As more and more people are deciding to do something about their carbon footprint by adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, it appears that some major companies are also jumping on board. As you’ll see in this article from Green Cleaning Magazine, Disney has recently put out a book which is a guide for children and their families on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. If you are a parent who wants their child to embrace the “green” lifestyle, I’d say this sounds like a pretty cool way to get them started.
News: Disney Debuts Mickey Go Green! Book
Looking for a good read to add to your summer list? Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestylefrom Disney’s Mickey & Friends Collection, is a perfect addition to your lineup, especially if you have kids—and a passion for eco-conscious living.
This new book encourages children and families to learn about the concept of sustainability and the changes they can make in their own daily lives. We love the fact that it’s filled with great illustrations, fun facts, tips, and engaging green activities. It also breaks down the complicated (and sometimes overwhelming) process of going green into easy-to-achieve individual steps for the whole family.
Go Green! is a solid guide for families wanting to take steps towards transforming their lives to live a healthier, greener, and more sustainable lifestyle. This book also explains sustainability in a truly simple and fun way, putting the concept into perspective for children by showing easy and fun ways of making more sustainable choices.
Some of the green practices addressed in this fun book include: • Understanding your ecological footprint • The three R’s of sustainability (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) • Creating seasonal crafts • The importance of eating locally • How to grow your own organic garden
There is nothing quite like going to sleep in a bed adorned with freshly washed sheets and pillowcases. It just seems to be easier to fall asleep with everything soft and clean. Like most people, I try to keep my linens as clean as possible, including sheets, pillowcases, and even comforters. However, there is one item I never really considered cleaning, the pillows themselves. That was until I read this article from Seventh Generation, which has some tips on how to clean the pillows you lie your head on every night, not just the pillow cases. Needless to say, my next load of laundry will definitely include a few pillows.
6 Steps to Clean Pillows & Sweet Dreams
The sheets get changed at least once a week, maybe twice because I just love the feel of clean, fresh sheets. So why did it never dawn on me that the pillow(s) upon which I lie my head each night also needed a tumble in the washing machine now and then?
Turns out washing pillows is pretty easy, and you don’t need to wash them as frequently as you wash your sheets. Washing every six months or so is enough to keep them fluffy and relatively germ-free. Here’s how:
1. Check the label to make sure that your pillow can be machine washed (most can be). If you can’t find the care label and you have down or fiberfill pillows, you’re still in luck.
2. Toss two pillows in the washing machine at a time. This way, the machine will stay balanced while it spins.
3. Use mild liquid detergent rather than powder detergent — powder will leave residue on your pillows.
4. Use warm water and choose the gentle cycle. It’s also a good idea to add on an extra cold-water rinse and spin to make sure that the detergent is completely removed from the pillow.
5. Tumble dry pillows on low heat, and add in a couple of tennis balls wrapped in white socks to help refluff.
6. Your pillows should be completely dry before you take them back to bed. Even slight dampness can lead to mold.
Foam or Memory Foam Pillows?
Forget the washing machine. Wet foam is heavy and tears easily. Some foam pillows include instructions for hand washing. If you choose to hand wash, be very gentle and let the pillow air dry completely before using it again. Otherwise, spot-clean any soiled areas with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy solution. Rinse with a damp cloth. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back on the bed.
To remove dust from foam pillows use your vacuum’s upholstery tool or tumble the pillow in the dryer on the no-heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes.
There are countless reasons why people need to have some sort of air freshener in their home. Things like; cooking certain foods, pet odors, children’s sports equipment, garbage, etc…..These are all reasons to break out that air freshener. The problem is, many air fresheners contain chemicals which you breathe in every time you use them. Not to mention, air fresheners can often times be a bit overwhelming. So, how do you combat offensive odors in your home without having to resort to traditional air fresheners? The good people at Wise Bread, have the answer. This article tells you about some of the best natural air fresheners to use. Best of all, many of these items can already be found in most homes, so you’re also saving some bucks!
Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners
When something stinky takes over your home, the first thing you reach for might be Febreze. But when you run out, you have no choice but to rely on Mother Nature to provide aromatic relief (which, by the way, is better for the environment and your budget). So to help you battle all the stenches and smells that life wafts your way, here are 10 natural air fresheners that make breathing more bearable.
Vinegar is one of the most effective and inexpensive air fresheners around. Just pour distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and attack the problem areas head on. The vinegar scent may be overpowering at first, but as it evaporates, it’ll take the offensive odors with it.
2. Kitty Litter
Kitty litter makes sense as a natural air freshener because its main purpose is to mask the scent of a feline’s “business,” but one litter brand in particular — Jonny Cat Litter — is a cut above the rest, according to Joey Green, author of “Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic.” The main ingredient in Jonny is diatomaceous earth, a mineral that absorbs odors and moisture in the air. If you can’t find Jonny Cat, settle for straight-up diatomaceous earth, which you can find at a garden supply store.
3. Ground Coffee
To use coffee grounds as an air freshener, let them dry out (an important step to avoid mold) before transferring to a bowl or wrapping in an old stocking that you’ll place in an area that you want to freshen. If you’re not a coffee drinker (I’m among that minority), visit your nearby coffee joint and ask if you can take some of their used grounds off their hands.
There are many recipes to make all-natural, homemade potpourri, but I thought you might enjoy this video recipe for “green” potpourri. All you’ll need is a brown bag, dried flowers (passion, hibiscus), orris root, orange peel, juniper berries, sandalwood, and orange-scented essential oil. You can find all these organic ingredients in a natural herb store.
I bet you never expected vodka to be on this list of all-natural air fresheners, but here it is. The reason vodka makes such a great freshener is because it contains ethyl alcohol — the main ingredient in store-bought, chemical-laden fresheners — and when it dries, it leaves no odor. You can, however, enhance the smell of the vodka freshener with an essential oil — about 25 drops will do. And if I may — use the cheap stuff; you’re not drinking it, so there’s no need to waste the Grey Goose.
6. Citrus and Spices
Bring a pot of orange or lemon rinds and peels to a boil, add in a few cinnamon sticks and/or cloves, and enjoy the fresh, festive fall-like scent it sends through your home. While this freshener will begin to work immediately from the stove, there’s no reason you can’t bottle it for later use.
7. Essential Oils
Essential oils are an important part of several of these natural air fresheners in order to give the base a more pleasant scent. But outside of vodka and potpourri, you can add essential oils to just about anything — such as a homemade candle, perhaps — that will help facilitate easier breathing wherever you are.
8. Baking Soda and Essential Oils
I like the idea of combining baking soda and essential oils in a small jar to make a natural air freshener for two reasons:
It’s small, unassuming, and aesthetically pleasing.
Nature is Earth’s air freshener — which is something we often overlook. When there’s a foul odor permeating your abode, open the window — or several — and let the cool breeze travel through your home while pushing out any offensive stenches.
To remove seafood smells for your hands, it’s recommend to rub them with lemons. Likewise, when your garbage disposal starts to stink, throw a few lemon slices down the hole and run the blades for a burst of citrusy freshness. When you want to deodorize your home, dissolve one-eighth of a cup of baking soda in two cups hot water and a half-cup of lemon juice for an instant air freshener.
When it comes to getting your home spick-and-span, the right cleaning tools can really help. But what happens when those cleaning tools need to be cleaned themselves? Think about it, cleaning your floor with a dirty mop is basically just spreading more dirt and germs around. Vacuum cleaners lose their ability to suck up dirt, dust and hair from your rugs when they haven’t been properly cleaned. From mops and brooms, to washing machines and dishwashers, the tools you use to clean work best when, they too, are clean. This article from Enviro Maids, gives you a few tips on how to clean some of your most used cleaning tools.
