Do I have to give up bleach to go green? | Ethical and green living | The Guardian

‘I’m willing to go green in almost every other area, but the eco loo cleaners I’ve tried just don’t do the job.’

While not the most elegant subject, the bleach/toilet conundrum is a common one. The standard dictates of eco living tell us bleach is bad, toxic to waterways and aquatic life and should be substituted with a paste of lemon and vinegar and cup of borax, or at least ready-made bleach-free eco alternatives such as those from Bio D or Ecover.

On the other hand, there’s that deep seated, nagging belief – encouraged by years of primetime TV advertising – that toilets are the deadliest places on earth. Unless we tip down a substantial amount of sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), we feel we are leaving our homes open to bacterial invasion.

. . . But the real ethical issue centres around manufacture. Bleach is from the organochlorine family of chemicals, compounds rarely found in nature and which can take centuries to decompose.

America’s Great Lakes are used as the canary in the coal mine for the global effects of organochlorine pollution on water: 200 compounds have been detected in the water, sediments and animals, and traces found in breast milk. Greenpeace has called for a complete end to organochlorine production. Arguably, by buying household bleach, although it can be considered relatively innocuous in itself, it helps to prop up the whole organochlorine industry.

Bleach does the job, but what is the job and is it necessary? As we live in the Age of Bacteria immunologist, Gerald N Callahan, sums up: ‘Neither humans nor micro-organisms benefit from fully destroying the other. This is not a war, as it has often been described, even though we have an impressive array of weapons – bactericidal cribs and mattresses, toilet cleaners… If it were (a war), we would have lost long ago, overpowered by sheer numbers and evolutionary speed. This is… like a waltz that will last for all of human history. We must hold to our partners carefully and dance well.’ Seems there’s an elegant side to this debate after all.”

Source: Do I have to give up bleach to go green? | Ethical and green living | The Guardian

Do You Need to Worry About Old Gas in Your Car’s Tank? | Family Handyman

“If you have a car that hasn’t been driven for a while, you might be wondering if the gas in the tank is still OK or if it needs to be removed and fresh gas added. Here’s your answer.

Is old gas in the tank bad for your car? The quick answer

In almost every case, old gas is not an issue. Gas that sits does slowly go bad. However, gas that sits, even for a few months can be redeemed by topping off the tank with fresh gas. When the fresh gas mixes with the older gas, the motor will operate properly. John Ibbotson, chief mechanic at Consumer Reports, says that, “The new gas will mix with what’s already in your tank, and any variance in the octane will be adjusted for automatically by your car’s engine computer.” The adjustment will get the engine running back to normal.”

Source: Do You Need to Worry About Old Gas in Your Car’s Tank? | Family Handyman

How to Clean a Mattress (and Why) – Consumer Reports

Step 2Next, vacuum the entire mattress surface with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Pay attention to seams and crevices, where dirt, dust, dead skin, and other icky stuff collect; switching to your vacuum’s crevice attachment can help get in deep.Our tests have found that a normal vacuum cleaner provides capable cleaning, but if you’re fastidious, consider investing in the Dyson V6 Mattress Handheld Vacuum, a $250 device designed specifically for the job. In a Consumer Reports at-home mattress test, we cleaned half of a foam Tempur-Pedic mattress with a top-rated canister vacuum and half with the Dyson handheld. The Dyson sucked up 3 grams of material, including dead skin cells that dust mites like to nosh on, compared with the 1 gram that our regular vacuum removed.Step 3Once you’re finished vacuuming, check for stains and spot treat them with an appropriate cleaner. An upholstery cleaner or enzyme-based pet-odor remover can do the job on many bodily fluids. You can also try a simple solution of 1 teaspoon mild dish detergent and 1 cup of warm water.

Source: How to Clean a Mattress (and Why) – Consumer Reports