Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Residue Free Cleaning - push the easy button

Residue free is essential to a healthy home and easy cleaning.  Just incase you are new to the idea of residue free cleaning...I've posted the reader's digest version- scroll down to see the basics. 
But first enjoy my first video on residue free cleaning!!  


Residue free cleaning in a nutshell 

1.  Prevent future work!
            Take off your shoes, wipe down your showers, open windows, pick up, 
               wipe up and put away as you travel through your day

2.  Always start with the mildest means  
          Use the simplest, most effective way to remove soil/germs/dirt - start here!!!
          You can always work up to the big guns in needed... 
                        hint... disinfectants, bleaches, solvents are big guns
                        hint... microfibers, water, and mild neutral cleaners are  effectively mild means 

3.  Leave nothing behind... not chemicals, no soil, no polishes, no creams … nothing
            Products left behind can lead to more work, they cross contaminate and
                   add work, toxins and muck to your day.
            If you are going to leave anything behind as you clean... let it be love

Thursday, August 9, 2018

6 simple steps to creating a safe place to heal

This Wednesday I had the honor of speaking at the Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference.  Here is a quick summary of my talk.  For everyone attending my presentation, thank you for creating such an engaging and fun class. And to all the volunteers and sponsors, wow- great event- thank you!

   6 simple habits to creating a safe home to heal

1.  Clean residue free   Cleaning is the action of removal,   Sometimes we forget the simple.  Cleaning is simply removing from a surface what isn't part of that surface.  When your cleaning is complete, the only thing that should be left behind is the surface.
       Start with the mildest means and use the process of: wash, rinse and dry.   Adding the technology of effective microfibers makes cleaning more effective without leaving a residue behind.  Think removal and think twice about reaching for disinfecting wipes for your daily cleaning.

2.  Wash up-  One of the best and easiest ways to minimize exposure to germs and viruses is simply washing your hands.  Rub hands together for 20 seconds wash, rinse and dry
       Wash hands as soon as you return home from being out and about in the public
       Wash hands before you eat
       And of course wash up after using the bathroom;-)

3.  Fresh air is essential to life!  Make a point to open up your windows and doors.  Our homes need to breathe just like we do.  There needs to be fresh air in every day.  Homes are absolutely healthier with fresh air flowing in and tired air flowing out.  Think fresh air- not air fresheners or synthetic fragrances.
     Open windows and doors at least once per day- breathe in
     Run exhaust fans, open windows - breathe out

4.  Unclutter your home.  When your home is all tangled up and out of order, it is hard to truly relax.  When you unclutter your home your nervous system has a chance to relax. When you are relaxed you rest and heal better.  By cleaning  and decluttering your home you are rebooting it.  It has the same effect as unplugging your computer for 60 seconds.  ahhhhh exhale.....)))))))

5.  Create sacred spaces.  Surround yourself with people, pets and things you love.  When you look around and everything you see is nourishing you are happier.  You feel nourished and supported.  This is how you should feel.  Let go of things that drain you.  Less is more

6.  Bring nature inside and go outside.  There have been some excellent studies showing how patients heal faster when they can see nature.  We tend to spend 80-99% of our time indoors.  At the very least bring a bit of nature inside with fresh flowers and plants.  Open up windows and let nature be part of your home.  Go outside. Spend time outside, sitting, walking and being.

When we are happy and relaxed we give our body, mind and spirit a chance to heal.  If you would like further training in cleaning, uncluttering, creating sacred space call on me anytime.  Wishing you all deep breaths, joyful days and nourishing spaces,
              Thank you,
                      Denise Frakes

Monday, August 6, 2018

Invite: Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference 2018

What are you doing Wednesday?  You are invited to join me for the annual Pierce County Cancer Survivorship Conference, August 8th.  The PCCSC is being held on the University of Puget Sound campus. UPS is near and dear to my heart.  A beautiful place to spend your Wednesday surrounded by caring kindred spirits, gorgeous landscaping and buildings.

