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How can soap makers upcycle?

How can soap makers upcycle?

You can read about upcycling in every magazine and on every blog. Upcycling is a way of making a new use from a product that may be discarded. Recycling is a way of turning an existing product into another usable item. Using a spaghetti sauce jar as a button jar is an upcycle, sending the spaghetti jar to the glass house for the purpose of being ground up and made into something else that is glass is a recycle.

My finished wash cloths with a wash basin my grandmother used and an old box of Scotch Cleanser.

My finished wash cloths with a wash basin my grandmother used and an old box of Scotch Cleanser.

Technicalities out of the way – let’s party! I have been working on dish cloths this year. I know you are going to tell me that MAKING a dish cloth seems silly and they can be purchased for really cheap. I know, and I agree. However, when we were discarding the chicken feed bags I kept noticing the strings that were being pulled off and put into the trash. I could hear my grandma (who lived during the Great Depression) saying that we should use the strings to make something useful. She didn’t keep everything but she was great at re-purposing many jars, containers and other “good stuff.”

The strings made me thing of dish cloths so I queried my family – What if I use these strings and make a dish cloth. Every. Single. One. Scoffed! Well, that did it. I knew I had to crochet at least one dish cloth. So far I have nearly 1 cloth for each and every month of 2018. I use strings from chicken feed bags, dog food bags, sugar, and there are even a few items that come in here to Majestic Mountain Sage that have string closures. Here is my reused cotton string from the bags turned into a dish cloth.

Trivia for the day: large bags have about 1 gram of cotton string to chain stitch them closed. Each dish cloth is about 35 grams when finished. I crochet these cloths when I am going to work (no, I am not the driver) so I get about 40 minutes of uninterrupted time each workday to crochet. Just for kicks and grins, I made a knitted wash cloth from a cotton yarn. The yarn is naturally colored (no dyes) and the color deepens when washed in hot water. Did you know that cotton can be grown in colors other than white? I am getting about 4 cloths from 3 skeins of yarn.

What do you do to repurpose, upcycle or reuse that relates to making soaps, lotions, lip balm and similar items? Share your ideas for a chance to win a goodie box from us!

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