STAYING CLEAN While Conserving Water
Today we’re going to have a guest post by a new friend Kimberly, on natural ways for a nomad to stay clean. Because we are in such small spaces it’s very important that we use as little water as possible, get as many uses as possible out of every item, minimize the amount of harmful chemicals we come into contact with in such a tiny space–and save some money doing it! She’ll show us how….
Hi Bob & Cheap RV Living readers wherever you may be!
Bob, I really enjoy your blog and YouTube Channel; you’ve taught me A LOT! Thanks for affording me the opportunity to create a guest post here.
We’ve been full time for 8 months now but a few years back my desire to live a healthier life inspired me to find avenues to reduce toxins in our home; so I began making non-toxic, aromatherapy products for our home and personal use. This lifestyle change not only cleared the air; it saved us money, too. Eventually, I established a non-toxic cleaning business: Munnatawket Green. Most of us are aware of the benefits of a non-toxic environment, but it’s especially valuable in the nomadic/minimalist/intentional lifestyle where the small space puts us in direct contact with so many harmful chemicals. As a giant bonus, most of the products involved in cleaning your house and personal grooming can be found in your kitchen right now so they save space by serving multiple purposes and save you money; Keep It Simple!
I’ve vetted these cleaning and grooming practices while preparing to leave our traditional stick built house. Having decades of camping experience it was second nature to refine daily practices to be more efficient, effective and environmentally conscious. Currently traveling in our 1999 30 FT, Georgie Boy Pursuit Motorhome, we prefer boon-docking to commercial camps and RV parks, so we use these methods daily. We’ve found them to be easy, inexpensive and effective! I hope you all find these tips helpful. What you’ll need:
- A dish pan (Dollar Tree: $1)
- Baking Soda (Any store about $.59
- 1 QT 91% Rubbing Alcohol (Walmart $2.50 or 51% at Dollar Tree $1)
- 1 QT Hydrogen Peroxide (Same pricing as Alcohol)
- 1 Pt Witch Hazel (Walmart ~$2)
- Essential Oil: Lavender, Peppermint, Thrive (Thieves Blend), Eucalyptus, Tea Tree: (Found at Walmart: $5.29 to $6.29 but can be purchased on line or from your favorite distributor)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (A gallon at Walmart about $2.50, or 1 qt at Dollar Tree $1)
- Dr. Bronners Soap
- Wipes: We like Water Wipes (Target or on Amazon, found very occasionally at Walmart about $2.69)
The basin method is refreshing and effective. I use about 2 heaping Tablespoons of baking soda & about a gallon of warm water with a face cloth. Work top to bottom with this no-rinse solution. This solution neutralizes odors & balances Ph…..soft clean skin! Sometimes I add a few drops of lavender or frankincense. It makes me feel fancy and adds antibacterial/antimicrobial, healing and aromatherapy benefits. After washing up to toss the water outside or use for flushing if you have a water toilet. It’s all natural and biodegradable.
Quick Freshen up with alcohol & paper towels: When water or time is of the essence, we use alcohol on underarms, etc., and wipes for private area. Ladies be careful using alcohol there! Ouch! 🙂 We found a brand called Water Wipes, just water and a bit of grapefruit essential oil. Found them at Target and Amazon (rarely Walmart). It’s a comparable price to all the other wipes on the shelf. You can segregate the paper products from other trash to add to your campfire.
Tooth Brushing: Use baking soda, peroxide and peppermint oil. Place one drop of peppermint oil in your hand, add a half-teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of peroxide to mix into a paste with toothbrush bristles & brush. Kills germs, brightens smile and fresh breath!
Hair Washing: I have long, thick hair. For years I’ve used baking soda & water to cleanse it. Apple Cider vinegar & water to rinse and when needed a bit of coconut oil as a lleave-inconditioner. My hair is clean, healthy and shiny. Easy to achieve with the shower set ups Bob has shared with us on this blog because it rinses away easily. If you like to add a bit of treatment to the mix for dandruff or softening you can mix in a few drops of tea tree oil to both the hair wash mixture and the apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse. The method I use is a few Tablespoons of baking soda with warm water in a shaker cup or jar. Shake it up well just before pouring over your head. Massage in well and rinse. I use a 3-4 oz travel container to mix the ACV rinse, it is 50/50 water/ACV. Shake, pour over your head, massage through, rinse. After you rinse towel dry and use a bit of Coconut oil, melted between your hands to the ends of your hair for conditioning benefits.
Hand sanitizer/Aromatherpy sprays: I make my own using those small TSA approved travel spray bottles. I was able to color code, too. For example: purple is lavender and red is Thieves blend while green is peppermint. Just a couple of quick sprays on hands and rub together briskly until dry. CLEAN!
Mixture: 1/2 Alcohol, 1/2 water 10-15 drops our favorite essential oil. I’ve mixed these up in several different E.O. mixtures for their properties.. For example: Thieves (Thrive Blend at Walmart) for hands and even disinfecting the sanitation bay but also to spritz around the RV it kills airborne viruses and smells lovely. Clove & cinnamon, bugs don’t like clove but they also don’t like Peppermint…so we spritz peppermint to deter spiders…peppermint is also an effective and lovely room freshener after using the loo, lol! Eucalyptus kills dust mites so great for spritzing the upholstered areas to freshen them up. And aids in clearing sinus congestion. Lavender is a calming scent that is. A better choice than Peppermint (Which is stimulating and might disturb sleep) great to use to freshen bedding. Lavender is also a great analgesic so good to have on hand for first aid. It works wonders on a burn! Tea Tree is also a good first aid oil to have on hand. Good for abrasions and insect bites, it is also known as a bug repellent. (A good mixture is to add Lavender and Tea Tree to deter insects). CAUTION: If you have canine friends (DOGS) be very they do not become exposed to Tea Tree oil as it is very toxic to them.
Mother Earth Living:
Because the sun is a natural antibacterial and deodorizer, hanging your clothes on a clothesline saves energy while ensuring your clothes are clean and smell great. It’s also gentler on your clothes than a dryer, so you can enjoy your clothes longer.
I was inspired by a YouTube minimalist, Brittany Taylor, to try out Sun Laundry. I was pretty skeptical but decided to give it a try and was very pleased with the outcome: fresh laundry! Even on the hottest days of summer where we may have perspired quite a bit, those T-shirts came out smelling fresh and clean! The idea is to hang all of your T-shirts, Sweats, jeans, towels, blankets (basically anything fabric) out in the sunlight for a few hours. The heat of the sun and fresh air neutralize odors and you’re left with clean fresh clothing. We cannot always hang clothing outside due to restrictions of where we might be camping or boon docking (one of the many reasons we prefer boon docking to camp grounds). But we take advantage of this tactic as often as we can to avoid toxins in public laundries, conserve water and money!
Conservative dish washing: We like to use glass and stainless steel receptacles/utensils when it comes to our food. Occasionally we do use a paper plate and often use paper toweling; all of which go into the campfire. To conserve water and grey water tank space while washing our dishes we use the basin method for dishes too. We use Dr. Bronners or a non-toxic organic dish soap, whichever we can find. Wash dishes with as little water as possible and rinse into the bin. Because Dr. Bronners is safe for the environment, you can dump the bin outdoors when you’re done.
Connect with me on Google+ and YouTube for more tips and tricks….Naturally! K Rose B
Be sure and check out my YouTube Channel here: