Opening a small Kiosk Location – Please donate if you are able

So I am never one to ask for help directly. I am usually the one who does the assisting and donating but currently my  situation has changed. Since my husband is not in the position to work due to his MCS,  I use the extra funds that I receive to create items for that little extra income. In addition to that, all of the art that I create helps me cope and release the stress and anxiety that I have myself.

I have some exciting news. I have finally found someone who shares my passion for creating artistic creations and since I cannot do this on my own what a great opportunity.

We have both dreamed of having our own retail location for a long  while and we now have a chance to start a small kiosk in The One of A Kind Antique & Collectibles Warehouse in Woodstock, Ontario.

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We will be operating under our banner name Phoenix & Raine Designs.

The space is small and perfect for us to get started out and get some exposure before making a big dive into a full scale retail location if that is possible in the future. We offer and create a multitude of items including purses, bags, crochet items, soaps and eco-products, fudge and confections, jewelry and hand painted original artwork. Everything we create is from our own two hands. The list goes on and on….

We are asking for help to make our dream a reality come true. Any amount will help us to make sure we can afford the rental, fee’s and start of costs of displays and fixtures.

Please help in any amount you can if you are able. We appreciate
it all! We are also sending our appreciation
with tier rewards for your donations!

Angel & Heather

Phoenix & Raine Design

Click here to donate please:

download
https://www.gofundme.com/phoenixraine

 


Angel is the Owner and Creator of:
Crafty Ocelot
www.craftyocelot.etsy.com

Heather  is Owner and Creator of :
Izzyrai and ClayTree
www.izzyrai.etsy.com
www.claytree.etsy.com

flower

Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural super food that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs. Who knew that this plant with puffy flowers that grant childhood wishes could offer so much benefit?

Dandelion Root and Leaves

Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.

It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!

Traditional cultures have used dandelion to support digestive and hormone health and it was often consumed to support lactation or to help remedy issues like urinary tract infections.

Benefits of Dandelion

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard super food is beneficial in many ways, including:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Dandelion has been used for years by various cultures to support healthy liver function and natural detoxification in the body. Though it hasn’t been well studied, many people with hepatitis turn to it to help support the liver. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that:

In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

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Female Health and Hormone Balance

Due to its high levels of various nutrients and potential ability to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, dandelion is often used by those with hormone imbalance, urinary infection and recurrent mastitis. Though not well studied, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who have used it to help remedy recurring UTIs or other infections.

Clearer Skin

Due to its natural magnesium and zinc content and its potential ability to support detoxification, dandelion is also know as being good for the skin. It can be used topically in applications like tinctures and poultices and many people also take it in capsule or tea form to help support healthy skin.

Good Source of Nutrients

Dandelion is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and nutritive salts, which may help support blood health and increase iron absorption. I personally often add dried leaves to teas for a nutrient boost or use dandelion root in place of coffee.

Blood Sugar Balance

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Uses of Dandelion Root and Leaves

Perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to remove this “backyard weed” if we were more familiar with the myriad of uses it has. The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

Here are some of the ways to use dandelion:

Coffee Substitute

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes . The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Poultices

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

Dandelion Tea

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine. The leaves and root can also be used in teas, though they have a stronger taste and are often combined with other synergistic herbs for flavor and increased nutrient absorption.

Salads and Greens

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

Anyone who gathers dandelion from wild sources (like the backyard) should make sure that the area has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and that it does not come from an area where pets may have eliminated.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qdoz29

 

Our scary weeks dealing with MCS

So whats new with me. A few weeks ago I was at a low point to be honest, we all were. My husband had been exposed to some nasty chemicals that were a side effect of the farmers next door burning…. tires… yes not good or legal. Well this drove him out of our home and away for 2 weeks not to mention how ill he was as a result. When I say ill I mean ill…..shaking, loss of oxygen resulting in blue lips, dizziness, and so much more. This worried me to no end and threw me into a viscous cycle of eating junk again and derailing my life as well as his and my daughters.

Fast forward….to this week.

