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Reducing our Footprint

My Uh-Duh Moment

Have you ever asked a question that as soon as it comes out of your mouth you realize how stupid it is?

I had that moment a few months ago. As I even think about telling you all what it was about I want to kick myself in the butt. What a silly question. Okay, so this is what I asked someone… “I can’t seem to find an environmentally friendly leather cleaner to clean my faux-leather ottoman anywhere…(insert question mark face)?”. The question answers itself. Fake leather is plastic and therefore should be able to be cleaned with basic cleaners like castile soap. (Of course don’t go trying it without a test patch first. I”m not a cleaning expert. I don’t want you mad at me.) But the question I asked made me question many other cleaning products. Only a few years ago people would clean just about everything with an all-purpose soap. Now there are aisles in the grocery store with a million and one cleaners for any possible type of grime.In the past I would have bought a leather specific cleaner for my faux-leather ottoman. Yup. It probably would have been pre-moistened wipes that were destined for the garbage.I now know that just about everything in the house can be cleaned with just a few ingredients. Some things I love using are vinegar, baking soda and castile soap.So to clean my fake leather I started using a mix of castile soap and water. And guess what! Our ottoman is just as clean (if not cleaner because of the, ummm,  less chemical thing) as when we used task-specific, expensive, cleaner.We will probably never buy anything made out of fake leather again. I realize now that real is better. Plastic is future garbage. We will need to replace this ottoman soon but until then it will be clean, shiny and a little greener

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer.


“You should never accept what can be offered to you if you feel it can be improved.” – Martha Stewart

My new motto is: When you’re through changing, you’re through. – Martha Stewart

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete – Buckminster Fuller, philospher, futurist and global thinker (1895 – 1983)


About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


7 thoughts on “My Uh-Duh Moment

  1. In the words of Bill Engvall “here’s your sign!” I think we all have our moments like that. When we try to save a few dollars and opt for the faux product we convince ourselves no one notices it isn’t the real thing, as a result we forget it isn’t real either, until that moment when we go to clean it.

    Posted by livingsimplyfree | July 20, 2012, 10:04 pm
  2. Murphys Oil Soap 😉

    Posted by RS | July 21, 2012, 12:21 am
  3. I thought the same about my microfibre couch! I was searching the interwebs for a cleaning solution that would be okay and not harm the fabric. One site suggested using rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. I tried that, but not for long, the fumes nearly had me on my bottom. I thought “well (not nice word) this”, put a few drops of castile soap in water and scrubbed away. My couch looks like new again 🙂

    Posted by Sarah Tobin | July 21, 2012, 12:32 am


  1. Pingback: My adventures with Dr. Bromner’s Soap « stephaniegetsridofhercrap - January 9, 2013

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