Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Steam Cleaners - The Purest Way To Clean

Note from Pam: 
Still enjoying the beauty of Arizona landscape! Toured Monument Valley in the Navajo Nation yesterday -- amazing grandeur! The following article highlights one way of green cleaning and disinfecting. 
Steam Cleaning, obviously uses electricity, but it is a great method for deep cleaning without using any chemicals. Steaming Cleaning is a great option, particularly for families with allergies or serious health issues.
Enjoy Natural Cleaning Choices! Take Care, Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Steam Cleaners - The Purest Way To Clean
Author: Tyson J Stevenson
Steam cleaners are machines that clean surfaces using steam or hot water. Steam cleaners are usually used to kill allergens, dust mites, bacteria, mold, fungus etc on the surface being cleaned. Steam cleaners are used in hospitals, hotels, bakeries, restaurants, pharmacies, etc. Household steam cleaners are used to cleanse kitchens, bathrooms, carpets etc. Steam cleaners can be used to clean almost any surface like floors, curtains, furniture, and almost any surface which is heat resistant. There are two types of steam cleaners, traditional steam cleaners and vapor steam cleaners.
 A traditional steam cleaner uses hot water to clean the surface. The traditional steam cleaner consists of a boiler, a collecting tank, a hose and brushes. Hot water is sprayed under pressure on the surface being cleaned. Then rotating brushes scrub the surface and the dirty water is suction extracted into the container. Some traditional steam cleaners also use cleaning agents to clean, while most rely on steam and brushes to do the job. Cleaning agents help to remove spots and grime on the surface. The use of traditional steam cleaners is usually restricted to floors only.
 A vapor steam cleaner consists of a water container with a heater attachment (collectively known as boiler), a hose and a nozzle. Water is boiled in the container under pressure to produce super heated steam or dry steam. Dry steam is a steam which is heated to more than 100 degrees Celsius. This dry steam is then passed through a hose to the nozzle and onto the surface being cleaned under pressure. This loosens the dirt and grime on the surface being cleaned. Then a vacuum cleaner is used to clean the surface.
 The steam generated in a vapor steam cleaner has very low moisture content, usually up to 5 percent. So when a surface is cleaned by steam it becomes dry within few minutes. They generally do not have continuous water supply hence are more convenient to use. Vapor steam cleaners can be used to clean any heat resistant surface like vehicle interiors, windows, bathrooms, etc with proper attachments. Vapor steam cleaners are generally used by people suffering from allergies or who do not want cleaning by chemicals.
 There are specialized steam cleaners for carpets called carpet cleaners. They do not use steam but use hot water to clean the carpet. After wetting the carpet, the area is scrubbed with brushes and then the dirty water is sucked back into the receptacle. The carpet is left to dry. Switching on the Air Conditioner in a room dries the carpet quickly as it removes humidity from the air. Once the carpet is dry, it should be vacuumed to clean it thoroughly.
 Steam cleaners can have an independent water container or continuous water supply. Continuous water supply is more convenient as the tank need not be refilled repeatedly. The dirty water is expelled after cleaning.
 There are many models available in the market. The cost ranges from $100 for residential models to $2000 for commercial models. Before buying the buyer should look for boiler capacity, the attachments, mobility, warranty, user manual, demo CDs etc.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/steam-cleaners-the-purest-way-to-clean-39780.html
About the Author:
Tyson J Stevenson is a prolific writer of useful articles on a variety of topics. Related resources are  Best Steam Cleaner  and  A Super Website  as well as  A Darn Good Site
Happy Green Cleaning! Green Keen aka Pam on Vacation

Pamela Palmer

Natural Cleaning Product Reviews:

Suite 101 Magazine Contributing Writer:
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"Living Green Each Day"

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Natural Clean Saves Green | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: Still on vacation in Arizona, soaking in the sites and scenery. Sedona, in particular, was spectacular. We hiked at the Grand Canyon and on the lava flow from an extinct volcano north of Flagstaff -- awesome, glorious views.

Green Keen aka Pam

A Natural Clean Saves Green

Author: John Marshall

My wife recently cleaned our oven. Not the inside but the top. You know, around the elements where it is just burnt on. We recently have changed to natural cleaning. So when it came time for the oven, my wife used non-toxic general purpose cleaner. While this is highly concentrated, the stains were also quite old. So, she used it full strength. She didn't need a mask or gloves to do this. She just let it soak & then the baked-on crud slowly came off with some scrubbing.

Here's the point. The various commercial cleaners from the store contain petroleum distillates. They produce potentially deadly fumes & are harmful to our environment. Not to mention the fact they cost much more per ounce then the natural cleaners. Often their packaging is non-recyclable.

The store-bought cleaners are also pre-mixed. With the natural cleaners, you decide how strong you would like the solution. Just one quart of natural cleaner can make up to 32 gallons of safe cleaning solution. One quart of cleaner from the store equals one quart of cleaner.

The natural cleaning products are just as effective as their toxic counterparts. It's easy to save money with organic cleaning since the products are concentrated. We have cleaned quite a few things with the cleaner so far, & still have quite a bit of concentrate left. At just pennies per quart of diluted solution, there isn't a much more effective cleaner out there for the money.

Natural cleaners are effective everywhere in the home. While the kitchen & bathroom contain most of the more harmful cleaners, they can be found in all areas. Even air fresheners (aerosol) are harmful. Natural cleaning products can provide a safe home environment & help save money.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-improvement-articles/a-natural-clean-saves-green-189959.html

About the Author:
John Marshall a.k.a. "Mr. Green Clean" is an advocate of natural cleaning. More info available at http://www.completegreencleaning.com/. Copyright (c) John Marshall. Reprint article only with this resource box included please.

Happy Green Cleaning! Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer
Pamela Palmer

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Suite 101 Magazine Contributing Writer:

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Natural Cleaning Bathroom Tips | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: In Arizona -- enjoying the cacti, desert flowers, and huge mountains, which rise from the desert sands as dark, jagged monoliths. Tomorrow we tour an Earthship, a sustainable house built from mostly recycled materials. I'll be writing about it soon....Talk soon, Green Keen aka Pam

Natural Cleaning Bathroom Tips

Your BFFs or "best friends forever" for natural cleaning in the bathroom are:

  • natural all-purpose cleaner/glass cleaner
  • natural disinfectant
  • natural scrubbing cleanser

Your best bathroom cleaning accessories:

  • natural fiber scrubbie sponge
  • recycled paper towels
  • or old newspapers to clean mirrors
  • natural fiber cleaning cloths
  • or recycled rag
  • toilet bowl scrubber brush (keep next to toilet)

Keep all these in one bucket under your bathroom vanity or in a nearby closet.

Daily Quickie Bathroom Cleans of just the sink, faucets, toilet, light switches, and door handles really minimize the dirt, yuck, and germ build-up.

Here are my favs for each Natural Cleaning for Bathrooms BFF categories:

Natural All-purpose and Glass Cleaner-

Diluted White Vinegar (1/2 water) (For mirrors, try a sheet of old newspaper!)

Natural Disinfectant-

For Toilet Bowl:

1/2 cup baking soda with a squirt of liquid soap, scrub let sit 5 mins., flush. Follow with 1/2 c. white vinegar, let sit, at least 5 mins. or longer then flush.

For Everything Else:

Wash off visible dirt with soapy water. Straight White Vinegar, then straight Hydrogen-Peroxide. (Don't mix. Keep HP in a dark bottle. Use spray bottles.)

Natural Scrubbing Cleanser:

Baking Soda in a plastic shaker bottle (Try a recycled Parmesan Cheese Container to keep the original box from getting wet.)

Mix with a squirt of liquid soap and/or borax for more cleaning power.

To whiten stains, add 1-2 T. Hydrogen-Peroxide. (All of these are completely biodegradable.)

BFF Natural Sponges and Scrubbies:
Twist's Naked Sponges--Multiple sizes. 100% cellulose. Totally biodegradable. No dyes.

(See BuyGreen.com on Side Bar)
(P.S. Naked sponges, what a great idea! Why dye a sponge???)

Scotch-Brite Bamboo Cleaning Cloths--Inexpensive, very soft, yet absorbent, dries fast and are tough. Has texture to help with scrubbing. Bamboo fiber has antimicrobial qualities. (Only 60% bamboo though.)

Marcal's Small Steps Recycled Paper Towels--Best price. 100% recycled paper.

Recycled T-shirts and Cloth Diapers--You'll never look at old clothing the same. Many natural-fiber ex-clothing make great rags. Disinfect in the laundry. Cut as you need. Use until it falls apart!

Couldn't find a natural fiber toilet bowl brush!! A possible substitute is the coir bottle brushes (see this link toward bottom). Currently, mine is a plastic-handled, synthetic-bristled one.

