I got a new little book this week that I’m pretty excited about. It’s Clean: The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing by Michael de Jong. I put it on my Amazon wishlist awhile ago, not wanting to pay for it myself and not expecting anyone to buy it for me, but also not wanting to forget about it. Unexpectedly, my husband ordered it for me. (What a sweetheart. :))
It’s about cleaning mindfully. Or in other words, being present while you are cleaning, being aware of what you’re doing when you clean, and the impact cleaning has on yourself and your environment. As opposed to mindlessly cleaning (which has its charms sometimes, too.) In terms of being mindful of the effect your cleaning has on your environment, this book present an alternative to cleaning with harsh chemicals, which aren’t any good for the soil or the water, and probably aren’t good for your health, either. I’ve always wondered when I spray my kitchen counters with a bottle of some random “cleaning” chemical what sort of residue is going to end up on and in my food.
De Jong’s alternatives to chemical cleaning are the “five elements of Zen Cleansing:” baking soda, borax, lemon, salt, and white vinegar. I frequently eat 4 of those elements, so I’m guessing they are less harmful for me and the planet. And from what this little book says, I can clean anything with them! I’m excited to start tackling my stains more naturally.
This book is certainly not high literature. But it is a fun, brief, engaging discussion of cleaning. And it provides loads of tips for how to use each element alone and combined with the others to clean just about everything you might ever need to clean, from rings in your tub to dirty mudflaps on your truck.