Dear Sister Knowitall,
What is the difference between a Home Remedy and a Natural Remedy? Aren’t they the same thing? Signed ~ Remedy Mom Newby
Dear Remedy Mom,
That is such a great question. People ask me all the time do you have a home remedy for… I often know a home remedy that isn’t necessarily natural, I prefer all the natural remedies of course, but let’s face it, we don’t live in a natural world anymore so sometimes, on occasion I do share a home remedy for a particular problem with the caveat that this is not a “natural” remedy. Home remedy is simply using household products you are already using for another purpose.
Here is an example of what I mean. A friend sent me a request recently for a home remedy to remove an ink stain from a pair of pants. We know that ink isn’t a natural substance and trying to apply natural remedies may just lead to a lot of wasted time and frustration.
I offered three suggestions starting with the unnatural remedy first, why well it is cheap and I know it works and doesn’t harm your clothes, however this is not a natural remedy.
You can remove pen ink from clothing with good ole hair spray. Hair spray is not natural but will remove pen stains from fabric. Place a paper towel behind the stain on the underside of the fabric. Surround the stain perimeter with water. This will help keep the stain from spreading. Spray the fabric and wait 1 to 2 minutes then dab at the stain to remove. Some of the ink will pass into the paper towel. You may have to do this multiple times. Ink is very stubborn. The sooner you try to remove the easier it will come out.
I also recommended placing a sponge behind the stain and soak in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda which is a natural remedy. It also may not work if the stain has had time to set or in this case is Sharpie a permanent marker. Another helpful tip; Do not put the fabric in the dryer or the stain will set.
The last remedy I recommended is a product called Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover, which the description reads; is environmentally safe, non-toxic safe etc. It works amazing on stains of many kinds and doesn’t hurt fabric.
So to clarify, sometimes a remedy is a home remedy from a household product that you already use and sometimes it is something created from nature like an essential oil, baking soda or vinegar. I always prefer the natural remedy whenever possible but am realistic that the world we live in is not so natural and to save the pants the home remedy might be the wiser choice.
Cindy is the Home Remedy Guru of the Blog Sister Knowitall: sisterknowitall.blogspot.com. She has been learning natural home remedies after she developed allergic reactions to chemicals in household cleaning products. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org