Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Grab Bars Reduce Falls for Elderly and Others When Installed in Bathrooms

by Barbara 1. July 2012 07:56

Question about standard and ADA grab bars types and installation.

Q: "My mother is sometimes unsteady on her feet. We have installed a Locked toilet seat riser. Now we are looking for grab bars to install in her bathtub shower combination and along side the toilet. What are some of our options? Thanks. Mary."

Answer: According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for grab bars near toilets are:

For commercial projects, ANSI 117.1 requires three grab bars:

  1. a 36" horizontal grab bar behind the toilet, starting 12" from the corner. The bar should be mounted at 33-36" above the floor.
  2. a 42" horizontal grab bar on the side wall, starting 12" from the corner
  3. an 18" vertical grab bar 39 to 40" from the corner, starting 39 to 41" above the floor.

Until recently, most jurisdictions required only two horizontal grab bars. Some regulations now require all three bars. For home use, you have more flexibility in how and where grab bars are placed.

Home grab bar installations can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal.

1. Vertical grab bars  (straight up or down).  Have a handyman or carpenter install grab bars into studs or use anchoring devices.  A shorter vertical bar mounted at the tub or shower entrance helps the person to enter or exit without losing their balance and falling..  Two more grab bars in the shower or tub let the person rise from the tub or bath chair or give more stability when the person is washing herself or himself. Usually the grab bars are 12, 16 or 18 inches long. We also sell Lumex Chrome Grab Bars - 32 Inch, Knurled that have better gripping surface and have a 250 lb. weight capacity. Save if you need several by buying the Chrome Grab Bars, 32 In Knurled, 3/CS by Medline.  For those with glass sliding tub doors, the grab bars offer a secure way to regain balance.  In order to install this grab bar for my mother, the handyman had to remove the 1950's glass sliding doors as the door track interfered with the mounting.

2. Horizontal handicap grab bars. This installation gives the option of using the grab bar as a towel bar, too.  Typcially wall studs are 16 inches apart on center. If you examine other exposed areas of your home, you can determine more accurately where the centers are in the studs. Otherwise use a hollow wall anchor system available at hardware stores.  That is why 16 inch, 32 inch and 48 inch grab bars are most common.

3. Diagonal  installed. At the side of my Mom's toilet, there is a diagonally installed 32 inch grab bar. Installation may be more difficult. The positives are that grabbing a diagononal bar puts less stress on one's wrist. If installed in a shower, the diagonal bar is preferred by those who face only the shower head.  The horizontal bar has can be used facing forward or backward but the height if obviously the same no matter where one grabs.

Grab bars are  measured from the center of one flange (the round area that conceals the screws) to the center of the other flange. The flange covers typically measure about 1.5 inches on either side of the grab bar. So add three inches to the total length of the grab bar you need.

Safe Home sells quality grab bars from Lumex (Graham Field Health Products) and Medline Industries. Most are sold in packages of 3, all the same size. Lumex has individual packages as well. Your material/color choices include Chrome plated, White enamel over steel and Nickel Plated Steel. ADA compliant grab bars include the Carex brand from Medline in 12, 16, 18, and 24 inch sizes. Additional lengths are available. Just send us an email if your grab bars must be compliant with ADA.

Safe Home also advises that you treat ceramic flooring and porcelain bathtubs to reduce the risks of slip and fall accidents. Both are slippery when wet. GripOn is easily applied by anyone who can use a mop and a bucket. Us of Grip On anti-slip treatment also means no need for suction cup bath tub mats!

Thank you for your question. Please look at the options on and email any questions to or phone us at 877-358-0900.

Kirks Original Coco Castile Soap, An Ideal Soap for Campers Using Hard Water

by Barbara 23. June 2012 08:51

Q: "We go camping in the wilderness and in campgrounds. The water is alway hard. We are looking for a soap that lathers in hard water, even cold water and is not full of chemicals that could harm the environment.  Is Kirk's Original Castile Soap our best option?" Thanks from Janet.

