I’m going to take a crack at answering your questions. First, I got out my Home Safe Home book. For those of you who ran directly to the library in great excitement to check it out, you immediately discovered that Virginia Dadd isn’t the author—it’s Debra Lynn Dadd. Sorry about that. Maybe Virginia is Debra’s sister. Or cousin or something.
So moving through the questions. . .
Bridget asked about a “clean” smell. Well, I wouldn’t describe vinegar as a clean smell. In fact, it’s pretty smelly when you’re actually using it. The boys always run in and smell it and then run out. Bu the thing is that it dissipates really quickly and there’s no smell at all. I know we all grew up with those “clean” smells and my personal favorite is Murphy’s Oil soap, but I think that some of the “clean” smells aren’t necessarily the healthiest. In fact, not too long ago I read something specifically about pine scented cleaning stuff like PineSol and how toxic it is. So I’m wondering now, should clean smell like anything? I don’t know the answer to that.
As for the baking soda, it’s not abrasive at all. I used it on my lovely sink in Ohio and there was nary a scratch mark. In fact, before I switched to baking soda, I was using a “soft scrub” type of product. I actually thought it had done something to the finish in the sink. The baking soda was tons better than anything else.
Leeann asked about using vinegar on granite. I did a search on this and got really mixed results. Some people said, “Yes, I use it, no problem.” Other people said, “No way, don’t do it.” I’d check with the people who installed your counter and see what they say. I’m totally jealous that you have granite counters.
As for the Melaleuca laundry detergent, yes, it does work for front loading machines, no problem. And the scent is really no scent at all. It’s unscented so I’m not sure what I’m smelling! Clean clothes? What a novel idea! But no, we don’t have any reaction or rashes or anything.
Ann, for cleaning your wood floors, here’s what it says in the book Clean & Green:
All purpose floor cleaner—1 cup vinegar to one pail of water. Wash the floor as you normally would.
How’s that for vague? I read somewhere else to use a one to four ratio of vinegar to water.
There’s also a floor disinfectant “recipe”:
½ cup Borax, 2 gallons hot water. Pour Borax into bottom of bucket. Add water. Stir to dissolve. Proceed as usual.
And I’m glad you had such good luck with baking soda in your sink!
Sheila wrote about vinegar for sunburn—I never in a million years would have thought of that. In fact, vinegar seems like it would sting. But I’m definitely going to try it because one thing is certain: I will at some point remember to put sunscreen on everyone but myself. And it will be sooner rather than later. Although it’s supposed to snow tonight so the urgency isn’t imminent.
Cindy, from everything I’ve read, vinegar is actually a disinfectant. It took me awhile to get behind the concept that I wasn’t using something officially labeled “antibacterial,” but I found and read an article that in the U.S., Heinz can’t label its vinegar as antibacterial without registering it as pesticide. And I’m guessing if they did that, their sales of “pesticide labeled vinegar” would fall off dramatically. Apparently here in the U.S. you can’t have it both ways.
In Home Safe Home, it talks about how a lot of essential oils have antibacterial properties. Cinnamon is apparently one of the most potent! But here’s what it says about vinegar: “Vinegar can also be used as a disinfectant. She (the author) recommends straight vinegar for cleaning the toilet rim—spray it on and wipe it off.”
Slicker, I’ll e-mail you directly with Melaleuca info. You don’t actually need someone near you—the company ships straight to your door.
Sweeney, way to go! You’re on your way. Next step—bread baking! Ha! And I will write about personal care items next.
Oh my word. It’s 10pm and I haven’t done my work yet.
See you next time for Living Organically: A Chemical Free Body. Wait, that makes me sound like a recovering drug user. I’ll think of a better title before then.