One Green Thing: Baby oil a good multi-tasking tool

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

If you are a Food Network watcher, you’ll recognize at least one of the chef’s admonishments that many of us have too many tools in our kitchens that serve only one task (grapefruit knives are a good example). The goal, and I think all of ours should be, is to have “multi-tasking” tools and cleaning items. Of course, you know that’s why I buy white vinegar by the gallon (only because it is the largest size available).

So, I was happy to read an article recently about the different uses of baby oil. While you can’t cook with it, you can use it for such things as the following:

• Removing stuck-on gum — pour a little on, let it soak, and wipe away. If there is residue, use your white vinegar!

• Is your shredder running a little slower (and grinding more than shredding?). Just rub a little on a sheet of paper or two (don’t get it running everywhere) and shred. Just the oil from the paper should clear up your trouble.

• Of course … zippers work the same way.

• Use as a bug deterrent? While I haven’t, certainly it’s worth trying rather than the foul-smelling store-bought variety.

• On your dust cloth … especially on solid wood. Not only does it grab the dust, but it’s good for the wood. I like lemon oil, but if you’re out, sounds like a good substitute.

• Soap scum. Hummmm … I’d rather use the vinegar, but guess it is also worth the try.

Wouldn’t it be great if all we needed in our cleaning cabinets was vinegar, baby oil and salt?

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the June 19-25, 2013, issue

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