Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Salt and Vinegar

Just for fun, I cleaned the bathroom with vinegar and baking soda.  After reading all the evil things about chemicals and what they're doing to the environment and to my family and me, I thought I owed it to myself at least to TRY something different.  I had read a lot about natural cleaning solutions, and, to be honest, if I had a carbon offset for every time my mother told me I could clean everything with vinegar, I wouldn't have to worry about the future of the polar ice caps.

So, to make a short story long, I cleaned the bathroom with vinegar and baking soda.  It was okay; I survived.  When I left at the end, I felt that the bathroom was genuinely clean.  Sure it smelled like Easter eggs, but I'm not sure ammonia smells particularly good either.  The difference is, we've been taught by the media to believe that the smells of bleach and ammonia are clean; we've been taught that vinegar belongs on salad.  I cheated a little bit.  I still used my Clorox toilet wand for the porcelain fixture, for a couple of reasons.  I do have one of those toxic bleach cakes in the tank, and bleach and vinegar apparently produce toxic fumes.  Also, I really don't like to touch the toilet, and Duncan really DOES like to touch the toilet.  I have a hard time not believing bleach is important there.  Vinegar and baking soda were FANTASTIC on the tub, where they made quick work of soap scum.  And (see next paragraph) I sprayed an environmentally friendly spray on the counter when it was all over, just because it smelled nice.

Did I like it?  I still had difficulty believing the bathroom was clean, but I'm convinced my doubt results from 43 years of conditioning by the chemical industry.  Yes, I know that there are nonchemical, environmentally friendly cleaning products available, and I own several of them. Method makes cleaning products that I want to eat or wear on my person because they smell delectable.  Flushable, eucalyptus wipes, grapefruit dish soap...yummy.  I think I'll transition to them slowly so the cost does not seem so prohibitive.  In the meantime, I bought the largest bottle of white vinegar and the largest box of baking soda I could find; the combination cost less than $5.00, and, if I wanted to, I could eat my bathroom.
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