Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pinterest: Hits & Misses

Pinterest is a one of my favorite websites; and its rising popularity suggests that it is many others favorite website as well. People use it to plan their dream wedding, build a gorgeous nursery, or put together perfect outfits. However, upon closer examination, it becomes apparent that Pinterest is often not actually an "inspiration" site, but instead more of a "daydreaming" site. The women with hundreds of adorable baby outfit pins are usually not even pregnant, nor in any hurry to become so. The ones with boards covered in beautiful wedding dresses and crafty centerpieces were married ten years ago. The women who spend hours putting together an expensive designer outfit probably do most of their clothes shopping at Target. Pinterest, for many, is a place to fantasize about a different life.  We pin, knowing that we are unlikely to ever follow through with most of these pins.  And, yes, that's part of the fun of Pintrest.  

However, a few months ago, I got frustrated with pinning stuff that I never followed through on. It made it seem like much more of a time-suck if it never led to anything constructive.  So I started actually cooking the delicious looking recipes.  I began trying the DIY crafts and cleaning tips and tricks. And I began buying those $1000 outfits I was creating. Okay, just kidding about the last part! 

I've posted some of the Pinterest recipes on this blog already.  However, I've also tried many of those "amazing" tips and tricks you see on Pinterest; some were successes, and some were failures. So I've decided to make one big post with a quick review of each "Pin" I've actually followed through on (not counting recipes). 

So which Pins were Hits and which ones were Misses?

The Claim: A simple sprinkling of baking soda mixed with lavender oil on your mattress, then vacuumed up after an hour, will deep clean your mattress for you.
Verdict:  Hit!  Easy to do, made my mattress smell lovely.

The Claim:  Put Vinegar in the dishwasher rinse aid instead of Jet-Dry; will leave your dishes spotless
Verdict:  Miss. I didn't notice my dishes being any cleaner. What I did notice was a very strong vinegar smell left on all my clean dishes.

The Claim:  Put 6 drops of water on an aspirin, let it dissolve, and apply to pimple. Let sit for 5 minutes and then rinse. Will decrease redness and quicken the recovery of pimple.
Verdict:  A small hit. I didn't notice any reduction in redness, but I think it maybe dried it up a bit. I wouldn't say it was a miracle treatment or anything, but I'd use it again in a pinch.

The Claim:  Coconut Oil can be used for everything from cooking to beauty treatments.
Verdict: Hit! Obviously, I haven't gotten around to trying all the things listed, but the ones I have tried have been pretty great. It's a fabulous oil to use when cooking (and super healthy) and does great at very hot temperatures (unlike olive oil).  I've been putting it on my face at night as a moisturizer/anti-wrinkle regimen, and so far it's made my face soft and glowy (hasn't caused any break-outs either).  I've had bumps on my arms since I became pregnant, and the application of coconut oil has greatly reduced them.  It also has prevented razor burn!  Also great on burns and bug bites.  Did not work as deodorant though.

The Claim:  Super clean your dishwasher with baking soda and vinegar.
Verdict: A small hit. It definitely loosened up some grime and made the dishwasher smell a little better, but it was a lot of work for not a lot of gain. Might be worth it if you have a really old, gross dishwasher, but for me, probably won't bother doing again.

The Claim:  Super clean your washing machine.
Verdict: Hit and a Miss. You have to do several loads using very hot water, which takes a lot of time, water, and energy consumption, for not a lot of results. I still had to scrub the heck out of it to really get the grime off. However, the tips about cleaning the filter and bleach tray were helpful.

The Claim:  Use baking soda and essential oil to make a great smelling air freshener.
Verdict:  Miss. You can only smell it if you put your nose right up to it. I even dumped it, and re-made it with fresh baking soda, and added in three times the amount of oil, and it still didn't make my kitchen smell like lavender.

The Pin:  DIY Round-Up
The Claim:  Round Up kills weeds, but it is terrible for both the environment and your wallet. Instead just spray vinegar on the weeds.
Verdict:  Hit! My husband was pleased with the results.

The Claim:  This concoction of Dawn dish soap and white vinegar will clean even the stubbornest of tub grime, with minimal need to scrub.
Verdict:  Miss.  First of all, it's not economical at all. It has to be made with only Blue Dawn. As I was buying the Dawn, I was thinking to myself, "Dawn isn't that much cheaper than Scrubbing Bubbles" (which I currently use and love).  Then I had to use half the bottle to cover my shower, and it burned my eyes and nose.  The result? It kind of worked--in streaks. I ended up really having to scrub hard to clean it, and even then, it wasn't as clean as actual Shower Cleaners get my shower.

The Claim:  Turn your ugly brass door knobs a fancy bronze, with just spray paint!
Verdict:  Hit!  It looks great and is super easy to do; plus it saved us well over a hundred dollars. One tip though: don't bother doing any of your door knobs that you frequently use a key with; the spray paint gets easily scratched up.

The Claim:  Plug-Ins are bad for your health; so instead of buying replacement plug-ins, fill it up with essential oils, and save yourself money--and possibly cancer.
Verdict:  Miss.  I can't smell anything at all. I don't know if maybe I did it wrong or what, but after a few attempts, I've given up.

The Pin: Sugar Scrub
The Claim:  Make your own effective, great smelling sugar scrub by mixing white sugar with olive oil and essential oil.
Verdict:  Hit! I'm not sure if it's actually cost-effective, but it worked great and smelled wonderful! Made my skin super silky soft and smooth.

The Claim: Put a cup of baking soda in your toilet, let it sit for an hour, flush, and voila! Sparkling clean toilet with no odor.
Verdict:  Miss.  It cleaned it a little bit, but I ended up having to scrub it with a brush, and there was still a mild toilet-y odor. My regular toilet cleaner does a better job.

The Claim:  Make your own hair clarifying rinse, using 1 tablespoon of ACV mixed with 1 cup of warm water. It will help remove build-up, and leave your hair soft and shiny (plus you can skip conditioning!).
Verdict:  Hit!  It made my hair look so much better, and once it dried, it didn't smell like vinegar at all. My hair was soft and untangly, despite not using any conditioner, and it was lighter and shinier.  I'm definitely going to use this twice a week.

The Claim: Put white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser instead of chemical-ridden fabric softener
The Verdict: Hit! It worked great! First of all, white vinegar is ridiculously cheap, and you can buy it in huge containers at Walmart, so it's definitely economical. But more importantly, it made my clothes soft and less dingy looking (aka my whites were waaaay whiter!). 

Conclusion: I wish I could have sampled the $1000 outfits and $1000/night trips instead of toilet bowl cleaner, but it was still fun!  I'm massively stocking up on white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda.  And I went to Trader Joes and bought 3 jars of Organic Coconut Oil ($5.99/16 oz); it's now my main moisturizer for both my face and body; it smells heavenly!  


But, wait! There's more!

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