***Let me know if you find one!!!***

Helpful Hints:

Line Bathroom Trash can with BioBag Compostable Trash Bags for the Bathroom $4.49 for 25 bags. (A little steep-priced, but they decompose as fast as food scraps!)

(Or use a recycled plastic grocery bag or a paper grocery bag, if they are lying around the house)

Put a sprinkling of baking soda in bottom of can first for a fresh scent.

Try old newspapers for a mirror-cleaning paper towel replacement--I think they work even better!

Scrub sink with a squirt of your hand soap and a dash of baking soda. Easy to do after brushing your teeth.

Disinfect the toothbrushes inside the drinking cup.
Use either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol or listerine. Soak them, while you are cleaning the bathroom, 10-15 mins.?? (Don't combine, just choose one) Then rinse. And wash cup inside and out with soap and water. Done!

Keep all bar soap "nubbies" and add to a used/but clean nylon knee-high or another scrubbie mesh bag to keep using them. This really makes bar soap go a long way!

Disinfect the bathing scrubbies and sponges (loofahs/natural sponges - I recommend doing this once in a while.)

Method #1
Wash in soapy water, then rinse really well.
Boil in sauce pan full of water for 10 mins.
Let cool and wring out.
Hang to dry.

Method #2
Wash in soapy water, then rinse really well.
Put "wet" in microwave on high for 1 min.
Let cool and wring out.
Hang to dry.

Method #3
Wash and rinse by hand. Then add to a load of laundry.
Do not put in dryer. Hang to dry.

What is my favorite natural soap for hand washing and bathing?

Definitely Dr. Bronner's Lavender Scented.
Also, I love Mrs. Meyer's Lavender Bar soap, as well.

BUT my BFF is my own homemade cold-processed bar soap. I love mixing pine and lavender and bergamot essential oils. I'll do a post/slide show on making soap soon!

Green Keen aka Pam on Vacation

Pamela Palmer

Natural Cleaning Product Reviews:

Suite 101 Magazine Contributing Writer:

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"Living Green Each Day"

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Best Natural Cleaning Tips and Tricks | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Side Note from Pam:
I'm going to Arizona next week for vacation with my hubbie and I'll be blogging from there....We will be visiting the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley (in picture) can't wait!!

Also, since the weather is perfect now where I live for hanging laundry outside….I have a couple of clothes lines hung on my sunny back porch.

Earlier this Spring my clothes pin holder, a cloth bag hung on the line, was confiscated by a little wren, who made a nest inside and laid some eggs, and now has 4 little babies, tweeting away for food….so, I’m sharing my clothes-hanging porch with some new "birdie friends" this season!

Luckily, most of my clothes pins were on the line, so I can still hang laundry!!

Best Natural Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Reuse the vinegar rinse water from hand washing dishes to wipe down counters and kitchen sink. Spray with Hydrogen peroxide and let sit for an easy sanitizing technique.

Reuse the vinegar rinse water from hand washing dishes to wash the kitchen floor.

Reuse a Parmesan Cheese container, in the kitchen, by filling it with baking soda for a non-toxic scrubbing powder. (Works great!)

Reuse the hot soapy water after washing dishes to pre-soak dirty pots or yucky refrigerator containers. (Let the soap and water do the work. You just wipe up after the mess is loosened.)

Microwave a rinsed-out, but wet kitchen sponge, for 1 min. to kill germs. Do this daily at end of each day. (See reference on scientific proof at link, "Homemaking Tips" section)

Wipe out your microwave after heating up the sponge; it will be moist from the steam and easy to clean.

Wash counters and tables with a dishcloth. It is easier to feel the grit and know that you got it all. When done cleaning up for the day, wipe up the floor around dining room table and the kitchen floor and throw in the wash. Changing kitchen dishcloths every day will keep germs at a minimum.

Use bamboo dishcloths which have natural antimicrobial fibers.

Quick Daily Disinfect Techniques

Don’t have time to disinfect everything? Disinfect only what you or your family normally touch with your hands. This can easily be done every day to minimize germ transmission.

***light switches, door handles, cabinet and appliance handles, trashcan lids, stairway banisters, toilet handles, faucets in sinks and showers, common counter areas, table and desk tops, highchair trays, computer keyboards, piano keys, TV remotes.***

Regularly, soak for 5 minutes, washable plastic or wood toys in a vinegar and lemon solution to sanitize. (See scientific proof.)

Stuffed animals and fabric toys can be hand washed or machine washed on delicate for regular sanitizing. (Using laundry soap and a vinegar rinse.)

Keep windows open during cool parts of the day to air out house. This minimizes germs and toxins from indoor pollution—without any energy consumption!

During other times let a HEPA air filter clear the household air of dust, pollen, and microbes. This greatly helps to minimize cleaning needs.

Sweep/vacuum daily. This also minimizes dust and cleaning needs. (I still need to improve on this, particularly because we have a Golden Retriever!)

Bathroom Quickie Clean

Clean bathroom tub and shower just before taking a shower, easy to rinse up, during your shower. This is only possible when using all natural, non-toxic cleaners!

Clean Bathroom Sink and Toilet just after using it and before washing hands. Easy way to keep it clean throughout the day, so no real dirt and germ build-up!

Reuse old toothbrushes for spot scrubbing fabrics, tile grout, small edges and corners. Just make sure you label the toothbrush “for cleaning only”!

Vinegar and Baking Soda Tricks

Use a little vinegar and squeezed lemon juice or concentrate in water to clean coffee pots, toasters, toaster ovens, tile floors.

Use baking soda and soap solution and as a scrub for refrigerators, microwaves, and sinks.

Essential Oil Air Fresheners

After cleaning and/or before company, place a small bowl of water, with a few drops of essential oils in front a fan or on a central tabletop, to freshen the room.

Citrus oils, like orange, tangerine, grapefruit, or lemon, brighten the mood. This is a great substitute to chemical “air fresheners”!

A dab of essential oil also can be placed on a cool light bulb before turning it on to permeated the aroma in a room.

Hope you enjoy these Natural Cleaning tips and tricks! I absolutely love finding out new techniques to streamline my green cleaning, recycling and reusing when possible, and having the pleasure of cleaning with natural cleaning products, that I am confident are healthy for my family and pets.

Peace, Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Friday, May 8, 2009

Alba Hawaiian Skin Care Line | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Alba Hawaiian Skin Care Line gets high marks as a Natural Cleaning Product Line, see Herbtraders on my sidebar. Drawing upon skin-helping ingredients from the Hawaiian Islands such as pineapple, papaya, and coconut, it is a natural cleaning experience that will enthrall you with Pacific scents.

A Complete All-Natural Skin Care Line with Natural Cleaning Ingredients

The Alba Company states on their website that “Our products are created to both delight your senses and to provide the benefits claimed. We use science-based nutrients, which means that the herbal botanicals and other ingredients we use are proven to be effective.”

Added to this natural cosmetic line are natural cleansers using coconut milk and pineapple enzymes for proven deep cleansing and exfoliation. Also, Alba adds a Papaya Enzyme Facial Mask and a Hibiscus Facial Toner to complete your facial natural cleansing.

One of My Favorite Natural Moisturizers

To moisturize without oil, great for young, acne-prone skin, they have their Hawaiian Aloe and Green Tea Oil-free Moisturizer. This product works great; I’ve reviewed it before in my Best Natural Skin Care Blog Post.

This natural moisturizer, with great all natural ingredients contains “certified organic aloe vera, green tea antioxidants and oil-free humectants absorb instantly to replenish essential nutrients and protect skin.”

$16.95 for a 3 ounce jar.

Alba’s Standards in Manufacturing

• Hypo-allergenic
• Oil-free
• pH balanced
• 100% vegetarian ingredients and no animal testing

About Alba the Company and the Environment

Alba appears to be very committed to protecting the environment with their business practices. Here’s a sampling of their eco friendly action:

* Office and Warehouse are 100% Solar Powered.

* Comprehensive Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Policy and Practices.

* Recycle Printer Cartridges, Bottles and Cans. Proceeds Donated to Non-Profits.

* Purchase and Use Recycled Office Paper with minimum 35% Post-Consumer Content.

* Organic Acres Farmed Increased as a Result of Our Organic Ingredient Choices.

* Use New Leaf (Recycled) Paper for Our Printed Promotional Materials.

* Products are EU Safe Cosmetics Directive Compliant. More than 1,300 commonly used ingredients are banned in the European Union because they are known or suspected of causing cancer, birth defects or fertility problems. We don't use any of them.

My Take on Using Alba’s Hawaiian Natural Cosmetic Line:
I highly approve of this line. Although I have not used every single product in this line, I have reviewed most of their ingredients and find them to be very healthy and non-toxic.

I really like the company’s involvement in the environment too, but especially, I love the efficacy and aromas of these natural cleaning products!

