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Thanksgiving and Beyond- Easy Eco-Cleaning for Pots and Pans – ultimately organic

by Tao, Carrboro, NC

Thanksgiving is approaching. I’m especially excited since our roommate will be moving in just days before and we’re all hosting our first communal “event” in our new place. Combining kitchen resources means we have lots of plates, pots and pans for a large group, but I can’t say the thought of the BIG clean up hasn’t already crossed my mind…

When I first saw the title of this article about easy green cleaning for dishes, I thought someone else had discovered my secret weapon – pre-washing by long, strong, canine tongues! I’ve used this dish/pot cleaning system for all my years of dog-ownership and it works great, whether you are pre-washing before using an auto-dishwasher or washing by hand. This is my friend’s really really large dog, Moose – the perfect pre-clean machine!

Helpful hints include making sure to monitor what is leftover – dogs shouldn’t eat onions, raisens, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes and certainly not anything with artificial ingredients that would be considered junk food in the human world – because it’s just as junky for dogs. But, since we’re all consuming mostly whole, natural and organic foods these days, that shouldn’t be an issue, right? And don’t be tempted to give them plates full of food (compost or save those leftovers), just what is left after usual scraping, so their health will benefit without weight gain. Also keep in mind that dogs can’t handle large quantities of fat, so pour off any excess grease, and don’t give fat trimmings. (see the PS. below.)

If you don’t have a dog to help out after the big Thanksgiving meal coming up, don’t give in to paper plates, check in here with and find out how to use salt and/or baking soda and water for an almost self-clean solution. You’ll even get to leave the pots and pans sitting overnight, a guilt-free indulgence after a long day of cooking and eating.

As long as we’re on the subject, there’s a way to remove stains from clothing – so keep that cranberry sauce on next week’s menu – (also from, using only cold water and a couple towels. This was news to me~ and although the process requires some patience, it’s sounds satisfyingly yogic, too. After all, most commercial stain removers are petroleum-based and really yukky for our health and environment.

PS. IF you use the new alcohol sweetener, Xylitol – Don’t let you dogs have ANY amount of it in ANY leftover. It can cause liver failure. And, btw, if it does this to dogs, I’m certainly not interested in consuming it. Sugar alcohols are sold as “safe” alternative sweeteners, but they are isolates and not a health food.

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