How to Clean your Cleaning Tools
This may sound strange, but when was the last time you cleaned your cleaning tools — your vacuum, washing machine, or dishwasher? Last month? Last year? Never? Before you tackle your next cleaning to-do list, make sure your cleaning tools are clean. Why? Tools that are clean work more efficiently. Also, a dirty dishwasher, for example, can harbor germs and bacteria — not a place you want to clean your dishes and utensils. Here’s how to get your cleaning tools clean.
Dishwashers should regularly be cleaned — about once a month — to remove the bacteria, fungi, and mold that can build up inside over time. Sometimes even bits of food get stuck to the bottom or in crevices, causing a foul smell. To kill germs and clean your dishwasher, Goodhousekeeping.comsuggests first picking up any food particles from the bottom of the drain with a rag. Pour white vinegar into a cup, and place it on the top rack of an empty dishwasher. Freshen-up a foul-smelling dishwasher by sprinkling the bottom of the dishwasher with baking soda; run a cycle on the hottest setting.
Washing machines are notorious for developing a bad smell after a while. Where is that smell coming from? According to Goodhousekeeping.com, the odor culprit could be caused by many things: detergent or fabric softener buildup, bacteria from clothes, or leaving wet clothes sitting inside for long periods of time. Front-loader machines are more susceptible to growing mold and mildew around the rubber gasket that lines the door. Fortunately, a few steps can get your washer smelling fresh again. Keep the door to your washer open when not in use so the inside can dry out. Also, don’t overdo it on the soap; high-efficiency washers use less water. If you add too much soap, remaining soap residue inside the drum can develop an odor.
To get rid of the unpleasant odor, disinfect with white vinegar and baking soda. Run an empty cycle with hot water, adding 3 to 4 cups of vinegar to ½ cup of baking soda.
A vacuum needs regular maintenance to make sure it’s doing its job properly. Dirty filters or overstuffed vacuum bags end up just pushing dirt around instead of collecting it. For bagless vacuums, Goodhousekeeping.com suggests emptying the canister after each use. For ones with bags, don’t wait until the bag is completely full; replace it when it’s two-thirds full. Clean the filter by shaking out dust or removing buildup with fingers; or, replace it every six months to a year. If there’s an odor coming from your vacuum, try cleaning the attachments with hot, soapy water. Be sure to completely dry the pieces before using them.
Over time, your hardworking broom can get pretty grimy. After you’re done sweeping, be sure to remove any debris that’s stuck to the bristles. Once a month (or more often if you’re sweeping up food) gently wash the ends with warm water and a gentle detergent, Rinse well. Let it air dry outdoors, bristles up. To prevent the bristles from crimping and bending, always hang the broom from a hook or nail.
If you’re not washing and drying your mop after each use, you are potentially spreading bacteria and germs the next time you use it. After mopping up messes, your floor is clean, but not your mop. If your mop has a removable head, throw it in the washing machine, using soap and hot water. For sponge mops, wash the head with dish detergent and hot water. Always squeeze out excess water and thoroughly air dry before storing it away.
By this time in May, most people have already tackled those daunting spring cleaning jobs inside their home. However, spring cleaning may not quite be over, don’t forget about cleaning your outdoor spaces as well. Over the Autumn and Winter months, chances are pretty good the outside of your home took a bit of a beating, now is the time to clean things up. In this article from Enviro Maids, they focus on several areas of your outdoor space that most likely would need to be addressed.
Spring Clean Your Outdoor Space
When you think of spring cleaning you probably think about dusting, organizing, polishing, and shining the inside of your home. But what about the outside of your home? The outside needs just as much TLC as the inside. After all, it’s the first thing people see when they come to your home. We’ll guide you through how to get your outdoor space looking tidy and welcoming.
Your front entryway should be welcoming and inviting. Go outside and take a good look at your entryway. Pretend you’re a guest at your door. Look up and down and all around for any eyesores. As guests wait for you to answer the door, they’re looking around and yes, they’re noticing the cobwebs, clutter, and dirty walkway. Remove cobwebs, sweep the entryway, remove toys, shoes, or any other clutter that’s blocking the area. Remove light fixtures and clean out any bugs; wash the glass with dish soap and water.
