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:

Women's Online Magazine Columnist
"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.