Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shiny, Happy

The Ideal Bite in my email inbox today was about natural metal polishes that make brass, silver and steel sparkle but are also non-toxic.

I once had a job as a household servant that required me to spend four hours on Thanksgiving morning polishing the household silver.

That may have been the last time I ever polished silver--bad, bad chemical smells and sore forearms. Besides, I rather like the tarnished-candlestick look...and yes, those candlesticks pictured are indeed my silver candlesticks although they now look like brass.

I'm a fan of non-toxic cleaners--in fact, my very first blog post was about them, and most of my subsequent posts on cleaners and cleaning promote, rather evangelically, non-toxic, homemade products.

So why choose non-toxic metal polish?
  • Better for your body: free of chemicals that irritate (like ammonia) and also less chance of putting something fairly caustic in your mouth as you fork in the turkey or tofu

  • Better for the planet: Ideal Bite reports that "the EPA estimates each U.S. household disposes of 1 lb of hazardous waste per year (including solvent-based polishes), which can make its way into groundwater if washed down the drain."
Ideal Bite lists several non-toxic products to buy--and also suggests the following home recipes:

  • For brass: equal parts lemon juice, salt and water

  • For silver: equal parts baking soda and water

  • For stainless steel: olive oil

    • Dontcha just love to use cleaners that you can also EAT?

      Ideal Bite also offers this Fun Fact: If 10,000 households halve the amount of hazardous chemicals we use, we'll avert the weight of 833 sterling silver tea sets in dangerous waste.

      833 sterling silver tea sets. Now there's an image that one doesn't often entertain.


      ruth said...

      I read somewhere (but haven't every tried it) that you can also use toothpaste to clean silver.

      Beth said...

      Yes, you can use toothpaste to clean silver. Just be careful it's not too abrasive or it will take off more silver than you probably want!