Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day Celebration Preview - Let Us Be Good Stewards of The Gift of Creation

Blessed Earth from Blessed Earth on Vimeo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil Remedy to Kill Dust Mites | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil Remedy to Kill Dust Mites | Natural Cleaning Product Review

Thousands of Dust Mites living in your bedding and feeding off your dead skin sounds like the theme of a horror movie -- but it is actual reality! Dust mites, near microscopic spiders, live in and around our mattresses and pillows. Their waste matter is the source of allergic reactions for many people!

Puffy, itchy eyes or a sluggish start in the morning might not be just from your escapades the night before -- they could be the sign of a dust mite allergy.

What To Do?
Vacuuming mattresses helps remove dust, their habitat per se, and the dust mite fecal matter, but not them! Dust mites have "sticky feet" and can resist the suction power of the typical household vacuum. A great, natural cleaning option I have learned is to treat mattresses and bedding with tea tree or eucalyptus oil, which has been proven to kill dust mites.

Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils: Natural Antiseptic, Germicide, Antibacterial, Fungicide
Some people swear sunlight will rid your clothes, carpets and bedding of dust mites. But Dr Euan Tovey, an allergy researcher from Sydney University, says it's not a straightforward solution.
Tovey says leaving your rugs or carpets in the sun to 'bake' for three hours will kill all the dust mites, but it won't get rid of the allergen. Plus, it will quickly fade your fabrics!!

"Killing the mites alone doesn't stop any of the exposure to allergens – all it does is kill the mites, which will over a period of time just re-establish themselves anyway. So you do need to get rid of the allergen," he says. "What I do is wash my Persian carpets once or twice a year – I hose them down, scrub them with soap and water, put them on the trampoline and leave them in the sun for a day."

The best thing for bedding and clothes is regular washing in the machine. Tovey says dust mite allergen is highly soluble, and washing in warm water with normal laundry detergent removes close to 97 per cent of the allergen. "Most websites advocate washing bedding at 73 degrees – that's very hot water. Most systems don't have water that hot and I don't think it's worth the trouble – you're better to wash it more frequently," he said.

"Washing alone will only get rid of 2.4% of the dust mites. 99% of dust mites can be eliminated from your bedding by the simple addition of a long soak in Eucalyptus essential oil." The research work with this eucalyptus oil solution for dust mites was done at the University of Sydney in Australia.

The Eucalyptus Oil Natural Cleaning Recipe:
Soak blankets, sheets or bedding for one full hour in the following solution:

6 T ( Eucalyptus oil (0.4% concentration) 
1.5 T liquid laundry detergent in 
13 gallons of water 

Mix the Eucalyptus oil and the detergent together to make an emulsion, add it to the water and then add the bedding. Soak for 1 hour. Then wash the bedding or blankets as normal.You can also substitute Tea Tree oil for the Eucalyptus oil. There will be no lingering Tea Tree oil aroma after the rinse cycle. The heat from the dryer should finish off the rest. 

Vacuum mattress surface with hose attachment, then wipe with a cloth dampened by Eucalyptus or Tea Tree oil, let dry completely. Replace cleaned sheets and other bedding.

Other Pointers
  • Vacuum pillows on both sides with vacuum hose attachment. Place in a new garbage bag or other recycled plastic bag. Set in Freezer for 8-12 hours. This will also kill all or almost all dust mites. This also works for stuffed animals!  
  • For family members with severe dust mite allergy, which is 20% of the population, cover the mattress and pillows with hypoallergenic mattress and pillow covers. Remove carpet and drapes from the bedroom. Minimize stuffed toys and pillows. 
  • Washing bedding in hot water also helps to kill dust mites, but the eucalyptus or tea tree oil remedy is the most energy-efficient, needing only cold water to do the job. 
  • Keep humidity in bedroom low, under 35% if possible. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments. 
  • Running a HEPA filter during the night is also a big help in minimizing dust build-up.

My Take on Eucalyptus and Tea Tree Oil Natural Cleaning Remedies
Double Thumbs Up! This works GREAT! I am one of those people who is allergic to dust mites and is also weirded out by the thought of them! Washing bedding in a eucalptus or tea tree oil soak/wash really does work better than just a regular and hot wash. Try it, you will definitely sleep better with comfy, clean, fresh-washed bedding.

Sweet Dreams with Natural Cleaning Products! --Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Image Source: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Spring Clean in Three Simple Steps | Natural Cleaning Product Reviews

Let's take a moment and celebrate that Spring has finally sprung! After such a long, snowy Winter, the warm Sun, fresh air and graceful flowers welcome us to the outside again...

Spring Cleaning: Three Simple Steps

  1. Open all your windows on the first warm day. Fresh air is a great cleanser of our environments.  Of course, waiting until after the deluge of pollen would be helpful. Wait until there is a warm, sunny day shortly after a rain. The rain washes most of the pollen temporarily out of the air.
  2. Utilize the sun for disinfecting. We tend to forget that the sun is a disinfecting agent. White or light colored linens, towels and clothing can be washed and hung in the sun for a good cleansening. Spring is a great time to disinfect all your bedding. Check out how here. Afraid of fading? Turn your clothing item inside-out and hang during the afternoon.
  3. After airing the house out and washing the linens, do a deep dusting. In ancient Roman times, Spring Cleaning meant handwashing every wall, floor, and ceiling. A deep dusting today would include regular dusting and vaccuming, as well as, vaccuming the walls and/or ceiling corners with your upolstery attachment.
Spring in the temperate zones of the world has always been a time celebrating new life and nature as we venture back out into our backyards and patios to relish the warmth, breathe in the fragrance of flowers and watch fireflies with our families.

Enjoy Green Spring Cleaning from Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where to Buy and How to Disinfect Eco Friendly Kitchen Sponges | Natural Cleaning Product Reviews

TWIST a wonderful manufacturer of eco friendly kitchen sponges wrote the following about their passion, history and purpose:  "....Not too long ago, TWIST took a closer look at the sponges in our kitchen and realized something profound. Almost every other product in the cleaning aisle has undergone some kind of evolution, while sponges have been the same for decades.    TWIST set out to turn the world of cleaning products on its head combining design and environmental responsibility to create functional, beautiful, and responsible alternatives." 

You can find a variety of TWIST's sponges and cleaning cloths for at BuyGreen.com on oursidebar:

Also, here's a great article on disinfecting your sponges from the 7th Gen Newsletter:

Sponging Up a Kitchen Hot Spot | Seventh Generation

Happy Green Cleaning with Natural, Eco friendly sponges!  Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Green Cleaning in the Bathroom

My Favorite Bathroom Cleaners and Disinfectants:

Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Liquid Soap -- Great, Refreshing, Clean Aroma. Mix it with a sprinkle of plain baking soda for a quick scrub. It will leave your sink and toilet bowl shining and smelling clean.

Ecover Pine Fresh Toilet Bowl Cleaner -- Smells Exquisite! Can you say that about a toilet bowl cleaner?

Seventh Generation's New Disinfecting Line of Cleaners -- I'll be doing a complete review on them soon!

Go Green in the Bathroom  Check it out! Great article posted on the Organic Consumers Assoc. website.

DIY Lemon Disinfectant Spray -- See Recipe Here.

DIY White Vinegar Disinfectant Spray -- See Recipe Here.

Happy Green Cleaning! -- Green Keen aka Pamela Palmer