Double Thumbs Up! For Alba’s Hawaiian Natural Skin Care Cosmetic Line with Natural Cleansers.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Best Natural Facial Skin Care For Any Skin Type | Natural Cleaning Product Review Part Two

Best Natural Facial Skin Care For Any Skin Type (Part 2 of 2)

Background Facts On Each Step:

African Black Soap, for a really natural cleaning product; see my detailed article.

Witch Hazel for a toner, is high in tannins, good for astringency-- tightening pores and removing excess oil, also acts as a natural, green cleaner.

Aloe Vera Gel, has been used for thousands of years for skin care. “Fresh is Best”, see yesterday’s post on directions.

Aloe Vera is rich in anti-oxidants, which are known for their anti-aging properties. It has anti-inflammatory properties, anti-bacterial properties, and heals the skin without leaving scars.
It also acts as a natural cleaning product, removing old cells, cleaning the pores, and stimulating new cell growth.

Because Aloe is a succulent, it helps to maintain the natural moisturizing agents in the skin -- helping retard natural evaporation and drawing moisture from the air around us. Aloe Vera gel heals the skin from acne, thanks to the sulfur and salicylic acid found in it; both are used topically to treat acne.

Tea Tree Oil used again for thousands of years, fights bacteria, and is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-microbial against cuts, burns, bites, and a host of skin ailments, including acne.

Olive Oil also has been used for cosmetic care for thousands of years. It is also a good source of vitamin E and other antioxidants, which not only protect and rejuvenate your skin, but the special fats in olive oil cause deep, long-lasting moisturizing.

Water is the simplest form of "moisturizing", which by definition literally means “to add moisture”. Drinking a sufficient amount of water throughout the day helps the skin preserve a necessary moisture balance--65% to 90% of our bodies are water, not drinking regularly depletes that balance quickly.

Sunscreen every day needs to be part of your regime before going out to prevent premature aging from the sun, and protect from skin cancer.

Alba’s Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer (Found at Herbtraders on Sidebar)

Hawaiian Skin Care (The description from their website)

Signature ingredient: This oil-free, daily moisturizer infuses the skin with rejuvenating aloe vera, one of the world's most perfect substances for skin-repair, and green tea, a powerful antioxidant which protects from free radical damage, has anti-inflammatory properties and repairs and strengthens.

Product description: Certified organic aloe vera, green tea antioxidants and oil-free humectants absorb instantly to replenish essential nutrients and protect skin against dehydration for a soft, healthy, luminous complexion.

Features and benefits: A potent blend of aloe vera, green tea, hibiscus, cucumber, and organic mango and shea butter, this intensive moisturizing system quickly penetrates the skin, healing, toning and smoothing without residual oiliness.

Who should use this product? Light and oil-free, this moisturizer is perfect for all skin types, though it's especially useful for people who have trouble tolerating heavier moisturizers.

Price: 14.09 for 3 ounces.

Check out Alba’s herb and ingredient glossary on their website: A complete guide to the benefits, properties and sources of their ingredients.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Best Natural Facial Skin Care for Any Skin Type Part One | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Best Natural Facial Skin Care for Any Skin Type (Part One of Two)
Your face--it is the most expressive part of your body. Faces are said to be “readable”just like a book. Faces are how we primarily recognize each other. It has been proven that even newborns can recognize faces.

Surprisingly, the facial skin is the most delicate skin on our body; needing special care and protection. Here is my best natural facial skin care regime. Developed mostly by my teen daughter who loves natural stuff as much as I do!

Our primary goals for our skincare system were: natural, non-toxic ingredients; simple and easy to use; inexpensive choices for anyone to use.

This is just one possible skincare system using all natural cleaning products and green moisturizers, but we think that it is the best! There are many out there to choose from and experiment with. We hope that we inspire you to baby your skin, so you can “put your best face forward”! Enjoy our “Best Natural Facial Skin Care for Any Skin Type”.

I use African Black soap to wash my face with each night. I have written extensively on African Black soap in a number of different articles.

The main reasons I choose this soap for my face are its total natural-ness, deep moisturizing and yet effective cleansing properties, and its mild, exfoliating properties. I have seen an actual reduction of skin irregularities on my own complexion after using this soap over a period of 6-8 weeks—fine lines and “age spots” and some blotchiness, have diminished.

Note: My daughter says don’t wash with soap in the morning, just rinse with water, so that you don’t over-dry your skin by removing your own natural skin oils.

For toning I sometimes use witch hazel on the oily parts of my face. Over the counter witch hazel, found in any drug store does have alcohol, but I find that it is still gentle enough to use on my skin. It is a natural cleaning product that is certainly very inexpensive compared to manufactured "toners".

Also, it sounds easy to make your own “witch hazel tea” to tone your skin with from witch hazel leaves, although I have never tried that yet. You can find witch hazel leaves and products at Herbtraders (see right sidebar).

Weekly Steaming
Steaming your face weekly acts as a toner, by deep cleaning your pores causing them to naturally close. This is a natural cleaner; as natural as they come!

How To Steam Face
Boil 2-3 cups of water in a pan. Place pan on a hot pad on your Dining Room table.
Lean your face over pan, careful not to touch the hot pan.
Cover you head and the pan with a towel to create your own “little sauna”.
Steam for around 10 minutes and then immediately wash face with African Black soap.

Acne Treatment and Healing
Daily dot specific blemishes or coat an entire break-out area with Tea Tree Oil. It is a little pricey, around $14.00 for a small bottle; available at Herbtraders from right sidebar.

Tea Tree Oil does smell strong, but the turpentine-ish aroma quickly dissipates. The main thing is that IT WORKS!

It is an all natural, topical antibiotic that kills the bacteria which cause break-outs and it helps to dry out current blemishes. It can be applied numerous times throughout the day or at bedtime, just remember to apply it when you are not going “out” for 15-20 minutes, since it does have a distinctive aroma.

I have grown to appreciate this Australian-original, botanical oil, because it really works to obliterate blemishes and stop break-outs—without expensive, side-effect-causing medications!!

Use Fresh Aloe Vera-purchased at grocery stores, usually found near the exotic fruits and vegetables. Or you can purchase your own plant and cultivate it. Clip off a 1-2 inch piece, pull open, and wipe the “gel” directly on skin using your fingers. Apply everywhere, even on eyelids.

Aloe Vera helps to moisturize, acts as a humectant (attracting water to the skin), and heals up imperfections and scars. You will see healing take place over a few weeks of consistent use.

Also, you can apply aloe vera multiple times to problem areas each day if you wish. It quickly soaks in and leaves your skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated. I’m haven’t read this anywhere else, but I think that aloe vera also has some toning qualities, as well.

Fresh Aloe Vera Storage
Fresh aloe vera is usually bought in a large “leaf” piece 1-1 ½ feet long. Keep in a cool place (or can be refrigerated) and cut new piece off each day from one end with a pair of scissors.

Why Not Aloe Vera From a Bottle?
If you can find straight aloe vera gel in a bottle, you can certainly use it. However, often, if you read the labels, it is FULL of other ingredients, like alcohol, and will not work, as well as, the fresh.

Fresh Aloe Vera leaves have all the vitamins and enzymes, intact. The bottled kind has been processed in some way to preserve it and might not be as effective. Try the fresh if you can find it—it works great!

Best Moisturizer Combination!
After the aloe vera application, then apply a natural moisturizer. The one I want to highlight today is Alba’s Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer from their Hawaiian Skin Care line; this particular one is great for young skin. My teen aged daughter raves about it, after having tried many different kinds.

Alba products are also available at Herbtraders (see sidebar to the right).

This oil-free moisturizer is a healthy, non-toxic moisturizer, that works great to protect from acne. The ingredients get high "natural" marks from the Environmental Working Group.

For Older Skin Add Olive Oil
I add a small amount of olive oil to Alba’s Aloe & Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer for my moisture-needing, older skin! I mix the two directly in my hand in the bathroom and coat on my face--very rich and effective! Mediterranean women have been moisturizing with olive oil for thousands of years!!

Other Keys to Moisturizing
1. Drink a lot of water daily. Moisturize from the inside out!! This can't be said enough, because we all forget it regularly!
2. Protect with SPF sunscreen daily YEAR-ROUND! I have heard 80% of aging comes from sun exposure! Alba also has a line of sunscreens to choose from, available at Herbtraders on the right sidebar.

I hope you try out our Best Natural Facial Skin Care Regime using natural cleaning products and do-it-yourself techniques. It is simple. It is green. It is inexpensive.

This is Part One of Two--The Next Post will include some background facts to WHY these products work the best for an inexpensive, green, natural cleaning and moisturizing system.

