out your machine as per box instructions before using the ball for the first time.  It is important to wash out your machine with vinegar on a long hot water cycled each month. 

I give it a 5 star rating!  Try it out you might be pleasantly surprised.  I found mine at a health store in East London but if you need, http://www.agreenworld.co.za/ sells them and other green products.

Please drop me a line and let me know your experience with the product.

NEVER BUY WASHING POWDER OR FABRIC SOFTENER AGAIN, WITH THE NEW ECOWASH LAUNDRY BALL.

Whilst it has probably not crossed your mind as a potential cost-saver, the fact that you can now do away with washing powder and fabric softener must surely find appeal in an age when the cost of living is steadily increasing.

After all, washing powders and fabric softeners are expensive. (Something that any mother with children will attest to). And not only are they expensive, they’re not good for the environment. With the new EcoWash Laundry Ball, you can say goodbye to your washing powder and fabric softener purchases forever.

Simply place the Laundry Ball into your washing machine with a 4kg load, and switch it on the way you normally do. There’s nothing more to it than that. What you’ll get at the end of the cycle is a brilliantly clean wash, soft as can be. Besides saving electricity and water, you’ll be helping the environment as without the need for harmful washing powders and fabric softeners, there will no chemicals released into our water and the atmosphere. And no more skin rashes or itchiness, either.

This environmentally-friendly product has drawn rave reviews from people across the spectrum; from those who  appreciate the doing-away with washing powders and fabric softeners to those who like its ease-of-use, and the fact that it doesn’t cause rashes and skin itchiness in their children.

With the Laundry Ball, you’ll have no need for detergents (many of which contain chlorine, which ages your clothes’ fibres and causes them to go pale). By not using chlorine, your clothes will preserve their colour and last longer. Your clothes will come out perfectly clean and wonderfully soft.

Not only will the EcoWash Laundry Ball save you electricity, it will also save you water – putting money back into your pocket, week after week, month after month. What’s more, this unique and eco-friendly product will help your family’s clothes last longer.

A win every which way and a product that should appeal to every household operating on a budget. To all intents and purposes, the EcoWash Laundry Ball is the same as the Miracle Wash Laundry Ball used in Australia. You may find a visit to www.laundryball.com.au interesting.

Benefits of the product:

A wonderfully clean and soft wash

No more loose fibres in your washing machine

No more residue in your washing machine

No more washing powder required

No more fabric softener needed

Bleaching agents seldom required

No harmful or toxic chemicals

No allergy-causing fragrances on your clothes

No more rashes or itching

Saves electricity

Saves water

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Word of the Day – Aqua

Aqua – A common sense word, but you never know with these wonderful ingredients list what they really mean. 

So far so good, they mean the compound water 🙂

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Word of the Day – Sodium Hydroxide / Lye / Caustic Soda

Goodness me, you need to read this WotD (Word of the Day) – this ingredient is listed in Johnson’s Baby aqueous lotion…

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye and caustic soda, is a caustic metallic base. It is used in many industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents and as a drain cleaner. Worldwide production in 1998 was around 45 million tonnes.  Sodium hydroxide is a common base in chemical laboratories.

Pure sodium hydroxide is a white solid; available in pellets, flakes, granules and as a 50% saturated solution. It is hygroscopic and readily absorbs water from the air, so it should be stored in an airtight container. It is very soluble in water with liberation of heat. It also dissolves in ethanol and methanol, though it exhibits lower solubility in these solvents than does potassium hydroxide.

Molten sodium hydroxide is also a strong base, but the high temperature required limits applications. It is insoluble in ether and other non-polar solvents. A sodium hydroxide solution will leave a yellow stain on fabric and paper.

 Uses:

Soap production

Sodium hydroxide is traditionally used in soap making (cold process soap, saponification).It was made in the nineteenth century for a hard surface rather than liquid product because it was easier to store and transship.

Cleaning agent

Sodium hydroxide is frequently used as an industrial cleaning agent where it is often called “caustic”. It is added to water, heated, and then used to clean the process equipment, storage tanks, etc. It can dissolve grease, oils, fats and protein based deposits. The sodium hydroxide solution can also be added surfactants to stabilize dissolved substances to prevent redeposition. A sodium hydroxide soak solution is used as a powerful degreaser on stainless and glass bakeware. It is also a common ingredient in oven cleaners.

A common use of Sodium Hydroxide is in the production of Parts washer detergents. Parts washer detergents based on Sodium Hydroxide are some of the most aggressive parts washer cleaning chemicals. The Sodium Hydroxide based detergent include surfactants, rust inhibitors and defoamers.

A parts washer heats water and the detergent in a closed cabinet and then sprays the heated sodium hydroxide and hot water at pressure against dirty parts for degreasing applications.

Sodium Hydroxide used in this manner replaced many solvent based systems in the early 1990s when triclor was outlawed. Water and Sodium Hydroxide detergent based parts washers are considered to be an environmental improvement over the solvent based cleaning methods.

