Monday, March 26, 2012
Step Three - Hygiene and Cleaning Supplies
Okay, this is where I headed after WATER and FOOD! Hygiene and Cleaning items are very important but many people keep buying food and forget to plan for these important needs. I wanted these items while I could still afford them! With the prices rising so rapidly over the last year or so, I am now glad I have these supplies in hand. I got into couponing and purchased most of my hygiene supplies at very minimal cost. I always looked for coupons for these items such as; toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shave cream and mouthwash. I have enough to last 6 to 8 people for over a year. Next was the paper supplies such as; toilet paper, feminine supplies for the females who will need them in the family, and paper towels, facial tissues and the like for the same amount of time.
Next was the household cleaners; laundry supplies such as detergent, bleach, borax, washing soda and fabric softener. I can make my own laundry detergent with soap, borax and washing soda. I purchase 12 bars of Octagon soap and Ivory soap which I grate and mix with borax and washing soda to make a very effective detergent and you can use a bar of strong soap the work directly into stains to help remove them. Also bar soap such as octagon soap can be used to wash dishes. For household cleaners I chose to store sudsy ammonia, and comet for cleaning floors and bathrooms. I use Clorox and water to clean and disinfect sinks and counters. I have found that either bleach or ammonia are the main ingredients in almost all of the cleaners on the market.
(THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER MIX BLEACH AND AMMONIA! IT CREATES A DEADLY GAS THAT IS AS DEADLY AS WHAT THEY WOULD HAVE USED TO GAS MEN IN THE GAS CHAMBER! NOT THE SAME BUT CLOSE TO IT IN DANGER!
I tend to always use bleach and water mixture on counters, sinks, toilets and bathtubs and showers. I only use ammonia on floors, and trash cans. I don't want to breathe the fumes of ammonia close to my face and I always dilute it in hot water. Remember don't mix even bleach based cleanser with ammonia!
I have also stocked up on several brooms, dust mops, dustpans, floor mops, and buckets as well as toilet brushes. I also stocked up on sponges of different kinds for cleaning everything from bathrooms to kitchens, walls to floors, and the sponges for dishes as well. I tend to use my sponges for dishes now for dishes and put them through the dishwasher but I won't be able to do that in the future so I will be using my bleach water to squeeze my sponges through after each day of dishwashing. I have a small trash can that I throw torn and stained cotton t-shirts, socks and underpants in this office sized trash bin for cleaning and dusting. Those socks make it a breeze to dust furniture and knick knacks.
Next I want to talk about trash and garbage that you will have after there are no services anymore. You will need several trash cans to sort your trash. All burnable's will be put in one container for when you plan to use them for helping start cooking fires or wood stoves for heating or cooking. That would be packaging, newspapers that you may have or collect, magazines, paper towels and paper cups and plates. The next can will be for glass which you could reuse for storing dry foods or to store most anything you wish to keep dry and bug free. Next will be glass which is broken. It will be harder to dispose of. I think we will probably have to find a way to bury it fairly deep so it won't interfere with gardening, or the safety of walking around where it is. Lastly will be metal cans. These can be recycled for things such as buddy burners, stove pipes for small stoves, passive heating systems with the beer/soda cans etc. Can's should be washed out to be stored. If you want to dispose of them then you can flatten them completely and place them in a fairly deep hole and place dirt over it then keep a board over the hole to keep anyone from falling in it. Cans and broken glass can be used for security issues if you use them in the perimeter fencing areas cans strung together can be hung from window sills and doors as a non electric alarm system as well. But we will talk about security later in its own section.
Remember to use coupons to save on buying everything you need in personal and home hygiene supplies. Also take advantage of Drug store sales and food store sales and get a double discount. You will be surprised how much you can save on these items. Don't be brand loyal unless you or your family members have allergies to certain brands. Then still buy the cheapest you can get and only buy the special items for that 1 person. Everyone will be satisfied with any brand of toothpaste after there is no more to buy anywhere. Make sure when you buy bleach that you get unscented and the regular liquid bleach and not the gel type so you can use it for other purposes such as disinfecting water.
I am sure I have forgotten many things and will try to edit this as I think of those items. I will be writing about security and first aid/medical in future chapters/blogs. Think logically and do research on your own as well. You are responsible for your family's needs and safety. No one can give you 100% of the information you will need and be completely right for your family. Every family will have their own special needs, for instance I am in my 60's so I no longer need feminine napkins/tampons but my daughter in law's and granddaughters will so I stocked up to supply their needs for the long term. I also have patterns for making homemade sanitary napkins and the supplies to make them. I also have stocked up on lots of safety pins to fasten rags or cloths to their underwear for emergencies. Don't forget to teach the girls how to care for their napkins after they are used. Blood is not something you will want lying around so there should be buckets with weak bleach water and soap in them to soak them and then each female should have their own Playtex gloves to wash the napkins with so as to keep them from the gross out factor. They should write their names in permanent markers on their gloves so there won't be cross contamination. At some point if toilet paper is getting very low you may want to use rags to wipe when urinating and save the paper for bowel movements. The rags that the females use can be taken care of the same way as they take care of their napkins. Remember hanging things on the line in the fresh air and sunshine will help to disinfects all these napkins and rags even if they get dingy. You can always whiten the white rags by dipping in a weak solution of bleach and water and then leaving out on a tarp or plastic overnight and the following day to whiten them. Don't ask me why but the dew from the night and then the sun drying them really helps whiten them more than just hanging on the line. You might want to consider using brown or burgundy rags for sanitary napkins so that the stains won't show and you won't be embarrassed about them hanging on the line as well.
The needs of every individual and family is different so start thinking about your family or yourself and see where you can prepare for you and yours for after the stuff hits the fan.