A response to a reduced household income? Nostalgia?  Or is it touching a deeper anxiety about us losing our self-reliance and becoming more and more dependent on so-called ‘convenience’ products?  For example, I only recently found out about detergent residues.  Evidently the whiteners and optical brighteners in most washing detergents are not rinsed out but stay on the clothes/nappies/wraps.  They are then supposed to make your whites look whiter and your coloured clothes look brighter.

However, I am told that actually what happens is these residues build up and start to absorb dirt and bad odours turning whites grey and making the washing smelly.  We put in more and more detergent to get the clothes clean but actually a heavier detergent residue build-ups up on the surface of the clothes that makes the problem worse – and can cause eczema.  (The solution is to do a wash every so often with no detergent at all and that gets rid of excess detergent residue.  If this doesn’t solve the problem you should add some bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar and that should get rid of it!)

Similarly conventional household cleaning products tell us ‘no need to rinse off’ but then leave a sticky layer on the surface.  Our floors and surfaces look wonderfully clean  immediately after we’ve cleaned – but not for long – the sticky surface picks up the dirt and we have to clean more frequently.  This only became clear to me when I started to use micro-fibre cloths for cleaning.   I can’t help wondering if someone isn’t taking us for a ride.

Which brings me to  stay-dry nappies that mean our children often end up night-training later and later, making parents sleep deprived, thus making our lives even  more chaotic than they inevitably are when you have children. In this case the solution is to use cotton nappies at night so  your child has the stimulation necessary to help him/her night train.

Do you have other examples of ‘convenience’ products that hurt our wallet and our quality of life?