Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Living All Natural and Organic and All That Crap

Seems like everybody's all about making their own, homemade, absolutely everything theses days. Pinterest is full of recipes and instructions for making your own baby food, household cleansers, soap, medicines,........... things like laundry soap.  Why do I need to make my own laundry soap, for example, when I can buy perfectly good laundry soap already made and ready to go?

(I have a friend who is a chemist who has a pet peeve with calling things "organic."  Because, she says, organic just means alive.  It doesn't mean special, healthy, better, or cleaner.  Just alive.  She gets all upset when you say you've started eating or using something "organic."  It's hilarious.  I like to give her food and tell her it's organic just to get under her skin.)

I know, I know, the homemade stuff has less chemicals and bad things in it, and is better for your clothes and your washing machine and all that.  But can't I just buy the all-natural, fewer chemicals, better-for-your-clothes-and-washing-machine types that are already out there?  Because they've figured out that people want fresh, natural products and are already marketing them.  Some stores have a whole separate section of nature-made things.

I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment.  Life is a whirlwind of activities.  Seems like I barely get around to loading and unloading the washing machine as it is.  Do I have to find the time to search Pinterest for the best recipe, buy bleach and borax and visit the All Natural Healthy Stuff store for oils and creams and animal parts and things like that, and make the soap too?

When the kids were smaller and closer to the floor, I got a little freaked out about using harsh chemicals (why are chemicals always described as harsh?  There are surely some gentle chemicals, aren't there?) to clean the floors when the boys might very well find a stray Cookie Crisp under the table and eat it.  So I started using this homemade mixture of vinegar, water, a few drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil (because eucalyptus is a natural disinfectant, don't you know?), and one tiny drop of dish washing liquid to clean - well, not just the floors, but everything in the house.  It smelled wonderful and it sure was cheap.

Problem was, my house wasn't really getting clean.  My white linoleum kitchen floor turned a dusky gray.  Stains stayed put.  I don't know how many germs it killed.  My kids got sick as much as anybody else's I guess, no more, no less.

So I'm over the trying-to-use-only-natural-substances in my house phase, and I've gone back to things with bleach, and traditional antibacterial and antifungal and antilimestone and antigerm ingredients.  

Because it's not like I'm such an ambitious housekeeper that my home is sodden with noxious chemicals all the time.  I'm really only giving it a thorough scrubbing every .... well ... it's never thorough.  So for the hit-or-miss, when-I-get-around-to-it type of cleaning I do, I feel like a few gentle chemicals might not be a bad thing.  Let's kill some germs and not just make the place smell nice and look shiny, shall we?

And so far this year, as of today, March 27th, in the morning, we have managed to avoid both the flu and the yearly stomach bugs that make the rounds through schools and daycares.  I'm not tempting fate here, I'm saying that SO FAR this year we've avoided it.  It could hit tomorrow, I'm well aware.  So I think I'll get the Clorox wipes out and do all the doorknobs and handles in the house today.  And I'll mist my couch and the recliner with that lemon eucalyptus essential oil concoction, to make them smell good.

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