Recycle Less: Terra Wash +Mg Review. Detergent Free Laundry

If there’s one thing I like about Terra Wash + Mg is only having to buy laundry ‘detergent’ once a year! 

About a year ago I did a review on a copy of Terra Wash+Mg. I mentioned I wanted to try the original Terra Wash +Mg mainly as it was designed for heavier loads, up to 7kg. Honestly on performance, stains etc it works the same. The only difference the price and that they don’t make mouse glue traps. 

In the short term it’s expensive. At the time of purchase TerraWash+Mg due to Covid19 wasn’t shipping to Europe. Luckily amazon.co.uk had a French seller hence the packaging in French. It worked out maybe a little more as there was a middle man. At the time of writing TerraWash+Mg still aren’t shipping to Spain. Amazon still sell it occasionally. A quick online search later there’s a Spanish TerraWash retailer! Just up the road on the Costa Brava so that makes me very happy. It’s €48.90 (plus shipping) which works out if I do on average 4 loads a week for a year equals about 23c per wash minus the shipping cost! For me that’s super cheap and cost effective. No plastic apart from the polyester pouch, plastic transport bag. I read somewhere they’re working towards a plastic friendly version which doesn’t shed plastic micro filaments in the wash. However the polyester is the toughest surviving multiply washing machine use. The pellets after a year you can add to the garden to help plants or just keep reusing with the new pouch. 

How does the magnesium work? I’ll let Terra Wash explain: 

Terra Wash + Mg is filled with our highly purified magnesium, specially processed with Japanese innovative technology. When this special magnesium comes in contact with water, it generates bubbles of hydrogen and form ionized alkaline water, which makes easier for water to remove dirt from fabrics. This special water has high ability to remove/eliminate dirt, sebum, mold, germs, bacteria, and odor resulting in fresh, safe, and clean laundry!

 Another feature of Terra Wash + Mg is its ability to reduce the size of water molecules. Water molecules are said to come in clusters rather than single molecules. Although it is difficult to measure the size of water molecules due to its unstable characteristic, it is very easy to imagine water clusters reforming into much smaller size by encountering the smallest molecule on earth, hydrogen, in water. Smaller cluster size enables and stregthens the water ability to pass through fabric pores, resulting in better cleaning properties.

Source terrawashmg.com

If like me you suffer from eczema I would for sure try out Terra Wash. Since using the magnesium pellets, I haven’t had a reaction from them and P hasn’t complained that his clothes don’t feel clean. As well as no toxic runoff in the water system as the magnesium actually helps the environment and there’s no lugging heavy laundry detergent power or liquid around! No spills to clean up either!

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Beauty Finds: Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream

Welcome back to another Beauty Finds! This edition, Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Baking Soda Free Deodorant cream.

I have a few requirements when it comes to cosmetics and skin care: cruelty free, natural, clean, vegan better. I do my best to avoid the nasty ingredients such as SLSs, parabens, PEGs, silicones, etc. Petrochemicals are the sneakiest with so many derivatives and aliases. I also avoid palm oil and it’s derivatives as I prefer orangutans. Coconut oil marketed as the good oil I’m also cutting down on as it can be just a damaging crop as palm oil. If I do get products with these ingredients in I try to get organic or sustainably sourced. With make up it’s a little harder so I go for cruelty free brands. I prefer products with less plastic and thankfully more brands are aware consumers don’t want unnecessary plastic (or governments are telling them less plastic). My skin type’s oily sensitive, acne prone and now wrinkles. I know nothing stops those lines, but if I can delay them then….

I think I found this in Target on holiday last year. I had been making my own deodorant for a while and wanted to try one without baking soda. While baking soda isn’t all that bad, it’s alkaline and skin’s slightly acidic. Over time this combo can leave skin more vulnerable to infections, pollution and sun exposure as the skin’s natural acid mantle and moisture barrier is damaged. I can’t remember how much it was, checking the price it was around $14 plus tax. It was for sure a holiday buy! I was drawn to it’s almost plastic free packaging too. The only plastic was the safety seal. The jar’s glass and the lid metal. Easy for recycling or repurposing. The safely seal according to their website is slowly being transitioned to a recyclable liner. The foam liner can be sent back to them for Terracycling.

I was also curious to try to to see how it was compared to my own deodorant. Arrowroot powder the first ingredient is the binder. I use cornstarch in my own as that’s what I can buy in Spain. I’ve tried searching for arrowroot to see if it makes any different but can’t find any. Magnesium hydroxide is the baking soda alternative that helps stop odor causing bacteria on the skin’s surface without impacting the dermis or absorbed by it. 

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Recycle Less: Zara Home 100% Cotton Shower Curtain Review and DIY Bathroom Mould/Mold Remover

When I started a few years ago reducing my plastic waste, a non plastic PVC, polyester or nylon shower curtain has been low key on my radar list for a while. 

I usually opt for PVC shower curtains as they’re easier to keep clean against mould. Urgh. No matter how hard I try it forms. Anti Mould Tip! Not an environmentally friendly way to remove mould in bathrooms around the shower or bath seals. I use eco/bio, environmentally friendly, cruelty free bathroom cleaners however sometimes I need something a little more stronger. I read that soaking cotton wool in a bleach solution placed over night over the mouldy areas can remove it. I was skeptical at first, not thinking it would work well as the mould was in the silicone. Long story short, it worked. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! Almost pearly white grouting back! 

