A Mom's Guide to Saving on Groceries


Today I take aim at a certain germicidal spray that is safe to use on all surfaces called Anywhere Hard Surface Spray, put out by Clorox, in a blue bottle. Sounds like cool stuff, huh? It is! And it costs over $3, closer to $4, if I remember correctly.

I bought one quite a while back, but (because I was distracted by a screaming toddler) didn’t read the label. I was completely dismayed to learn upon doing so that the only active ingredient is sodium hypochlorite. Yup, it’s a 1% bleach solution. The other 99% is water, and some buffering agents, which you do not need. Good gravy!  I can't decide whether the person who came up with this spray should get a raise and a corner office or be indicted!

As consumers, we need to be educated, and read those labels, that's for sure.

Having been in the restaurant business, I can tell you that a solution of bleach and water is nothing new! Now, I use that bottle to make my own. A couple of tablespoons of bleach, a couple drops of detergent, and water. Poof! Nearly free, and even more effective, at more than a 1% solution.   Use on counters and cutting boards, and let set for a minute, then rinse.  I don't care what anyone says, bleach shouldn't be ingested and food won't taste good if it tastes like bleach.

Another great disinfectant: hydrogen peroxide, which costs about 50 cents, and can be sprayed the same way.

A bonus with the peroxide: Stain remover!

Put about a quarter cup in a non-reactive bowl. Add a couple drops of dish detergent. Swish. This is your new stain remover. Wear gloves, because it is strong enough to eat away at your hands after a while (like bleach, it is basic, the opposite of acid which works the same way, like lye). Nothing serious, but can be uncomfortable if you are doing more than one item.

Rub on stains with a cloth, and watch them disappear. Wine, blood, even mildew, and safe as can be. I’ve never bleached anything yet, and I’ve used it on everything: colors, heirlooms, the works. Wonderful for baby’s spit up, helps to preserve those special outfits.

Pet stains on carpet:

Pour peroxide/detergent directly on the stain, and it will kill the bacteria that cause odor, as well as remove the stain. Saturate the area well, and let it soak in overnight. Next morning, blot up, and you will be very happy with the results.  If you are worried about your carpet, test in a hidden small area.  But I've never had anything at all bleach out with this solution, so I feel pretty good recommending it.  Just test if you are at all worried.



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