It’s A Jar

jar with homemade cleaning pasteSince she’s been pregnant, I’ve been haranguing my partner Stephanie about the avoidable dangers of cleaning products for the home, and how, using vinegar and a few other non-toxic, inexpensive ingredients, we could save money, be safe and get the house just as clean.

I was surprised when, several days after one of our (rarish) cleaning expeditions, complete with harangue, a box arrived at our door full of empty spray bottles and screw top jars, all rendered in unadulterated, pure, clear, plastic.

Part of me protested that ordering a slew of containers over the Internet to package your homemade cleaning products was not fully in the spirit of hardcore DIY. I had in my mind an idea of rinsing out used up commercial product containers and refilling them with our homemade recipes.  I was about to do this at any moment, in fact.

But I could not deny that a certain satisfaction can be derived by putting something or other in a nice clean jar and labeling it with a fancy custom label. I believe it may be a variant of the human emotion engendered by running around the office supply store, grabbing organizers and folders and pens and paperclips.

I briefly and half-heartedly tried to make a case for the financially nonsensical feasibility of the plan, but I couldn’t get hard numbers—after further inquiry I was only able to narrow down the expense of the jars and bottles and labels to  “less than fifty dollars.” Anyway I was still getting over the fact that a harangue had actually produced a result of any kind.

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6 Responses to “It’s A Jar”

  1. christine glavasich Says:

    i’d be interested in the results of your cost-benefit analysis (including, of course, the cost of your own ‘labor’). although, if it were me, i’d fuggedaboudit. too lazy. and not worth the effort (in my opinion of course.)

    anyway, assuming you do end up recycling the old containers, one should neither deny the aesthetic pleasures received from a lovely, homey display of containers, nor feel guilty about despoiling our fragile planet.

    i say this speaking as a person lacking in said “pleasant display of containers.” so now i’ve got some interesting ideas to ponder as i wallow through my day, cursing the weather and begging my cats to stay off my computer keyboard.

  2. mark Says:

    If you mean too lazy to do the math, that would apply to me as well.

    If you mean too lazy to actually order the containers, mix the recipes, make the labels, Steph did all that! (Now if she would only clean…)

    Aesthetically, the row of new containers with the various concoctions visible inside is pleasing. (And several places on the web advice not re-using old cleaning containers.)

    Although I’m not the type to freak out about every little perceived danger in our world, it is nice to know there will be a few less harsh chemicals in our house, at least during pregnancy and while the baby is young. I also like the idea of not paying for the marketing power behind 409 and Windex and Mr. Toilet, even if we must buy our own fancy bottles.

  3. James Westwater Says:

    I think you can pretty much clean everything with white vinegar, at various dilutions. And, hey, it generally comes in its own handy recyclable, reusable glass bottle. That and baking soda. Acid and alkaline; lip-puckering liquid and mild abrasive. …Sounds like a recipe for domestic bliss to me.

    Of course a bit of Tilex also comes in handy.

  4. mark Says:

    Vinegar is the
    the Kobe Bryant of home cleaning substances

  5. Stephanie Says:

    By the way, I abhor cleaning, and in a second would rather pay anybody else to do it.

    But there is a compelling list of reasons to make homemade cleaners, which includes the excuse to order cute custom labels!

  6. mark Says:

    You abhor cleaning? Nnnnoooooo!

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