Answer: Yes. we recommend Kirk's castile soap for campers and for anyone concerned about both the environment and the health of their skin. Kirks is a very mild soap made from all natural ingredients without any chemicals or animal fats. Because of its high glycerine content, Kirks lathers generously in hard water and in any water. You just get more suds with soft water. Kirks melts very slowly. A cake can last a long time. Each 4 ounce soap bar is approximately 3.75 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 15/16 inches thick (measured with wrapping on.) We sell in 3 bar packs because we can offer it to you at a better price. Plus the shipping cost for 3 bars is about the same as for a single one!

We sell Kirks in cases of 48 bars, half cases of 24 bars, 1/4 cases of 12 bars and in individual bars as well. Most people buy a half or quarter case as the price and shipping costs per bar are more reasonable.

Those people with chronic skin conditions such as from exposure to Agent Orange rate Kirks Castile very highly. My late father is why we sell Kirk's soaps. When local supermarkets no longer sold Kirk's, Dad urged us to sell it. Dad's ceramic tile soap dish was so small that he always cut the bar in two. We've been selling Kirks since 2000. There is a very light fragrance to the soap: this is a natural one. The soap colors may vary slightly: several plants make the soap using the same formula yet the color is sometimes a little different.

If you have other questions, please contact us. Thanks again for your question.


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bar soap | castile soap | natural soap | soaps

Tea Tree Oil in Kirks Transparent Glycerin Soap Reduces Skin Bacteria

by Barbara 24. May 2011 10:24

Question about the use of tea tree oil in Kirks Premium Tea Tree Oil Deodorant Soap, 6 Bars-BLUE

Q: "What is the purpose of tea tree oil in this deodorant soap? Thanks, Pete.

Answer: Tea tree oil helps reduce odors by reducing bacteria on the skin surface. According to the Wikipedia, "Tea tree oil has beneficial medical properties when applied topically, including antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral action. . ."

Kirks Transparent Glycerin Deodorant Soap also contains:

  • Natural Vegetable Extract: Reduces body odor.
  • Rosemary: Herb stimulates skin.
  • Sage: Heals and refreshes skin.
  • Peppermint: Natural oil reduces scent on body.
  • Fragrance: A light delicate herbal with floral background and woody undertones.

Because it is a high glycerin soap, Kirk's deodorant soap does not melt quickly like many soaps with lower levels of glycerin. It also is gentle on the skin.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

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cleaning products | soaps

Grandpa Pine Tar Soaps and Shampoos for Relief of Psoriasis, Dandruff, Eczema, Etc.

by Barbara 14. July 2010 09:33

Question about Grandpa Brands Pine Tar Soaps, and shampoos.

Q; "What makes this soap and the shampoos superior to others on the market? What ingredients make them remove the scales?"Thanks. Dave

Answer: First, time testing. Since 1878, Grandpa's pine tar soap has been popular with customers who find it an excellent bar soap for bathing and showering, use the rich pine soap lather for shaving and also as a shampoo. It is all natural plus being 100% biodegradable. As well as helping to remove scales of psoriasis, dandruff, eczema and other skin irritations, this pine tar soap moisturizes and deodorizes.

The active ingredients are the finest pine tar and all vegetable oils with high glycerine content. Grandpa's soap uses only the finest pine tar oil, pinus palustris, in its formulation. No colors or fragrances are added to mask the rich brown color and distinctive scent of natural pine tar oil soap. This is the popular 3.25 oz. soap bar. Other formulations include a pine tar oil shampoo and a pine tar conditioner.

Wonderful Pine Tar Soap Ingredients:Coconut oil, palm oil, purified water, pine tar oil, (Pinus palustris), vegetable glycerin.

We offer a sampler with one 8 oz. Bottle of Pine Tar Shampoo,one 8 oz. Bottle of Pine Tar Hair Conditioner,one 8 oz. Bottle of Pine Tar Moisturizing Bath and Shower Gel and two 3.25 oz. Bars of Wonder Pine Tar Soap

Individual bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and/or a case of 25 bars of soap are available as well.

Thank you for your question.