Who should attend? Everyone.  Who hasn't been affected in some way or another by cancer?  This conference is an amazing gathering of resources, education, speakers and generous souls who have given a ton of time and energy to create this space.  This event is free to the public and well worth the effort!

I'll be speaking at the Breakout session 2 from 10:15-11:15 am.  My topic Healthy Homes: Creating a safe place to heal.

Our homes are a reflection of our habits.  Our habits are automatic and mindless actions.
They can benefit us or deplete us

Creating a safe place to heal is a no brainer for being healthy and vibrant.  It is essential for healing.

 How many homes have I been in where the method to remove germs, odors and stagnation was toxic?  I have no idea but it's a wee bit scary.

Your home and environment health is a huge influencer on your health. If you want to heal up and stay healthy start with a healthy home.  Simple shifts in habits, knowing your why's and making the connection are easy and hugely beneficial changes you can make to create a healthy space.


Partial speaker topics for PCCSC 2018
Along with the Keynote speaker there are about 28 other speaking sessions you can choose from.  Topics include:  Brain health, the art of a good night's sleep, mindful aesthetics- with the amazing Becky Kluen, diets linked to cancer, medical cannabis, breast reconstructive surgery,  estate planning, caregiving, cancer immunotherapy and much much more.  

If you can't make it to the conference, schedule your own private consult with me.  We can focus on what you want and need.  From downsizing and simplifying your household chemicals,  uncluttering your home, creating a nourishing kitchen and of course cleaning for health.  

Living in a nourishing space is priceless





Sunday, July 29, 2018

Cleaning Friend or Foe?


 This morning a poem popped into my head before I even put my feet to the floor.  I'm on my way to hold a cleaning class.  Last night I was thinking about cleaning.... apparently even in my dreams;-) After 27 plus years, cleaning has turned into more of a philosophy than chore.  
  How we treat our chores will tell us much about who we are... enjoy

   Friend or Foe?


Cleaning is your life traveling partner
She will become what you ask

You can think of her as a dreaded chore
Or a partner and friend

Treat her poorly and your life will crumble
Treat her with love and your spirit will thrive

You can give her an honored space in your life
Or you can stuff her in a dark closet, throw rags and toxins at her

You can desert her but only for a while
She needs care, but she doesn’t need fussing

She will warm your hands and soul during the dinner dishes
She will give you something to do when you lose your way

She will watch you throw your shoes in the closet
And she will smile as you gently place them there too

She watches sadly when you struggle and dances when you thrive
She can turn your home into an oasis or into a prison

She is a meditative practice
She is space to ponder

She will travel with you when you celebrate
She will be there when you cry

She is simple and nourishing
She can feel exasperating and perplexing

When treated well she will give you clarity and wisdom
When treated poorly she will muddle and tangle you

She is essential
She is steady

She asks for very little.
She will bless your home when thanked and loved

She is your traveling partner in this life
Treat her well and she will make your life sing

Make your choice- friend or foe?
Discover her magic and or live in her sorrow

Denise Frakes  cleaning poem from the wee hours of July 29- 2018









Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Breathing....to find your joy

Breathe in....Breathe out

Buy beautiful materials.....Create

Gather ideas... Give them wings

I think we get stuck.  We have an abundance of resources in our country.  We are rich and yet we are also poor.  Because we have the gift of abundance we can forget there is always a balance to life.  In getting there must be a release. 

Clutter clearing isn't about deprivation it is about balancing and completing the cycle.  We can't just breathe in...we need to release and breath out.  It is on the out breath that we find happiness.

Inhale....Exhale...Inhale...Exhale... Ahhhhh ;-)

       Wishing you joy in your completions, your releasing and the epiphanies and blessings that come from both
                         Denise

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Emergency surgery and hot water


About 5-6 years ago, we lost power after a big snow storm. After 4 days with no hot water or heat in our home, I was chilled to the bone.  When the power returned I remember plunging my hands into the hot soapy water and dirty dishes.  I was happy in a soapy sink of gratitude.

