A Chemical Story About Our Day

by Deb on April 22, 2010

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The girls love having

  1. Yoghurt for breakfast, nothing like fermented milk to start the day.  We also go through a lot of homemade
  2. Sparkling water with the Soda Stream, pushing the button to shoot the carbon dioxide into the water and make a bit of carbonic acid is almost as much fun as the bubbles.  Then we need to brush our teeth, they only use a smidgen of
  3. Toothpaste, which contains sodium flouride and I’ve just discovered sodium hydroxide as well, which is a bleach (No, it’s not.  I claim exhaustion, somehow I read that as hydrogen peroxide which is a bleach people use on teeth.  Sodium hydroxide is a corrosive base, it is used as a cleaner or to make soap, it might make the bubbles).  Most mornings we do a craft activity of some sort, usually involving
  4. Poster paints which are actually a cheap form of the very distinguished tempera, ground pigment mixed with egg, water or glue.  The other big one we go through is
  5. PVA glue, which is polyvinyl acetate.  The glue is actually an emulsion of PVA in water, the water evaporates and leaves the rubbery PVA to join things together.  Or we might cook,
  6. Jelly is a big hit, especially when they get to dissolve it themselves and put it in the fridge for the gelatine to set.  You should never put fresh
  7. Pineapple in jelly, it contains an enzyme that denatures (breaks apart) proteins, including gelatine, so it won’t set.  They love getting outside, I have a black thumb but am learning to garden, I pull out weeds and let my husband deal with things like
  8. Compost and fertiliser.  I tend to do the
  9. Laundry in the morning so they can help hang it out, I have to use a non-enzyme washing powder and I always dissolve it first.  Did you know that makes a measurable difference to how well it washes?  I just put the powder in and let the machine start filling while I’m sorting the washing, then put the clothes in when it’s dissolved.  We try to walk to pre-school when we can, but living in the desert and in the middle of the day we take the
  10. Car more often than not.  It’s fairly close so we don’t use that much fuel, but I’m glad the weather is cooling down.  The big girl is very excited about learning to ride a real bike, we had one waiting for her so we’ve just pulled it out and bought new
  11. Tyres because the rubber was perished and
  12. Oiled the chain and brakes.  It’s the little one’s birthday today 😀 and she’s getting the tricycle, I can see I’ll be pushing her on that while the big girl rides to pre-school.  I’m getting dinner prepared while she’s not here and the little one is (finally!) asleep, making one of their favourites
  13. Marinated chicken sticks.  You can make a marinade out of all sorts of things, but it’s important to have an acid in there – usually vinegar or lemon juice.  It starts to break down the meat and tenderises it, it makes some of the same changes as cooking.

And that’s just a part of our day!  What sort of natural and synthetic chemicals do you encounter every day?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Alice Audrey April 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm

You’d think with bleach in the toothpaste my teeth would the whiter.
.-= Alice Audrey´s last blog ..275/365 Mural on the Right =-.

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Chris April 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Water! Most things shrink when you make them colder, but water gets bigger!
.-= Chris´s last blog ..Happy Easter! =-.

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Deb April 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm

How could I not mention water!

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Lyndsey Martin April 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Just wanted to add that you can put crushed tinned pineapple in jelly if you squeeze all the juice out through a colander first. The jelly will set but not as firmly as normal. It actually gives you a really soft textured jelly and my kids love it!

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Deb April 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Yes, the enzymes change slightly during the canning process. I haven’t been game to try it, glad to know it works because my girls both like pineapple.

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CountryDew April 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm

There are so many chemicals in things it is hard to know what to use and what not to anymore. I sometimes brush my teeth with baking soda but I suspect that might be harsh on young teeth.
.-= CountryDew´s last blog ..Thursday Thirteen: Questions for You! =-.

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Deb April 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

That’s a chemical too. There’s no general rule that natural is good and synthetic is bad – they are all just chemicals. Natural chemicals could be good or bad, synthetic chemicals could be good or bad. We need chemicals to live 🙂 I didn’t realise I had so many natural ones in there!

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Adesi April 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm

yogurt – the word is making my mouth water!

Reel Wisdom

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Janet April 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

what a unique T13! I loved reading this, so creative 🙂 I’m oiling my bike chain today and hope to get some riding in this weekend!

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Staci @ teaching money to kids April 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I was also thinking of water, and hand soap. We also use vinegar for cleaning.

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Deb April 23, 2010 at 7:18 am

Soap’s a good one. I once learnt that solid soap is generally made with sodium hydroxide, liquid soap is made with potassium hydroxide. They’re very similar chemically, I think it’s interesting they have a difference like that.

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Deb April 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

And we use bicarb and vinegar for cleaning as well, it works well.

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Harriet April 23, 2010 at 12:12 am
sandy April 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

wondrous list makes one think sandy
.-= sandy´s last blog ..I love you right back !! =-.

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Kristine April 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm

I was thinking about this blog when I put the washing on. I don’t (but should)disolve my powder but I do when I put ozygen bleach (you know the brand starting with N) on stains. It makes all the difference. I also have noticed it heats up when you dissolve it in water. Very interesting.

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