Grandma Knows Best

August 8, 2012

In our rapidly changing world, where knowledge doubles every 7 years, we are often reluctant to look back to solutions from the past, thinking them outdated and archaic.

This certainly true in the world of cleaning products, where we have gone from incredibly fragrant and chemical laden products to the current obsession with "green" and healthy products. But these come at a price! With our budgets tighter than ever in a world with a fragile economy, maybe it is time to return to homemade, to Grandma's tried-and-true, cheap solutions.

Consider the situation where you have run out of your favourite green all purpose cleaner that retails for $4.40 plus tax for 32 oz. Instead, you could buy a bottle of white vinegar, $.97 for 16 oz., and mix in table salt. Or empty that old box of baking soda that you have in your refrigerator, mixing 4 tablespoons into a quart of water. Spray and use.

Besides costing less, Grandma's cleaning products are greener than the products in the stores. There is not a long list of precautionary notes on the back of vinegar or baking soda. You do not have to worry about children getting under the sink, in spite of the safety latch, and drinking potentially fatal cleaners. This safety gives us peace of mind.

Now, to be clear, I love a clean house. As a Virgo, I have been known on many occasions to irritate my friends and family by my constant wiping. But equally important to me is to have the assurance that the fragrance and residue left behind after my cleaning is safe to family and pets. We need to know about the dangers of many common household cleaners, and replace them with a simpler, cheaper and less toxic versions. This is particularly true of toilet bowl cleaners and products used for moths. A safe toilet bowl cleaner can be made by mixing lemon juice and borax. Another solution can be made by mixing baking soda with vinegar or bleach with water. Never mix bleach with any other chemicals.

There are a host of websites that offer great non-toxic solutions for cleaning.

So save money, worry and potential sickness! Use the wisdom of times past…grandma did know best!


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