Benefits of Activated Charcoal

I use activated charcoal in my best selling soap as it has amazing absorption abilities. It will help remove built up dirt and grease on the face, leaving it silky smooth. It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, but today it has many other uses including

  • The absorption of gases and toxins
  • Lining gas masks
  • Antidote to poison
  • Purifies drinking water
  • Removes odours (used as a body deodorant, shoe and fridge deodorant)
  • Treats overdoses
  • Teeth whitening and oral health
  • Wound cleaning
  • Relieves itching caused by bites and stings
  • Relieves bloating and flatulence

It’s amazing stuff!

I get mine from Baldwin’s who source theirs from coconut shells rather than wood. This means that no trees or food sources are wasted to produce it.

“The charcoal undergoes a process called “activation”. This is achieved by firstly burning the shells in the absence of air and then placing the carbonized shells in a kiln full of steam at a temperature above 800 C for between 12-24 hours. The steam opens up the pores of the charcoal and thereby enlarges them. It is this process of “activation” that creates an enormous internal surface area (over 1000 sq meters per gram of charcoal!) which makes the charcoal such an effective adsorbent. ‘Activisation’ enlarges the pores of the charcoal so much that a teaspoonful has a surface area about the size of a football pitch!.”

😳 A football pitch!!  Can you imagine trying to clean that up!

Getting the most out of your soap bar

♥  Use it every other day on the face otherwise it will dry your skin out, over-producing natural oils.

♥  I lather up the soap in my hands, wash my face then rinse straight away.  

♥  You can leave it on for a few minutes so it acts like a face mask.  Rinse off.

♥  Like all my soaps, the bar needs to drain freely to dry otherwise it will go all squidgy.

bar soap, vegan soap, organic soap, handmade haven, black soap, pore cleanser

Clothes Swap – One Clothes Waste Solution

Did you know people in the UK have an estimated £30 billion worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobes*.  Plus £140 million of unused clothing (UK) goes to landfill every year*.  Landfill, not even recycled!  The clothing and textile industry is the second biggest polluter on the planet behind oil.  Shocking statistics, which are hard to put into context, I know!  

I’ve shopped in charity shops, at car boot sales or on eBay for years for the majority of my clothes but this year I’ve been doing things different.  A friend of mine organised a clothes swap at the beginning of the year, then another.

The concept is a simple one – you take along any clothes and shoes you no longer want, hang them up, then have a browse to see if there’s anything you’d like to take back with you.  Perfect.  The first time I came back with 5 items.  The second time I came back with nothing.  That was absolutely fine.  The clothes that are left are then donated to a charity shop.  The next meet up is in September but it’s going to be bigger as a few of us have also discovered the KonMari method so we have a few more clothes (and costume jewellery) to depart with 😂😂

15+kg of clothes ready for the September clothes swap. Handmade Haven
15+kg of clothes ready for the next swap!

Let me know if you and your friends do something similar.  It’d be nice to know we can make a tiny difference 💚

*Find out more at http://www.wrap.org.uk

Supporting Other Creative Artisans – Sylvan Stories

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Hogwarts Crest, paint and dot work pyrographyI first met Claire at the school gate, when our boys went to the same school.  I love the style she uses…dot work…as it’s different to the normal pyrography you see.  The above was a gift for my 40th birthday a few years ago as she knows about my love for Harry Potter.  Then I’ve bought the House Stark plaque, the reindeer decoration, the flower plate and the absolutely gorgeous ivy bowl.

It seemed only natural that I would ask her if she’d like to collaborate on something for my business, so last year these gorgeous little wooden decorations were finished, and they now appear on the large gift sets.  The wood she used for these ones came from fallen branches and some re-purposed table legs.  Perfect!  Claire is still on maternity leave at the minute but if you’d like to take a look at her other work, you can find her here and here.

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift Set
Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, zero waste decorations
Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift Set, natural gift sets, zero waste decorations

Makeup Pad Stain Removal – Natural Cleaner – Soda Crystals

handmade haven, soda crystals, natural household cleaner

Occasionally someone contacts me as they are having trouble with stubborn stains on the makeup remover pads.  Soda crystals are my go to, although if anything does stain mine (usually nail polish 😉 ) I just leave it as I know they are clean…they just have a rainbow on them.

I just add a teaspoon of soda crystals to a bowl, then add hot water and the pads.  I leave for a few hours (or until I remember that I’ve been soaking something), then tip the whole thing in the washer.  Add the rest of the load and do your normal wash.

Soda crystals are great for numerous household cleaning including:-

  • unblocking your sink (pop into plug hole then pour on a kettle full of hot water);
  • softens water (add to normal wash powder);
  • prevents limescale (add to normal wash powder);
  • natural deodorizer (you can add to normal wash powder or run the machine on empty with some soda crystals);
  • natural degreaser (pre-soak).

They do all this good stuff, plus they are biodegradable!  How amazing is that?!  You can pick them up in any supermarket or hardware store.

I’d love to know if you have any other cleaning tips using soda crystals.

Natural makeup Remover – Week 4

Well here we are at week 4 – olive oil week.  I kept pouring into a bowl as my olive oil comes in a 5 litre tin but that worked well.  The oil is quite dense so it sat on top of the pads, long enough that it worked just as well as the coconut oil.  I wonder whether using thinner pads (flannel or muslin) for the sunflower oil would help.  My eyes felt fine, no excessive rubbing.

The pads washed perfectly fine…as did the sunflower oil ones from last week.

Price per bottle of 500 ml, £2.35 from Tesco.  Again, I would normally shop in Aldi so this would be cheaper.  (My 5 litre came from Suma – £32 per 5 litre – was actually out of date so I’ll be getting more from Aldi 😉 )

Next up is the only cosmetic oil – sweet almond.  This is a light oil so I’ll definitely be grabbing some thinner, flannel pads.