Happy Green Cleaning! Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Friday, April 24, 2009

Arm & Hammer Essentials Multi-Surface Refillable Cleaner | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Side Note from Pam: I saw Disney's "Earth" last night with my teens and a friend of theirs--we all loved it!! Very moving. Incredible Photography. Scenes from our beautiful world that I had never seen. Definitely a must for the "big screen experience". Plus, if you go before the end of the weekend, in honor of Earth Day, they will plant a tree for each movie ticket bought.

Arm & Hammer,
the brand name of the natural cleaning product and friend of homemaking consumers everywhere, the humble baking soda, has created a line of 3 color-coded cleaners recently released, called "Essentials". One of which is their green-colored, Multi-purpose Cleaner.

Essentials cleaners are sold in packs of 2 concentrated, small bottles for approximately 4.00 each and are equal to 2 regular-sized cleaner spray bottles. This green cleaning system saves on storage, transportation costs, and plastic--reducing their plastic packaging use by 93% according to Arm & Hammer.

This is a brilliant, eco friendly manufacturing and distribution plan, that I personally think every company in manufacturing needs to adopt. Why pay extra for water in cleaners, when you can fill up the reusable bottle included in this set from your tap?

Plus, according to their website: "you’ll save money every time you refill your ARM & HAMMER® Essentials™ Cleaners bottle — up to 25% compared to buying traditional cleaners".

Speaking of Earth Day...
Arm & Hammer, around since before the American Civil War, has a long history of recycling and working towards eco-friendly business practices. They state on their website that they have been using recycled cardboard containers since 1907! They also were the producers of the first phosphate-free detergent and the first corporate sponsors of Earth Day, both in 1970. They have a long-standing reputation as a natural cleaning product manufacturer.

Ingredients and Controversy
Arm & Hammer, owned by Church and Dwight Co., Inc. is currently being sued in the State of New York for not listing their ingredients transparently on labels. This is a very pervasive practice in the United States--total lack of listing or partial listing of ingredients.

According to Earthjustice, the non-profit, legal, environmental Watchdog suing them: "independent studies into chemicals contained in cleaning products continue to find health effects ranging from nerve damage to hormone disruption. But ingredient disclosure requirements are virtually non-existent in the United States." This litigation could have a nationwide effect.

For Arm & Hammer's Essentials Multi-Surface Cleaner the ingredients are COMPLETELY in the DARK listed on the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) as "proprietary" i.e. a "secret, trade marked formula". So...to use their product, you have to completely trust them on its safety.

Playing Detective?
The clues to the ingredients are simply this: contains "powerful plant-based cleaners derived from coconuts and palm kernel oil and other biodegradable eco-sensible cleaners".

The term "eco-sensible" is a new one to me....Sorry, Arm & Hammer, but WHAT does that mean? Eco-sensible defined by whom?

Effective Cleaner for counters, appliances, sinks, kitchen & bathroom tile, glass, and other surfaces.
Biodegradable, plant-based
No ammonia or phosphates.
Pleasant, mild aroma (much better than the Arm & Hammer Essentials Degreaser)
Great economical, environmentally-friendly packaging system
Easy-to-use and refill.

Insults our intelligence by withholding ingredient content. I want more information to protect myself and my family from possible toxic chemicals. Don't You?

Thumbs Up
For providing a biodegradable multi-purpose cleaner that smells great and works well.
Thumbs Down
For not informing the consumer clearly as to what is in their product!

Arm & Hammer Essentials Multi-Surface Cleaner has a refillable bottle system and hopefully we can trust their integrity as a long-standing, environmentally-conscious company that this Multi-Surface cleaner is a green cleaner in reality and not in color only.

Enjoy using natural cleaning products all around your home! Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap Basil Scent | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap, Basil Scent, 12.5 fluid ounces, is their newest scent, described on their website as “cool and crisp”, an herb “known for its uncanny ability to ease the nerves and perk up the senses”.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap also comes in some other wonderful aromatherapeutic scents such as: Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Geranium, Baby Blossom, Snap Pea, and scent-free; so you are sure to find one that you love!

This luscious, biodegradable hand soap contains aloe vera gel, olive oil, and a unique blend of natural essential oils. It contains nothing that could cause harsh fumes, no parabens, no solvents, no petroleum distillates, no bleach, no phosphates, and has not been tested on animals.

Mrs. Meyer’s company website states that “most of our products have a near neutral pH that makes them safe for skin contact”. In fact, they recommend that you could use this hand soap on your entire body if you wanted.

There really is a Mrs. Meyer! She is retired now, her daughter started and named the company in honor of her mother, who raised 9 children and has been cleaning her own home now for over 40 years—so she knows a thing or two about cleaning!

12.5 liquid ounce pump bottle for 3.99—it is a little steep in my estimation.

• Deionized Water
• Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
• Sodium Laureth Sulfate *
• Glycerin
• Lauramide DEA *
• Essential Oils of Basil, Parsley & Black Pepper
• Essential Oils of Eucalyptus Golbus Leaf & Cedarwood Bark
• Fragrance
• Cocamidopropyl Betaine *
• Aloe Barbadensis Gel
• Olive Oil
• Isostearimidopropyl Morpholine Lactate
• Polyquaternium 7
• Sodium Benzoate
• Potassium Sorbate
• Tetrasodium EDTA
• Sodium Chloride
• Citric Acid

I appreciate that the Mrs. Meyer’s is transparent with their ingredients, and most of their ingredients have great or very low toxicity ratings, however the few that are noted with an asterisk have a moderate toxicity rating, due to possibility of contaminates with serious health risks. Mrs. Meyer’s Company states on their site that they are strictly enforcing the monitoring of their ingredients to minimize any contaminates.

In regards to sodium laureth sulfate or SLES, Mrs. Meyer’s website states that it has “a long history of safe use and high-performance cleaning” and that "it is milder on skin than SLS", a close chemical “cousin”.

Although I agree that SLES is easier on the skin than SLS, I have to disagree that is has “a long history of safe use”. Certainly, it has been used extensively in cosmetics and personal products, but the data gap of real science to test the true safety is huge, according to Skin Deep the Cosmetic Safety Database of the Environmental Working Group.

I would like to see that change. I hate using ingredients for myself and my family that are untested, even if in miniscule amounts!

My Take Using Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap, Basil Scent
I love the aroma of this new basil-scented Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day soap. It was therapeutic and invigorating; that is particularly important to me in the kitchen, after cleaning up something dirty and messy! And a big plus, since Mrs. Meyer’s Company uses real essential oils for their scents, the aroma stays around for a really long time. I love that!!

This natural cleaning product is a great choice for your hand soap at the kitchen sink or in the bathroom. I may criticize various aspects of the natural cleaning products that I review, but I HIGHLY recommend them all over ANY non-green or not natural cleaning product.

BIG Thumbs Up!
Nice new scent! Works great. Thumbs on the Side--for some questionable ingredients.

Enjoy all your green cleaning with natural cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Basil-scented Hand Soap! --Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

50 Ways to Use Essential Oils Around Your Home In Cleaning and Cosmetic Care -- Part Four | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: HAPPY EARTH DAY! I am looking forward to seeing the Disney movie "Earth" that comes out today.

Disney is planting a tree for everyone who goes to see the film opening weekend.

Due to advance tickets sales, the company has already committed to planting 500,000 trees. The company plans to plant the trees in "critical areas of biodiversity," including Brazil's Atlantic rain forest, which, according to Disney, is one of the most endangered in the world, having been deforested 93%. Disney is committed to ensuring the trees are planted and cared for to provide the greatest long term benefit for the planet.

And we in the blogosphere will be watching to make sure they actually follow through!! So take your family to Disney's "Earth" and enjoy! This is a great way to inspire yourself and kids on "Earth Day" to practice living green in everyday life!

We all need "vision" for why we do things--Disney's "Earth" is a vision-builder for "going green".

Excerpt from "50 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Cleaner,
Sweet-smelling Life"
Part Four:

37. Make your own copper polish. Add 1 drop of Lemon EO to a soft cloth and gently buff.

38. When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Mandarin or Orange EO to the final rinse water.

39. For burns or scalds, drop Tea Tree oil directly onto the affected area.

40. To aid digestion and relieve an upset stomach - place 1 drop of Peppermint oil in 1/2 glass of water and slowly sip.

41. To relieve teething pain in children, use 1-drop Chamomile oil on a washcloth wrapped ice cube.

42. To cool the body in summer and protect it in the winter, add 6-8 drops of Eucalyptus oil in the bath

43. To bring out a radiant glow in your skin, add 1 drop Geranium oil to your facial moisturizer.

44. For thicker hair, or to promote growth, place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary on your hair brush before brushing.

45. When flu is going around add a few drops of Thyme to your diffuser or simmer in a pan on the stove.

46. To bring fever down, sponge the body with cool water to which 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Lavender oils have been added.

47. Create a better work environment. Lavender creates a calm, tranquil atmosphere while Grapefruit stimulates the senses and clears up stale air.