He is starting to feel better and is back with us at home but what a scary set back. This just shows us how serious this disability is. We have to take into consideration everything we do now. From a trip to the store, visiting friends with scented homes, to going for a walk this has changes our lives and isolated us.

We have been advised that over time his condition may improve as his immunity returns but we have also been warned that it will get worse before it gets better. There are many MCS cases out there as the scents and perfumes industries rise. Some people don`t realize that they may be having a reaction even. I encourage everyone for their health and others to promote scent free products and environments for everyone.

Thanks as always for reading and following!

multiple-chemical-sensitivity-mcs

Learning how to crochet can do more than you think for your mental health and happiness

Smiley-On-Top

Arts and crafts are more than just a fun pastime, they’re truly healing and restorative and are actually very therapeutic. In fact, the healing benefits of crocheting (and knitting) are numerous and range from simply calming you down and easing your stress to potentially relieving depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Crocheting doesn’t just help you if you’re the one who’s sick – it helps the caregivers around you, your friends and family that help you, love you and support you. It’s also a very good craft to pick up as a hobby for group therapy sessions, as you’re healing together in a group without having the focus completely on you. There are so many benefits of crocheting, so whether you’re stressed out and can’t sleep or are doing your part to help slow down Alzheimer’s, you’ll be doing yourself and your health a favor.

1. Crocheting reduces stress and anxiety

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your daily life, take some time for yourself, pick up some yarn and your hook (or your needles), and spend some time being creative. By crocheting and allowing yourself to be creative, you’re taking your mind off of whatever’s been nagging you. By focusing on the repetitive motions of individual stitches and counting rows, your mind is able to be more relaxed and free from anxious ideas and thoughts.

2. Crocheting helps with insomnia

By focusing on something that’s easy, repetitive and soothing, like crochet projects, you can calm down your mind and body enough to let you fall asleep. So the next time you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t get frustrated, just pick up a work in progress!

3. Crocheting helps ease or relieve depression

When you do something we like, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that affects our emotions and functions like a natural anti-depressant. Scientists now believe that crafts, such as crocheting, can help stimulate that dopamine release to allow us to feel happier and better about ourselves.

4. Crocheting reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%.

Crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%. By engaging in cognitive exercises and stimulating your mind, you can slow down or even prevent memory loss. Whether you plan on challenging your memory by learning a new stitch or technique or simply by reading and working up a pattern, by getting a little crafty, you’ll be helping preserve your memories.

5. Crochet builds your self-esteem.

We all want to feel productive and useful, and by working up a project to give as a gift or sell at a craft fair, we can do just that. Though we don’t craft just for the compliments, a little bit of external validation by someone buying your finished item or your gift recipient wearing that crochet hat you made all winter long can truly give us the self-esteem boosts we need.

6. Crocheting acts as a form of group therapy.

For those who seek therapy benefits in group settings, crocheting can be supremely beneficial. By placing the focus off of the patient and only the crochet project itself, it provides all of the previously mentioned health benefits of crocheting plus a sense of community and togetherness. By working in a craft, those in a group can immediately have some way of relating to the other group members, and it may help function as an ice breaker for more seriously conversations. Even if you aren’t actively seeking therapy, you can benefit from the sense of community that crocheting can bring.

7. Crocheting puts you in control.

Whether you feel helpless as a caregiver watching someone struggle or you’re the one struggling with your own illness or problems, crocheting is a way to put the control back into your own hands – literally. By choosing to craft, you are in full control of everything, from the type of project you’ll be making, the color and type or yarn and even the type of crochet hooks to work with, and that makes a difference in feeling like you have a say again.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qfUZZu

 

Dirty Dove Soap – True Beauty Should Not Come at Such a High Cost

Nobody enjoys beauty ads. The models selling the cosmetics, face creams, or hair products always look condescendingly perfect. It doesn’t help that we know they are produced by makeup artists and animation wizards. Their flawless skin causes us to frown upon our own blemishes and wrinkles.

 Their slim bodies make us self-conscious about our own weight. Their luscious hair uglifies our locks whether we think our hair is too thin, too puffy, too curly, too frizzy, or too much anything. Then we go out to buy whatever the model is selling because we are desperate to be perfect just like her. Of course, we would never admit that aloud, but that’s how we feel.