Dapper Front Door
After a long Connecticut winter, your front door probably could use a good scrubbing. Remove traces of the dirt and grime left behind by the winter elements by washing your front door. All you need is warm water, a bucket, a rag, and mild soap. Wipe the door with the soapy water and rinse; dry with a clean, soft cloth. Don’t forget to clean the doorbell and wipe the threshold, too.
Gleaming Garage Door
Another door that needs some attention is your garage door. A hose, bucket, mild dish soap, sponge, and some elbow grease are all the tools you’ll need. Wet the door with a hose and dip your sponge in a bucket filled with soapy water; clean using a circular motion and rinse. You can even recruit your kids to help you out with this chore.
Twigs and leaves hanging from your gutters don’t do much for your home’s curb appeal and clogged gutters means a bigger problem — water can’t drain properly away from your house. While you’re cleaning dirt and debris from your gutters, check for leaks and make sure everything is connected properly.
Tip: HGTV.com recommends using decomposed leaves you collect as compost for your garden.
Pristine Patio Furniture
Now that the warm weather has arrived, you’ll be doing a lot of your entertaining outdoors. Before you offer your guests a place to sit, make sure your patio furniture is presentable and ready for use. If your furniture has cushions, remove them and vacuum up any dirt, debris, or pet hair; be sure to vacuum the bottom of your furniture and get into all the cracks and crevices. If your cushions have removable fabric covers, launder them according to the label instructions. If you can’t remove the covers, give them a good shaking to rid them of dust, dirt, and pollen. You can also use the handle of a broom to “beat” the dirt out. To remove stuck on grime from tables and chairs, you’ll need some warm water and about ½ teaspoon mild dish soap. Dampen a rag or sponge with the soap-and-water solution and wipe the legs, arms and front and back of furniture. Dampen another clean rag with clean water to wipe any remaining soap residue.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to have a “green thumb” to get your yard looking good. Spending some time pulling out weeds and dead foliage in flower beds and raking any left-over fallen leaves can make a big difference. Once your flower beds are free of weeds and dead foliage, plant some in-season annuals for pops of color. According to Frontdoor.com, another easy way to up your curb appeal is to add mulch to your flower beds for a neat and finished look.
It used to be that the only place you’d find baby wipes, was at the home of someone that had a baby…..which, totally makes sense. However, lately I’ve noticed them in just about everyone’s home, which got me thinking, “what’s so great about baby wipes?”. Besides the obvious use for baby wipes, it turns out there are a ton of other uses as well. In this article from Green Cleaning Magazine, many of these alternate uses for baby wipes are listed. I guess they really are a handy little cleaning tool to have around.
15 Unique Ways to Use Baby Wipes
There’s a box in my car, one in the kitchen, a pack of them in my bathroom, and one with my cleaning supplies. What is this marvelous do-everything product that I can’t live without? Baby wipes!
It’s been years since there was a baby in the house, but one thing I discovered about the handy little wipe during that time was all the wonderful things they can do other than just clean a dirty bum or wipe a messy face. Here are my favorites:
1) Remove eye makeup. Gentle enough for baby, gentle enough to take off eye makeup and not nearly as pricy as fancy eye makeup remover.
2) Cleaning up inside of my car when I’m stuck in traffic. Why fume when you can multitask! Grab a wipe, swipe it across the dash and you’re good to go.
3) Wipe down the leaves of houseplants. Gentle, easy way to take off the dust.
4) Clean bird poop and dead bugs off your windshield. Don’t use them to wash the whole window or you’ll create a streaky mess, but they’re super for those hard-to-remove “lumps.”
5) Summer’s almost here (really, it is). Put some wipes in a baggie and put it in the cooler for use at the beach or on day trips, or just put some in the fridge for those oppressively hot nights.
6) There’s nothing like a baby wipe to remove pen, pencil and crayon from most surfaces (even skin).
