Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Left Salad Dressing By My Couch for Science Reasons.

Remember when I spent a week rubbing fruit garbage on my face and filled my socks with onions?
Strap in, 'cause I'm back on some nonsense again.

It's 2018 now, and there's no better time to do a home cleanse to get rid of all of that old, stagnant, cruddy energy, and make room for the good stuff. Have you ever had a day when your house just feels different? Maybe you've had company over, or you've argued with someone, and your space just isn't the same afterward. Not the kind of emptiness or subtle loneliness that naturally occurs after good friends depart, but just different. A sticky kind of unpleasantness, like you need to clean all over again.

Or maybe you've had a bad day, and can feel it tainting your living space -- a place that should be your sanctuary.

If you've experienced any of these things, you're in luck! The internet has a solution!

(Best of all, if it doesn't work, it'd probably taste okay tossed with a little olive oil, feta, and spinach.)

I'm talking about the Vinegar, Salt, and Water room cure.

Why Vinegar, Salt, and Water?

Why not? They're frequently used in DIY house cleaners, and I don't know any witch who doesn't occasionally rely on them for cleansing. For people who use them often, there's nothing too outlandish in the idea that placing a clear glass of vinegar, salt, and water in a room will help clear it up a bit.

[caption id="attachment_3991" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Ta-da.[/caption]

The Experiment.

So, the vinegar, salt, and water room cure is almost self-explanatory. You add the ingredients to a glass, set it down somewhere, and wait a day or so. If the water evaporates below the level of salt in the glass, do it over. The guide I linked above says that the glass must be kept out of sight in order for the cure to work properly -- having worked with salt, vinegar, and water in a metaphysical capacity, I am calling shenanigans.

Nonetheless, in the interest of science, I hid it beside the couch where I couldn't see it, as the instructions dictate.

[caption id="attachment_1647" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Fortunately, I keep enough jars and bottles around that nobody was likely to notice an extra glass anyway.[/caption]

The Good.

Salt, water, and white vinegar have a lot of history as metaphysical cleansing agents, so I'm kind of surprised to see them pop up in places like Pinterest. Maybe I shouldn't be, though -- a lot of the less "scary" aspects of witchcraft have drifted into the mainstream with the new age movement (for good or ill), so now even those who're the most staunchly anti-witch are getting on board. (Oops.)

To be honest, this didn't feel a whole lot different from other occasions where I've used vinegar for energetic cleansing. Usually I don't bother adding water to it -- you want an easy, quick way to help a space feel less bleh? Pour a little white vinegar in a dish, and let it sit in the middle of the room for a day or so. You can also add vinegar to floor washes, or use it to wipe down door frames, mirrors, or windows. If you want to make a special herbal vinegar just for this purpose, I've got my recipe for Four Thieves Vinegar up.

Anyhow, energy aside, vinegar and salt are good for physical cleaning. Allowing a dish of vinegar to evaporate is also a good way to deodorize an area. At least the proponents of using vinegar, salt, and water aren't claiming it'll detoxify you, cure cancer, or treat physical symptoms, right?

The Bad.

Oh, wait. Of course they are. Signs of a buildup of negative energy are said to include "lethargy, brain fog, and sluggishness." Unfortunately, these are also signs of things like vitamin deficiencies, unstable blood sugar, and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you're experiencing these symptoms often enough for them to be a chronic problem, set up a glass of salt, vinegar, and water, but do it after you buy a carbon monoxide detector and schedule some blood work to make sure you're not neglecting part of your physical health.

Everyone's body is different. People who work with energy manipulation know how it affects them, and can effect the appropriate countermeasures (for example, I feel the complete opposite of that list of symptoms). Recommending energy cures to inexperienced people looking for a fix for their lethargy and brain fog strikes me as irresponsible, to say the least.

There are also some claims floating around that a glass of this mixture can also "detoxify" a space. The thing is:

  • If the vinegar, salt, and water operates as a filtration medium, having no source of air movement means it won't work very well (doubly so if it's placed behind furniture or in other hidden areas).

  • If the mixture is supposed to operate by evaporating and binding to compounds in the air, again, the lack of air movement means it won't get very far or work very well.

  • Vinegar does not remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It may keep you from smelling them because of the strength of its scent, but it doesn't remove them. Acetic acid is a VOC. Sure, I wouldn't class it the same as something like toluene or naphthalene, but it's still important to understand what VOCs are and how they operate when you're talking about things that impact indoor air quality.


There are also claims that it can help you detect whether or not negative energy has built up in a space. I didn't test this aspect of it out, but I also wouldn't rely on this. Negative energy, to me, is basically shorthand for subtle energy that makes a space feel oppressive or unbearable. If it feels bad to you, cleanse it until it feels right again -- regardless of what a glass of water, vinegar, and salt (or a dried lemon, or a chime, or a stream of incense smoke) tells you.

The Ugly.

There isn't really anything, honestly. As far as internet stuff goes, this is pretty innocuous. It might suck if you accidentally knocked it over onto an antique Persian rug, but that's about it. I doubt that children or pets getting into the mixture would be too much of a problem, either -- it's all non-toxic food ingredients, and the salt and vinegar is probably too strong for them to do more than taste it before deciding to leave it alone.


As part of a feng shui cure or means of cleansing a space energetically, there's no reason why this wouldn't work. I mean, it did alright by me. On the other hand, if you're expecting it to alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition or remove things like VOCs from your space, you're gonna have a bad time.

Instead of relying on the salt, vinegar, and water mixture alone, try switching your cleaning products over to low-VOC or homemade versions, buy plenty of houseplants, and invest in a good HEPA filter to remove particulates like pollen, dust, and soot. If you're experiencing physical symptoms, visit your doctor for some blood work to rule out an underlying medical condition, then take a good look at your diet to make sure you're not experiencing sugar highs, crashes, or dehydration.

Have you ever tried the vinegar, salt, and water room cure? How did it work (or not work) for you?

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