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Water Purification using Bleach

Boiling water is one of the safest ways to purify it. Water should be boiled for one full minute at a rolling boil. If you can not boil your water, using bleach is another alternative for purification.

Normal household bleach is usually between 5-6% chlorine and can be used following the chart guidelines below. Do not use perfumed, dyed bleach that has any additives. Use plain bleach as follows for water purification.

Source: Washington Dept of Health

Use a clean container and mix thoroughly and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes before using (60 minutes if the water is cloudy or very cold).


Aloe Vera Plants for Burns

Aloe Vera plants are excellent for treating and relieving the pain from burns. Last year I bought a few small plants to have on hand for treating burns. Here is one of my larger plants that has really taken off. The key I have found is watering it just a bit and letting it dry out thoroughly between watering. The plants seem to do much better if the dirt is allowed to dry out between waterings. I had one plant that I watered too much and the leaves near the dirt began to get a rotten look so my advice is be careful not to over water your plants.

To treat a burn with Aloe Vera from a plant, use a sharp knife to cut a piece of the leaf off. For a small burn, you just need a small piece of a leaf. I generally cut a piece off about the 2 inches long. You may want to cut your piece a bit smaller if you leaf is wider and has more pulp in it. Because my plants are younger, they don’t have quite as much density to them yet.

You can see in the photo how the one leaf was cut at an angle. The plant stem heals itself and continues to grow if you cut it with a sharp knife as shown.

Apply the gel from inside the leaf by either cutting the leaf open or squeezing it a bit to get the gel out. Once you get the gel to come out of the leaf, gently apply it to the burn. Let it soak in and apply more gel to soothe the burn as needed. I like to leave the Aloe Vera gel on in a glob which seems to really help the pain and appears to help with the healing process too.


Water Jug Storage

We drink a lot of apple juice and I reuse the jugs for water storage. The jugs are nice and sturdy for storing water in. Unlike some of the lighter weight plastics, it is Polypropylene (PP) which has a plastic code of 5 and is not known to leach chemicals into your drinking water. Polypropylene is the same plastic that yogurt cups are made from and they are safe to reuse. You need to be aware of this as some plastics breakdown over time and can cause serious health problems even cancer so beware of what you may be using to store water in.

You may be saying, yeah recycling those apple juice jugs is great but the water smells like apples. Well, I found a cure for that problem. First rinse out the jug thoroughly and then add about a half cup of white vinegar. Put the cap on and shake it well. Leave the jug to soak in the vinegar with the cap on overnight. Shake it a few more times if you get the chance to. The next day rinse it thoroughly again with water to get all the vinegar and odors out. Let the jug dry upside down on a towel until completely dry.

Now for the smell test. There shouldn’t be any apple odor at all. If there is, it will be ever so slight that it shouldn’t prevent you from using the jug for water storage. Fill your jugs right up to the top. Leaving little area in the jug does help prevent bacteria from growing. Also some people recommend adding 8 drops or 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the jug if your water isn’t already chlorinated to ensure long-term clean water.

So if you have water stored in milk jugs that is wonderful. Use that water to flush the toilet or wash your clothes but just don’t drink it.