Thursday, June 17, 2010

Super Pine Cleaner

Our culture is obsessed with shipping water.

Think about it:  From bottles of drinking water shipped coast to coast or even from overseas to cases of soda pop to bottles of household cleaner, we spend a tremendous amount of fuel, time, and energy carrying a small amount of the desired product suspended or dissolved in a lot of water.  This is insane:  water is heavy and cumbersome to ship, takes up a fair amount of space, and is usually as readily available at the destination as at the source.

I'm not going to address bottled water or soda pop other than to say:  get a filter on your tap if you are worried, and save pop for an occasional treat (and know that I'm not perfect either on the latter).  However, paying extra for diluted household cleaners is a waste of money, even if you are unconcerned about environmental impact.

I recommend to you a product like the above:  Super Pine, available at Lehman's.  This is a super-concentrated form of the pine oil that you are usually seeking when you buy bottle after bottle of household cleaner (such as Pine Sol).  At $13.95 for 32 oz., this product comes in at $0.44 per ounce before shipping.  An ounce is plenty to make a bottle of cleaner (keep one of your old bottles from the other cleaner brands, and use this as a handy way to know how much water to add), or you can double up if you want "extra strength." 

This product is biodegradable, very effective, and very versatile.  I use it primarily to clean the bathrooms, but I use it everywhere:  counters, floor, and toilets.  It leaves a wonderfully clean smell, and it isn't irritating and chemical-smelling like some of its competitors.  Best of all, your pre-shipping cost per bottle will wind up between $0.44 and $0.88, depending on how much of the base cleaner you add.  I have never seen household cleaner at the grocery for less than $1.75 per bottle, and that was a promotional special on a store brand.  You can easily spend $2-$3 on the stuff, and it is easy to need a bottle every week or two. 

For budget friendliness, if nothing else, stop paying to ship water.

The Analysis

Fast:  The time it takes to mix a bottle is about equivalent to the amount of time it takes to pick up a bottle of cleaner at the grocery and tote it into the house, so, pardon the pun, it is probably a wash.

Cheap:  Savings will depend on how much product you use, whether you pay to have this shipped alone or add it to another order (Lehman's has great canning supplies, if you need them, so it pays to make a bigger order), and how much you usually pay for your household cleaner.  Nonetheless, I'm pretty confident in saying you will save at least $1 per bottle.  If you usually run through a couple of bottles a month, that would be $24 in yearly savings. 

Good:  I find the cleaning ability of this product to be as good if not better than the water-logged versions from the store.  And avoiding paying someone to ship water to me is a moral victory.
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