Monday, March 1, 2010

Sugar Soap or Sugar as Soap?

Sugar to Clean? I recently kicked the white sugar habit! Actually, my husband and I, desiring to lose weight and eat a more whole foods diet cut out almost all refined sugars.

Regular fresh fruit and raw honey never tasted so good! Try it! It takes about a month to go through the "withdrawals", but once you're over it you'll feel great! Last night I caught myself saying to my hubby, "Oh, I'll just have a pink grapefruit for dessert..." (Thought I'd never hear myself say something like THAT!)

So...what do I do with the huge bag of white sugar in my pantry? Well, I've experimented with using it as a body scrub in the shower. It works great--exfoliates well and dissolves naturally in the shower and washes down the drain leaving your skin to feel baby soft!

Sugar Body Scrub Recipe
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

Keep in a container with a lid in your refrigerator and take out when you shower. It will be cool on your skin and feel delicious in a hot shower. Try it!

Sweeten Your Toilet
I found white sugar works as great natural cleanser in the bathroom. Keep a container under your sink, sprinkle in the toilet bowl with a squirt of natural liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner's) and scrub. It does the scrubbing work and dissolves, flushing away leaving no residue.

Sugar doesn't disinfect, but added to the soap it will easily remove scum and yuk as you clean, adding a nice shine. This is great for a quickie clean, in between disinfecting cleans.

Sugar Soap?
So not to confuse anyone, "sugar soap" usually refers to an abrasive cleaner technically called TSP, composed of sodium carbonate, sodium phosphate, and sodium silicate, which looks like table sugar but is a caustic cleaner. So folks, I don't mean use TSP!!!

Not Green!
Sugar or sucrose, known commonly as table sugar, is a highly-refined product of sugar cane or sugar beets, manufactured utilizing approximately 7 steps until the final product--so a lot of energy is wasted "making" sugar.

White, brown and granulated sugar all take a variety of steps until finally "refined", so although they are biodegradable (which is good) they are "energy hogs", and so not the greenest choice--but if you have a bag already in your cupboard as most people do, using it up as a cleaner/body scrub is a much better choice than eating it all!

Sugar In Homemade Cold-processed Soap
Many soap makers add a bit of sugar to their soap at trace to help increase the lather. Sugar added to the soap mixture produces a light, bubbly lather in the final product. This is another great use for your white sugar!

My Take on Sugar in Cleaning?
Thumbs up!
It is cheap and biodegradable, but not "green" since all the energy used to refine it. It exfoliates well as a body scrub; be careful with delicate facial skin.

And sugar also can be used in toilet bowls, sinks and tubs easily dissolving and washing away. Combine with soaps and other natural cleaners easily and safely. Sugar can be used as a natural cleaning product--who knew??

Happy Green Cleaning! from GreenKeen aka Pamela Palmer

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