The Dove campaign is different. The models they use are real women and girls just like us. Dove ads feature real people talking about their insecurities about their looks and bring them to realize they are beautiful the way they are. It warms our hearts and makes us feel good about ourselves.

We buy Dove because we’d rather listen to the company that tells us “you are already beautiful” than the ones who scream “you are ugly and that’s why you need this product right now!”

For the company that advertises “real beauty,” we’d expect them to use natural ingredients. However, many of the Dove products feature toxic components!

This is one example:

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Dove White Beauty Bar

Here is the original product that initiated this company. It hasn’t changed and the declaration is still the same:

  • #1 Dermatologist recommended
  • Classic moisturizing formula
  • Dove doesn’t dry skin like ordinary soap
  • With ¼ moisturizing cream and mild cleansers, helps retain skin’s moisture
  • Makes skin softer, smoother and more radiant than ordinary soap
  • Suitable for daily use on hands, face, and body

The formula is the same as well, but the ingredients sound less charming:

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

What do these words even mean?!

The Reality Behind the Ingredients

Here are ingredients rampant in Dove products and what they truly can do to your body.

  1. Methylisothiazolinone – Studies have found this chemical to contribute to neurodegenerative disorders and seizures. They are looking to conduct further research on this toxin. 
  2. Fragrance/Parfum is a common skin irritant and the leading cause of dermatitis from cosmetic use. Studies suggest that this is rising skin sensitivities. 
  3. Tetrasodium Edta is made from formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Also, it is a penetration enhancer, meaning it dissolves the protective skin barrier, pathing the way for other toxins to sink into your tissue and perhaps even your bloodstream. Although the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed this chemical “safe,” since it is not well-absorbed into the skin, they did suggest caution when mixing this preservative with other hazardous ingredients. 
  4. Sodium Tallowate – Vegans, cover your eyes! Sodium Tallowate, featured in the classic Dove Beauty bar, is derived from the fatty tissue of cattle. The FDA declared this additive to be safe, but according to them, GMOs are fine too. 
  5. Sodium Laureth Sulfate – About 12,200 studies testing the cumulative effect and long-term exposure of SLS linked it to :
    • Irritation of the skin and eyes
    • Organ toxicity
    • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
    • Neurotoxicity, ecotoxicology, endocrine disruption, and biochemical or cellular changes
    • Possible mutations and cancer

As Dove believes, women should define their own beauty, yet health hazardous have never and never will be beautiful.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2pi5lrI

Tis’ the season: Ticks- How to Avoid and Remove Them

Most ticks do not carry diseases, and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. But it is important to avoid and check for ticks, and to remove a tick as soon as you find it. Removing the tick completely may help you avoid diseases such as Lyme disease that the tick may pass on during feeding, or a skin infection where the tick bit you.

How to avoid tick bites

  • Learn where ticks and deer that carry ticks are most commonly found in your community. Avoid those areas if possible.
  • Cover as much of your body as possible when working or playing in grassy or wooded areas. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants with the legs tucked into your socks. Keep in mind that it is easier to spot ticks on light-coloured clothes.
  • Use insect repellents, such as products with DEET.
  • Clear leaves, brush, tall grasses, woodpiles, and stone fences from around your house and the edges of your yard or garden. This may help reduce ticks and the rodents that the ticks depend on.
  • Remove plants that attract deer, and use barriers to keep deer—and the deer ticks they may carry—out of your yard.
  • Call your local landscaping nursery or county extension office to see if your yard can be treated for ticks with nonchemical or environmentally safe methods.

Checking for ticks

  • When you come in from outdoors, check all over your body for ticks, including your groin, head, and underarms. Comb your hair with a fine-toothed comb, or have someone check your scalp.
  • Ticks can come into your house on clothing, outdoor gear, and pets. These ticks can fall off and attach to you.
    • Check your clothing and outdoor gear. Remove any ticks you find. Then put your clothing in a clothes dryer on high heat for 1 hour to kill any ticks that might remain.
    • Check your pets for ticks after they have been outdoors.
  • Check your children daily for ticks, especially during the summer months.

