We can stock up, but.....

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by pioneergirl, May 18, 2010.

  1. pioneergirl

    pioneergirl Junior Member

    ....what happens when you run out? What I'm talking about is things like dish soap, or shampoo, or whatever. Sure, we'll be stocked to the hilt on many things, and I'm sure I can use some homemade soap for personal hygene, but has anyone wondered about stuff that you can make but supposedly requires manufactured items? Maybe its a dumb question, but for example, I make my own laundry soap. However, I know that I probably can't stock enough BORAX, or Fels Naptha, etc. so I'll be using lye soap, making it the old fashioned way.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not a germaphobe by any means, I'm just using that as an example. I'm just saying, I try to look up info on what was used "back in the day" for certain things, and can't seem to find any "old" info. Sure, I can find all kinds of recipes for things that say "go to the store and buy....." but nothing that says I can use things from nature. Baking soda? Baking powder? Thread? Material? You get my point.

    So I guess my question is, does anyone have a good source for home made products using things NOT from the store? OR.....how are you planning for when certain items are not available?
  2. TimB

    TimB Member

    Very good question as I never gave it much thought. :congrat: I'll be following this thread for sure. :2thumb:


  3. vn6869

    vn6869 Afraid, very afraid

    Definitely need to follow this thread. . .
  4. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Lets use soap first ... soap was made in the fall, animal fat (any and all) and lye (make your own from wood ashes.) Ol time skills ;)

    Baking soda... Baking powder ... for bread you could do sourdough.

    Thread... material ... easy for some not so much for others. (sheep & wool)
    And to be honest (blush :eek:) hubby said I need to use the material I have before I buy more. (It is hard for me to pass up material on sale:gaah:)

    Then you could always make clothing from animal skins ... :2thumb:

    Sounds like a good thread. :D
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  5. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    In the "old days", such as for laundry, they'd simmer the clothes in a big kettle either on the stove our outside on a fire. So I have two large galvanized washtubs stored away.
    Then, hanging the clothes on a line (or spread on bushes, etc.) the clothes would further "sterilize" in the sun.
    Add in the lye soap, and I think you'd have all you'd need, for laundry anyway.
    What about toilet paper? Sure, when it's gone you can use the paper from phone books and catalogs, or look for usable leaves.
    Another option is to cut old towels, sheets, etc., into squares. Then you have a covered pail, like a diaper pail, for used ones. Just like cloth diapers, you'd then boil, wash, and hang them. I know, no one wants to think about that!
    One of the best sources I've found for info on how they made things without anything from the store is the Slave interviews. In the 1930s, the Federal Writers' Project tracked down and interviewed thousands of former slaves, and in the last 10 years or so John F. Blair Publishing has started organizing them into books of about 20 interviews per book. They're very interesting reading. They tell how they made everything from cloth to shoes (wooden soles with holes around the edge and leather uppers "sewed" to it), what herbs they used for what ailments, and many other things they had to make for themselves. I've bought these books on amazon's used market place for a penny plus shipping.
    Andi is write, you could do sourdough. Eggs make good leavening agents as well as binding agents. In some areas baking soda is actually lalying on the ground where puddles have dried up and a person can scrape it up.
    Thread is easy to make, fabric much more labor-intensive and time consuming. I'd probbaly end up in animal skins!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2010
  6. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

    The Foxfire books might be a good place to look. Lots of old time stuff there. Also the Reader's Digest book, Back to Basics, has a lot of good info.
  7. marlas1too

    marlas1too Well-Known Member

    i have a huge collection of mother earth mags and old time self help books early trapper books and all i need in herbal books you just have to look around and find some they are a great help as in what the early mountain men did to survive as some never came back to civilization but once a year if at all---remember its better to have and not need than need and not have
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    That is something that I am looking towards as well. I am trying to learn as many of the "old-ways" as possible before I really need to use them. One, its fun to do and two, you will never know when you will need it. The funny thing is, here in NorthAmerica, we rely on a network of businesses to give us our products. Other countries (those that we call third-world) look at the products we use everyday and call them luxuries.

