Saturday, July 12, 2014
The Chemical Free Farm House
Well, I wish I could say we are chemical free, but truth is there is no such thing. I mean come on. Chemicals were used to create the keyboard I am chicken pecking away at. (ouch, bad grammar) And I'm positive some sore of chemical was used to create the pleather chair under my ample seat. But overall we are using far less chemical cleaners here on South Pork Ranch.
In the barn and milk house we are required to use only organically approved cleaners but in the farmhouse I could use whatever I wanted, so I did. In fact I discovered that The Works did a pretty good job of removing nail polish from my toes. It also took care of that nasty extra digit I had on my right foot. Then one day, I realized being unable to breathe while swishing the bowl, was probably not so good.
It's not like I had this big anti-Windex epiphany or anything. Nor did I go rushing about one day dumping all my brightly colored cleaners down the sink cold turkey style. It's just that as my fingerprints began dissolving from my phlanges I started thinking about the harshness I was enduring. All for the end result of what? A shiny faucet? A squeaky clean toilet? But long ingrained habits are hard to break.
In my early adulthood years I thought a sign of wealth had nothing to do with the car you owned or the house you occupied but everything to do with how many laundry pre-wash bottles you possessed. An under the kitchen sink cabinet was suppossed to have at least 10 bottles of various cleaners was it not?
At a minimum you needed floor detergent (gotta love that Pine-Sol, my mother sure did) , a floor wax, a window cleaner, a counter top spray, something more powerful to clean the stove, an over cleaner, some type of furniture polish (I thought Pledge smelled so good I often substituted it for cologne) a toilet cleaner, a mirror cleaner (foam, not just plain Windex), laundry soap, fabric softener, fabric whitener, bleach, shower cleaner and the list went on and on. Some housewives would carry all their cleaners around the house in a plastic tote.
I preferred to use my kids little red wagon.
Then I started making soap. Great for the skin. Tried it on my hair. Great for that too. Used the left over pieces to make laundry soap. Placed the even smaller leftovers in a bottle with water. Instant dishsoap. Added a little vinegar to another bottle of soap scraps and water and I got stove, counter top cleaner. And the evolution began.
To date, 4 years after my first homemade soap batch, I have eliminated shampoo, shower gel, hair conditioner (I use almond oil now) glass cleaners, etc... etc...My entire household cleaning supply consists of just the following:
Homemade bar soap
And embarrassingly, I still have commercial dishwashing tablets but I'm working on a homemade formula for that. Anyone got a recipe to share?
Now, if any of my sisters are reading this blog they will certainly be making the comment "Yeah, sure she doesn't use commercial cleaners and her house is a MESS." They would be correct. My house is cluttered. Currently the dining table is covered with hundreds of empty and filled honey bottles, canned green beans and soap labeling supplies. The kitchen counter cannot be seen much for last nights dishes and my bedroom floor is littered with clean laundry that will soon be dirty laundry again if I don't get it folded soon.
But at least when I do get around to cleaning again I won't have to worry about keeling over face first in the toilet from all the toxic cleaner fumes. But I am a bit sad about my fingerprints being more visible. I have undercover spy work still on my bucket list.