Researching plastic free shower curtains, hemp and cotton were the 2 main fibres that came up. Hemp’s the best as repelling water and keeping mould away, however my budget isn’t hemp shower curtains. As the curtain didn’t need replacing per say, I kept an eye out every now and then shopping. Zara Home last year has gone almost to the consumer plastic free. To the consumer. I’m sure the packaging products arrive in store is plastic. The only plastic seems to be tags holding together napkins and tea towels, security tag stickers or elastic ribbons holding product info tags on say linen. They’ve even replaced plastic protective wrap post sale with the only way I can explain it stretchy paper cut similar to cotton string bags. They also do now 100% cotton shower curtains

Plastic free minus the elastic ribbons
Made with 50% ecologically grown cotton

100% cotton shower curtain with something else on it. You can tell by touching, it has a protective water repellent layer on it. This is also apparent when it wet. Only the bottom part in the bath get wet both sides. The higher up bit doesn’t on the decorative side. The label and neither does zarahome online say what the coating is. I’ve read that some water repellent coating on waterproof clothing is actually harmful to the environment as it runs off. I could ask, but haven’t. 

Repurpose-ful packaging

No flooding has occurred bar from the bathroom design. The previous PVC shower curtain which was easyish to remove mould by wiping with bathroom cleaner and sponge, I washed and left to dry in the sun then vac packed to be repurposed for say painting or replacing the cotton shower curtain you could easily shape around the bath taps and wall not to cause a flood. The cotton one doesn’t stick the wall as good, so I place say a shampoo bottle and bath duck like below so it doesn’t flood the bathroom floor. 

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Recycle Less: The Elastic Band Hack

The elastic band hack for twisty lids on jars you can’t open! 

Sometimes twisty lids are so tight on jars they won’t open with cloth or a towel over the lid for grip. I’ve no idea how this idea came to me. Maybe from ads years ago for silicone discs placed over lids for extra grip to open. Place a 5mm wide elastic band over the outside of the lid, twist, viola 9/10 the lid opens. 

Lids for beans, chickpeas etc I give the lid a tap/bang on the side of the counter. Lids like peanut butter, kombucha bottles that have more groove twists (is that the right terminology for those lids?!) an elastic band works better. It also works on under the sink plumping when you have to clean out all the gunk, shudder. The trap deposit thing can be on there tight.

Elastic bands can be free too. Save the ones that come on vegetable bundles. While I don’t eat asparagus anymore after reading how much of a water intensive crop it is, diverting water from the locals who need it (I chose avocados instead. I know just as bad for water. I decided I could only have one of the two. I don’t miss asparagus), most of the wider elastic bands I have stashed are from asparagus. I understand how elastic bands for farms to bundle lettuces, kale, more leafy vegetables together quickly and easily for sale, but I’d wish they’d find a more eco alternative. I have heaps of thin elastic bands from those kale bundles I don’t know what to do with. When you see how elastic bands are made, you think twice before throwing them out. You can’t put them in the recycling and while it’s made from a sustainable source, rubber, the plantations or new plantations contribute to tropical deforestation as it’s a quick cash crop due to the demand for rubber for tyres. For something so small and throwaway it has a huge environmental cost. Birds can mistake them for worms feeding them to their young, animals can choke on them, the bands can get wrapped around beaks, mouths, legs, paws and end up in the sea where they’re mistaken for food again.

Do you throw out elastic bands, reuse, repurpose them or just keep them in that kitchen drawer like me?

Beauty Finds: Bar Body Soaps

Welcome to another Beauty Finds! This edition is soap. More specifically body soap. One of the first things I switched out when I started wanting to use less plastic was shower gel. Its alternative being soap. An old fashioned bar of soap which I think now is having a huge comeback as people leave plastic bottles behind.

And not just any soap! Firstly it has to be cruelty free, plastic packaging free, palm oil and it’s derivatives free and petrochemical and it’s derivatives free along with being free of a host of other nasty ingredients. With most of my beauty products I try to think about the environment after products have been washed or flushed down the drain. Just like all my other beauty products, in addition to being cruelty free, palm oil and petrochemical and their derives free (I might allow 4th or 5th generation petrochemical) I do my best to avoid parabens, phthalates, SLS, PEGS and a load of other nasty ingredients. I choose to avoid palm oil as I prefer orangutans. Its alias like petroleum can be tricky. I try if possible not to go coconut oil as it’s crops can be just as bad as palm oil crops. If I can I prefer to use sustainable palm and coconut oil. With skincare it’s bit more tricky so I go for cruelty free and try to avoid some nasty ingredients. My skin type is oily, sensitive, acne and now those wrinkles! Body skin type dry. 

Outlaw Soaps Home On the Range Soap 

I was sad when I finished using this as I know I won’t be able to get it again. It was a USA find earlier this year on holiday from Wholefoods. Blackberry scented but not if you get me. It’s a little more musky than I go for but I liked it nonetheless. It didn’t irritate my skin, it left my skin hydrated, I liked it’s creamy texture and it didn’t leave scum marks in the shower that are a bugger to clean off. It’s scent so strong that between uses it lingered in and around the bathroom. Even the packaging I saved to write it up still has its scent. As for the packaging, I like it for what it is. Undyed cardboard to fit its rustic feel. The only cons I have are: the colourings as it what they are, is it vegetable colouring, is it natural, is it environmental friendly and the fragrance oil: what is it in case of reactions. Would I repurchase? Yes if I could get it in Europe. 

The soap swirls are cool! Mona Lisa here
Dog or cat here.
The surprises inside the packaging added to the soap! The horse reminds me of ballon horses!

Sappo Hill Almond Soap

Another USA find I was sad to finish. I found this in a weird organic, super health food shop in Oahu. An expensive health food shop. But it is on an island with prices higher due to import. There’s nothing fancy about Sappo Hill’s packaging. Only plastic the price sticker. It comes in a display box which you select from. It was also the cheapest cruelty free soap I found in the USA and for now in Europe that’s plastic packaging free.

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