7) Little spots on your kitchen or bathroom floor? Pop a baby wipe onto a floor duster, run it over the messes and watch them disappear.
8) Static got your hair standing on end (or your dress riding up in an embarrassing way)? A slightly damp baby wipe will tame things in a flash.
9) Here’s one I love: Baby wipes get rid of deodorant marks on dark clothing. Really!
10) A baby wipe or two can take the fear out of using public bathrooms, shopping carts, restaurant tables and more. Don’t leave home without them.
11) I have a hairy little dog. You may too (or even a less-than-fastidious cat). Baby wipes make short work of “danglers.”
12) Speaking of dogs, use a baby wipe to clean off puppy paws after a walk and before they jump into your nice, clean car.
13) No time to shower after a workout? A quick swipe here and there with a baby wipe will leave you fresh enough to be on your way.
14) Dust and go! I slide baby wipes between the hard-to-dust rungs of chairs, and anywhere else that’s a little hard to reach with a conventional dust cloth.
15) Not much letter writing going on these days, but when you do need a moisten an envelope to seal it, don’t lick, wipe with a baby wipe instead.
This Sunday is a day when we all can give thanks to the wonderful women who raised us, loved us, and put up with us no matter what……our mothers. On Mother’s Day, it is customary to give your mother a gift. Usually, the gift is something like flowers, chocolate, or a card.
This year, instead of giving mom one of the same old generic gifts, why not give her something she really wants, like a clean home! Contact Clean Conscience, today to schedule an appointment for a house cleaning. Give the gift of a nice clean home to your mom, wife, sister, aunt, friend, etc……any mother you think deserves it.
So, to all of the mothers out there (especially my mom, Sheila), thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!!!
I think it is safe to say that most people take pride in having a clean home, and many of them take care of the cleaning themselves. In fact, some people actually enjoy cleaning……not this guy, but some. If you’ve got the time, the will, and a broom, you can tackle several chores in a few hours. However, there are some tasks that may be better left to the professionals. In this article from Enviro Maids, they list several chores that you may want to call in the pros for.
Leave These Chores to the Pros
You may be a proud do-it-yourselfer, and can tackle the dusting, vacuuming, and mopping like a pro, but sometimes calling in the professionals to handle some household chores is practical and necessary. Professionals are trained and equipped with the proper tools and can safely and easily clean areas around your house such as the windows, gutters, and carpeting. Hiring a professional is also a wise investment to ensure that you don’t accidentally ruin materials such as expensive upholstery. Here’s our list of chores with the help ofGoodHousekeeping.com that are best left to the pros.
Windows always make the list of spring cleaning chores. Depending on the number of windows you have and how dirty they are, cleaning your windows yourself can be a drawn out process. In addition to it being an entire day (or weekend) process, if you have hard to reach windows or a tall house, climbing a ladder to access the windows can be dangerous. The professionals have the proper equipment to reach high windows and are trained on how to properly clean the glass, window panes, screens, and every nook and cranny.
According to The Carpet and Rug Institute, having your carpet professionally deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months helps to maintain the beauty and extends the duration of your carpet. Vacuuming alone isn’t enough to grab all the embedded dirt, food particles, and dust that collect in your carpet over time. While many carpet cleaning machines are available for homeowners to purchase or to rent, doing it yourself isn’t that easy, takes a long time, and the results usually aren’t as favorable as a professional cleaner’s results.
Upholstery definitely can take a beating and show its wear-and-tear faster than other areas of your home, especially if you have children and pets. Calling in the professionals to clean your upholstered sofas and chairs is a wise investment. Doing it yourself may be cheaper, but you run the risk of damaging your upholstery if you use the wrong cleaning solution or scrub too hard. Trying to clean upholstery yourself can actually make things worse; you’ve got the dirt out, but now you have water stains! The professionals have the know-how and the proper equipment to safely and effectively clean your upholstery.
