where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Thursday, June 30, 2011

If the shoe fits.....whiten it!

Perhaps you are already thinking "what do Amanda's dirty sneakers have to do with eco-friendly home design or matters relating to parenthood?!?" Well, I could just reply that it's my blog and I can post what I want, dirty footwear and all....or I could try to explain the strange experiment I've conducted and why I'm posting aerial shots of a half-clean pair of Vans slip-ons for the whole world to see.

It all started on a canoe trip last year. I wore these puppies and they got very dirty, as you can see. And usually if something is damaged or soiled beyond cleaning it goes in my "out box" immediately, destined for the trash or Salvation Army. But I wear my various Vans slip-ons incessantly and this particular pair had only been in my life for a few months; it would have been premature retirement. I just could't do it. As a parent of a little boy, you'd think I'd have a stain removal tool box loaded and ready, but there is not a not a bottle of bleach or an ounce of Shout whatever-it's-called to be found in my house. No chemicals, no carcinogens here. Just a sad, badly stained pair of shoes.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I ordered my first package of Nature Bright from Shaklee's Get Clean line, a completely pure and nontoxic household product family that I have been using, adoring and distributing since January 2011. It's a laundry booster and stain remover according to the package but really it's a glorious all-natural bleach alternative and stain banishing hero. (They really should have me write their copy, no?) It had been successfully removing various art class materials from my son's school outfits, those mysterious oil stains that you never remember making, stubborn ring-around-the-collar from shirts that were also bound for the "out box," and everything else I challenged it with. I even used it to remove mildew and whiten grout. But it never occurred to me to tackle my stained shoes until I was packing up the "out box" again for another donation run and a light bulb went off.

Channeling my inner Billy Mays, I mixed some water and Nature Bright and scrubbed one shoe with a little pressure for about a minute. I let it sit and rinsed it a half hour later. Here are the results:

Good, but not good enough, so I went back in with another few minutes of scrubbing and about an hour of setting time before rinsing. Hallelujah!! One Van was white again! See for yourself:

So now it all makes sense, right? This post is simply about my experience with my favorite new eco-friendly cleaning product, that all parents or just anyone who is breathing should have, to keep everything in their home stain-free. Perfect Baby Green Blog content. Contact me at ajm2727@gmail.com for more information on how you, too, can be green and stain-free. Now I'm off to whiten the other half of the pair.....