48. Alleviate anxiety and depression. Blend Geranium, Lavender & Bergamot, and use in a diffuser or add 6-8 drops of this blend to the bath.

49. A wonderful massage blend for babies is one drop Roman Chamomile, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Geranium diluted in 2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil.

50. Headaches? Rub the back of the neck with 1-drop Peppermint oil diluted in 1-teaspoon vegetable oil.

51. Perfume! Make a blend of 20 drops Neroli + 10 drops Lemon + 5 drops of Patchouli. Umm, yum. Age for 2 weeks; add an equal amount of high-proof alcohol. Age again and use.

For More resources visit http://www.fitnessclub4u.com and http://mymarketingsecrets.net
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/

Note from Pam: This is Post 4 of 4 in a series on Essential Oils for natural cleaning and cosmetic care around your house. Explore EOs in your green cleaning!

Monday, April 20, 2009

50 Ways to Use Essential Oils Around Your Home In Cleaning and Cosmetic Care -- Part Three | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: Hope you are enjoying this series, one more to go, countin' up to 50!

Essential Oils are natural cleaning product accessories that add to your green cleaning supplies. Synthetic Fragrance (i.e. manufactured imitations of EOs) are soon to be a thing of the "unenlightened" past.

Why smell a "chemical rose" that could harm you, when you have a real rose in your hand?? Check out Herbtraders.com (see right sidebar) for a bountiful supply of botanical Essential Oils and Enjoy!

Excerpt from "50 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Cleaner,
Sweet-smelling Life" Part Three:

25. Eliminate a troublesome wart by directly applying 1 drop of Lemon or Moroccan Blue Artemis EO to it. Apply daily until the wart is gone.

26. Rosemary and Basil promote alertness and stimulate memory. Inhale occasionally during long car trips and while reading or studying.

27. Selling your home? Fragrance sells! Fill the kitchen with the aroma of spices, such as Clove, Cinnamon and Vanilla by simmering a few drops of Cinnamon or Nutmeg EO. Create a warm, cheerful, inviting mood by sprinkling Geranium oil throughout your home. Add Cinnamon or Lemon oil to furniture polish and wipe down the wood.

28. Create a lovely, aromatic art piece by adding EOs to paper-mâché.

29. Infuse bookmarks and stationary with EOs. Use a few drops on paper, place in a sealed plastic bag & leave overnight to infuse the aroma. Send only good news on the perfumed letter.

30. To make gifts such as neck pillows or padded and decorative hangers more memorable put a couple of drops of EO on them before giving them as gifts.

31. Overindulge last night? EOs of Juniper, Fennel, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary and Lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend of these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.

32. For a wonderfully scented wood fire, use EOs of Vetivert, Cypress, Atlas Cedarwood, Frankincense and Myrrh. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.

33. Flies and moths dislike Lavandin oil. Sprinkle in on the outside of your window frames.

34. For restful sleep, place 1 or 2 drops of sleep enhancing oils, such as Chamomile, Lavender, Neroli, Marjoram or Hops on your pillow before retiring.

35. When moving to a new home, first use a water spray containing your favorite EO and change the odorous environment to your own. Do this for several days until it begins to feel like your own space.

36. Ideal scents for the bedroom are Roman Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender or Lemon.

For More resources visit http://www.fitnessclub4u.com and http://mymarketingsecrets.net
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/

Note from Pam: This post is 3 of 4 posts in a series on Essential Oils for natural cleaning and cosmetic care around your house. Explore EOs in your green cleaning!

50 Ways to Use Essential Oils Around Your Home In Cleaning and Cosmetic Care -- Part Two | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: Experimenting with EO's is fun and creative. Find your own "favorite" aromas. Find aromas that your family loves; everyone is responds uniquely to different scents. Start with buying one or two; explore their uses and build up a collection. I try to think of essential oils as all natural cleaning product accessories, part of my arsenal against grime and yukky smells AND as therapeutic substitutes for aerosol sprays. Herbtrader.com (see sidebar to the right) has a wonderful, comprehensive supply of essential oils.

Excerpt from "50 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Cleaner,
Sweet-smelling Life" Part Two:

13. Household odors? Put a few drops of your favorite EO on a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice; Rose Geranium helps with doggy odor.

14. To fragrance your kitchen cabinets and drawers, place a food scent EO dabbed on a cotton ball in an inconspicuous corner.

15. Are mice a problem? Place several drops of Peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in problem locations.

16. Scent the bathroom by placing oil-scented cotton balls in inconspicuous places or sprinkle oils directly onto silk or dried flower arrangements or wreaths.

17. To promote healing, apply 1 or 2 drops true Lavender oil and Tea Tree oil directly to cuts, scrapes or scratches.

18. Homemade soaps are pleasant and offer therapeutic effects when scented with EOs. Use Spirit Soaps that contain pure aromatics.

19. Home-made sachets are more fragrant when EOs is blended with the flowers and herbs.

20. Scent an entire room, set a calming or uplifting mood. Use a drop of EO on a radiator, scent ring, or light bulb. Do not put EO in the socket.

21. For “scent-ual” hand washables, use a few drops of your favorite EO or blend in the final rinse water.

22. Anise oil has been used by anglers for years to cover up the human scent that scares the fish away. Use a drop or two on the fingertips and hands before baiting up.

23. Create your own personal essence! EOs and blends make wonderful perfumes. Add 25 drops to 1 oz. perfume alcohol. Let age two weeks before using.

24. To dispel mosquitoes and other picnic or Bar-B-Q pests, drop a few drops of Citronella OR Eucalyptus citriodora oil in the melted wax of a candle or place a few drops on the Bar-B-Q’s hot coals.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ For More resources visit http://www.fitnessclub4u.com and http://mymarketingsecrets.net

Note from Pam: This post is 2 of 4 posts in a series on Essential Oils for natural cleaning and cosmetic care around your house. Explore EOs in your green cleaning!
(See Next Post for Continutation -- Part Three)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

50 Ways to Use Essential Oils Around Your Home In Cleaning and Cosmetic Care -- Part One | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam: For the next few posts, I wanted to share with you an excellent list of uses for essential oils. Essential Oils gleaned from a cornucopia of botanicals have been used for thousands of years by homemakers and people "in the know" and now you can too.

Essential Oils can be used in cleaning and cosmetic care. Try some yourself and you will be pleased and surprised; a little can go a long way--and all as a natural cleaning product!
Check Herbtrader.com (see sidebar to the right) for a great supply of Essential Oils!

Excerpt from "50 Ways To Use Essential Oils for a cleaner,
sweet-smelling life" Part One:

1. For Scent-Sational wash, place a few drops of your favorite EO onto a small piece of terry cloth and toss into the clothes dryer while drying. Alternatively, add 5 drops of EO to 1/4-cup fabric softener or water and place in the center cup of the wash.

2. Revive potpourri by adding a few drops of EO.

3. Freshen air by adding a few drops of EO to water in a spray bottle and spray.

4. Add a few drops of EO to a pan of water and simmer on a stove or in a potpourri pot.

5. For a scented candle, place a drop or two of EO into the hot wax as the candle burns.

6. Eliminate household cooking odors; add a few drops of Clove oil to a simmering pan of water.

7. For tired, aching muscles or arthritis, mix 1-drop Cajuput, Sage, and Basil oil to 30 drops vegetable oil and use as a massage oil.

8. Ease headache pain by rubbing a drop of Rosemary/ Lavender oil onto the back of your neck.

9. Blend your own massage oil by adding 3 drops of your favorite EO to 1 oz. Jojoba or other skin-nourishing vegetable oil.

10. For fresher smelling carpets, add 10 drops of EO to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets in your home. Let set for an hour or more, and then vacuum.

11. To make a natural flea collar, saturate a short piece of cord or soft rope with Pennyroyal or Tea Tree oil, roll up in a handkerchief and tie loosely around the animal’s neck.

12. Smelly feet or shoes can be remedied by either dropping a few drops of Geranium EO directly into the shoes or by placing a cotton ball dabbed with a few drops of Lemon oil into the shoes. Athlete’s foot? Tea tree oil is great.

Article from ArticlesBase.com

For More resources from this article's author: visit http://www.fitnessclub4u.com/ and http://mymarketingsecrets.net/

Note from Pam: This post is 1 of 4 posts in a series on Essential Oils for natural cleaning and cosmetic care around your house. Explore EOs in your green cleaning!
(See Next Post--Part Two--for a Continuation )

Friday, April 17, 2009

Seventh Generation's 2X Ultra Free and Clear Natural Laundry Detergent | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Seventh Generation, one of my favorite green cleaning product companies, makes a super-concentrated natural laundry detergent safe for both high-efficiency and standard washing machines that is "free and clear" of perfumes and dyes. (And it works great!)

