Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I read this cool housekeeping book by Ellen Sandbeck a while ago, and have tried to eliminate a lot of stuff from our house. Got rid of the paper napkins and towels and switched to cloth (not hard to do, and I actually like cloth better). Got rid of the windex, and started using vinegar (also, not a problem: plus, vinegar kills germs! bonus!) Got rid of the Ajax, and use baking soda (sweet! And it works). I'm still in the process of switching to less harsh detergents for clothes and dishes. I'm still going to use less green stuff for the cloth diapers, cause I've heard you have to to actually get rid of the, um, well, you know.
The one thing I've been trying to eliminate that I have not been so hip on is the clothes dryer.
I like drying my clothes. It's easy! It's right there! It's fast! It also uses a lot of energy during the summer, when there's a free energy source right outside! And we live in the sunbelt! Where it never rains! So I have no excuses!
I think the fact that we can't use a regular clothesline doesn't help things (thanks, HOA!). It means that each load barely fits on my drying rack, and an extra large load (which I try to do, to conserve water, right?) really doesn't fit. Plus when I hang stuff up, often Lucy pulls it immediately down. On the ground. She's getting better about it, but she's not as "helpful" as she wants to be. And I think the drying rack isn't as efficient--everything's close together and doubled over and larger things hang over smaller things, shading them from the sun.
It's also just an extra step. It's so easy to shove things into the door of the clothes dryer and forget about them. Not so much when you're lugging the clothes outside.
But still. There's that free energy source, right there. That I talk a lot about wanting to use. In theory.
But did I mention how much I love my baking soda? Really, guys, the stuff cleans really well. It's amazing.


Todd Stadler said...

Hmm ... some interesting ideas there. In general, I think our house isn't as clean as yours, as I can't remember the last time I used a Windex- or Ajax-like product. Not that I'm bragging. Plus, there's much less danger around here of one of the inhabitants licking something he or she shouldn't.

Still, in Portland, there are maybe 3 months where a clothesline would be a great idea. The rest of the time, it calls for a weather forecast.

writermeeg said...

great stuff, heather! i'm trying to switch to vinegar and baking soda, once i use up my seventh gen/earth-friendly stock. inspiration appreciated! and tips? just use 'em straight??

Chuck said...

Sounds like you are using your mothers tricks - vinegar, no scouring powder only baking soda, amonia [dad for windows - better than windex]. All easier on your surfaces and kinder to the environment.


Rob said...

I moved us over to baking soda and vinegar about a year ago. It works wonders on almost everything. I really recommend getting a hard core carpet cleaner though. Then your kit is complete. One trick to mention... mix the two for really stubborn stuff and for cleaning drains and the garbage disposal... added bonus: chance to teach Lucy how to say volcano :-D