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In: House Cleaning Tips

Comments Off on Mary Moppins: Candle Burning Precautions

Mary MoppinsIn our search of an Earth-friendly cleaning, we discovered Mary Moppins, a former house cleaner turned inventor.

We’re reposting this article from her blog for our friends who love using scented candles in their homes. We hope you find these tips useful!

Candle burning precautions:

Never burn a candle near flammable material. They do not belong on window sills, next to walls, near lamps, or furniture.

Here are a few tips for safe handling:

  1. Place all candles, burning or not, on a glass plate. Wax sweats even if it is not being burned and will leave un-removable color stains on furniture.
  2. Never move a lit candle or one that has been blown out. Heat sets a stain and the color from hot wax is permanent.
  3. Look for candles without lead wicks and made from soy. Soy candles emit less smoke and therefore fewer toxins into the air.
  4. People love scented candles. Only the scents could be causing lung and breathing issues as well as allergic reactions. Burn unscented candles and instead simmer a pot of cinnamon sticks, cloves, or other fresh herbs on the stove. Or place cinnamon sticks in small bud vases around a room.
  5. Avoid the scented air fresheners as well. They numb your sinuses so you can’t smell odors, the fragrances are often toxic adding to indoor air pollution and the chemicals in them can cause polyps and sinus infections. Plug-ins and the fresheners that go off when you walk past them are even worse.

How to remove candle wax from carpet:

  1. Scrape off what you can with a blunt knife.
  2. Grab a hair dryer and several white paper towels – never use a printed paper towel.
  3. Turn the heat on the hair dryer to medium high and begin heating the wax.
  4. As the wax softens, dab it with the paper towel.
  5. Continue heating the wax and blotting until all the wax has been removed. If the candle was colored, the heat from the wax has set the color and is nearly impossible to remove.

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In: House Cleaning News

Comments Off on Battle of the house hold cleaners. What do you use?

Gizmodo has a new article out “Homebrew Cleaners vs Corporate Chemicals: Who Wins?” that pits different DIY home cleaner recipes to their store bought equivalents. They tested the following combinations:

  • Dish soap and baking soda vs. Multi-surface cleaner
  • 1:1 ratio of olive oil and vinegar vs. Wood polish spray
  • 1 part Rubbing Alcohol, 1 part white Vinegar and 2 parts Water vs. Glass Cleaner
  • One cup vinegar in One gallon of water vs. Wood floor polish

We won’t spoil the results, can check them out here on this link. We will offer you information on a middle ground between these two extremes. Here’s a list of products that are green and readily available online or in stores.

Sierra Natural Cleaners have enough products to stock a janitorial closet. They even have non chlorine whiteners and all natural air fresheners.

Mrs. Meyer’s makes cleaning products from natural essential oils. They also have a lot of fun scents like geranium and baby blossom.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap is a bit of a legend and even an urban legend. You may have seen this soap with the wrap around message across the label but did you know they now make a lot more products?

Bonus link: Check out someone’s test of the different uses of Dr. Bronner’s soap here.

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In: Health

Comments Off on Are you drinking 4 bottles of water a day?

We all know that we are supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day, and most of us prefer bottled water over tap. A typical glass of water contains eight ounces, so ideally we should each consume 64 ounces per day which is equivalent to four bottles of water.

In 2007 only about 14% of water bottles were recycled. If every person in the United States had received their daily recommended amount of water from bottles that year, over a billion water bottles would have been tossed in the trash per day.

Recycling is a great, simple solution to the high number of bottles in landfills.  Recycling a ton of plastic water bottles saves about 3.8 barrels of petroleum that would otherwise be needed to manufacture the plastic. It would also save the energy equivalent of over 300 gallons of gas.

Recycling plastics and other solid waste saves enough emissions to equate taking 33 million cars off of our highways. When a single bottle is recycled, the energy saved would be enough to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours.

The best solution to the threat water bottles pose to the environment is to reduce the use of plastic water bottles altogether. There are some great reusable options on the market right now that are cost effective and safe for both the environment and our health.

Polycarbonate bottles are durable yet lightweight plastic bottles. It has been shown that some polycarbonate compounds can leach a synthetic hormone, bisphenol-A (BPA), so be should to check that your bottles is BPA-free.

bottle2Aluminum bottles are also very durable and keep beverages cooler for longer periods of time. Stainless steel bottles are nearly indestructible and have no risks of leaching.

Filtering water bottles are becoming very popular. These are typically plastic and have filters built-in so you can fill it up anywhere and know that the water you’re ingesting has been purified.

Bottled water is packaged in polyethylene terephthalate plastic, which emits harmful toxins such into our air and water during production. A single water bottle in a landfill can take as long as 1,000 years to biodegrade, meaning that all the plastic of every water bottle ever produced is still in the environment. In 2006, it took 17 million barrels of oil to produce water bottles that year; that amount of oil is enough to power over a million cars for a year.