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home health products | soaps

Grandpa's Thylox Soap Acne Treatment Soap with Sulfur: Why Does It Work?

by Barbara 14. July 2010 09:10

Question about the Thylox Acne Soap

Q; "What makes this soap control acne? How should I use it? What are precautions? Is it strong like the sulfur preparations I use to "paint" my face? Thanks. Frank

Answer:  Grandpa Soap Company has made this acne control soap for many years. Thylox soap helps control acne by 4 different actions. It is an all vegetable oil soap, a 3%  sulfur soap that uses combination of sulfur and other fine ingredients for a better complexion. Sulfur is called a keratolytic agent: it encourages shedding of dead skin cells that can block pores if retained. Sulfur baths were used in ancient times to clear up skin problems. Sulfur also has comedolytic properties which means it helps to heal pre-existing comedones or blackheads and prevent formation of new ones. Remember not to pick blackheads and don't scrub them hard. One internet sources advisesthat squeezing can cause an infected pore or "zit." See your doctor for more information about how to handle pimples with pus as you don't want scars.

Thylox® Acne Bar Soap improves blemished skin by:

  • Softening the hard shell of acne blemishes (keratolytic action)
  • Helping to dissolve and remove blackheads.
  • Washing away excess oils which may cause blackheads.
  • Thoroughly cleansing skin, thus freshening the skin.

The instructions on the soap are:

  1. Use Thylox facial soap twice daily.
  2. Work up lather with hands or washcloth
  3. Apply to affected areas without scrubbing.
  4. Let dry about one minute, rinse thoroughly.


Dryness or irritation of the skin can occur if other topical acne medications are used at the same time or right after using this product. Unless directed by your physician, use only Thylox soap or the other medication. Do not get into eyes. Stop use and ask a doctor if excessive skin irritation develops or increases. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Grandpa's Brand Thylox Acne Soap Ingredients:

Active Ingredient: 3% sulfur
Inactive Ingredients: Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate*, Water, Glycerin, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Cosmetic Orange Oxide. *May also contain Sodium Palm Kermalate.

Many people have both dry and oily areas on their face. We recommend primarily applying the soap to the oily areas. Grandpa's has other soaps that work better with dry areas such as the oatmeal soaps.

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home health products | soaps

All Vegetable Based Oatmeal Soap Benefits Dry and/or Irritated Skin

by Barbara 14. July 2010 08:36

Question about the Grandpa Brand Oatmeal Soap and the Vermont Soapworks Oatmeal and Lavender Soaps

Q: "What are the benefits of using either the Grandpa Oatmeal Soap or the Vermont Oatmeal and Lavender Soaps over other soaps? I have dry skin that is sensitive, too. How do the two soaps differ? Thanks. Jean"

Answer: Many people find a bar soap with oatmeal to be not only an excellent bath soap but also an excellent facial bar soap. Spas often offer baths in oatmeal based soaps. Many find that oatmeal soap helps to relieve skin irritations, reduce inflammation and heal rashes as well as help with sunburn pain.

The Grandpa brand oatmeal soap is an all vegetable oil oatmeal  bar soap individually packaged in a box. This natural oatmeal soap soothes, softens and gently exfoliates for a more youthful looking skin. This bath bar soap is mild enough for the most sensitive complexions, yet effective enough for your entire body, oatmeal soap bar is one of Grandpa's favorite bar soaps.  Women using Grandpa's oatmeal soap find it effective as a facial soap and a bath bar. The gentle exfoliate of the oatmeal helps to remove dry, dead skin letting skin look smoother and more youthful. Each bar of soap weighs 3.25 oz. Ingredients: coconut oil, palm oil, purified water, vegetable glycerin, rolled oats, essence of oats. This soap is made in Kentucky by the parent company of Kirks, the hard water bar soap that is also exceptionally mild and all vegetable oil.

Vermont Soapworks chooses to sell what they call eco boxes of soap. This saves on packaging waste. Vermont soaps are all organic. A box contains 7 cut but unwrapped bars that contain USDA certified organic oatmeal soap scented with natural lavender and rosemary extract . This, too, is an all vegetable soap. The oils are all organic: palm, coconut, olive and palm kernels. The natural lavender and natural rosemary extract add a soothing aroma, very light but there. This is our premium dry skin care soap, back by popular demand of our customers. High glycerin. Handmade. Slow to melt and recommended especially for dry skin care. Made by Vermont Soapworks in Vermont.. Net weight: approximately 21 ounces for 7 bars total.

