Vinegar: A Controversial Subject?

| 4/18/2012 9:40:11 AM

Tags: vinegar, environment, window cleaner, harmful chemicals, bioremediation, ground water, petroleum, ground water, lye, soap, saponified, Dr. Bronner's, Ellen Sandbeck,

For some reason I have never been able to fathom, vinegar seems to be an extremely controversial substance these days. Since I published Green Housekeeping (Organic Housekeeping in hardbound), I have gotten quite a few queries from concerned readers who were worried about the environmental and human health impacts of good ol' kitchen-variety vinegar. Vinegar Bottle 

Most of these correspondents were polite but concerned, though the very first one vehemently accused me of encouraging people to use a dangerous, environment-wrecking substance (vinegar) that would permanently damage surface-water ecosystems. No matter how much scientific evidence I sent her way, nothing got through to her ironclad mind, and she kept bombarding me with increasingly nasty emails until I finally told her to quit contacting me and blocked her email address. 

Here is an email exchange I had recently with a friendly, open-minded reader. I am grateful that she wrote to me and gave me the opportunity to share some of the cool things I have learned about vinegar in the past few years: 

Hi Ellen,   

I purchased your book Green Housekeeping and am using and loving the cleaning advice. I have a question about vinegar… I had a couple bottles of “green cleaners”; one was “holy cow.” In the description of their window cleaner they state that it contains no vinegar or any other harmful chemicals…???  I just wanted to get your take on that. 

When using sals suds, mixed with water for cleaning, do I need to rinse? 

Ellen Sandbeck
10/25/2012 7:27:38 PM

Becky, I'm glad you liked my article, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to find the comments! Ellen

Becky Sullivan
9/2/2012 8:18:41 PM

Hi Ellen, I enjoyed you story. I am also a big fan of vinegar. I have replaced almost all of my cleaning product in the home with vinegar. I add to my dish water and laundry water. I use it diluted to spray and clean surfaces around the house. I use mothers vinegar when I have leg cramps. I just rub some on my calves and the cramps go away. I also have recovered from a bad knee injury that bother me a lot. So I rub my knee down with vinegar and the stiffness and pain disappears. There is so many uses for it, its hard remember them all. Every time I am at the store I purchase a gallon of white vinegar. I also take 2 tablespoons of mothers unrefined vinegar every morning. I feel great. I could go on and on. This was a good article keep up the good work. Becky

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