I haven't done a book review in ages, but this one's a good one to break the fast.
I was doing some Christmas shopping at Barnes and Noble and saw this little gem in the discount table. I picked it up thinking, "what a lovely little gift for myself!"
Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda by Shea Zukowski.
I am already a huge fan of baking soda and vinegar as all purpose cleaners throughout my house. I rarely buy any cleaners and now come to think of it, I don't really know why I do at all. I use vinegar and BS (ha! BS!) so much that I buy vinegar by the gallon, and make special trips to Fred Meyer to buy the GIANT boxes of baking soda.
These two are just so great for so many things. Some of my regular uses include:
* Washing and conditioning my hair (baking soda and apple cider vinegar)
* Making a 50% water/vinegar solution and keeping it in a spray bottle for general cleaning purposes.
* Cleaning the toilet (both)
* Cleaning the bathroom sink (both)
* Cleaning and deodorizing the carpet in areas that Gus used to decide to relieve himself (both)
* Helping clear up a slow drain (both)
* Use as an ingredient in my home made laundry detergent (baking soda)
* Home made dryer sheets (vinegar)
I'm sure there's more, but I think you get the picture.
Now that we have a mobile little lady who loves to get into things, I'm even more happy about the fact that we have very little chemical cleaner presence in our home.
So you can imagine how excited I was to find this book. It has information (history, chemical makeup, etc.) on each of the four ingredients, as well as tons of recipes and other super cool uses for them. Obviously it's a super quick read and one that is awesome to just peruse when you have a few spare minutes. My favorite part about it is that every time I pick it up, I learn some new use for something that literally makes me say "whoaaaaaah, cool." Granted, I'm a giant dork so this is the kind of stuff that makes my wheels turn.
A few of the uses from the book that made me a little too excited when I read about them:
* Spraying your windshield down with a salt solution at night to prevent ice build-up, thus preventing the need to scrape your car on the morning. (Something we all hate.)
* Making a candle no-drip by soaking it in salt water overnight.
* Lemons are a natural stain remover. They can help get grass and sweat stains out of clothes, clean coffee and tea stains out of mugs, reduce age spots on your face, and add blond highlights to hair.
* Putting baking soda and/or salt on spills on the carpet or tablecloth can help prevent staining by neutralizing the substance and lifting it up out of the fibers.
* Adding a small amount of baking soda to the soil when planting tomato seedlings will help make the tomatoes sweeter.
* Spraying kids toys with vinegar as a natural disinfectant.
* Spraying seeds with a diluted vinegar solution will help with germination by preventing mold and mildew growth around the seed.
Oh, so cool. There's so much more too. I feel so inspired to fully embrace a chemical-free lifestyle. The best part about it is it's easy, and so frickin' cheap!
Ah, I love this book, and even more what it represents.