The benefits of both soaps are no animal testing, all vegetable oil, premium oatmeal, high glycerin and gentle for dry and all other types of skin. The oatmeal in the soap helps to soothe minor skin irritations. The Vermont soap is all organic. We do sell the Grandpa brand in a case of 24 bars which saves money and shipping costs over several individual orders. We also offer a sampler of the Grandpa soaps which contains two bars each of the Patchouli Soap with Aloe Vera, Unscented Baking Soda Soap, Oatmeal Soap, Shea Butter Siap and Orange Essence Soap . These are individually boxed and make a nice hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

I hope this answers your questions.





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environmentally safe | soaps

Kirks Bath Soap. No Animal Products, Won't Melt Fast.

by Barbara 24. August 2008 04:03

Question about availability of long lasting, all vegetable based bar soaps.

Q: "I'm looking for a bath soap with no animal products and will not get soft after a few uses." Thanks. Henry

Answer: You've found it! Kirks Original Coco Castile Soap is a bath soap with no animal products that stays firm. It is also hypoallergenic and lathers generously in hard and soft water. I began selling Kirks soaps in 2000 as my late father shared it was no longer available in Western Pennsylvania supermarkets. One Illinois customer who'd been exposed to Agent Orange claimed Kirks is the only soap that doesn't irritate his skin. Each 4 ounce soap bar is approximately 3.75 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 15/16 inches thick (measured with wrapping on.)

Kirks Bath Soap Advantages:

  • Luxurious lather in hard or soft water.
  • Use as a body soap, facial soap or for shampoo.
  • Gentle hypoallergenic soap.
  • Biodegradable
  • No animal testing
  • No animal by-products
  • Horse and dog owners use as an animal shampoo.
  • Ultra gentle with no drying residue.
  • No synthetic detergents.
  • Longer lasting than most supermarket soaps.
  • Natural fragrance: Note no soap is without odor. This is a mild fragrance that is all natural.
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite.
  • Bar weight: approximately 4 oz.

We sell it in 6 bar packages, 12 bars packages 24 bar half cases or an
48 bars
full cases. Both the cost per bar and the shipping cost per bar goes down as you buy more. We also sell Kirks in a liquid form that is the original formula.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

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baby products | cleaning products | environmentally safe | soaps

Can Kirk's Original Castile Soap Be Used on the Face?

by Barbara 22. February 2008 12:56

Q: "The product description says that Kirk's Original Castile Soap can be used as a body wash and as a shampoo but it didn't mention use on the face. Can this be used as a facial soap?" Thanks from Lois.

Answer: Yes. Kirk's castile soap is a very mild soap that is made of all natural products without any chemicals or animal fats. Due to its high glycerine content, Kirks lathers generously in hard water as well as in soft water. Kirk's is a very slow melting soap which means you may be surprised how long one bar of soap lasts! Each 4 ounce soap bar is approximately 3.75 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 15/16 inches thick (measured with wrapping on.)

One of our customers is a Viet Nam vet who was exposed to Agent Orange. He shared that this is the only soap he can use. My late father is the reason why we sell Kirk's soaps. When local supermarkets no longer sold Kirk's, Dad urged me to find the manufacturer and to sell it. Dad's ceramic tile soap dish was so small that he always cut the bar in two. We've been selling Kirks since 2000.

If you have other questions, please contact us.


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cleaning products | soaps

Where to buy Kirks Hard Water Soaps?

by Barbara 1. February 2007 18:08

Q: "Where can we buy Kirks original Hardwater castile in San Diego, California? Please let me know as soon as you can. As the place that we use to buy it no longer is carrying the product."
Answer: This is why Safe Home Products ships Kirks all over the USA and the world. Kirks was a Proctor and Gamble brand for years. When P & G sold off the brand, the shelf space went with it. Few stores stock it today. Each 4 ounce soap bar is approximately 3.75 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 15/16 inches thick (measured with wrapping on.)

We sell the Kirks original, the liquid castille hardwater soap and the premium clear glycerin soaps in deodorant, moisturizing and sensitive skin bars.

Contact us if you have more questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

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baby products | cleaning products | soaps