How to remove a tick

Removing a tick with tweezers

Use fine-tipped tweezers to remove a tick. If you don’t have tweezers, put on gloves or cover your hands with tissue paper, then use your fingers. Do not handle the tick with bare hands.

  • Grab the tick as close to its mouth (the part that is stuck in your skin) as you can. The body of the tick will be above your skin.
  • Do not grab the tick around its swollen belly. You could push infected fluid from the tick into your body if you squeeze it.
  • Gently pull the tick straight out until its mouth lets go of your skin. Do not twist the tick. This may break off the tick’s body and leave the head in your skin.
  • Put the tick in a dry jar or ziplock bag and save it in the freezer for later identification if needed.

After the tick has been removed, wash the area of the tick bite with a lot of warm, clean water. Be sure to wash your hands well with soap and water also.

NOTE: If you can’t remove a tick, call your doctor.

You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.

Some ticks are so small it is hard to see them. This makes it hard to tell if you have removed the tick’s head. If you do not see any obvious parts of the tick’s head where it bit you, assume you have removed the entire tick, but watch for symptoms of a skin infection.

If you have a rash, headache, joint pain, fever, or flu-like symptoms, this could mean you have an illness related to a tick bite. If you have any of these symptoms, or symptoms of a skin infection, call your doctor.

What to avoid

Do not try to:

  • Smother a tick that is stuck to your skin with petroleum jelly, nail polish, gasoline, or rubbing alcohol.
  • Burn the tick while it is stuck to your skin.

Smothering or burning a tick could make it release fluid—which could be infected—into your body and increase your chance of infection.

There are some tick-removal devices that you can buy. If you are active outdoors in areas where there are a lot of ticks, you may want to consider buying such a device.

Source: http://bit.ly/2oLA2Sd

A Little update on Shop info

Hello all! I have been keeping myself busy this week puttering around and crafting it up, when came across boxes of old art and projects that I have completed a few years ago when I operated under ” The Crafty Ocelot”. I have decided to combine Green Grass Grove products and Soap into a category in my reopened shop for my Handmade Art Studio. Have a look I’ll be updating as the week goes on to add back all of my completed projects for sale. Have a great night!

www.craftyocelot.etsy.com

 

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Using pressure points to relieve migraine pain

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Vascular imbalance and excess muscle tension can cause irritations and pains above the neck. Strain in these areas may also lead to headaches and migraines. Many people rely on OTC pain relievers but these medicines offer temporary relief. However, you can alleviate pain and tension through reflexology and acupressure. It is easy to use these techniques because you can easily access the acupressure points in this area. Keep reading to learn more about the most common pressure points for migraines and ways to stimulate them.

Why Do You Have Migraines?

While there is no clear evidence about what causes migraines, experts believe environmental factors and genetics play a big role in the development of migraines. Some studies show that any change in the brainstem and the way it interacts with the trigeminal nerve may lead to migraines. Similarly, any imbalance in brain chemicals such as serotonin may also be the underlying cause of migraines – serotonin levels usually drop when you have a migraine attack and that makes your trigeminal system to release neuropeptides that may trigger headaches.

Even though there is no clear information about the real cause of migraines, there are certain known triggers to avoid. You may experience migraines when there are any hormonal changes during menopause or pregnancy. Other common triggers include food additives, alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, certain foods, change in sleep-wake cycle, and changes in the environment. Stress and certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral contraceptives may also trigger a migraine attack.

Pressure Points for Migraines

The great thing about reflexology is that you can use these techniques to treat the problems externally as well as internally. In fact, you can get rid of your ailments completely if you stimulate those pressure points regularly. The idea behind stimulating pressure points is to clear the blocked meridians, which in turn helps energy to flow freely through the body. This will also lead to the production of endorphins that act as natural painkillers in your body.

Here are the most common pressure points for migraines:

1. Forehead Region

There are several points on your forehead and face, and all of them are yang points and are full of energy as well. Stimulating these points will make energy to flow downwards and help you find relief from aches and pains.

