Easiest Challenge Ever follow-up
Well, between a couple side projects, a real job I'd like to keep, and children almost constantly tugging at my clothes, I've become a slacker blogger. Or at least an intermittently slacking blogger.
A while ago I issued the Easiest Challenge Ever, and then never said another word about it. Well, all you intrepid participants... wait, did anybody actually do this?
Here's my report:
- Shampoo: Very dependent on whether I kept the water softener salt topped off. Our naturally hard water requires more soap, shampoo, etc. If you've never dealt with hard & soft water differences, this may sound strange. But it's a huge difference. Anyway, when the water was good and soft, I could get by with very little. I haven't been keeping up with my colloidal silver "shampoo" experiment, because, well, my mad-scientist rig to make the stuff is solar powered and we don't get many days in winter. Wow, I sounded a bit like a lunatic just then.
- Soap: I've been trying to use only bar soap for hand washing and the like, and I've come to find I prefer it. That glistening goo out of the dispenser is just unappealing at this point. And way too lathery.
- Dishwasher detergent: I'm cheating on this one, because we experimented with this last summer. I filled a coffee can with washing soda, calcium citrate, and um... some other stuff. I can't find the exact recipe now. Anyway, it worked pretty well, but then the humidity or something got to it and it hardened into a brick. I literally had to use a drill to break it into chunks. I'd like to try this again at some point, but for now it's back to the store-bought stuff.
- Shaving cream: Well...
I guess I need to digress on the whole shaving topic for a sec. I used to use an electric razor. Then I lost it after a business trip. At least I thought I did. It's one of the supposedly rechargeable ones (aren't they all now?) and as often happens, the non-replaceable rechargeable battery is shot. It still works when plugged in, more or less.
But since I thought I had lost it, I dug out the old razor. How old? This thing only has two blades! Think of it! Anyway, I found I liked shaving with a blade better and it didn't take any less time. No electricity needed. Of course there are the disposable heads, still. So I got a fairly cheap Zeepk straight razor off eBay. I haven't mastered it yet. It's harder than it looks, at least for me. So most of the time I shave with one of those disposable-head razors. But I make 'em last.
End digression. Shaving cream. A squirt from an aerosol can is hard to control, but I found that about a quarter-sized dollop, or slightly larger, is plenty. Less than that gets a little skimpy. HOWEVER.... A shaving brush, a porcelain cup, and a little disk of bar soap is even better. I don't know why, but I really like this method. The amount of soap used is negligible. In fact, now I know what to do with all those scraps of bar soap that are too small to wash up with. Just throw them in the bottom of the shaving mug!
I do want to mention, for anybody thinking of going this route, that if you get a "genuine boar's hair" brush, which most of them are - even the cheap one I got at Walmart when my non-Walmart one inexplicably fell apart - soak the bristles in water for a day before use. Otherwise you'll start every day smelling like the south end of a northbound boar.
Aftershave - Well, I've never really used it in the first place. But when shaving with a blade - especially the straight razor - cold water does wonders.
Toothpaste - It's confirmed - A little dab'll do ya.
Laundry detergent - That's Lori's department, so I can't say. I mean, laundry's women's wor-OW!OW!OW!OW! Kidding! .... We did get one of those high-efficiency washers a while back, so I'm sure we're using less. But I don't know if that really counts.
Deodorant - I used one of those crystal deodorant dealies for a while. But then I dropped it. And it broke into jagged shards. Not the best for rubbing on yer pits. I used up the gel stuff and I'm using the old-fashioned stick kind. I've found there's a definite limit to skimping on this one though.
I can't think of any other cleaning & hygiene areas I've experimented with.
Does any of this make a big difference in the world? I doubt it. But it doesn't hurt. And as I mentioned before, I'm thinking of it as a gateway drug to mindfulness.