Go Beyond

Written by Teran McKinney
/ About Me / Half-time Remote DevOps/Systems Engineer for $40,000 /

AskTeran: Baking soda special

Question: How do you wash your clothes, hair, body, and beard?

I will admit, this question was given to me based on an understanding of coworkers before the question was asked. The primary component to the comma-separated question components is all the same.

But first, I want to ponder this and the usual solutions for such. Firstly, why would you wash clothes, hair, body, and beard? One of the first things to look at is a weight for side benefits. Not the direct and obvious benefit of cleanliness, however. But is this washing something which you enjoy? Is it really washing if you find a way to clean yourself with water? If dry washing is valid, why call it washing at all if the need is different?

But anyways, back to my question of weighting factors before adding more. For myself, "washing", in my form, is generally relaxing and is a nice routine. While a life without it, or with less of it, would be more optimal in terms of efficiency, I, whether rationally or not, enjoy the relaxing aspects and routine. Yet, are there better things to fill my time with? Rather than washing, I could eat coconuts in that time. Or oranges, or potatoes. Would my life be bettered more greatly by doing such activity?

Before going down that road, I'd rather analyze my entire schedule in the day to see if there's wasted time which I could fill the space with, rather than taking something which is mostly net-positive. But, if my day was already optimized, wouldn't potato-eating be more ideal? To a point, it may be. But we run into a non-linear curve where washing improves the quality of my life more than a few moments with a potato. And we run into another point, where washing things for so long, it becomes of little benefit and it'd make more sense to have passionate, potato and mouth moments.

So, let's now directly consider the washing, itself. Or really, what is the real purpose?

As I use an item, wear my hair, or expose my body to the daily elements, it has a quantity of non-ideal components added to its exterior. These components can cause odor, look less acceptable in the public view, increase object mass without adding benefit, and lessen the item's original color. But now, those are only stated as downsides. What if we consider a Lancia Stratos? It's a beautiful car, no doubt. But what about a Lancia Stratos, drifting around a corner of soft and damp dirt? The sides are lightly coated with mud and dings from rocks. A still frame of the moment shows the dirt being flung off the rear tire while its rotational rate exceeds its forward momentum.

The Lancia Stratos in the rally race is clearly more attractive. Thus, why am I not more attractive, coming out of the woods with blood stains, dirt, and greasy hair? Actually, I bet to some women, I am. But to others, it only works for a certain point.

I won't argue that the point of so called "washing" is to clean something, but why do we do it? Every item has a optimal dirt level in terms of attractiveness, efficiency, and time waste for it to be the opposite. The better alternative to washing, is not getting dirty. At least, in theoretical terms. I'd never need to shower if I didn't sweat, have skin fall off, and participate in the usual ordeal of bodily actions.

So, if you finally believe you should wash something, how should you do it? Well, you shouldn't. Washing often takes out things that you want (oils in the air, certain bacteria on the skin), and replaces it with a void ready to be filled or over filled as a biological response. Albiet, I admit that I still wash with water. The issue of oils being taken off is mostly from detergents, which most of us pay to use. And water isn't so bad on non-organic substances, minus increased oxygenation potential with certain metals.

The Teran approved way of washing is to use baking soda... for just about everything. Its coarseness helps remove dirt and dying skin, it's effective at removing some oily dirts while not removing oil from hair, and it makes things clean and shiny.

And it's cheap, plentiful, minmalistic, and you can probably take it on a plane.

So almost exclusively, I've used baking soda for de-dirting the following things in the past few months: Hair Skin Pots/pans Clothes Towels

I would rate it quite well for such uses. I have no doubts that there are more optimal substances in certain categories, but on the whole I feel it is nearly ideal."

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