Third Eye Point

One of many points along your forehead is a point where the bridge of your nose joins the ridge of your eyebrows. Stimulating this point will offer relief from headaches, eye pain, eye fatigue, and hay fever.

Drilling Bamboo

In the inner corner of your eyes is another pressure point that helps find relief from allergy symptoms and sinus headaches. It is precisely located below the eyebrows, and stimulating it will also help improve vision. Be sure to apply pressure for at least a minute on both sides.

2. Temple Region

You can find several pressure points for migraines in the temple region. There is basically a chain of five points:hairline curve, valley lead, celestial hub, floating white, head portal yin. Hairline curve is close to the tip of your ear whereas the rest of the points curl around your ear. These points are located about a finger width from your ear. You will find relief from temporal headaches and migraines by applying pressure on these points. Be sure to stimulate all these points simultaneously for better results.

3. Face Region — Facial Beauty

These points locateon both sides of your nostril, at the bottom of your cheekbone, right below the pupil. It is easy to stimulate these points and proper stimulation will help open sinuses, relieve eye fatigue, toothaches, and reduce migraines and tension headaches.

4. Neck Region

There are a number of pressure points in the neck region. For instance:

Wind Mansion

One of these points is located at the back of your head – the exact location is halfway between your spine and ear. The point is called windmansionand applying pressure here will relieve pain in eyes, unblock nasal congestion, and reduce migraines and headaches.

Shoulder Well

Another pressure point in this region is at the edge of your shoulder – it is precisely halfway between the base of your neck and the point of your shoulder. Stimulating this point will help reduce neck stiffness and relieve neck pain as well. It also proves beneficial in treating ailments like spasms and asthma.

Heavenly Pillar

Heavenly pillar is yet another pressure point in the neck region and is precisely located two fingers below the base of your skull – it is basically on the rope like muscles that are on the both sides of your spine. Stimulating this point will relieve aches at the back of the head, eyestrain, neck pains, insomnia, stress, and stiff nick.

Gate of Consciousness

Gate of consciousness is located below the base of your skull – you will find it in the hollow between the vertical neck muscles. Stimulate this point to relieve headaches, arthritis, stiff neck, dizziness, eyestrain, neuro-motor coordination, and irritability.

5. Hands — Union Valley

On your hands, there is a point located in the webbing between your index finger and your thumb. You need to stimulate this point to relieve frontal headaches, back pain, and toothache. It is important to avoid triggering this point if you are pregnant because any stimulation of this point may cause contractions in the uterus.

6. Foot

There’re also some pressure points for migraines on your foot that can provide relief with stimulation.

Bigger Rushing

On your foot, you can find a pressure point that helps manage your migraines better. It is located on the top of your foot between the big and the second toe. When you apply pressure on this point, you find relief from eye fatigue, headaches, foot cramps, and arthritis.

Above Tears

There is another point on the top of your foot – you will find it an inch above the webbing of your fourth and fifth toes. Stimulate this point to relive headaches, sciatica, water retention,arthritic pains, hip pain, and shoulder tension.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2oNBHqZ

Homemade household cleaning products -do they work and are they safe?

 The popularity of making cleaning products at home is rising as people seek to eliminate toxic chemicals from their environment or save money – and sometimes both.

Many of the ingredients for cleaning products can be found in the pantry – vinegar, baking soda and ammonia are popular kitchen staples that can perform double-duty in cooking and cleaning. In some tasks, homemade cleaners perform as well as store-bought cleaners, and the main ingredients often are significantly cheaper than one bottle of store-bought cleaning solutions.

Even though homemade cleaners may be seen as a less-toxic alternative to store-bought agents, home owners still need to take some precautions.

Know your ingredients. Lauren Weatherford, families and health agent for the West Virginia University Extension Service, said people need to research individual ingredients before following a recipe found on the internet.

“You may have heard from your grandmother that you can scrub your floors with baking soda, but you can’t just throw baking soda on the floor. As a family consumer science person, I would not use anything without knowing the precautions,” she said.

