Not only do we make our own handmade lye soaps here at the Homestead Supply, but we carry all the ingredients you need to make your own. Coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, olive oil, and cocoa butter are all available prepackaged or in bulk. We also carry a wide variety of essential oils in bulk.
If you’re not up to making your own, come check out the full line of products we offer from Sellwood Soap Company (www.sellwoodsoap.com). Rachel Gruen of Sellwood Soap makes these wonderful soaps, shampoos, lotions, and even pet shampoos right in the neighborhood. She also teaches all of the soap-making classes at our shop.
We’ve also begun carrying soaps from Wee Mindings (www.weemindings.com), a new company based in Sellwood that offers soaps, candles, and lotion bars.
Most people are well aware of the terrible toxins used in most commercial cleaning products these days. Luckily, making your own cleaning products is a breeze. Just a few simple ingredients, and you can create a formula for almost anything that needs cleaning. We carry washing soda, baking soda (aluminum free), and borax in bulk. If you want to make laundry soap, we also carry bars of Fels Naptha and Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Soap. Our laundry soap recipe is simple: just mix equal parts (by volume) of borax, washing soda, and grated lye soap. Voila – laundry soap. The soap works great and you only need one to two tablespoons per load. Give it a try, you might prefer the fresh scent and simple ingredients. Plus, it’s much cheaper to make than store bought detergents.
And speaking of laundry, we carry a variety of tools to help get the chore done. Since our emphasis here at the Homestead Supply is on non-electric equipment, we don’t have the big front load or top load machines, but we do have tubs, washboards, laundry line, clothes pins, drying racks, and even mangles. What’s a mangle you ask? Well, it’s also known as a wringer, and it’s that handy machine with the two rubber rollers used to wring the water out of laundry. Though not much in use these days (and extremely hard to find), they can’t be beat for getting fabrics dry and ready to go out on the line.