The First 4 Essentials To Homesteading Part 2

In part 1, we covered the first 2 essentials to homesteading, food and water.

I think we can both agree that food and water is essential to life and we felt it was important to discuss these 2 first.

Now let's dive into the remaining 2 essentials to "The First 4 Essentials To Homesteading".

Cleaning

Whether you’re an urban or a rural homesteader, you can make these products with no sweat!

We won’t need to break this section down into separate parts.

Cleaning products such as soaps come in a wide range of variety - you may be surprised at how your everyday household items can come in handy! 

Here are some of the easiest homemade cleaning products that you can make yourself!

Simple Homemade All-Purpose Soap

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces of coconut/olive oil
  • 38 ounces of vegetable shortening
  • 12 ounces sodium hydroxide, or lye (also called caustic soda)
  • 32 ounces of spring or distilled water
  • 4 ounces of your favorite essential oil, such as peppermint, lemon, rose, or lavender

Equipment needed:

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Weighing scale for the ingredients
  • A large stainless steel or enamel kettle 

*Avoid using aluminum and pots lined with a non-stick surface.

  • A wide-mouth pitcher can be either glass or plastic.
  • Measuring cups
  • Wooden or plastic spoons
  • Two glass thermometers that register between 80-100 degrees F (Candy thermometers work well for this purpose.)
  • A blender (Use if you don’t want to stir the ingredients manually.)
  • Plastic molds, shoebox, or a wooden mold

*Use parchment paper to line the inside of the shoebox or wooden mold. This will avoid the soap from sticking.

  • Multiple towels for cleaning

 Steps

  1. Prepare all the ingredients. Make sure you measure them accurately.
  2. Mix the ingredients together in the stainless or enamel kettle while stirring in the following order:
    1. Coldwater
    2. Lye
    3. Oils (combine the oils separately prior to pouring them here).
  3. Pour the solution into the molds.
  4. Cover the mold with cardboard. Apply tape to keep it in place.
  5. Add a towel on top of each mold to insulate the soap.
  6. Let it sit for 12 hours.

This soap can be used as a detergent or dishwashing soap, and to some extent body soap!

Go here for the complete soap making guide!

Skincare Hacks 

You don’t need to be a chemist to make homemade skincare products.

Some ingredients in your kitchen can be used to keep your skin healthy.

You just need to know which ones to use and how to apply them.

Here’s a round-up of some household items you can use as skincare products:

  • Aloe vera - take a leaf and squeeze its gel. It can be used as a light moisturizer or ointment for sunburns.
  • Coconut oil - a thicker moisturizer if aloe vera is too light for you. It can also be used as a hair mask or gel.
  • Sugar and honey - lip scrub, for exfoliation of the lips.
  • Rice water - hair conditioner.
  • Oatmeal - face mask to soothe irritated skin.
  • Turmeric - face mask to heal blemishes and brighten skin.

Laundry detergent

No detergent? No problem! In fact, you can add your homemade soap to the ingredients for this DIY laundry detergent.

Ingredients:

  • Washing soda
  • Bar soap
  • Borax

Steps

  1. Grind the bar soap or you can grate it with a food processor. Make sure it’s finely ground.
  2. Mix together 2 part washing soda, 2 parts borax, and 1 part grated soap.
  3. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Clothing

Sewing and crochet aren’t just skills that can make for a productive hobby or a pastime, but they’re also essential crafts for being self-sustainable.

These are two very common skills especially for women, but they’re often overlooked when it comes to self-sufficiency.

Sewing And Crochet

Clothing may not be top of mind when it comes to survival, but its importance is not one to disregard during a cold climate.

If your goal is to be completely self-sufficient by homesteading, sewing and crochet are two skills that you must learn before it starts to get chilly outside.

Sewing is a very straightforward method to make or repair clothes.

The vast availability of portable sewing machines can even make it easier of a job to do. 

Crochet, on the other hand, isn’t a piece of cake.

It will require some practice and precision to even make a small piece of cloth.

If you want to learn how to do it, you can start by reading this beginner’s guide.


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