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Mayonnaise recipe

Question from HAH

Hello Debra,

Looking for a very simple but tasty ‘Mayonnaise’ recipe can you help??

Thank you,


Debra’s Answer

As a matter of fact, I do have one at Sweet Savvy: Mayonnaise.

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A New Look at Shaklee

Over the years I have received a lot of questions about Shaklee products. Shaklee recently reformulated, repackaged, and renamed their cleaning products into a new line called “Get Clean”–which has a cleaning product for every need in your home–so I thought it was time to take another look at them.

Shaklee has been well-known for their biodegradable Basic H since 1960, but I have not recommended Shaklee products in the past because I was not able to obtain ingredients lists or MSDS sheets. I still couldn’t obtain ingredients lists, but I did get MSDS sheets and took a look at their website.

In general, the Get Clean cleaning products are advertised to be natural, biodegradable, fragrance-free, and super-concentrated (which makes them very economical to use and reduces a lot of packaging). And, Basic H2, has so many uses, it is truly a wonder of a multi-use product.

Shaklee states that their Get Clean products “do not contain hazardous ingredients.” More specifically they state

  • No napthalene

  • No kerosene

  • No formaldehyde

  • No phenol

  • No cresol

  • No lye

  • No hydrochloric acid

  • No sulfuric acid

  • No petroleum distillates

  • No benzene

  • No ammonia

  • No paradichlorobenzene

  • No sodium hydroxide

  • No butyl cellosolve

  • No phosphoric acid

  • No chlorine

0 ingredients that are hazardous to humans.

0 chemicals like phosphates, chlorine, and nitrates that are harmful to the planet are in Get Clean.

0 volatile organic compounds, chemicals that produce noxious toxins and air pollution, are in Get Clean.

Their MSDS sheets do list a few items under “hazardous substances” but there are either minerals, which are considered hazardous because of dust exposure (not toxicity), enzymes (I don’t know why they are considered hazardous) or in the case of the one substance I would consider “hazardous”–ethyl alcohol–are present in very small amounts and is made from plant sources (this is not stated on the MSDS or the website, but I have an email from Shaklee stating this is so).

I have a small sample of the Basic H2 and it basically smells like nothing.

There are no ingredients listed on the labels (which are on the website, by the way, for each product), the “Product Bulletin” for each product tells some of what the products are made from. Basic H2, for example, is made from corn and coconuts; Nature Bright Laundry Booster and Stain Remover is made from natural enzymes and oxygen bleach.

Shaklee says their products are “safe for the planet” because:

  • Sustainably sourced natural ingredients

  • Biodegradable

  • No phosphates

  • No nitrates

  • No borates

  • No animal testing

  • Recyclable packaging

  • Recyclable wipes

  • Recyclable dryer sheets

In addition, Shaklee has zero impact on global warming by offsetting 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions. They were the nation’s first business to be certified Climate Neutral.

And their world headquarters utilize the latest energy-efficient designs and sustainable resource materials. They also print on recycled paper, recycle, offer telecommuting, encourage use of public transportation, and more. They have received many awards for their environmental efforts.

Shaklee does not test its products on animals.

After all these years, I’m happy to have finally gotten some information on Shaklee products I can review, and having done so, decided to put these new Get Clean products on Debra’s List as “earthwise” cleaning products.

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Natural Home Pest Control

Question from Cindy Walker


My husband and I are really trying to go organic and natural all the way.

Now there is one big problem. For years we have been having pesticides sprayed in our basement, etc. You see, many years ago when we moved into this home, it was rampid with centipedes. It started in February 1995. I would get up in the mornings and since I arose earlier for work, would use the bathroom on the other side of the house. Every morning there would be many centipedes in the bath tub. This went on for months and I would always tell my husband about this. Finally, months later on a Sunday morning, I showed him at least 9 centipedes and body parts laying in the tub. Uggh! Thats how we got into pest control.

Now we want out. If anyone has any suggestions about anything natural to put around the house, basement, it would be greatly appreciated. These critters come up through all the drains, in the tube, bathroom sink and kitchen sink. They hang on the ceilings and pretty much like to take over the house. If it was not a lovely house, I would have been outta here long ago!

Thanks much and appreciate any time to this matter.


Debra’s Answer


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Silicone cookware

Question from vivian

I came across your website while trying to get information about the safety of silicone cookware. I received a bright red tart pan for Christmas, and the first time I baked with it I noticed a distinctly odd odor. The nose is considered the “first line of defense” from an evolutionary standpoint, and if you can smell chemicals, they probably are leaching into your food. Silicone by itself may not be harmful, but what about the materials used to color it? I will definitely not cook with this again, the flavor and odor, while subtle, is definitely a cause for concern! Also, people’s ability to detect odors can be vastly variable, so many people will never notice this…Thanks for a great website.

Debra’s Answer

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MAAS metal polish

Question from Katy Swanson

Hi Debra-

I work for an environmental non-profit in Jacksonville, Fl and one of the individuals that have been working with had a question about the ingredients in MAAS metal polishes. I have reseached the website and found no information regarding what they are using to get results that are apparently “amazing” on all kinds of tarnished metals.

If you have heard anything about these product or the ingredients in these products I would appreciate any sharing of information. I do not feel comfortable recommending a product that does not disclose this information, especially if they are toxic or environmentally and socially harmful, but maybe i am not looking in the right spot.

Thanks for any help and your time.

-Katy Swanson

Debra’s Answer

I went to the MAAS website and they had neither ingredients nor MSDS posted, so I called. They offered to fax me an MSDS sheet, but my fax isn’t working, so the person who answered the phone read the “Hazardous Ingredients” section of the MSDS to me over the phone.

The hazardous ingredients in this product are calcinated alumina, hydrocarbon mixture, and triethanolamine. Triethalnolamine is a petrochemical of moderate toxicity (see Environmental Working Group Ingredient Report on Trienthalonamine). I’m most concerned about the hydrocarbon mixture, which could contain any number of petrochemical solvents with varying toxicity, which could change from batch to batch. The calcinated alumina is basically aluminum.

I would suspect that this product has a strong odor from the solvents. I wouldn’t use it.

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Pot scuff marks in the sink

Question from Debbie

Hi Debra –

The cleaning products I use in my home are just about 100% natural, my only problem is that I like commercial cleansers, especially when it comes to cleaning scuff marks off a porcelain sink – I read once where you can use pumice to get these marks off, but it doesn’t work – I also use commercial cleanser to clean my shower, I have a white shower pan and I can’t find anything that gets it really white that doesn’t have bleach in it?


Debra’s Answer

I personally am not so concerned about getting sinks and showers “really white” as long as they are clean.

Readers, what do you use?

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How to make interior oil based floor paint nontoxic?

Question from Eric Talaska

Hello, this is my first entry here. I appreciate this service Debra provides. I have a concrete slab floor with oil based floor paint on it that is 2 years old. It has surely outgased toxic fumes a lot already. How do I keep it from outgassing or otherwise releasing toxic fumes or chemicals? Is it better to remove it and then start over with something nontoxic? If so, how do I safely remove it? If leaving it on is recommended, what can I put over it that would keep it from outgassing? Thanks.

Debra’s Answer

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Honey not good to cook with

Question from Bob Jordan


Awhile back you ran a dessert recipe I don’t remeberer which and suggested a number of alternatives to the sweetener in the recipe one of which was honey. I should have commented then but better late than never, honey when heated to high temperatures becomes a glue like substance. Ayurvedic has long considered it a no no to cook or bake with honey. My source for this information is the Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadaea Morningstar and Urmila Desai.

Debra’s Answer

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