As a mother, you have to accept the inevitable, unwelcome, fact that kids are…well, really messy. At least mine are: they can enter a perfectly clean room and have it looking like a bomb went off in there in ten minutes, flat. Maybe less. As they get older the messes are getting smaller and easier to contain, but I well remember those years of grubby, sticky little fingers turning every surface into a smudgy mess. Although I used to attack everything with bleach, those days are long gone, because cleaning products have really turned the page in their effectiveness. Some are genuinely amazing in their space-agey ability to remove substances that you resigned yourself to being a permanent part of the decorating scheme. Here are some of the top new (and semi-new) cleaning products that will make your household sparkly in no time! (We love homemade and natural cleaners too, and have links to recipes and natural picks at the bottom).
Sorry, moms-to-be, being pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t use cleaning products. (i.e. You can’t use pregnancy as an excuse to hire a maid—unless you just want to) In years past, cleaning products were much harsher and more dangerous than they are now, but that doesn’t mean that everything is safe or recommended for use while pregnant. Luckily there are lots of options out there to choose from. Here are some helpful tips for knowing what cleaning products are safe to use during pregnancy.
You see a man or woman and think Wow. Very put-together. Is it the hair? The clothes? Possibly, but look down. Chances are, the shoes are tidy, shiny and clean. The secret is out, and I have had 2 shoe shines in a week – one the old fashioned way, with a corpulent woman flicking towels at my feet, and one with an electronic device that left a brilliant shine. My calves were sort of massaged in the process (I was in boots) and it was a heck of a lot cheaper than a manicure – yet I left with that happy feeling that I had been cared for. So if you’re short on time, and want a treat, head to a cobbler and get a bit of yourself put back together.
Squishy squishy squashie, give your clothes a washy… Maybe Barny’s not your thing, but Soap Nuts should be. Completely natural, these ‘nuts’ are actually fruit from the Sapindus Mukorossi tree, found primarily in the Himilayas. They are harvested, de-seeded and dried in the sun. When you wash your laundry with them, the saponin contained within the outer shell acts as a fantastic natural detergent. These have been used for centuries in other parts of the earth, but are only just now gaining popularity in the western world. Marketed by The Laundry Tree with a beautiful linen bag, they leave no scent and get laundry fresh and clean.
The best thing about being green is that simple is best. Choices are (fortunately or not) less plentiful, and certain decisions are a given. Low VOC paint? Check. Carpet? Nope. Particleboard furniture? Uh, uh. The basic concept from a health standpoint is the toxins in the substances. Volatile organic compounds as well as the glue used in making pressboard, particleboard and chipboard, and chemicals in carpeting are released into the air over time. No number of spider plants will eliminate the chemicals forever. Choosing wood furniture can be a better choice, not only from an environmental perspective, but from a financial one.