The Pinterest Nazi

Its that nice, sticky, snowman-makin' snow too.

Its that nice, sticky, snowman-makin’ snow too.

Its a snow day here today, so I cannot go on supply runs or do any painting, and I have been burning the afternoon on Pinterest.  I love, love, love Pinterest.  So much inspiration and beauty to be found there.  In fact, I’d love it if you’d follow me at

Lately I’ve been feeling the need to rail against the pins on Pinterest pins that I *know* are WRONG.  Its one thing to fib to attract a few extra views to your blog– I’m not saying its okay, but I could see how it happens– but to expose readers to potential dangers?  That’s just mean.  And I see them a *lot!* I want to warn my friends that these things that they are pinning could be dangerous, but when I do, I just sound like a naysaying party-pooper.  And I feel like a bitch.  Just a few examples:

  • Often the “how to clean your washing machine” pins and similar ask you to do alternating cycles of bleach and vinegar.  This is a bad idea!  Please don’t mix chemicals, especially with bleach.  Being raised in very isolated small town, my aunt didn’t know this cardinal rule of cleaning, and in the sixties mixed ammonia and bleach in an inclosed bathroom– “for that extra cleaning power”– and found out the hard way.  She barely made it out of the room before she passed out, which saved her life.  If my true tale just seems too “urban legend” to you, go here– and read more.
  • I see pins fairly often that advise you cut open glow sticks as well.  Some ask you to mix it in a jar with diamond glitter to make fairy dust, which plain old doesn’t work (that accompanying pic is photoshopped, ya’ll), but some say that you can open them and put them in your child’s bathwater.  This is a BAD IDEA.  We had a cheap one that punctured when we snapped it on Halloween.  We dashed to the bathtub, just to put it down someplace it wouldn’t stain the carpets or ruin the tabletops, washed the kiddo’s hands (he didn’t appear to have gotten any on his skin, we were just being precautionary) and left without remembering to throw it away.  It got thrown away within hours, but it had already oozed onto the plasticy/fiberglass bathtub niche, and I couldn’t scrub that stuff away!  Not even two months later, when we moved!  It wasn’t going ANYWHERE.  Now, affects to your child’s skin aside (and I don’t even want to *think* about that), just don’t do it for the sake of scrubbing it off of your tub.  I don’t know if it ever came off….  (If you insist on trying the ‘fairies in a jar’ pin, go here and follow her method, that’s as close as you’re gonna get to the pic in the pinterest pin.)
  • I’ve seen a pin or two recommending that you cook corn on the cob in a cooler, by dumping boiling water on it and leaving it enclosed.  While I’m sure this works beautifully, I’ve read a thing on how you shouldn’t put boiling hot water on plastic that is meant exclusively for cold, it is likely to leach chemicals into your food.  Since this is something I try to avoid anyway (I don’t microwave plastic, etc.) I will be avoiding this pin as well.  Snopes says it pretty well here–

There are so many more than that, these are just the ones I’ve seen in the last 24 hours or so.  I’m starting a new board, just for the fallacious pins.  I’m sick of it.  Some of the these I’m sure were posted by well-intentioned bloggers, but that still doesn’t make them okay to be passed around.  The ones that I’ve seen this morning claim they are etsy sellers who “handmade” their Japanese re-ment collectibles (Um?  Do they assume we don’t know how to shop online beyond etsy?), and the “moonfruit” that allegedly changes the flavor of everything that follows it into your mouth (a pic of blue photoshopped watermelon, such fruit does not exist).  Neither of those are dangerous, but I hate seeing misleading information being repinned across my friends’ boards.  It feels unfair to those of us that actually use our pinterest accounts for true instructional inspiration and tracking wanted purchases….

What do you think?  Is it mean for me to say on a friend’s pin, “Um, hey, this info sucks for ___ reason.”  Should I just let the naughty pins float?  Ignore it?   Do you think the pinners feelings will be hurt if I say something?  I hate being the wet blanket, but I also think there should be some information accountability….  Log in via facebook and tell me your opinion, I consider this whole ‘Pinterest etiquette’ thing to be fairly new ground!

Jan 17, 2013 | Category: Just A Thought | Comments: 4


4 Responses to “The Pinterest Nazi”

  1. Katie W

    I feel like a pinterest nazi all the time too! Sometimes I do comment on the pins that are misleading, if it’s a good friend I can’t hold back from warning them. There’s a blog out there that rate pin fails by the dangerousness, and helpfully often gives tips.

    But the part about your post that convinced me to comment is the glow stick bath. A LOT of people don’t know there is glass inside those glow sticks. When they’re “cracked” to glow, it’s very fine glass or maybe sharp brittle plastic separating the two sets of chemicals. So people would in effect be dumping toxic chemicals as well as tiny shards of glass inside their child’s bath!!

    I’ve also seen one that tells people there aren’t legally obligated to stop at stop signs w/o some sticker on the back. What bunk!

    It drives me nuts to see all these things out there but I start to feel bitter when I go around commenting w/ corrections too much. I’ve limited myself to if it’s dangerous. And refrain from commenting on things like recipes that say 0 Carbs!! when it’s a big fat lie.

    As far as the “moon fruit” goes there is an exotic berry in existence that affects how you taste for a short period after. I read (i think it was New York Times) article about it a few years back, people were having tasting parties. Anyway. I’m starting to ramble now.

    I totally know how you feel.

    • Amber

      My goodness, I hadn’t even thought about the sharp stuff separating the chemicals! Yet another reason to not break those babies open… since posting this I have seen SO MANY scary posts about kids getting these chemicals in their eyes, etc. There is a reason these things are hard to get into!!!

      I am SO GLAD that someone agrees with me about the misleading pinterest pins, I usually don’t mind the stupid ones, but the dangerous ones make me very frustrated. I never know what to do….

      Link me to your pinterest page, and I’ll follow you– and I won’t feel bad if you correct a pin of mine that is dangerous or misleading, I promise!

      Thanks for your visit and comments, Miss Katie!

      • Katie W

        You’re welcome!

        I was hesitant to link to my pinterest page here (maybe being a little paranoid, possibly silly) but I found yours through your blog so I’ve follow you there. I’ll show up as “Katie S.” So I hope it’s not too hard to find me in your followers list.

        I also promise I won’t get mad if you correct something I pin :)

        • Amber

          No, I completely understand, although right now I still think you’d be pretty safe since no one really reads my blog… And my Mom’s not much of a threat! (Not to imply that you, er, are “no one,” I just mean– I’m still pretty new here!) I see the follow-up Pinterest email, and I will follow, post-haste… Thanks again!

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