This natural cleaner for laundry qualifies as super-concentrated, because it is formulated with hardly any water, so that you use less detergent per load, you use less packaging per load, you are not "buying water" when you buy the detergent. This is a trend with environmentally-aware manufacturers; a win-win-win situation, for the consumer, the manufacturer, and the environment.

For more background on Seventh Gen, you can check out my post on their dishwasher detergents.

On the back of the bottle of this natural laundry detergent, Seventh Generation states an inspiring fact: "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 50 oz. 2X ultra petroleum based liquid laundry detergent with our 50 oz. 2X ultra plant based product, we could save 233,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 13,400 U.S. homes for a year!"

Wow! Even though at times I criticize some green cleaning product manufacturers for questionable ingredients, I want to stress that using ANY of the plant-based green cleaning products on the market today is a MUCH BETTER choice than ANY "conventional" or petroleum-based detergents! Conventional detergents are not in the same league at all with green cleaning products in regards to safety for the consumer and the environment!

If you haven't made the switch to natural and green cleaning products, I hope that my Natural Cleaning Product Review blog will help to convince you to do so!!

Please make that switch; try out Seventh Generation's 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent or another green cleaning competitor. I know you will be pleased and feel satisfied being a "good steward" of the Earth and your family's health.

I found it for 8.23 on sale online at the Wellness Grocer. In retail stores the price can be as high as 11.00, but currently there are 1.00 off coupons for Seventh Gen on their website and through online ads; take advantage of those, you can print 2 at a time.

Ingredients *
sodium laureth sulfate, (see more info. on this ingredient at this post; scroll to ingredients list)
coconut alcohol ethoxylate & glycerin (plant-derived cleaning agents)
sodium citrate (water softener)
oleic acid & glyceryl oleate (plant-derived anti-foaming agents)
sodium hydroxide (alkalinity builder)
sodium borate (alkalinity builder and soil dispersant) **
amylase, cellulase & protease (non-animal derived enzymes)
calcium chloride (cleaning enhancer)
hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (preservative, less than 0.05%)

* Important Note: All of these ingredients have been rated low or no toxicity by the Environmental Working Group, however just as with almost all chemicals used in manufacturing today, there is a huge "data gap" on ingredient safety, i.e. not nearly enough testing done on the ingredients that we all use everyday!!

** Important Note: One important qualifier I just learned!! Borax or sodium borate is not recommended for use on infant skin by the The Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an independent trade association of the cosmetic industry supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In other words, use detergents or cosmetics without sodium borate or borax in them for your infant's care.

My Take on Using 7Gen's 2X Ultra Free and Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
Big Thumb's Up! It works great! It has high marks for healthfulness and has no dyes or fragrances, which is a plus for many folks.

Enjoy your green cleaning with natural cleaning laundry detergent!
Green Keen a.k.a. Pamela Palmer

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Best Natural Hair Care | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Healthy hair is important for looking your best. Dry and brittle, or flat and dull--no one wants those to be the description of their locks.

Particularly as we age, our hair needs to be babied. In the midst of a busy life as a wife, mom, and writer--I don't have the time or the money to spend on expensive hair care regimes. I like simple and effective means to keep my brunette tresses looking "effortlessly" their best.

Hence I want to share with you my SECRET recipe for great, naturally-cleaned, deep moisturized hair using, totally green, natural cleaning products, that get the job done beautifully and well within my budget.

Best Hair Care Treatment:

For Shampoo:
I wash my hair in African Black Soap imported from Togo. I get the soap ball wet and lather it in my hands, wash my hair, and then rinse with water. African Black Soap has such a gentle, natural, nutty aroma and it is a rich, natural moisturizer.

For the first rinse, I rinse my hair in a fresh Yucca solution, leave it on briefly, and then rinse off with water. This is a strengthening rinse and will make your hair have a natural, youthful sheen.

(This is a Native American Recipe from the Navajo Tribe)

Yucca Rinse Recipe:
Purchase fresh yucca root at the grocery store, usually very cheap, located near pineapples.
Cut off a 3 inch slice. Remove the brown skin coating.
Crush up the skinned yucca root to a grainy pulp.
Put into a small muslin/cotton drawstring bag or a clean knee-high and tie in a knot.
Add the yucca bag to 1 cup of water in a 2 cup container.
Swish around briefly and let sit 10-15 mins.
The yucca solution will turn cloudy and opaque.
Add 1 cup hot water to the yucca solution to give it some warmth, then rinse your hair with it.
Slowly dump the yucca solution on your head and work into your hair.
Leave on briefly, 2-3 mins., and rinse off with water.
Hang the yucca bag up to dry out thoroughly.
You can reuse the same yucca 3-4 times, if completely dried between uses so that it doesn't spoil.

For a second and final rinse, I use diluted white vinegar:

White Vinegar Cleansing/Conditioning Rinse:
Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup hot water.
Rinse your hair with it and work into hair with your fingers. Avoid getting it in your eyes.

This rinse will clean your hair from any pollution, toxins, and soapy residue from previous detergent-shampoos. The diluted vinegar also is a great softener for hair.

Leave on briefly 1-2 mins. then rinse with water.

If your hair tends to be dry, after towel drying your hair you can add straight olive oil to the ends of your hair and style as usual.

This hair care system has saved me tons of money and helps my hair look THE best that it ever has! Try it--It is a Natural Cleaning Star!!

Enjoy looking beautiful and let me know how it worked for you!
Green Keen a.k.a. Pam

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best Moisturizing Hand Soap | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam
This is a very helpful article by a soapmaker/author who also provides a low cost Soapmaking How To DVD for beginning soapmakers. I made my first cold processed soap last year and found it to be a wonderful experience. Making your own natural bar soap is much more inexpensive than purchasing other natural soaps. Plus you can eventually tweak your own recipe to suit your preferences. It is such a relaxing and satisfying experience washing with a fragrant bar of soap that you crafted yourself!

Best Moisturizing Hand Soap by Cherie Norquay
"Moisture Rich" is one of my most requested and best moisturizing hand soap recipes. I not only like to use this hand soap at my sink, I also like to use this soap in the shower because it is so moisturizing. What's the secret ingredient? Shea butter.

Shea butter has special moisturizing qualities and I strive to preserve these qualities in my hand made soap. I like to think this soap is unique because the of the steps I take to create it. See for yourself below.

Best Moisturizing Hand Soap Recipe

25 oz. olive oil
10 oz. coconut oil
10 oz. palm oil
5 oz. shea butter
16 oz. water
7 oz. lye

I make this soap a little differently than my other soaps. I melt the coconut oil and palm oils together. Then I add the olive oil. When the oils and the lye/water (or lye/milk) slurry are both at about 110 degrees, I incorporate the slurry into the oils.

When the soap is at very light trace, I then incorporate the melted shea butter. I like to incorporate the shea butter at this point, hoping that most of the shea butter will not react with the lye and retain it's moisturizing properties. I know there are still lots of free lye radicals in the soap, but hopefully most of them mixed with the other base oils.

About Fragrances
I do not use any fragrance in this soap, because I like to offer a few fragrance-free soaps. You can, however, use any fragrance you wish to in this soap. I always recommend using a fragrance that has been a good seller for you if you have been selling soap for quite a while. I have been very successful keeping this soap fragrance-free however (and this cuts the cost of producing the soap in half).

I like to use LIGHT olive oil so I get a very light (almost white) color bar of soap. If you use extra virgin olive oil, the bar will not look so white. If you use pomace oil, the soap will have a greenish look -- you will also need to consult a lye calculator* because you may need to adjust the amount of olive oil if you are substituting pomace. This recipe will produce 16 - 4 oz. bars of soap.

If you reduce or increase the recipe size, be sure to double check your oil and lye amounts with a lye calculator. It always pays to be on the safe side. I usually make this soap in a large loaf mold that makes 64 bars of soap at a time.

How to Make Soap DVD
Any soap maker would benefit from adding this best moisturizing hand soap recipe to their soap making repertoire. If you are new to soap making you can check out my website at How to Make Soap where I have an on-line or DVD video soap making tutorial. You can watch me make soap right in my own kitchen. Dozens have learned to safely make soap. Many are now making money selling soap!

Article from ArticlesBase.com

*Note from Pam: A great, user-friendly lye calculator I've used is at Cranberry Lane.

Also 100% of the Purchase Price of this video goes directly to Impact Ministries International where it is used to house and feed orphans throughout the world.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Simple Green Naturals Liquid Hand Soap | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Simple Green Naturals Liquid Hand Soap, from the makers of the original "green cleaner", California's Sunshine Makers, Inc., a green cleaning product manufacturer for 30 years, is part of their new Naturals line of natural cleaning products. The aroma of Simple Green’s Herb Garden scented soap is an earthy-herbal scent, not flowery or fruity, so it is a good choice for people who dislike floral scents.

