This morning as we were washing the dogs I started to wonder where soap and the other cleaning supplies come from.
Again, this is not a topic I’ve ever pondered before. But it is not just food that we consume. We consume many other products – almost unthinkingly – every day.
It is surprising how much of the cleaning stuff in my cupboard comes from Victoria (doesn’t NSW manufacture anything anymore?).
Also interesting to note was that every single product in my cleaning cupboard was made in “Australia from local and imported ingredients”. And a surprising number of products only had “Australia” as their origin noted on their labels, with no street address and only a customer care phone number.
Anyway all of this made me remember that my mother sometimes made her own vegetable soap and we children used to help. In fact, she made a lot of stuff from scratch. We often made our own sweets – toffees, marshmallows, coconut ice, jubes – as well as baking bread, cakes and biscuits. We also had a friend, an amazing woman called Maria, who taught us how to preserve olives and make granita. It was lovely to be reminded of these two great women who’ve been such a strong influence in my life.
3 thoughts on “Where does soap come from? #livelocal”
For the past 20 years or so I’ve done the mung bean/hippy thing and drastically cut back the total number of cleaning products I use. Initially did this for a ‘safe house for the kids’, these days it’s also for $$ and environmental reasons.
I buy my personal soap (& moisturisers) once or twice a year from Beauty & the Bees (www.beebeauty.com), small, ethical company in Tasmania. I also use their wonderful shampoo soap bar on my hair.
For cleaning, I only ever use microfibre, re-usable cloths with small bucket of hot water with a capful of Australian eucalyptus oil: does floors, bathrooms, benchtops. Will even wipe the fat off the kitchen splashbacks. If it needs scrubbing I use bi-carb, wait 10 mins, wipe off. Minimal effort. White vinegar is good for cleaning (tiny amount only), but I prefer the eucalyptus oil. All very cheap, all Aussie. Unfortunately not made in Alice Springs so I look at the eco-miles & choose my source accordingly.
Oh, the toilet. I have a weakness for clean smelling. Bi-carb (1tsp) to soften the water in bowl. Wait 10 mins+, then scrub with toilet cleaner but only use a very small amount. I do have a quality brush (now 6 years old and still strong). One bottle of toilet cleaner lasts me around 9-12 months, cleaning 2 toilets once a week.
Cheers, good luck with all your new lifestyle changes. DG
Desertgirl – thanks for your tips. My neighbour was telling me about the usefulness of eucalyptus oil for cleaning too.
I would recommend against using eucalyptus oil in the loo though. Tends to attract a certain type of mould. Instead, try tea tree oil.
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