Strip Washing Challenge: Can a Sinkful of Water Get You Clean?
Image via: Natural Spa Supplies
The folks at Natural Spa Supplies say Yes and challenge you to their "Lowest Carbon Footprint Strip Washing Challenge." Basically all you get is a slab of Rhassoul clay and a small alum crystal (like those rock crystal deodorant sticks) and are told to go to town. While this will save you hundreds of gallons of water a year, will it really work?You've heard of navy showers and skipping daily showering, but what if you just avoid the shower all-together (except for the unavoidable mud fight and school cafeteria food fight). Natural Spa Supplies, offering the Strip Washing Challenge, says all you really need is this ancient recipe and an open mind.
How does a Little Clay and Alum Get You Clean?
Well, not only are you saving water, but you're also using natural products. No more weird, toxic chemicals in your body wash or shampoo that can leak into your skin when you use natural clay and alum crystal. Both items are found in the volcanic desert conditions and are 100% biodegradable. Frequent showering also leaves your skin dry and itchy, meaning you have to add more creams and lotions (thus more chemicals) to counteract the itch.
You won't need more than a sinkful of water to wash the clay mixture off your skin, and probably less than that. As for your hair, apply a small amount of the clay to your hair and then rinse off with the sink water. Our guess is that it will take several tries to perfect the process, so maybe get started on the weekend when you have time to play around and won't blow your coworkers away being not so fresh after a botched attempt.
The Rhassoul clay is known for attracting toxins out of your skin and is used in spa treatments, such as the inch-loss body wrap. Rhassoul clay is also useful for cleaning hair because it pulls out the oils and toxins without stripping the hair. First used by the Berber Tribe of North Africa and is commonly used today in Morocco. The clay itself is produced manually, by washing it, sieving it and then sun drying it, all done by local communities. The alum is just potassium bisulphate collected along volcanoes and other naturally-occurring hydro-thermal seams, and is not the same as ammonium alum, which is often synthetic.
One baseline measurement estimates that for a typical shower (10 minutes, 6 times a week), roughly 12 litres are used every minute, amounting to roughly 720 litres used each week. By comparison, a sink holding 2 litres (filled twice during the strip cleaning) and used 7 days a week, would only use roughly 28 litres per week. A drastic difference by comparison. Granted if you are efficient in the shower, or if you need more sinkfuls, then these numbers will be amended, but either way a typical shower is no where near the little amount of water used for strip cleaning.
Not sure you can do this every day and still present a shiny, clean face in the office? Why not try it out while camping, particularly if you are out in the back woods. Using biodegradable products in the wilds of nature is the best thing you can do. Plus for locations with limited water supplies, a bucket bath and shower might be your only option. Also, for those of you with kids who hate taking baths, if you can get the hang of the system then this might not be a bad alternative.
You can take the challenge yourself. For only £6 shipping, Natural Spa Supplies will send you a week-long sample of the clay and alum stone. Check back in with Planet Green in a few weeks - I too will be undergoing the Lowest Carbon Footprint Strip Washing Challenge, much to the dismay of my dog and roomates. :Natural Spa Supplies
More on Waterless Showers and Showering
How to Green Your Water
The Shower and the Faucet
TreehuggerTV: Green Your Shower
Save Water, Stop Showering (Every Morning)