Simple Green, one of the oldest environmentally-conscious cleaning product companies, has come under fire during the last few years for not divulging all the ingredients of many of their products (a hopefully soon-to-change practice in this industry in the United States) and they have come under fire in particular for having possible contaminates from their manufacturing process lingering in their cleaning products.

Price 2.88 for 16 ounce bottle.

Pros Naturals Liquid Hand Soap, herb garden scent

• 100% natural ingredient sources
• Non-toxic formulations
• Biodegradable formulations
• No animal testing
• Full ingredient disclosure
• International scientifically-accepted ingredient names
• Scents made of 100% natural essential oils & plant extracts
• 100% recyclable bottles with 25%+ post-consumer content
• No synthetic preservatives, dyes or perfumes


I applaud Simple Green's transparency in regards to listing their ingredients.

The Simple Green Naturals line of cleaners are 100% naturally-derived from: chicory, coconut, corn, palm, naturally-occurring minerals, salt and sugar, and water. The key word here is “derived”.

They explain on their website: “Sometimes naturally derived ingredients are modified by man-made chemicals. If there is not a natural ingredient that does a great cleaning job for us to utilize in making a Simple Green Naturals product, we will source a naturally derived, safe, green, man-modified one instead.”

However, in my research, some of the naturally-derived ingredients they include in their Naturals line are questionable (information from the Environmental Working Group):

Ingredients (Not in order of amount):

Water, Borax, Sodium chloride(salt), Citric Acid, Natural scent-blend (basil oil, sage oil, clary sage oil, rosemary oil, orange oil);

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (while not a carcinogen itself, according to the American Cancer Society, it does have a moderate risk for other health issues, and also can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by the known carcinogens, Ethylene Oxide or 1,4-Dioxane)*

Cocobetaine (an untested chemical)

Cocamide DEA (a moderate risk for cancer and other serious health issues)

Laureth-7 (a polyethylene glycol ether, which also can be contaminated in the manufacturing process by 1,4-Dioxane)**

* **Simple Green is aware of these possible contaminants and filters them out of all their products, down to "parts-per-thousand to parts-per-million levels". Many "green" consumer products still contain both these ingredients.

I Want Natural, Not Merely Naturally-Derived

As consumers become more knowledgeable and concerned about the purity of household and personal products that they use, the companies who market themselves as green cleaning manufacturers are needing to keep pace and “clean up” their act even further.

This is true for Simple Green. Thirty years ago, they were a pioneer, providing one of the first non-toxic, biodegradable lines of cleaning products—now they and other companies hopefully will heed the concerns of environmentally-conscious consumers and move even more toward all natural and healthful ingredients and not merely “naturally-derived”.

Thumbs Up!
For being biodegradable, using natural versus synthetic scents and dyes, and for a great price.

Thumbs Down! For having a number of “naturally-derived” ingredients with questionable health issues. I want higher standards with my natural cleaning products and I’m sure you do too. --Enjoy your Spring Cleaning! Green Keen a.k.a. Pamela Palmer

Monday, April 13, 2009

Soap Nuts: the Green Clean Detergent | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam:
Soap Nuts, a "detergent" harvested from Nature, used for hundreds of years in East Asia, is fast becoming a 21st Century answer for a sustainable and renewable resource to provide for cleaning needs, using the least impact on the environment.

I've tried Soap Nuts and love them. I think they are particularly good for baby-care and sensitive-skin care! If you've never tried soap nuts--please do! You'll be surprised by these little, saponin-filled green cleaners straight off trees!

Author: Matt Johnson

The North American consumer is moving towards becoming an informed buyer. An average American is now aware of facts that previously went unnoticed such as the presence of Triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps, bisphenol-A in plastics and that air fresheners are abuzz with phthalates. In simple words, the above describes the various harmful chemicals that are present in items that a person uses on a daily basis. People are now coming to realize that such chemicals are not just harmful to human health but also deplete the environment. The shift towards plant based and natural products is evident.

Why not regular laundry detergents?

Cleaning and washing laundry are a regular household task. There are various options in the market in the form of cleaning aids and commercial laundry detergents. These detergents contain a blend of many toxic chemicals that are present in the form of residue on clothes after they are washed. The skin may absorb these chemicals into the blood stream or they may evaporate and be taken in by children causing potential health effects.

Regular laundry detergents contain ammonia and phosphates which is why many people experience itching, rashes and allergic reactions ,such as eczema, to these detergents. A better, safer, ethical and environmental friendly option would be to use Soap nuts as a detergent and cleaning aid.

Soap nuts as detergents and cleaning aids

Soap nuts are a type of berry native to India, Nepal and other South Asian countries. The larger variety of soap nuts (Sapindus Mukorrosi) is widely used as a natural detergent and cleaning aid all over the world. The saponins in soap nuts make them an excellent detergent and cleaning aid.
Saponins are nature’s cleansing agents that act like soap when they come in contact with water. The saponins dissolves in the water and function as detergents. The soap nuts allow water to penetrate well into the fabric thereby washing and cleaning them. The dirt is attached to the surfactant which is then drained along with the water.

How to use soap nuts for laundry?

In order to use soap nuts for laundry purposes, 4-6 soap nut shells will be required. The soap nut shells should be taken and tied together in small muslin bag (supplied with most soap nuts orders), and tossed into the washing machine. Now you can add your clothes and do your normal laundry cycle. This set of soap nuts can be used for 4 to 5 loads of laundry. The soap nuts should be changed when they become grayish or mushy. It is advisable to allow the soap nuts to dry between successive loads of laundry. The soap nut bag should be removed before running the clothes in the dryer.

To make a liquid solution, 100 grams of soap nuts, (or approximately30-35 whole soap nuts) should be boiled in approximately 3L of water for about 20 to 30 minutes. A liquid will be obtained which is a chemical free, concentrated soap nut solution; a natural aid to all your laundry detergent needs. The shells that are left over may be added to your compost. Then 45 ml of this solution (approximately 3 tablespoons) can be used for a load of laundry. The solution made with 100 grams of soap nuts can be used for washing approximately 40 loads of laundry and will cost you less than $10!

Benefits of using soap nuts as laundry detergents

Soap nuts help maintain the bright colors of the fabric and prevent fading with each wash. Soap nuts can be used to wash the most delicate fabrics such as silks and woolen garments without causing any harm to them.

Clothes washed with soap nuts come out feeling very soft eliminating the need to use additional fabric softeners.

The use of soap nuts does not cause any allergic reactions as it is completely natural and chemical free. They are ideal for people with allergies, eczema, dermatitis and sensitive skin.

For more articles on soap nuts visit http://www.HotterThanHealth.com/Newsletter.html

For pricing & to purchase soap nuts visit http://Stores.HotterThanHealth.com/StoreFront.bok
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/soap-nuts-the-green-clean-detergent-376954.html
About the Author:http://Stores.HotterThanHealth.com/StoreFront.bok

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid Simply Tangerine | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid, Simply Tangerine scent, made by Clorox is a green cleaning dishwashing detergent, whose ingredients are from renewable resources, biodegradable, and free of petrochemicals. It comes in Water lily, Free and Clear, Simply Lemon scents, as well.

The plant and mineral-based ingredients in Green Works Natural Dishwashing Soap include coconut-based surfactants and corn-based ethanol. In fact, the label states that this green dishwashing soap is 99% natural. The other 1% is a petrochemical, but that is a pretty good percentage, when trying to minimize your family’s exposure to petrochemicals!

What Does Natural Mean?

Currently, there is no industry standard definition for natural cleaners, but the Clorox Company chose to raise a high standard in developing a green cleaning line of products. They developed the Green Works line of natural products starting over 5 years ago–“to set the standard for natural cleaning and create products that clean with the power you expect from Clorox” as stated on their website. They further state that they are fully committed to continuing to develop natural products that continue to set the standard for natural.

Rather than scoff at this stated goal from a worldwide producer of chlorine bleach, I applaud any company’s attempt to change and develop into producing more eco-friendly products—it is moving forward for the industry!

When The Clorox Company launched the Green Works line of natural cleaning products in January 2008, they had a goal to take natural cleaning mainstream, making it more affordable without compromising cleaning performance. They state on their website, that Green Works is now the #1 brand in natural cleaning.

3.32 to 3.64 in retail stores or online.

Filtered water
Coconut-based cleaning agents*
Corn-based ethanol
Biodegradable preservative
Citric acid
Fragrance with Essential oils (which usually means synthetic fragrance and a small amount of a natural essential oil)
Orange colorant (most likely synthetic)

Contains no phosphorus
Contains no bleach

*Anionic and nonionic surfactants (alkyl polyglucoside, sodium lauryl sulfate and cocodimethyl amine oxide) which have a low toxicity rating from the Skin Deep Database of the Environmental Working Group. These cleaning agents are biodegradable, yet they are skin irritants if used in higher doses, especially sodium lauryl sulfate. There has been some scientific tests linking sodium lauryl sulfate to cancer and major medical conditions, but the EPA allows it in many household products, because of the minute amounts used and the short contact-time on skin.

