Monday, January 21, 2008

For Your Last Minute Grave Robbing Needs.....

The last thing I thought I would be buying this year is a book on how to clean my nest. Momma dear has run her own cleaning business for more then 15 years, and while her uber tidy gene might have gotten a bit watered down in my genetic mess, she has passed on the knowledge of what end it up on the old toilet wand. I may not have her locked on eye for detail, but I can scrub out a bathroom with the best of them. So it came as a surprise to find I had been crouching on the floor of my local mega bookstore for well over 30 minutes reading a cleaning manual without noticing the passage of time OR the cramping in my knees.

Green Clean (by Linda Mason Hunter & Mikki Halpin) has managed to put together a very well presented book on one of the big hot topics of the year. How can we get our homes clean and safe for our loved ones without falling back into the chemical daze of yesterday? For decades we've bleached, sanitized, and sterilized everything we come into contact with. Is there really a way to get things clean without dousing them first in our eye watering, throat burning, skin torturing modern “marvels”?

Yup. Now, I'll confess... a lot of the material in this book is stuff my mom has held true for years. Not everyone out there had the benefit of growing up with a cleaning fiend as my brother and I did. This book breaks everything down into manageable steps, making it perfect for the naturally tidy AND the inherently messy. The authors stress basic items to keep on hand for a myriad of uses, most can be found in one room or the other in almost all our homes. Vinegar, baking soda, borax, and the like are the main components for all the recipes included within its pages. But what is new is both the way it is presented AND the book itself. The dangerous mixes in modern cleaners are explained, giving a blow by blow of what each chemical does and the reasons the authors suggest you trying another way. HOW to clean your home is explained (and no, they don't expect everyone to become Martha), as well as tools that make it easier.

For the mad scientist at heart, there are recipes on making your own cleaners – including several surprises. Window cleaner I expected... but dishwasher detergent? Cool! Now, just to get the Prime Geek to get a move on installing that dishwasher..... For those who prefer shopping therapy to access their green side? New brands are suggested as well as what to keep a look out for when pursuing the label. The truly nerdy side of me was staggered to see they had actually taken the time to put together a recipe for a disinfected called the Vinegar of the Four Thieves*.

All in all, a nifty book to stack on your shelves.

As for why the book itself is cool? Someone actually thought out the main issue with cleaning books. If used in conjunction WITH the cleaning itself the book invariably gets soaked and ruined. Instead, this book is made out of a new synthetic paper that is water proof, spill proof, fade proof. Abuse it all you like, wipe it down and its good to go. As the book itself states “A tool that lasts for years is an eco-friendly tool”.

Very nerdly.

*Fine, fine. I suppose the title of the post requires a tad bit of explaining for the non-history buffs wandering around out there. The Vinegar of the 4 Thieves is based off the elixir a band of marauding thieves used during the time of the Black Death. They soaked rags and clothing with a blend of herbs and vinegar and thus protected they robbed the houses of the dead left open after the plague rolled through town.
Okay... morbid. But still kinda fascinating to this nerd.

1 comment:

Addiopolis said...

Sounds like a good book. Especially for one like me who can get things clean when necessary, but doesn't have the affinity and finesse of some I know in keeping the abode as sanitary as possible.