I pledged not to take hot water for granted and try to be thankful.  Throughout the years, most days, as I do the dishes or take a shower, I think of that moment of gratitude and warmth.   I don't spend much time with the thoughts of gratitude but they do appear.  I feel nourished, grounded, calm and thankful.  Such a little thing, I didn't think much of it until last Saturday.

 Saturday my husband and I found ourselves at the hospital emergency room. It was 2:30 in the morning.  Dallas had just arrived via the ambulance.  He was soon to be headed for emergency surgery.

 Dallas was in pain, I was helpless and stressed.  I needed to stay calm for both our sakes.  Who know a simple practice I had picked up would come to my rescue. 

While we waited in the emergency room I had to go pee.   When I washed up I felt the warm water hit my hands and my whole body relaxed.  Instantly, I felt grounded and safe.  I was grateful and calm.

  Somewhere along the way, I had turned a daily chore into a trigger to become present, grounded and thankful.  I don't know when it happened but it is absolutely there.

As for Dallas he is healing up very well.  Thank you to all the well wishes and support that have come our way. 

When gratitude becomes a daily practice they just might show up in unexpected places.

Thank you to everyone at CHI St Francis who cared for my husband and for hot water.
           Denise

Thursday, May 3, 2018

An Ounce of Prevention for Returns

Today I returned my blog to its original name:  An Ounce of Prevention.  On Oct 6th 2009, this blog was created. The following was my very first post.  I've been writing about cleaning, healthy and happy homes for a long time- 9 years!  I still love it.  I'm a cleaning, clutter clearing and happy home nerd!

"Yesterday afternoon, I had a call from a lady with travertine floors. Her dog had thrown up and in certain light she could see an etch mark. During our conversation I explained the care and characteristics of travertineTravertine can be both acid sensitive and scratch sensitive. As we visited a light when on and she realized her house cleaner had just cleaned all of her travertine floors with vinegar! Her heart sank and so did mine.

Calls like this come in much too often. I love my builders, retailer and designers who call on me to teach their clients the care and characteristics of their new surfaces. This customer's frustration and future expense didn't have to happen. My caller could have provided her house cleaner with the correct cleaner and a phone number to us for any questions.

She voiced her frustration of not being taught the proper care and characteristics. I felt for her- I hate these calls. I love teaching and helping to avoid this very situation.

An ounce of prevention should be what we call our education services.

May you have happy homes,
Denise"



Why did I leave this name?  When we sold the tile and stone cleaning part of our company, I thought I should remake this blog.  You might have noticed the shifts and changes.  Nothing felt quite right and nothing stuck.  An Ounce of Prevention was always its name in my head.  This week, I was doing a cleaning demo class and I saw over and over again how at the heart of  cleaning is always prevention.  You wipe down your shower walls and prevent soap scum.  You ask before you use vinegar and save a lot of money and stress.  You pick up your house throughout the week and cleaning day and your chore is faster: prevention-prevention-prevention. See what I mean??


 Travertine Care reminder:  Vinegar has an acidic pH.  Travertine is acid sensitive.  Put them together and you have taken the top micro layer off your travertine.  Tip, unless you want to damage your beautiful travertine floors, countertops and showers, do not use an acidic cleaner to clean them.   Instead use a microfiber mop and if a cleaner is needed use a cleaner with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. One preferably that doesn't leave a residue.  Call with Questions and call before you use a product your are not sure of.

As always, wishing you a happy and healthy home,
           Denise
Home and Personal Coach- 27 years experience and 9 years blogging

Making cleaning easy and fast tip.  Use less cleaner on your floors.  Cleaner's can build up a residue making your beautiful floors look dingy, muddled and gray.  Cleaning is about removal not addition.  Removing germs, dirt, schmutz is what cleaning is.  Also, use big tools, make each movement count and go floor tools with big heads.  Here is one of my favorite things- the 20 + inch superior mop form Norwex.  It comes with two heads- one for dusting and one for cleaning.  This product will not only save you time, but keep your floors crystal clean and beautiful. Click here to check out this microfiber mop.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Clean faster...5 foolproof ways save time

Yesterday, I cleaned my house.  It took only a smidgen of time.  Over the years, I have talked about residue, chemicals, damaging products, healthy homes, clutter...on and on I went,
but I was missing an essential ingredient- time.  

