We all know that buying disposable products adds not only many dollars to our grocery bill but also to our carbon emissions. Luckily, disposing of disposables is quite easy once you set your mind to it. Many of us here cut up old towels, sheets etc for rags and dishcloths. Many of us knit dishcloths. We can use newspaper to wipe out frying pans, then wash the pan, instead of using paper towels. The beauty of using rags for cleaning is that you can compost them if you wipe up something really horrible. We are still buying tissues and toilet paper but maybe there will come a day when we don't.
Yesterday I cleaned some of my brushes, which is part of my non-disposables home routine. I try to keep my makeup brushes, hair brushes, toothbrushes and cleaning brushes going for as long as possible. So far, I've had my hair brush for over 30 years.
To clean a hairbrush like mine, which is plastic/resin, pull out the hairs in the brush, rub the brush on a bar of soap and rub the brush over the palm of your hand. This cleans through the bristles without bending them too much or breaking them. Run the brush under the tap to remove the soap, then soak it in a bowl of warm water with a tablespoon of peroxide added. If you don't have peroxide, use level tablespoon of your oxy-bleach power, like Napisan or OxiClean. I soak mine overnight, then rinse it in clean water and allow to dry naturally.
There is a recommendation to replace toothbrushes when they're frayed or every three to four months. Like most brushes, toothbrushes can hold a lot of germs. So in between replacements, soak your toothbrushes in a small bowl of water with half a tablespoon of peroxide. Peroxide is available at some supermarkets or at the chemist/drugstore. You'll notice there may be a bit of foaming around the bristle, that just means the peroxide is cleaning them. After an hour, rinse in clean water and place back in the rack, making sure they don't touch each other. ADA toothbrush care recommendations.
Makeup brushes need to be cleaned regularly. You use these brushes on your eyes and skin so they must be kept clean. Be gentle with these brushes as often they're made of sable or other animal hair and they can be damaged with rough treatment. I wet the brush, rub it over my homemade soap and rub it around the palm of my hand to get into the bristles. You may need to do this a few times, depending on how dirty the brush is. Rinse the brush in clean water, shake out as much water as possible, then lay it on a clean towel to dry.
My cleaning and scrubbing brushes are mostly wooden. I soak them for half and hour in a bucket with a tablespoon of liquid bleach added to half a bucket of water. Rinse when the half hour is up, then dry in the sun, or outside in the shade until dry. Don't leave wooden brushes to soak or stay in the sun too long. It's not good for them.
Cleaning your brushes is one of those tasks that requires you to exercise your common sense. If you have a pure bristle brush you can use the above treatment for hair brushes but don't let the brush soak or you'll damage the bristles. Make sure you shake it well to remove as much of the water as you can, then lay it on its back - not on the bristle - to dry naturally. Don't dry it with the hair dryer. If you have antique or very old brushes, treat them as you would your pure bristle brushes. They can and should be cleaned, but be very gentle with them.
Looking after your brushes and cleaning them regularly will extend the life of most brushes. Part of this simple style of living is to use as little as possible and to look after what you already own. The humble brush is a part of your household armoury, look after them and they serve you long and well.
Thank you for your visits and comments this week. I appreciate your comments, they assure me that others are with us in this swim against the tide. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Don't forget there will be kitchen sink photos on Saturday and Sunday. Take care.