Just the other day someone asked me the most efficient way to clean a house. And lo and behold a few days later this brilliant piece appeared in The New York Times. So even if you have one of my incredible teams cleaning your house every week, it’s super smart and well written and worth a read. And if you don’t have us cleaning for you, definitely do take a moment to read. It’s worth it. Also probably a good idea to send to those recent college grads… 🙂
I subscribe to a great site called, Women’s Voices for the Earth, and last week they released a new report about companies that produce cleaning products. You can access it here: Deep Clean: What the cleaning industry should be doing to protect your health.
And guess what? The four companies that we think we should trust because they’ve told us they have cleaned up their products have actually been lying to us. Surprise! And our pals at SC Johnson who make such “green” products like, Pledge and Scubbing Bubbles and Windex, are still using hormone disrupting synthetic musks. Nice, ehh?
The great team at Women’s Voices for the Earth has created a “Clean Sweep Campaign” to move companies to adopt a truly transparent and internal chemical screen policy. Learn more at: http://www.womensvoices.org/issues/reports/deep-clean/.
Yup, it’s nearly spring. And in Colorado that means our days can swing wildly from 70 to 30 degrees within even just a few hours. So take advantage of those warmer days to open your windows and let the fresh air fill your home. And while you can’t consistently be outside gardening, hiking, golfing, mountain biking, sailing, fishing, camping…(ok you get the point) now IS a great time to go through your house and get rid of stuff you just don’t need.
A few weeks ago I ran across this fabulous article from Huffington Post detailing 35 things you can get rid of right now. You might not have all 35, but my guess is that you might have at least ten of items…crusty old makeup? stacks of magazines? a bag stuffed full of plastic bags…sound familiar? Purging our house of clutter is one of the best ways we can easily feel better about our surroundings and ourselves. And it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.
So, what are you waiting for? 🙂
A client recently asked how often she should clean her oven. Rule to live by: if something spilled or there are lots of grease splatters – clean the damn thing. Why?
And if that doesn’t motivate you, food that falls off in your oven and just sits there could eventually start tainting the taste of everything you cook.
If you wanna see an actual oven from a former client, click here!
Next week I am sending my only child off to college on the east coast. You would think I would be deluged with emotions of loss and panic over the impending adjustments we both have to make now that our lives are heading in their own directions, but I have not felt anything of the sorts. I am feeling very confidant in his abilities to navigate his life on his own. His skill set is complete. He is an expert at all of the following:
Setting an alarm, getting dressed, showering, being on-time, studying, socializing, eating, communicating, but MOST important of all—-CLEANING.
It has been a requirement in our home that he be tidy and clean, and he has learned it quite honestly from his clean freak mother (and father). Make your bed every day, clean your toilet once a week, sweep the floors, wipe the sink off every time you use it.
I get to see how other college kids of live, every July 31st—August 1st, when literally thousands of units get turned over on the hill at CU. Cleaning companies come as far as Denver to help out in this 24 hour process.
Here are some pics from our wall of shame this year.
NOTE: Son, I WILL kick your monkey ass if I EVER see your college apartment looking like this!
Worst soap dish – 2014.
Worst bathtub – 2014
Worst fridge – 2014
We’ve talked about this before, but now Elephant Journal has a say:
Take off your shoes.
And they even quote God.
So, for the last time people, take off your shoes in your house!
I know, I know…organic this, organic that. But I’m here today to tell you that we should all care a little more about organic cotton. Why? Because 25% of ALL insecticides and 10% of all pesticides used in the US are sprayed on cotton alone. Think about all those nasty, toxic chemicals not only in the plant and on the farmers who process it, but also on the soil and running off into the rivers… Now flash forward to your beautiful home and all of the time and energy you spend keeping it clean and free of toxic products.
And now think about how much time you spend in bed. Or really, how much time you WANT to spend in bed…
And now think about all of those toxic pesticides in the fibers of the sheets on your bed.
You get the picture.
Although it’s hard to buy organic all the time, I get that, maybe the next time you are shopping for sheets or a new quilt, check out the organic options. I’ve noticed that Target now has a great line of organic cotton sheets that are nearly the same price as the others.
Here’s another article about organic cotton.
There is a lot, and I mean A LOT of greenwashing going on out there. Companies who say they are “green” or “non-toxic” but when you scratch a little beneath the surface or hell, just even just actually read their ingredient list (!!) you find nasty chemicals everywhere. Which is why I was so stoked to find out about this great e-commerce website called True Goods. They have a tougher screening process than my heroes over at EWG. Seriously. This site will not let a product into their marketplace unless it passes their Consciously Curated set of insanely high standards.
And the other reason why I love the site, they have awesome content on their blog. Check out these great articles:
Rethinking Clean ~ 5 Reasons to Detox Your Household Cleaners
Venting Is Good + Other Tips to Detox Your Air
And one last reason why I love them? True Goods was founded by a local Denver mom, Elizabeth Wasserman. How cool is that?!
Cleaning an oven is never really fun. But a client of mine, John R., recently told me that he learned how to clean his oven racks by soaking them in a bathtub overnight. He read about the trick at Life Hacker. However, instead of dishwasher powder, he just popped two dishwasher detergent gel packs in the tub and voila – the grime magically melted away.
Thanks for the tip, John!
Most of think that food-borne illness comes from some skanky contaminated meat bought at a low-rent grocery store or your crazy aunt Hazel’s potato salad that sat out on the picnic table too long. Wrong. Most food-borne illnesses actually sprout from our own, sparkly clean kitchens and poor own poor cleaning techniques.
If you don’t follow Jane Brody in the New York Times, maybe this article will inspire you to become a groupie. She’s 72 and still writes a regular column, as well as books, etc. You can find out more about her here: http://www.janebrody.net/
And here’s a link to the article she wrote about food-borne illnesses in the home: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/26/keeping-food-borne-illnesses-at-bay/?_r=0
Although you all probably know most of the information in this article, it’s a thorough and smart piece that I am recommending we all read, and you never know, you might just learn something new! Here’s a piece of advice that I picked up: “When hand-washing dishes and pots, use very hot water and put them on a rack to air-dry. Damp dish towels can harbor bacteria.” Who knew that a dish towel could harbor bacteria?!
My cleaning teams love to deep clean your kitchens, but we can’t be there everyday to help protect you and your family from food-borne illness. Follow Jane’s advice (just use what we do — hydrogen peroxide that’s just 3% strength, and NOT toxic bleach) and you will not only keep your family free of food-borne illness, but you’ll likely have an overall cleaner kitchen, too.