Solutions and substitutions
I tend to only use a bar of soap once before throwing it out because I don’t want to spread germs onto myself. Do you think that this is common practice among other people? Or do you think it is safe to re-use soap several times? Philip
We live in a country where thankfully many people have access to clean water and soap; and research shows (and I mean a lot of research) that bar soap and water are an effective solution in removing dirt, grime and germs. This is because soap is a surfactant- a solution that lifts crud, bonds with it, and allows it to be rinsed away with water. Some say that soap dates to 2800 BC and has been used ever since. It is safe to re-use soap repeatedly, in fact many people (including me) wash with a bar of soap until only crumbly little pieces remain. At that time, the little pieces are often added to water in a soap dispenser and used as liquid soap.
Just as a side note: in 1847 Ignaz Semmelweis discovered the incidence of childbed fever could be cut drastically reduced when interns wash their hands before delivering a baby and after performing autopsies. This was a dramatic discovery, and a solid testament regarding the importance of hand washing throughout day to day life.
I love reading your articles, and I wonder if you have any suggestions to get rid of a red wine stain that I have on one of my wooded kitchen cupboards. It has been there for several weeks. Thanks for your help, Glen
Red wine is notorious for permanently damaging textiles, because whatever wine touches, it often dyes. Whenever cleaning cupboards, the safest cleaner is dish soap and water, scrub with an abrasive (non-scratching) cloth. Some people had success with a combination of baking soda and non-bleach, non-gel to clean wine off cupboards; however, this is risky as you do not want to damage the color of the wood.
Feedback from Caring Readers
Re: Toddler Sippy Cup Hi Reena,
Speech pathologists don’t recommend the use of sippy cups as the child does not need to use facial muscles to control the flow. The increase in speech impediments is the direct result. Susan
Re: Cleaning Cooked Grease off Pots
Hi Reena, The best, and easiest way to get the cooked grease off the bottom of aluminum or stainless pots and pans is to use a sanding sponge found in any Dollar Store or elsewhere where paint products are sold.
Just a scrub with hot water (and if wanted a scouring powder) and it all goes away just like magic. It is cheap and ecological, no strong chemicals needed.