I am not one of those people who is convinced that everything that comes into my home is plotting to kill me. My main beef is with stuff claiming to smell of “Cool Mountain Breeze” or “Clean Linen”. Bitch, please. Having grown up in the mountains (well, speedbumps) of the Poconos, my prevailng olfactory memories of breezes are of acrid rubber, resulting from the spare-tire bonfires that the local kids would start for summer afternoon entertainment. In my backed-up-by-no-scientific-data-whatsover experience, pine (which seems to be the prevailing perfumatory requirement for Cool Mountain Breezes) doesn’t really tend to smell that much until you’re cutting it down. I propose “Corporate Forest Rapery” or “When Are You Going To Take Down That Goddamn Christmas Tree” as alternative descriptors.
I totally get that commercial chemical concoctions can be harmful. I wouldn’t want my cats lapping up Cillit Bang, and every time I sprayed mildew-killer in the spore pit that was the bathroom in my overpriced Highgate rental flat (I still loved that place), I would run out of the room with an itchy nose and the sensation of bugs crawling up my arms. It’s just those sanctimonious Domestic Warriors and mommy bloggers doing it all for the faaaaaaaaaamily who tend to ruin it for everyone.
I DO think that commercial cleaning products (or rather, the marketing for them) are condescending. If you don’t kill 99.99999995% of germs on your kitchen table, you must hate your children. How can you be so woefully ignorant to the impending death lurking on your chopping board? But don’t worry, here’s this $5 bottle of stuff that performs the exact same function as 2 cents’ worth of white vinegar. The fact that a box of borax (or in the UK “borax substitute”) performs exactly the same function as Oxy Clean / Oxy Action, is literally 1/5th of the price, and safer.