Greensboro-based Bonnie Bath Co. on Etsy offers a wide range of
floral & more manly scented natural soaps.
I love all things retro. I scoured the Earth for my 1970's orange wall-mount rotary dial phone. I prefer actual paper-and-ink books to e-readers, and wear my grandma's apron when I cook. When the liquid soap trend burst on the scene, sure, I dipped my toe in and succumbed to the beguiling cucumber melon and plumeria scented soaps of Bath & Bodyworks along with the rest of them. But for some reason, I drew the line at hand soap, preferring bar soap in the shower and bath. It certainly suits my claw-foot iron tub better and those soaps with lots of lather are drying to the skin.
Besides, I've always been skeptical of the antibacterial soaps. After all, they are only effective at killing bacteria on your skin if you wash your hands for a full two minutes, and other than surgeons, who does that? Some scientists believe that antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers contribute to the development of antibiotic resistant germs.
Agree with that or not, bar soap is just as effective as long as it's not in a public place. So schools, movie theaters and gas stations, by all means, keep your liquid soap. But as for this Mama, I'm headed back to the bar here at home. (Not that I ever fully left it.)
I'm not talking about the big box store brands, of course, and not the melt-and-pour glycerin novelty soaps (which are cute but terrible soaps), but, rather, the handmade natural soaps containing no chemicals or animal or human fats; with ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, olive oil, essential oils and herbs made in the USA (or better yet, North Carolina), not tested on animals, and without the tons of plastic bottle packaging that most people don't recycle that comes with liquid soaps.
|Buffalo Gal's Goat Milk Soaps, such as this Lemongrass & Mint, are handmade at Buffalo Creek Farm in Germanton &|
can be found locally at the Cobblestone Farmers' Market.
Top 10 Not-So-Obvious Uses for Bar Soap
1. Sticky Drawers (and windows): Rub bar soap on drawer glides to keep them from sticking. This also works on the sliding elements of windows.
2. Lube: Rub on screws and saw blades to help ease into a particularly dense piece of wood.
3. Pin Cushion: Wrap a piece of soap in fabric for a simple pin cushion. Again, the soap will help the pins glide into their target easier.
4. Sachet: Place a bar of strongly scented soap in a drawer to scent clothing. I like to keep a bar in my car door pocket as a car freshener.
5. Dirty Fingernail Prevention: Scratch a bar of soap before heading out to the garden to fill your nails with soap = no room for dirt. (I love this one.)
6. Garden Pests: Rabbits in the garden? I've read that slivers of pungent soaps, such as Irish Spring repels them.
7. Pest Repellent #2: Use a citronella soap before heading outside to help repel mosquitoes.
8. After Bite: Slightly dampened soap rubbed on a mosquito bite eases the itching.
9. Laundry Pre-treatment. Keep a bar of white or light-colored bar soap in laundry room to pretreat stains. Just dampen and apply before washing - works well on fabric softener stains too.
10. Artists' Medium: Carve figurines out of bar soap for fun or just use it to write on the windows. It washes off much easier than the chalk window markers.