Cozy Weather

Just in time for soup weather I have introduced bowl cozies at SubEarthan Cottage.

Strawberry Bandana Red Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy
Strawberry Bandana Red Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy

My cozies are 100% cotton, so they can go in the microwave if you like.

Vegetable Print Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy
Vegetable Print Microwaveable Soup Bowl Cozy

There are tons of cute 100% cotton quilting fabrics available, so if you’d like one or a set customized to your tastes, let me know.

Bar vs. Liquid Soap

Over the past few decades liquid hand soap and body wash have gained popularity over bar soaps. Bar soaps have gotten a bad reputation for being dirty and drying. While we’re pretty solidly team bar soap now, fifteen years ago we may have had one or two lonely bars sitting dry and cracked in soap dishes while bottles of the liquid variety cluttered the tub and counters. As with any personal care product, needs vary and it’s important to find what works for you.

Before I start the comparison, I should mention that not all soaps, bar or liquid, are created equally. Many things sold as soap are actually synthetic detergents, sometimes called syndets. To be a true soap, the product needs to be a fat or oil added to an alkali (lye) to form soap salts, glycerine and sometimes excess fats or alkalis. Some find syndets harsher on their skin while others actually find them to be gentler. True soap is what I know, so that’s what I’m referring to unless I say otherwise.

Cleanliness

Since soap’s primary function is to clean, let’s start there. My searching has found many references to a 1988 study where e.coli and another contaminant were put on a bar of soap then subjects washed their hands with the e.coli soap. When their hands were tested afterward, the e.coli hadn’t transferred to their hands. One such article can be found here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/10/science/10qna.html?ref=science&_r=0.

My personal, non-scientific thoughts: Liquid soap requires a dispenser of some sort. Unwashed hands have to touch said dispenser (unless it’s an automatic dispenser). The dispenser itself doesn’t get washed after each use, so some bacteria may be transferred to your hands when you use the dispenser. They will most likely be washed away when you wash your hands.

Likewise, bar soaps are touched with unwashed hands. The process of rubbing your hands over the bar with it under running water for a few seconds to create lather probably removes some of the bacteria. Properly washing your hands removes the bacteria from your hands as shown in the above study.

My verdict: They will both get you clean, so use what you like.

Drying

Before delving into natural, handmade soaps, when I thought of bar soap I either imagined “manly” deodorant soaps or the “lye soap” my granny talked about burning her scalp when she was little. Ouch! While the soap my granny knew would have been natural and possibly handmade, if it burned, it was not formulated properly for cleaning people. Back to my brief lesson on soaps vs. syndets, a soap with excess alkalis would burn. This might be okay for heavy house cleaning purposes, but not for personal use.

Most all soapmakers, myself included, formulate their soaps to both fully bond the lye and leave a “buffer” of unsaponified oils to protect your skin. This is known as superfatting. When done properly, you won’t feel the oil, but your skin will feel clean and hydrated, not dry.

Another factor with natural soaps, whether liquid or bar, is that they should contain glycerine as it is a natural by-product of saponification. Glycerine is a humectant, meaning that it attracts water. This helps your skin feel hydrated. Unfortunately, the glycerine is sometimes removed to be used in other products. This can leave your skin feeling dry.

Syndet bars and liquids often contain added moisturizers to hydrate the skin. Some people are sensitive to the detergents and other ingredients, which can cause dryness and other irritation.

My verdict: It depends. Everyone’s body chemistry is a little different, so what works for me may not work for you. Personally, I am one who reacts badly to syndets. If you are looking to avoid syndets, either because you react poorly to them or because you want a more natural product, it seems easier to find natural soaps in bar form. Natural liquids are becoming more available, though.

Waste

Waste is a subject more take into consideration, either from a frugal or a “green” standpoint. Liquid soaps generally come in plastic containers. Some are recyclable depending on what recycling programs are available in your area. Bar soap can be unwrapped or wrapped in a variety of materials. Even if the wrapping is plastic, the amount of plastic is much smaller than the plastic bottles used for liquid soap.

As far as the product itself, with a bar of soap, you tend to use just as much product as necessary. With liquids, I find it harder to get just enough. This is especially true with pump dispensers. I usually find they give enough soap for at least two people to use.

My verdict: Bar soap is the clear winner if you are looking to reduce waste.

All in all, the deciding factor should be what works for you. If you’ve decided to give bar soap a second chance and would like to learn more about the soaps I make, please visit my shop. I’m also more than happy to answer any questions you may have via the contact form at the right or at csloan@subearthancottage.com.

Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 6

— 1 —

B is still congested. It is getting better, but laying down=congestion=no sleep. Luckily B is perpetually happy, sleep or no sleep. Me, on the other hand…

— 2 —

I just got this cute bag in the mail yesterday. (I got the blue one.) I can’t wait to stuff it’s zillion pockets with emergency supplies that I’ll probably never need unless I forget to pack them. I’m even more excited to see that the sale price I paid for it last campaign was less than half of the current campaign price.

— 3 —

I found out that the driver behind the 911 fun yesterday morning had been arrested sometime after the mailbox/gas line destruction for similar shenanigans up the road. I’m very thankful that nobody was hurt. I’d also like to know what kind of indestructible tank he drives.

— 4 —

Beckett loves Elmo. I think he even said “Eee-uho” yesterday. Sorry Sweetie. I’m sure da-da will be next.

— 5 —

Finnian had started writing and illustrating his own books. He can crank out two or more a day. I love his creativity, but I’m now faced with the problem of what to do with all of them, not to mention his schoolwork, report cards, random artwork, etc.

— 6 —

Finnian and one of his friends have decided that their pets who died have returned as ghosts to play with and protect them. So far it seems to be fun pretend, but knowing Finnian’s imagination I’m waiting for it to get a little extreme.

— 7 —
Why is it taking so long for a laundry washing/drying/folding machine to be invented? Even just an automatic folding machine would be nice. In other words, I’ll be spending the day with a mountain of laundry. I am seriously contemplating a “naked at home” policy.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Back to work

With Beckett getting better at entertaining himself for a few minutes, I’ve been able to make some new items for SubEarthan Cottage. After getting them listed this morning, I realized it’s pretty clear they have a “new mom” theme. Click on any of the images to see all similar items shop.

First, we have the coffee cozies, because, duh.

Is it just me, or does that look like a fried egg in the middle of the big flower?

Then we have bibs, because occasionally kids have to wear clothes while eating.

Mmmmm….

Finally, we have rice packs, because after bending over for the 5,740 time to lift your little ton of bricks bundle of joy, your muscles need a little soothing. Pick your favorite fabric!

My attempt at artsy.

And, of course I had to share a pic of my little model.

Doesn’t everyone wear a bib while sitting on the bedroom floor?

All items can be found in my Etsy shop: http://sophiecls.etsy.com

Handmade Lemongrass Soap On Sale Now

My natural Lemongrass Soap’s scent has become a bit more subtle than I like, so I’m putting it on sale. Get it now for only $2.75 per bar while supplies last.

Lemongrass Handmade Soap from SubEarthan Cottage

The first two customers to mention this post in the “Notes to Seller” at checkout will receive a free surprise gift in their order.