That’s because making homemade cleaners is science in action. Some ingredients should never be used together, like bleach and ammonia, and vinegar and bleach, which can cause severe respiratory damage. Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together create peracetic acid, which causes burns.

“I always go back to what is an alkali, what is an acid, what is a surfactant, and why do you need it when cleaning?” said Pamela Turner, associate professor and housing extension specialist at the University of Georgia. “Just because it’s natural, it’s still not necessarily safe to use in large quantities in an unventilated area.”

Turner also recommends using clearly labelled, dated, dedicated containers for homemade cleaning products to avoid any mixing of ingredients, and to make them in small quantities.

Brian Sansoni, vice president of sustainability initiatives at the American Cleaning Institute, the cleaning products trade association, said if there are accidents caused by improper use or storage of cleaning products, most manufacturers have provided poison control centres with specific information on product ingredients, which isn’t the case with homemade cleaners.

Safety is also why people shouldn’t mix homemade and store-bought cleaners, or combine two store-bought cleaners.

Different surfaces need different cleaners, said Sonja Koukel, community and environmental health specialist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. Some homemade cleaners can strip wax off hardwood floors. Some alkaline ingredients, like baking soda and sodium carbonate, may make irreparable scratches on marble or granite if used improperly, she said.

“You may not even see them, but they can harbour bacteria and germs,” she said. “Make sure you’re using the right product for the right surface.”

Meg Roberts, president of residential cleaning company Molly Maid, said to watch when using vinegar as a cleaning agent on some metals.

“It’s great for stainless steel; it’s not great for aluminum or cast iron because those are reactive surfaces,” she said.

 

greencleaningmistakes-override

Cleaning versus disinfecting: these terms are thrown around loosely, but they have different meanings. The US Environmental Protection Agency says cleaning essentially means removing dirt and debris, but cleaning products don’t necessarily kill germs. Disinfecting or sanitising products use chemicals (natural or synthetic) to kill germs. If a product is labelled as a sanitiser or disinfectant, the EPA requires it to actually kill the germs it claims to kill.

However, the EPA’s review does not evaluate all possible health risks for users of the products. It’s those issues that push many people to seek out less toxic cleaners and avoid products like bleach.

Koukel said there’s disagreement regarding milder home cleaners on what kills harmful bacteria like E. coli or salmonella, mostly because there is only limited research on how well products like vinegar work to disinfect and at what concentrations.

That’s why Roberts said they use professional-grade cleaning products in their business unless a client wants 100 per cent green products. Even so, they will also tell them those products won’t kill the germs “in the way we would like to,” she said.

Bleach gets a bad rap with environmentally focused people, but that’s mostly because people use too much, Koukel and Turner said.

“If you walk into a room and you can smell the bleach that they’ve used, they’re using way too much,” Koukel said.

Turner said while green cleaners may not kill all germs, sanitising isn’t always needed.

“Your countertops many times don’t need to be disinfected. It depends on what you’re doing, how many children you have, and how many people you have in your home who are sensitive or have a compromised immune system,” she said.

For people who see eco-friendly store-bought cleaners as a middle road between homemade and traditional cleaners, Turner recommends people go to the National Institutes of Health Household Products database (https://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/) for ingredient information.

“Household cleaners don’t have to tell you what’s in them. There’s no law that makes them tell you,” she said.

Tips for making your own. Weatherford, Turner and Koukel all have published home-cleaning recipes and information as part of their research and offer the following advice for people who want to make their own products.

* Water-dampened microfibre cloths are great for the simplest cleaning of dust and dirt, especially on windows.

* Essential oils like tea tree, lavender and lemon can add scent to homemade cleaners and just a few drops are needed.

* Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Vodka is a good substitute. Weatherford uses a 50-50 mix of vodka and water and a few drops of essential oils for an air freshener and shower spray.

 

Here is a list of clean green recipes that will give you a start at making your own cleaners: QueenOfGreen-Green-cleaning-recipes

 

Green-Cleaning-Golden-Triangle-Tx-Commercial-Janitorial-Beaumont-Tx

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2mqTB1H