Bernard O’Shea: I Used Baking Soda And Vinegar To Clean My House: Here’s What Happened

Household cleaning products have been used for centuries, with ancient civilizations like the Greeks and Romans using natural ingredients for cleaning. However, I can only imagine scrubbing the steps of the acropolis with sand and ash was nowhere near the ease of a modern pressure washer. Plato was brilliant but didn’t have access to a B&Q.

The invention of soap in the 19th century revolutionized the cleaning industry. It paved the way for various cleaning products that we use today. However, the main ingredient in many of these products, synthetic chemicals, has raised concerns about their impact on human health and the environment.

Synthetic chemicals such as surfactants, solvents and disinfectants are found in most household cleaning products and have been shown to be effective in removing dirt and grime. However, they also have significant drawbacks.

Many of these chemicals are not biodegradable and can persist in the environment for years, causing negative impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. The production and transport of these chemicals also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution.

I am slightly obsessed with our white countertops and fear a lifelong stain that will forever be visible to all. But it’s hard to give up on products that get the job done. Those sparkling white surfaces don’t need as much elbow grease when ingredients like Benzalkonium Chloride and Didecyl Dimethyl have grease-fighting power.

However, when it comes to cleaning, I prefer other activities. Like jumping off a cliff or asking random strangers to kick my ass. Even Marie Kondo recently revealed that she can’t keep up with her standards. Therefore, I always pressured my wife to make the house “big,” followed by, “Sure, who’s gonna watch anyway?”.

There is a constant argument over who does the most cleaning in the house. The one thing I know for sure is that it’s a popular argument that’s been around since the dawn of time. I have visions of Marc Anthony protesting to Cleopatra, “But I emptied the dishwasher yesterday!”.

But when it comes to what we use to clean, we’ve never argued about it. It hasn’t been done yet.

Bernard O’Shea and column assistant Jingles, who did not comment further on the baking soda issue

There has been a growing interest in eco-friendly and natural cleaning products. These products use natural ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice to clean and disinfect surfaces, reducing the need for harsh chemicals. But there’s one ingredient that keeps bubbling up: baking soda.

American bakers John Dwight and Austin Church created baking soda as we know it today in the 1840s, revolutionizing the baking industry. Its medicinal uses, as a remedy for heartburn and as a treatment for insect bites, date back centuries. During World War II, the US military used baking soda as a deodorant for gas masks. But before you become an eco-cleaning warrior, please learn from my smelly mistake.

I mixed one part baking soda with two parts vinegar in a bowl. I watched with pleasure as his seething reaction and spread it all over the kitchen. But very quickly I noticed that no matter how hard I scrubbed; I couldn’t eliminate the pungent smell of vinegar.

So much so that my wife, who was on a work Zoom call, ran into the kitchen and whispered-screamed (whisper-screamed is when you want to scream, but the situation doesn’t socially allow it) , “Why is there a smell of vinegar everywhere?”

When she saw that I had iced the whole kitchen with my new concoction, she just put her hands on her head and walked away in disgust.

For an entire week, he had to leave the windows open in the kitchen almost every chance he got. Our seven-year-old summed up the smell, saying, “Dad made the house smell like a huge bag of crisps.”

My problem was twofold. First, I should have added some essential oil to counteract the vinegar smell. Lemon is the most popular, and second, you only use the baking soda/vinegar option for very aggressive cleaning, not for occasional wiping.

Eventually I used a mixture of vinegar and water for May to clean the counters with drops of lemon oil added to cancel out the smell. But I should have consulted my personal Plato, my Mother, when she visited me and exclaimed in bewilderment, “Why don’t you just use hot water and a rag, you fool? Sometimes sustainability is as simple as that.

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