    Now, unless there is a catastrophic event that wipes out just about every factory in the world at the same time, I am sure that there will still be the ability to purchase basic-needs products - well - that is if we have enough money to do so.
  9. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Foxfire has a great soap making recipe from ash and other common substances that are all around us. You don't need all these different types of soaps, I use hand soap to wash, shampoo my hair and shave with.
  10. pioneergirl

    pioneergirl Junior Member

    I know about the Foxfire books, been looking for a good deal on them for a long time, just haven't found it yet ;) . I have 2 of the original hard cover Back to Basics books, and even the 'modern' one (I've layed them sided by side and they are identical). I know how to make lye soap, and am working on skins (tanning, etc). I was using those as examples, but.....I guess to clarify, where can you find "old skills"?

    I will definitely look into the Slave Interviews, as this seems to be hitting on what I need. I agree, we can use wool for thread, skins for clothes, lye/ash for soap (even goat milk, etc).....I guess when I was doing dishes this morning it hit me "what do I use for dish soap when its gone?" Boiling them? Scrubbing in the creek with sand? You get my drift. Maybe I should have the DH build me a stand for a large kettle to boil my clothes in, just to get some OJT :D

    Andi....I'm not allowed any more material either. Until I get the quilt finished, and the handbags made, (both from old blue jeans) I'm not allowed any more. :rolleyes:

    Oh and the TP??? Already working on squares for that! DH is not completely thrilled, but hey, use them or go without!! LOL Thanx for the relplies....I'll be looking forward to other responses :D
  11. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    Mrs. Zoom has said "No More!!!" on getting more food as the pantries and such are stocked to the gills. I'll abide by her wishes and won't put any more in the pantry... I'll find another place for it :):p

    Like others, I'm accumulating the Firefox and other older books on how to make things "from scratch".

    A couple things I'd like to throw out for your consideration.

    Dawn soap goes a looonnnnnggggg way, is really cheap and can be purchased in bulk containers. A few gallons of that stashed away can probably take care of several years of cleaning (dishes, clothes and body). Those direct-foam dispensers are great for tempering the amount you use. They can also be re-filled. I think it's 10% soap and 90% water to re-fill the canister.

    For bulk cooking, brewing or cleaning, consider collecting empty 1/2 kegs (beer). Cut the top off and you now have a large, stainless steel "pot" for whatever your needs may be. They fit on top of most turkey cookers. When you cut the top off, do it in such a fashion so one of your large lids for your pans will fit on it.
  12. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    pioneergirl, here's some titles of the Slave interview books:

    "When I Just Can Remember"
    "Mighty Rough Times I Tell You"
    "We Lived in a Little Cabin in the Yard"
    "Slavery Time When I was Chillun"

    It's awesome that you are thinking about, learning, and doing these things. It's truly the best way to survive. And NOW is the time we need to be thinking about, learning and doing this stuff!!!

    And bczoom, I love your attitude: just "find another place for it"! That's great!
  13. Littlebit

    Littlebit Well-Known Member

    My grandmother used a washtube and washboard for years to get the washing done. Throw in some homemade soap and a not so will grandkid and you have your basic washing machine.
  14. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

    Homemade soap is relatively easy to make. The only problem would possibly be getting your hands on some lye (sodium hydroxide) after the SHTF. Although it is possible to create your own.

    To make soap, you will need either animal fat (tallow) or vegetable oil. This is mixed with water and lye to create the soap. Here are some links to a few easy soap making recipes:

    Easy,Small Batch CP Recipes | Simple Cold Process Soap Recipes | Teach Soap

    Easy CP Recipes | Cold Process Soap Recipes for Beginners | Teach Soap
  15. pioneergirl

    pioneergirl Junior Member

    Thanx bczoom and gypsysue.....totally appreciated! Glad I was able to clarify myself....sometimes whats in my head doesn't come out quite the same through the keyboard, haha.

    Oh, and I told DH "If you can store it where the mice/rats can't get it, then get on it!" HA!
  16. 101airborne

    101airborne Well-Known Member

    If you google foxfire books you can find them free for download. You can also down load John seymours book of self sufficency free also
  17. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

  18. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    I posted both of them here somewhere but don't remember where. It was easier to go to my bookmarks and post them again. :)
  19. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    :2thumb:I will keep that in mind! LOL!