Enemy of the environment


I would like to apologize to the environment, environmentalists, and pretty much anyone who breathes.

We have hard water.

If you grew up on city water, or maybe spring water, you have no idea what this means. What this means is that our water is loaded with minerals. These minerals, such as calcium and iron, make it “hard.”

As in, hard enough to cut you. In our case the water will also turn all fixtures a deep, rich shade of orange that is awesome for pumpkins but not so much for bathtubs.

Water as hard as ours necessitates an expensive water softener system. No matter how dedicated we are, that softener system will quit working from time to time.


When that happens our first clue is hair like straw and strange colored fixtures. I think it was out for a few weeks and in that short blink of time our brand new shiny white bathtub turned “jack-o-lanterns may have been murdered here” orange.

If we have learned nothing from Pinterest and our crunchy granola hippie friends it is that there is nothing that white vinegar can’t fix right?

Odors? White vinegar. Glass streaks? White vinegar? Pet stains? White vinegar. Laundry stains? White vinegar. Floor cleaner? White vinegar.

We are told this is because white vinegar is the perfect all natural cleaner and sanitizer that won’t harm the environment.

Added bonus: it makes your whole house smell like a french fry stand at the fair.

I mixed vinegar with baking soda. I added blue dish liquid. I dabbed in some essential oils. Mmmm… lemon scented pickle. Nothing made a dent.

If you pour it into a Mason jar that seems to help right? The internet is all about Mason jars. Still no.

Our bathtub remained a strange, streaky orange. That is just not okay. I have yet to see that color become a trend online.

I tried friends. I did. I so wanted to be a Pinterest win. Sometimes vinegar in a Mason jar isn’t enough.

This led me to the cleanser aisle of my grocery store. That’s a real cloak and dagger business these days.

You don’t want to be seen buying anything that is actually manufactured for the express purpose of cleaning.

Hard stuff

Not while there are still lemons, vinegar, and baking soda lurking on the shelves. Still, I persevered. I went for the hard stuff. I did buy a lemon for my tea.

This led to me on my hands and knees with a chemical that I bought in a big jug. It smelled like mint and bubbled like demons. I sprinkled. It fizzled. The orange stains disappeared as if by magic.

What had resisted removal for weeks, was gone in minutes. I called Mr. Wonderful to gaze in wonder at the magic of chemistry. Mr. Wonderful said, wisely, “that’s kind of scary.”

He did admire the white porcelain though. So now I face the fact that I am an enemy of the environment.

My bathtub is clean, but my conscience is not.


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