Tissue digestion

This is a process that was used with farm animals at one time. This process involves the placing of a carcass into a sealed chamber, which then puts the carcass in a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water, which breaks chemical bonds keeping the body intact.

This eventually turns the body into a coffee-like liquid, and the only solid that remains are bone hulls, which could be crushed between one’s fingertips. Sodium hydroxide is frequently used in the process of decomposing roadkill dumped in landfills by animal disposal contractors.

Sodium hydroxide has also been used by criminals to dispose of their victims’ bodies.

Food preparation

Food uses of sodium hydroxide include washing or chemical peeling of fruits and vegetables, chocolate and cocoa processing, caramel coloring production, poultry scalding, soft drink processing, and thickening ice cream. Olives are often soaked in sodium hydroxide to soften them, while pretzels and German lye rolls are glazed with a sodium hydroxide solution before baking to make them crisp. Due to the difficulty in obtaining food grade sodium hydroxide in small quantities for home use, Sodium carbonate is often used in place of sodium hydroxide.

  • The Scandinavian delicacy known as lutefisk (from lutfisk, “lye fish”).
  • Hominy is dried maize (corn) kernels reconstituted by soaking in lye-water. These expand considerably in size and may be further processed by frying to make corn nuts or by drying and grinding to make grits. Nixtamal is similar, but uses calcium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide.
  • Sodium hydroxide is also the chemical that causes gelling of egg whites in the production of Century eggs.
  • German pretzels are poached in a boiling sodium carbonate solution or cold sodium hydroxide solution before baking, which contributes to their unique crust.
  • Most yellow coloured Chinese noodles are made with lye-water but are commonly mistaken for containing egg. 
  • Domestic uses 

    Sodium hydroxide is used in the home as a drain cleaning agent for clearing clogged drains. It is distributed as a dry crystal or as a thick liquid gel. The chemical mechanism employed is the conversion of grease to a form of soap.

    Soap is water-soluble, and can be dissolved by flushing with water. This conversion occurs far more rapidly at high temperatures, so commercial drain cleaners may also contain chemicals that react with water to generate heat. Sodium hydroxide also decomposes complex molecules such as the protein that composes hair.

    Such drain cleaners (and their acidic versions) are highly caustic and should be handled with care.

    Sodium hydroxide has been used as a relaxer to straighten hair. However, because of the high incidence and intensity of chemical burns, chemical relaxer manufacturers have now switched to other alkaline chemicals. Sodium hydroxide relaxers are still available, but they are used mostly by professionals.

    Safety 

    Solid sodium hydroxide or solutions of sodium hydroxide will cause chemical burns, permanent injury or scarring if it contacts unprotected human or animal tissue. It will cause blindness if it contacts with the eye. Protective equipment such as rubber gloves, safety clothing and eye protection should always be used when handling the material or its solutions. 

    Dissolution of sodium hydroxide is highly exothermic, and the resulting heat may cause heat burns or ignite flammables. It also produces heat when reacted with acids. It is corrosive to glass and some metals. Keep away from aluminum.

    source:  http://en.wikipedia.org

     After reading all of this I am quiet certain I will not let any product containing Sodium Hydroxide anywhere near my house!  Educate and read product labels, you will be shocked to find out how many products contain this harsh chemical!

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    Weekend Experiments – Baby Soap Solution

    This week we are experimenting with a recipe I found on lovelylaities.co.za.  Reading the labels of “Baby Soap” is scary.  Although my boys are 17 months and 3 years old, I am no longer buying commercial baby soaps for them.  The few that are left over from their baby showers, etc have been used for liquid hand soap. 

    Babies should not be washed with any cleaners until they are several weeks old as their skin is so sensitive.  After that, they should only be washed with baby soap solutions as conventional soaps (even Dove soap) are too strong for their skin.

    Try this as an alternative. (It’s great for your skin too, particularly if you suffer from acne or other skin problems!)

    40ml (2 tablespoons) rosewater

    60ml (¼ cup) distilled water

    ¼ teaspoon vegetable glycerin

    Mix the ingredients in a 100ml bottle and shake well. Leave for 4 days to synergize, shaking occasionally. Filter the mixture through coffee filter paper. Store in a dark coloured glass bottle and shake well before use.

    To use, dip a piece of cotton wool in warm water and squeeze out well. Flatten and then sprinkle with the washing water. For a variation, or if you know your baby is not sensitive to essential oils, add up to 6 drops of your favourite essential oil before shaking.

    Tea tree makes a great addition if your baby has nappy rash, but be sure to check that your baby isn’t sensitive to it on another part of their body before you use it on any rash. Alternatively, add some honey to the mix before shaking.

    source:  http://lovelylaities.co.za 

    The ingredients can be found at most grocery suppliers or chemists, I’m not one for buying water, so I’m going to use boiled tank water.  Let’s see if it makes any difference, rub-a-dub-tub!

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    Weekly Water Saving Tip

    Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is cut short.

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