Sunday, September 18, 2005

That Smells Like Vinegar Not Windex

One day I came home from work and MaGreen had dumped out all of our Windex, Mop N Glow, mildew remover, and the other stuff we keep under our sinks.

“A leading cause of death for babies is when they crawl through poisonous cleaning supplies or accidentally drink them,” she said.

Miah then spent many, many hours searching the internet for alternatives. She collected recipes from a number of different sources and started to experiment on her own. Most of them used combinations of vinegar, baking powder, lemon juice, borax, soap, oil, and alcohol. MaGreen made a two-page sheet with all of her recipes. Here it is: Natural Cleaning (word format) and Natural Cleaning (pdf).

I think what has been most disconcerting is that MaGreen put the new cleaning solutions in the old containers. So our vinegar based bathroom cleaner is in the old mildew remover bottle. When I went to actually clean the bathroom, I did a double-take because of the way the vinegar smells. (Vinegar is always good for a nice jolt to the nostrils.) But after a few minutes, the smell went away and the bathroom was in fact clean.

The sad irony is that the commercial cleaning products that smell good are part of what creates carcinogenic indoor air. Since I am employed as a professional feminist. I'd like to point out that poisonous household air is a gendered problem. Women, and children, often spend way more time in the house. The Prevent Cancer Coalition, which is chaired by a public health scientist named Samuel S. Epstein, have published short reports about this problem on their website

No comments: