Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Soap Box

So...less than a week until we adopt 1945 U.K. rationing standards for two weeks. I've got my shopping lists to rearrange and a different point system to consider and I've got soap on the brain.

Unlike the U.S., things in the U.K. during WWII got so tight as to require soap rationing (to save fats and oils for food). In 1945 (our target year for U.K. rations) each individual was allotted four soap coupons per month (babies were given more), and each coupon could be used to purchase (along with money):

4 oz of hard bar soap (think lye soap)
3 oz of hard toilet soap (equivalent to our modern bath soap)
3 oz soap flakes (used for laundry and general cleaning purposes)
6 oz soap powder (think Vim, similar to Ajax)
6 oz soft soap (a semi-liquid soap similar in consistency to cold creams)
1/2 oz (15 ml) liquid soap (think liquid Castile soap)

As a family of four we will have four coupons per week. Mr. Graham (writer extraordinaire at On the Ration) informed me that if TMOTH's job was the industrial type that required him to get extra dirty then he'd earn extra soup coupons. As much as I like the idea (and smell) of that, I'm not sure that TMOTH's job would apply. Does he get dirty at work? Most definitely. Dirtier than the average 1940s job (think of coal miners and railroad mechanics and such)? Probably not. So, in good faith I'm sticking to four soap coupons per week.

Here's what I've chosen to trade in our first week's coupons for the following:

3 oz hard toilet soap
6 oz soap flakes
1/2 oz (15 ml) liquid soap

The toilet soap is self explanatory. I ordered the soap flakes online and there is enough in the weekly supply to clean two to three loads of laundry (note to self: wash bed linens the week before). The liquid soap will be dissolved into water and put in a sprayer bottle for general cleaning purposes around the kitchen and bath.

I hope this will be sufficient, although I'm already wishing there was another coupon so that I could get some soap powder, too. Maybe I can get some soap powder the second week if the toilet soap looks like it will last.

How would you spend your soap ration coupons?

--Rational Mama

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I would not do good on those amounts. I applaud you for your efforts! I am kind of OCD about washing my hands so we tend to go through a lot of soap :o