» A Guest Contribution by fellow barefooter and experienced hiker Shane Steinkamp
Today’s barefoot project is something I learned to do when I had kids. I do not like baby wipes because they either smell funny or do not get me clean. They leave me feeling slimy – ich…
So I ‘make’ my own wipes. These are perfect for barefooters. Allow me to explain.
Laundry borax – I get mine at Ace Hardware – kills everything: bacteria, viruses, fungi, plants… everything. But it’s not particularly toxic to mammals, which includes humans. You shouldn’t eat the stuff, but it’s an excellent ‘cure’ for athletes foot, among other things. If you have stinky shoes, scrub them out with some borax and your worries are over.
So one of the things I use borax for is as a foot wash. Put a half cup of borax in a container. I use this Sterilite bin from Home Depot because my big feet fit in it. Pour a half-gallon of HOT water over the borax and add three drops of Dawn dishwashing soap. Stir it around with a stick or a spoon or a spatula until the borax is totally dissolved – about a minute.
When it’s cool enough, have a warm foot soak. If you’re making wipes, however, don’t soak your feet first.
You can buy cheap washcloths at Walmart or the Dollar Store. I have been using the same set for 14 years so they are pretty ragged. I bought these new today for $4 for a pack of nine.
Drop them into the solution and then one at a time wring them lightly and fold them or roll them and put them into quart sized ZipLoc freezer bags. Put two, three, or four into a bag as you like.
I keep these in my car kit, and if I’m going on a walk I’ll take a bag with me on the walk. The borax keeps them from going sour, and when the sun heats your car you’ve got a nice warm towel anytime you need one.
For washing hands and feet, just use them as they come out of the bag. For cleaning faces, wring them out well and then use.
When you’re done, wad them up and put them back in the bag. You can wash the towels and use them again and again, and you can use the ZipLoc bags a few times as well.
If you have a septic system, DO NOT pour the leftover solution down the drain. It will kill the bacteria in your septic tank – and you don’t want that. Pour it in the driveway or some place you don’t want plants to grow.
When I go on a nice muddy nature walk or the kids decide to eat something sticky and can’t quite remember where their mouth is, washing everyone off before they get in the car keeps the car from smelling like hot garbage.
If I have been walking the street for any period of time, my feet will sometimes get dirty, so I’ll take a quick wash before entering a business or someone’s home.