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home detox

May 4, 2009

ever since Sampson was poisoned somewhere around the house or yard (and the source remains undetermined), i have wondered about the toxic chemicals around my home.  further investigation reveals i regularly, voluntarily, pollute my home with harmful substances in an effort to make it “clean.”   hmmmph.  i remember the relief i felt when i realized another great consequence of going Veg is to rid my kitchen of raw meat contaminators.  so why am i still scrubbing my kitchen with toxic chemical cleaning supplies?  because i like a clean household.  no question about that.  to me, clean does not mean chemically contaminated, so i need to make an adjustment.  i worry, with good reason, about placing my gorgeous vegetables in traces of the chemicals i had wiped there.  ideally, i’d like my kitchen free of both bacteria and chemicals that could kill me, or my boy Sam.  

after a quick internet search and library hold request, and i had Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck in my hot little hands.   RELIEF!!!

a trip to the dollar store and the grocery store and i, quite cheaply, had all my supplies:

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pictured here – spray bottles ($1 ea.), distilled white vinegar (make sure it says “Made from Grain” on the label), Murphy’s Oil Soap (at your grocery store, probably the bottom shelf of the cleaning aisle amongst random items), baking soda, and labeling supplies from the scrapbooking stuff i had on hand (i knew i would find a use for that stuff, glad i hadn’t given it away yet).

i made 2 mixes – mainly for Kitchen and Bathroom / Rugs.

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the Murphy’s mix is simply a bit of Murphy’s dissolved in warm water.  ooh-la-la Murphy’s smells lovely.  it cuts grease.  it makes your counter-tops and floors shiny hiney.  if you, like me, love the fresh and clean smell in your house, Murphy’s will not disappoint.  for mopping the floors, i filled my bucket with some hot water and added 1 cup of vinegar and a drop of Murphy’s.  Murphy’s is also safe for use on wood, including your floors (but no vinegar in the wood flooring mop mix).  my kitchen was so sparkly once i had finished.  i was so very happy as i began dinner prep immeidately after the detox deep clean of my kitchen.  and happy again as i used my spray for post-cooking cleanup.

the Vinegar Soda spray is for my sinks, the bathroom and spot cleaning my rugs.  it removes odors, even cleans up nicely after my boy Sam.  i used the same mop mix on my bathroom floors as my kitchen.  the vinegar does not smell like bleach (yippee!) but still leaves a sterile, clean smell for those special areas where you really don’t want things to be funky.  beautiful.

the Organic Housekeeping book also addresses food storage.  this is another area i have been thinking about since i know those disposable plastic bags are pure waste that lives forever.   i have never felt right about my gladware.  i have a growing concern over the toxins i consume after i microwave* my lunch of leftovers in them.  Organic Housekeeping confirms for me that the “microwave safe” labeling on these plastics is speaking to the safety of the plastic and not to safety of your health should you choose to eat the contents of your microwaved plastic container.  mmm… how nice.  what’s even nicer is that last week, i read over at Lazy Smurf’s Guide to Life that Glad and Ziploc purposely change the shape of the lids to those plastic containers every few weeks so that you have to keep buying new ones.  well, obviously, i must boycott the business of killing us and the earth.  with this information i committed to mission Mason Jar.  much to my delight, glass is the most chemically inert packaging material.  it is also recyclable.  it can hold hot foods without releasing toxic chemicals.  it can hold acidic foods (tomato stuffs, orange juice, etc.) without reacting.  the lids are practically universal.  the only question left in my mind was where would i acquire magic mason jars without having them shipped?  the answer could not be more simple:  the regular, neighborhood grocery store.  as i was choosing recycled (and recyclable) aluminum foil and looking for unbleached wax paper (also recyclable and biodegradable) to replace my ziploc baggies, i saw them standing there.

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i haven’t totally solved the produce storage issue yet.  i am reusing my plastic produce bags.  i am not putting every item in plastic bags.  rather, i am storing only the items that wilt in my refridgerator in plastics.  sigh, there are still plastics.

*i do not like  microwave but hot brown bag meals at the office are difficult to achieve without it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. lazysmurf permalink
    May 4, 2009 1:05 pm

    hooray for glass jars!

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