First off, let me say that I am no doctor. Please do your own research as to what you feel you can and cannot do for your family.
As some of you know, a few years ago, I began playing around with homemade non-petroleum jelly. (http://jilloalltrades.blogspot.com/2012/08/all-natural-cosmetics.html) It is simple.
I investigated a healing salve. Calendula is always good for soothing
and healing skin for example. Plantain (the plant, not the relative of
the banana) is one that is excellent for blocking the reactions of bug
bites, and Jewel weed is excellent for poison ivy.
first harvested the plantain and jewelweed. Both are considered weeds,
and were relatively easy to find. I took them home and cleaned them
and dried them (This step is important!), and then ran them through my
In a pint mason jar, I put the chopped up
plants, along with the dried calendula I already had. Next, cover the
whole batch with olive oil until it is completely covered (preferably
with about a half inch of just oil on top.) Remember I said the drying
stage was important? Well, does water and oil mix? water in your
product will not help your final salve, and water or plant material
above the oil line will just encourage mold.
Keep this in a jar, shaking occasionally, for 4 weeks. When ready, strain it well and your oil is ready to use.
From this point, just follow the non-petroleum
jelly recipe. I have added a few drops of tea tree and a few drops of
vitamin E oil. The vitamin E extends the shelf life, while the tea tree
adds a bit of anti bacterial properties, which makes it a bit more of
an all purpose, excellent healing salve. I have used it on cuts, bug
bites and poison ivy, all with very good results.
can see i have it in both small travel size balm 'tins', and both half
cup and full cup mason jars. A little goes a long way!
Sunday, August 3, 2014
So, I had read about using drier balls instead of drier sheets. I don't really do a lot with fiber, but a quick trade got me some wool.
My first batch I admittedly wrapped a little too loose. They work, but will likely fall apart sooner. My next batch had them much tighter and therefore harder. Roll it just like you would a regular ball of yarn, only tight. Tuck in the end. The ball should be about the size of a tangerine. (I wouldn't make it bigger than a baseball).
When you have a number of balls, you will want to put them in an old nylon stocking, knotting it tightly between balls.
If you have ever had a favorite wool sweater go through the wash, you know you need 2 things to make wool shrink--water and heat. Take your balls and soak them in water before you put them in the drier.
Next, pop your balls in the drier. Now, I usually hang dry, unless it is raining for an extended time. However, something to consider is it will likely take more than one cycle to dry. (this most recent batch took 3 times through, but I over soaked them.)
When they come out (and feel dry) you will need to cut them out of the nylon.
This is what they look like when they emerge. -->
The final product. Now, I made several. I made them different colors both because that is the yarn I had, but also to differentiate scents--put a few drops of essential oil on the ball prior to tossing in the drier. (This is not enough oil to cause an issue in your drier). I usually use cedarwood oil, but have also used lavender. I also make several because the kids tend to take them with their loads to their rooms, not to be returned for a decade or so.
Now for the amazing news. On an average clothing load, these balls have managed to cut off about 20 minutes of drying time. Think about that. 3 loads would be an HOUR saved--and we all know that the drier is one of the highest users of our electricity (right up there with electric water heater and stove!)
Totally worth the time!