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Archive for August, 2016

Homemade Diaper Rash Remedies That Really Work

Homemade Diaper Rash Remedies That Really Work

Diaper rashes are not only uncomfortable, but they can lead to a number of infections that can place a lot of stress on babies as well as their parents.  The most common cause of diaper rashes is wearing dirty diapers for long periods of time, and this can be a big problem during a prolonged survival situation as supplies may be limited and you try to conserve your stockpile.  Let’s take a look at some common, yet simple remedies that you can use to help clear up diaper rashes in order minimize the discomfort and stress that may be magnified during difficult times.

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Vinegar

Vinegar is a gentle, yet effective way to balance pH levels on the skin after it comes into contact with the acidic compounds in urine.  These acids irritate the skin and contribute to chafing, redness as well as the potential for bacterial and yeast infections to develop.  If you are using disposable diapers, clean them as normal before soaking them in a bucket that contains one cup of vinegar for every gallon of water.  Allow to dry without rinsing and this will help to protect the baby when they wear the diapers the next time.  Another important option is to add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of water and gently dab it on the baby’s skin after cleaning and before putting on the new diaper.

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Baking Soda and Cornstarch

Both of these items help to absorb moisture and reduce friction between the diaper and skin.  Using them can help to speed up the healing of rashes while also helping to prevent them from developing in the first place.  To treat a rash, take two tablespoons of baking soda for every cup of water and stir until the powder is dissolved.  Gently wash the rash and pat it dry.  You can also use a baking soda/water mixture to bathe the baby a few times a day until the rash clears. 

Sprinkling cornstarch on the baby’s bottom after removing the diaper and cleaning the area can help to reduce friction and contribute to the healing process as well.  Simply apply a generous amount of starch to the skin and new diaper before putting it on the baby.

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Coconut Oil and Shea Butter

Coconut oil is a fantastic skin moisturizer that is loaded with vitamins that also promote healing and the overall health of skin as well.  You can apply the oil to an existing rash or as a way to prevent one from occurring.  You can also add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to the bath water and use it to help cleanse and protect all of the skin. 

Shea butter acts as a moisturizer, but it also has very strong antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that can go a long way to quickly heal rashes while preventing new ones from developing.  Simply let the butter melt in your hands before applying it to the baby’s bottom and putting on a new diaper.  You can also use a small amount of petroleum jelly to act as a protective barrier between the diaper and the skin as an alternative. 

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Oatmeal and Breast Milk

Oatmeal baths are well-known for helping to alleviate the pain and irritation associated with various skin conditions.  Not only does it help to dry out rashes, but it soothes the skin and helps to promote the healing process.  Believe it or not, breast milk is also an excellent option to use for treating diaper rashes due to their nutrient content and the fact that the baby will not have an allergic reaction to the treatment.  Apply some milk to the affected area and allow it to dry before using one of the other remedies listed above to coat and protect the skin after you put on the new diaper.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and there are many other home remedies out there that can be used to help prevent diaper rashes and to reduce their recurrence.  Try them for yourself, and feel free to share any other ideas or remedies that have worked for you or someone you know. 

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How to Dehydrate Onions for Long Term Storage

How to Dehydrate Onions for Long Term Storage

Onions can store for quite a bit of time if they are prepared and kept in a cool and dark place, such as a root cellar.  However, they can also sprout or start to rot if they are exposed to moisture and warmer temperatures.  Dehydration is one of the best methods to use if you want to store onions for more than a month or two.  The process is pretty straightforward, but it’s not foolproof.  The following technique is known to make it easier to remove moisture from onions, and this is great way to add them to your food stockpile.

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Getting Started

The first thing to do is make sure that you process the onions in a well-ventilated place, preferably outside.  The smell, as well as the tears that well up as the onions are being prepared and dehydrating will be overwhelming.  The next thing to consider is that you need a food dehydrator for this recipe.  Don’t use an oven or any other method of dehydrating as temperatures need to be controlled at levels that are almost impossible to manage without a dehydrator. 

The first step is to cut off the heads and tails of the onions, and let the trimmed bulbs soak in a container filled with fresh, cool water.  You can leave the skins on.  Keep soaking the onions as you process this recipe, and only remove them from the water, one by one, as you prepare them for the dehydrator.  It’s also important to soak small batches at a time, using just enough to fill up the dehydrator.

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Processing the Onions

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when dehydrating onions is they cut them into rings.  Rings have a large surface area, and this can inhibit the complete removal of moisture.  Rings can also cause some pieces to be drier than others, leaving you with an inconsistent finished product.  This can dramatically increase the processing time and make it more labor-intensive as you need to separate the dried parts from the moist ones before dehydrating again.

The best thing to do is to cut the onions into small, thin pieces.  Some people like to use a food processor, but you should consider dicing them instead.  Dicing will give you pieces that are more consistent in size, and this is key to efficient dehydration.  A food processor will produce pieces that vary in size, and you will also end up with a lot of mush when finished as well.  When finished, set the diced onions aside. 

The next step is to place some wax paper on top of the dehydration tray.  Poke a hole in the center so the paper will slide over the center stub of the dehydrator, but you don’t need to poke holes throughout the paper.  Next, place the onions atop the paper in a single layer, spreading them out as much as possible based on how many pieces you are using.  The idea is to create small pockets where air can move through as the dehydration process unfolds.  Giving the onions room to breathe will also play a big role in the quality and consistency of the finished product.

Next, turn the temperature of the dehydrator to about 135 degrees and let the onions dry out for around 12 hours.  Some people have been able to dehydrate the onions in as little as 6 hours, but this is usually only possible in areas that have very low humidity in the air.  Being patient is key to having a perfect product once the process is complete. 

All you need to do now is place the onions into a zipper freezer bag before labeling and dating each one.  Just make sure that the onions are completely dry before removing from the dehydrator and packing.  You can also use mason jars or other airtight containers as well.  If you are working with fresh onions that have not had time to “cure”, then use freezer bags to store the finished product, and place them in a freezer for about two weeks before placing them in an airtight container.

To rehydrate them, simply soak the onions in water until they soften or place the pieces directly into the liquids that you are cooking with.  While dehydrating onions may involve some trial and error at first, you will quickly learn the nuances of how to process them.  Try this out for yourself and see how this method can give you a long-term supply of onions that can safely be stored in your stockpile. 

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