June 26, 2007

Product Placement

This morning, it feels a little like a 1950's commercial around here, with two housewives standing around, sipping coffee, saying to each other, "I just love pretreating my laundry with Simple Green! It gets out the toughest stains! And it's biodegradable, too!" Seriously, except for the fact that B and I are standing around, sweaty, in our underwear and not looking powdered and fresh in sweater sets, that is pretty much what's it's like. We really had this conversation: we think we prefer "Simple Green" to "Spray and Wash" laundry spray; that Simple Green is better for the narsty green vegetable puke stains.

On the other hand, we can't totally say that the Simple Green is better, because we also inadvertantly changed detergents at the same time that we changed laundry sprays. Is the difference the Simple Green, or the Tide detergent, which may or may not actually be better than the Costco brand? And does Simple Green work better because it's just stronger, and leaches out color, too? And is simple green really all envrironmentally healthy? Because if you accidentally inhale some, it makes your lungs feel like a superfund site.

I guess what we need is another housewife to swing by with a bundt cake and a bottle of the most definite best laundry product. If that is you, please let us know. We can provide a martini and many envious gazes. That Housewife X! Her laundry always looks fantastic!


Amy E said...

Tide is, and always has been, superior. Try Tide and Spray N Wash and see what happens. Those two are the favorite combo in my family and my experience, too.

The Simple Green headquarters are located about 40 miles south of where I live. They rest gently in a large green building, Cape Cod style, on a peninsula in a marsh next to the ocean. Pretty place. They *look* clean. Then again, Simple Green is what we used to clean paint off the silk screens and rollers in graphics class, so how "green" can it be? I'd say it's probably pretty toxic. But what isn't?

Anyway, Simple Green smells delovely. Floods me with memories of screenprinting.

MAC said...

No stain removers/household cleaners are without their respective "active ingredient" which is typically some form of anthropogenic compound. Here is a list of Material Safety Data Sheets for Simple Green (which I found when I was sure I exposed Gillian in utero to lethal levels of it when our adminstrative person sprayed it to clean our dry erase board (in a very small office space-even though is smells like licorice, it really doesn't lack an underlying smell of something chemical-ish).

At any rate, the active ingredient is 2-butoxyethanol in Simple Green (also affectionately known as Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE)). It has mostly been associated with hemolytic anomalies in chronic exposure studies, and respiratory effects at significantly high levels with acute exposure. Either way, unless you're huffing it on a regular basis, you will be fine. Obviously, ingestion is another story altogether. It is true that anything, including water, can be toxic at high enough doses...as Paracelsus said 500 years ago, ~"the dose makes the poison".

Something from my agency on EGBE (in plain English): http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs118.html

Jackson, Sheree, & Jason said...

The cloth diaper people swear by leaving cloth out in the sun to bleach. It sounds as crazy as cloth diapering. Since we're putting our skepticism aside and experimenting with the latter, I tried laying a soiled one out to dry. After a few hours in the sun, the diaper was dry and the spot dwindled from the size of a tea saucer to a few specks on the inner layers. I'm now a believer. I think another round would remove all traces of the yellow, but I didn't set it back out. Anyway, I'd say that's a pretty green option. The active ingredient is fusion.