(I would think that this is an ingredient to try to avoid, so if I find a dishwashing liquid that doesn’t have it, I’ll let you know!)

My Take on Using Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid, Simply Tangerine
I found this green dishwashing liquid soap to be very effective. The scent is a very light tangerine—I would have liked it to be stronger and more natural smelling! Citrus is naturally such a strong and wonderful aroma, why make it synthetically?? I think companies should cut cost some other way!!

The main thing is that this product works well cleaning dirty dishes and is 99% Natural, using biodegradable, renewable-resource ingredients. An added plus is that this natural cleaning product has not been tested on animals. The bottle is completely recyclable and is made from 25% post consumer recycled packaging.

Thumbs Up!
To Clorox for moving towards “going green” with natural cleaning products, also for putting out a natural cleaner for dishwashing that is low in toxicity, is biodegradable, and is 99% natural.

Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid is a natural cleaning, green cleaner with an orange-tangerine scent!

Happy Green Cleaning, Green Keen a.k.a. Pamela Palmer

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Eco Carpet Cleaning – Go Green and Reap the Rewards | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Note from Pam:

Carpet cleaning is a job we often contract out to others, so sometimes we might forget that the cleaning products they use affect our family's health, as much as, our own regular cleaning.

The best thing to do when hiring a Carpet Cleaning Company--ask a lot of questions, find a company that openly and clearly uses green cleaning products that you know are safe.

Then enjoy the benefit of a clean carpet cleaned with natural cleaning products that are breathable and refreshing. Also, enjoy your green clean carpet, that you didn't have to clean yourself!

Author: Bob Robertson

In recent years many Carpet Cleaning businesses have been pursuing green methods of cleaning to avoid using dangerous and polluting chemicals in the industry in favour of more natural solutions.

Years ago, it was said that carpet cleaning chemicals got into the air of a room when applied during cleaning, and could also be ingested by kids who played on the floor soon afterwards. Besides such health hazards, carpet cleaning chemicals could pollute local groundwater if disposed of improperly (such as directly down your drain). Also, waste water from carpet cleaning required treatment and/or filtration in order to neutralize contaminants.

The local carpet cleaning businesses that have greened up their processes are now reaping the rewards as environmentally aware consumers take advantage of a more responsible approach to cleaning their carpets and upholstery.

The health benefits come without additional cost and indeed considerable savings can be made from using such methods. Nowadays more and more people are well aware of the long-term health effects of toxic chemicals in cleaning products and appreciate the benefits of using companies that use products that are safe, more effective and better for the environment.

An Eco Friendly Carpet Cleaning service involves using products which are free of detergents, free of toxic chemicals and free of harmful solvents. These products are completely safe to children and pets, are water based and do not contain solvents, bleaches, enzymes or phosphates. These new natural products promote good health, sustain the environment and at the same time remain highly effective and produce superb results.

What motivates the local business to be green? Is there a genuine concern for the planet and its occupants or is it just good for business? Probably a bit of both….

Article Source: Article Base

About the Author: Bob Robertson is an Eco Friendly Carpet Cleaning Professional based in Scotland. He is a member of the National Carpet Cleaning Association and Glasgow's first LTT Leather Technician. Visit his website at http://www.mattvac.co.uk/ for more cleaning tips.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lemon "The" Natural Cleaner and Disinfectant | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Lemon, or Citrus limon, has a long, exotic history as an oriental fruit, an ancient delicacy, a rarity of the wealthy in Medieval times, and now, a simple fruit of refreshment. First cultivated in India and surrounding areas, then migrated to the near East, and on eventually into Europe, lemons have been prized by homeowners and consumers for a variety of uses, both culinary and healthful.

Originally brought to the Americas as seeds by Columbus, lemons are grown now throughout the Western Hemisphere, mostly the warmer climates. Once a wildly-expensive treat in ancient times, now lemons are found in every grocery store--lemonade and lemon slices in iced tea are considered standard Americana refreshment.

**Update: See this post for Scientific Proof on Lemon as Disinfectant!

Lemon: A Natural Cleaner and Disinfectant
Green cleaning consumers have been developing a new love for their yellow, acidic friend, whose ph level is 2.3, approximately 6 times more acidic than vinegar. Lemon carries a powerful punch as a cleaner with natural disinfectant qualities. Straight lemon juice, whether fresh-squeezed or in concentrate form, is able to kill most of the bacteria in your house, particularly in the Kitchen and Bathroom.

How Does Lemon’s Acidity Work as a Disinfectant?
The high level of acidity in lemons changes the pH level in bacterial cells, creating an acidic environment in which microbes can't survive. Using straight vinegar as a disinfectant has been scientifically proven to have a disinfection kill-rate of 90%, in tests at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, so it would make sense that straight lemon juice would be more effective as a disinfectant than even vinegar.

Cleaning and then rinsing with soap, borax, or baking soda (all of which are non-acidic, base, or alkaline substances, on the other side of the ph scale from lemons) are the best way to handle washing soiled surfaces and fabrics, but following up afterwards with an acidic “disinfectant”, like lemon, is the way to “zap!” any remaining microbes.

Alkaline cleaners (such as soaps, borax, or baking soda) neutralize soils and stains, which are most often acidic in nature, producing effective results as the dirt is rinsed away in the water. Alkaline cleaners do kill certain types of microbes; this is why washing your hands with soap and water is an effective way to minimize germ transmission in normal daily life.

Acidic cleaners, including the natural cleaning lemon, kill a greater variety of microbes, and in my limited knowledge of chemistry, basically finish off the job!

Cleaning with lemons has the added benefit of leaving your home with that pleasantly-refreshing citrus aroma that always seems cheerful and clean-smelling.

Helpful Homemaking Tips Using Lemon as a Green Cleaner:

In the Kitchen, Bathroom, and Around the House:

All-purpose Disinfectant Spray:
Using lemon essential oil
Fill an 8 oz. spray bottle with distilled water, and add 25 drops of lemon oil.
Shake well, and use as a spray on counter tops, faucets, doorknobs, bed linens, etc.
Wipe with a clean towel as desired.
This is safe even if it gets on food items or surfaces that come in contact with food.
(Recipe from greenfeet.net)

Copper Polisher:
Rub with lemon juice and salt to polish, then rinse off.

Easy Microwave Cleaner:
Heat 1/2 cup of lemon juice on high in microwave for 3 minutes. The lemon juice will steam-clean the “yuk”. Wipe and you are done.

Coffee Pot Cleaner:
Run a cycle with water and the juice of 1-2 lemons. Let the pot sit overnight to clean-off coffee residue.
(I learned this one as a waitress during college)

Cutting Board Cleaner/Deodorizer:
Scrub cutting board with baking soda and water, then rinse. Rub ½ a lemon on your cutting board, let sit 15 minutes. Then rinse.

Grills and Pans:
I watched the chefs at a Hibachi grill recently, they wash/disinfect their stainless steel cooking surfaces with straight vodka and a fresh-squeezed lemon. After letting it sit briefly, they scrub and wipe and are done. Cool!

Vinegar-Lemon Juice Floor Cleaner:
· One gallon of water
· Four cups of vinegar
· One cup of lemon juice concentrate
Mix vigorously and use liberally.
If you have polyurethane on your hardwood floors, you shouldn't use a wet mop, only a damp one. Both vinegar and lemon juice are acidic and can, over time, damage your finish. This floor cleaner also works great on linoleum, stone, or tile floors.
(Thanks to gomestic.com for a great recipe)

Wood Polisher:
1 lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon water
Extract the juice from the lemon. Mix with oil and water.
Apply a thin coat on your wood surface and let sit for five minutes. Use a soft cloth to buff to a deep shine.
(I use this regularly and have never had a problem with the oil becoming rancid.)

Laundry Enhancer:
Use as a bleach alternative. Add ½ cup to the laundry in the rinse cycle.
(Lemon juice is known for getting out perspiration stains in particular.)

Two Thumbs Up For Lemon, I use it all the time!
Lemon juice in concentrate form is relatively cheap; you probably have some on you frig door right now. Fresh lemons are a slight bit pricier, but are easy, as well, to purchase 1-2 each week for cleaning, if you prefer using fresh. Pure lemon oil is higher-priced, but will last a long time, since only a few drops are needed in each chore.

Lemon has a naturally uplifting, “happy” smell that can brighten any home and create an atmosphere where you will want to clean—and isn’t that a big plus when trying to get motivated for your never-ending chores??

Knowing that you are cleaning and disinfecting in a natural, totally-biodegradable, non-toxic manner is an even bigger boon.

Happy Green Cleaning, Green Keen a.k.a. Pamela Palmer