Drapes make our list of the top things in your home you neglect to clean. While it’s recommended to regularly vacuum your drapes, many people forget or just don’t have the time. If your drapes are looking dingy it’s likely due to the dust, pet hair, pollen, and smoke that collects and clings to the fabric. By having them professionally cleaned, your drapes will look great and they’ll enhance the overall look of your room.
While you can remove the black film of soot from your fireplace doors and clean the façade of your fireplace brick or stone yourself, having your chimney professionally inspected and cleaned is a must. The professional will sweep your chimney and remove any creosote buildup or bird’s nests that can cause a chimney fire. The professional will also check for any structural problems. It’s suggested you have your chimney professionally inspected and clean once a year.
A clogged gutter can cause many headaches for homeowners. Gutters that are filled with leaves, twigs, and other debris don’t do their job of directing rain away from the house. A professional will remove any blockages and make sure the gutters and downspouts direct water away from the house. They will also look for signs of bending or damage. If you frequently have problems with clogged gutters, consider having gutter guards installed to prevent future blockages caused by leaves and debris.
I think it’s safe to say that most people wish their home could be clean, chemical free, and energy efficient. In other words, most of us would like to live in a sustainable home. So, what keeps many people from achieving this goal? Chances are good, it’s something as simple as a fear of change. The truth is, the changes that are needed for a more sustainable home are usually fairly simple. In this article from our friends at Seventh Generation, they list 7 simple changes you can make around your home to make it a more eco-friendly/ efficient home.
Spring Some Changes on Your Home
Ever wonder why we celebrate Easter with eggs? It’s simple: the egg is an ancient symbol of new beginnings, and that’s spring in, well… an egg shell. This is the season of renewal, and while that’s often translated to mean spring cleaning, there are other fresh earth-friendly starts we should make as well.
With the snow (mainly) melted and the cold (almost) vanquished but life’s pace not yet dialed up all the way to summer, this is the year’s best moment to invest a little time making small changes like these that help us live more sustainably:
Give your lawn some love. Before your grass gets thick, rake up its thatch, that mat of old, tangled grass stems and other organic matter between growing grass and the actual ground. Thatch wastes water, which runs off your lawn before it’s absorbed. Once you’ve de-thatched, use an aerator to poke holes in the soil that let water and oxygen get to the roots for healthier lawns with less watering.
Get your rot on. Start composting in an outdoor bin into which you can deposit all your yard waste, vegetable scraps, and other organics all summer long. It’s a more sustainable destination than a landfill and the compost you harvest will help your green spaces stay healthier.
Chill out. Few refrigerators show their actual temperature and most control dials are a crap shoot. So get a small thermometer and take your own fridge’s temperature. You want your freezer around 0° and the main compartment at about 38°. Anything lower is wasting energy on cooling you don’t need.
Heat up. Insulating your water heater with a pre-cut, wrap-around blanket made for the purpose costs about $25 but can save up to 9% of your energy costs and as much as $45 every year. It’s an easy springtime task that pays dividends all year.
Enlighten your outdoor fixtures. Exterior lighting is coming into its peak season, but many fixtures use high-wattage incandescent bulbs. A traditional 120-watt type burning four hours a night uses about $20 worth of electricity per year. But an LED equivalent costs just $3.33 per year while reducing pollution by over 83%. And it will last for 17 years, saving as much as $280 during its lifetime.
Veg out. Start Meatless Mondays in your family. Going vegetarian one day a week can have a big impact on the environment. You can save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you would by skipping showers for six months, and an entire vegetarian meal generates 24 times fewer greenhouse gases than a six ounce hamburger.
Slay your vampires. Any device whose indicator lights are always on or that you can turn on instantly via remote control sucks up energy even when “off.” These “vampire loads” cost about $100 per year in the average home. That’s an extra month’s power bill for me! Get some power strips with their own master switches for your home entertainment and computer desk areas. Plugging everything in and keeping those switches off until you need the connected gear will stake the heart of home’s own vampires.
Small changes like these can make a big difference in the health of the world we share, so spring into action and enjoy all the good things that will starting growing as soon as you do!