Monday, May 17, 2010

Clean-Vino 409

I was wandering around the house looking for some liquid soap to fill up a dispenser. During my search I was kind of amazed at the variety of stuff that we stock to keep ourselves and the place clean. The laundry area alone has cabinets filled with detergents to wash clothes and other cabinets filled with stuff to wash and clean windows, floors, countertops, tables cars and dishes.

You would think the basic component of cleaning is just SOAP? So why do I have to have a thousand different products all in various pastel shades of cleaning power. By convention the blue stuff is for windows and glass and the other colors are for just about everything else. Several times in the past I have tried to just dump all of this stuff and settle on one generic concentrated cleaner like Simple green. Invariably I will mix up a batch in a spray bottle and try it on my floors, counters etc. It generally seems to do the same thing but sometimes it streaks a bit more and I think it works better with less water than recommended.

I have tried to concoct my own cleaner as well from ammonia, vinegar and maybe a little leftover 409. It also seems to mostly work but I have to say it always mixes up to an off-putting shade of pale yellow. Even in the privacy of a bathroom, nobody wants to go spraying yellow stuff all over the walls and toilet. I also make the mistake every time I make my own cleaning sauce by not putting a label on the stuff. I cannot tell you how many times my wife will ask me six months down the road what something is in an unmarked bottle and I won’t know.

The problem of course with the mystery bottle is that how do you find out what the stuff is – do you sniff it or drink it? Oh sure just spray it on a table or a wall and hope it does not melt or damage the surface. Maybe that is how Thunderbird and Ripple were first invented – some winemaker was cleaning up after the shift was over and left an unmarked bottle out. The next day somebody slapped a label on it and sold it cheap at corner liquor stores? Hmmm – what a great product idea! An alcohol and vinegar based product that you can cook with, clean all surfaces, wear as a perfume, and even sit on a street corner and drink to celebrate a job well done! I wonder if my wife will mind my new 180 proof 'CLEAN-VINO" liquid soap in that dispenser? I’m sure she won't – as long as it is not pastel yellow!

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