Smell Me Later

This morning I was feeling a little extra energetic so I decided to mop my kitchen floor before I left for work. I swept the floor then filled the sink with hot water. Then I got out the bottle of Mop and Glo. I had forgotten I’d had that particular floor cleaner product. It had been relegated to the back of the cabinet under my kitchen sink. It took having the garbage disposal replaced for it to be brought to the front row of the cabinet.

And before you ask, no, I did not get brave OR stupid enough to attempt the task myself. I know my limits when it comes to home improvement projects, as any of you regular readers, OR my family can attest. Replacing a small appliance that was hooked up to a source of electricity was well beyond my skills. Instead my sweet boyfriend and his uncle took on the task. It only took them a few hours. I would have a deconstructed sink, electrical burns, and a flooded kitchen if I had attempted the task. The replacement disposal would be sitting on the counter mocking me, one still hanging by  a thread under my sink would be snickering. That’s why I am glad I had help from people with skills, tools and testosterone.

The floor cleaner I used to mop my floor had lost its lid some time ago, and there wasn’t much left in the bottle, so using what was left should prove perfect to give my floor a shiny clean up.  Within ten minutes my floor was damp, and gleaming. Within 12 minutes I was wheezing. Goody!

One of the things about being asthmatic, having no sense of smell AND chemical sensitivities is that I never know what will trigger symptoms. One thing I have noticed however is that since I left my job at the salon, asthmatic episodes have been reduced in frequency and severity. I suspected that might happen, so it was pleasant realization to discover how true that turned out to be. In the past month, I’ve had only one other major chemical sensitivity episode. That was with my brand new, expensive, professional brand shampoo and conditioner. Apparently it had a very strong scent. I didn’t know that. I have no sense of smell. I bought it for what I hoped it would do for my hair. I used it and within five minutes I was in a full blown attack. It now resided in the guest bathroom and I bought some cheap shampoo, but only after letting someone else smell it for me first.

I know that I am not alone with this problem of chemical sensitivity. It is simply amazing how many products there are on the market that have a wide variety of purposes that have a chemical component contained within it to provide a “pleasant” smell. As I am discovering, I can react negatively to more then someone’s cologne or what hair product they are using.  I am also beginning to experiment with different toiletries to see what my skin likes better.  Switching from a traditional foundation to a simple tinted moisturizer helped with a dry skin issue I’ve been fighting for years.

Cleaning products are starting to have me  much more aware of what my lungs really hate. The MopNGlo incident reminded me that I just can’t always assume that just because I’ve used it before with no trouble, it means that any future uses will have the same respiratory results.
The problem I now see is one that many like myself are noticing. It is not always easy to find products free of irritating scents (at least to us), that work as we’d like them to and are not more expensive then their aromatic counter-parts. It is often an exercise in trial and error. When one also lacks a sense of smell, like me, it makes that experimentation that much tougher. I have to rely on others to do that all important smell test for me, and then its still a gamble.

I will try something else next time to use when I mop my floors. I’ve used those liquid pine or lemon based general cleaners with no ill effects (so far) but they don’t tend to add a lot of shine to my vinyl floor. My floor has a bit of age to it, so putting a little shine to it, does make it look better.

So here’s where you come in. I’d like your help, your input, or even your free samples. I am looking for things that I can use in my home or on my person that is scent free or scent reduced, that isn’t over priced, can be found without a trip to a special store or only available by mail order, and that does what it is intended. If it is something that can be easily made, I’m game for it as well. Just remember it needs to be EASY and CHEAP.

I will be the test dummy, and share my results. If nothing else I will have a list of dos and don’ts for my own personal benefit. Maybe, that list will help others who are on the hunt for that product that doesn’t irritate as well.

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6 Replies to “Smell Me Later”

  1. Try this Sylvie, open a bottle of vinegar take a deep whiff! If it doesn’t bother you check out this website for cleaning tips for distilled white vinegar. White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical. http://www.vinegartips.com/scripts/pageViewSec.asp?id=7

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  2. Sylvie, I have severe allergies & suffer reactions to chemicals too. I agree with Ted. My fave cleaning product is white vinegar. When i need a “scrubbing bubble” for the tub, I poir white vinegar & add baking soda. Also lemon juice is good. You can even pour leftover soda pop in your toilet and the citric acid will felp clean it! If you are ever near a Trader Joes, Earth Fare or Whole Foods you can check for natural products. I also use Free & Clear laundry soap & dryer sheets!

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  3. Thanks so much guys. I will be trying the white vinegar test. There is an Earth Fare in town, but I cringe at the prices of the natural products, which is why I am trying the cheap route. I will be investigating further.

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  4. that perm solution is horrible on a persons lungs. i know of a woman who used to run 4km a day respectively, and after working in a solon for a few years, had huge breathing problems, and could not even think of running a block. All the best to you!

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