This past week I swear every conversation had common subject:  time.  No space to breathe. Our schedules are jam packed.  Hmmm....  Time Clutter


This is a subject we could talk about for days but today I'm going to give you a gift.  The gift of speed cleaning.  I can't remove all your tasks but I most certainly can help you make one of your weekly tasks faster, easier and more effective.  This post is the start of a series in Speed Cleaning 

Start with the basics
 5 foolproof ways to clean your house
faster and easier 

1.  Clear your clutter!  Simplify, Downsize, Less is easier.  Part of cleaning is picking up and putting things away.  You can't clean your floors until you can see your floors.  Dusting is worlds faster if you only move 1-5 things verses 100s of things.  Biggest time savor - less stuff to move, less stuff to put away and less stuff to dust!  Tip:  Less is faster

2.  Minimize distractions!  Time and Space to Work.  Clear and focused time makes your work clear and focused.  If you want to spend the whole day cleaning and accomplish nothing then turn on your cell phone- especially texts and social media updates, keep your TV on and wander from room to room.   Distracted energy is wasted energy.  Tip: vibrant rhythmical music creates energy

3.  Pre-Clean!  Habits of prevention and daily light cleaning.  Rinsing and wiping down your shower after each use, wiping down countertops, picking up as you go, putting the kitchen to bed each night, taking off shoes and or having a great entrance matts- all these little daily habits make cleaning day a fast and effortless!  Tip: Hang a microfiber close to your sinks.  After each use do a quick dry and wipe out- they will always be clean!!

4.  Invest in smart tools!  For heavens sake... cleaning your whole floors with a 6" tool is wasted energy.  Recirculating your dust as you dust is crazy.  Cleaning with residue leaving and harsh chemicals is going to create more work for you.  Cleaning is something we do every week for our entire lives... invest in smart, effective and durable tools and productsTip: Invests in yourself

5.  Improve your skills!  Have you ever heard the saying... insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  Hello cleaning habits.  There are systems, tips, skills you can learn to make your home easier to care for, your cleaning faster, easier and more effective and your clutter busted!  Cleaning is a life long activity- improve your skills as soon as you possible for a happier and healthier home and life.  Tip:  You are never too old to improve your habits

I teach hands on cleaning demo-classes.  Showing you how to make your cleaning fast, effective and easy.  What tools to use and how to best use them.  Prevention tips and time saving habits. How to clean for health and happiness.
If you would like to schedule a cleaning demo or join me in one of my demo classes
call 253-815-0446 or email me at info@dfbluesky.com.
Let's get you some breathing space because you deserve to time to play too.

I can't give you more than 24 hours in a day,
but I can save you time and energy in your cleaning!

As always wishing you happy travels in your life,
Denise Frakes
Personal and Home Coach

A few of my favorite things.....Norwex Microfiber Mop ...
Time saving tip...
   I love having a small soft microfiber hanging by my sinks.  No more, scrubbing, hard water deposit removal, germs or schmutz.  A quick dry means less work on cleaning day.  Also, you can do a quick clean of faucets and light switches- lightly removing germs as you go. My favorites are the following. I like a soft, small cloth
Click on the following to go to the links  Travel pack -4 pack of the famous enviro clothes size:  6.3"-6.3" and the 3 pack of the recycled counter clothes microfibers.  All three have the bac lock and will also help keep your microfibers from smelling like mold.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Never have to clean soap scum again!

The moment I realized I would never have to clean soap scum out in my own shower was a moment I'll never forget!  I remember running my index finger up and down on my shower walls and it squeaked clean.  Not from cleaning but from prevention.  This was truly an aha moment!  I thought .... "really soap scum is preventable????  Seriously????!!!"  No more harsh chemicals, Saturday's spent scrubbing or moments of procrastination and guilt for having mucky showers??  Ha!  



When Dallas and I were in the midst of our stone and tile cleaning business we were called to remove soap scum and mold from showers a lot.  By far this was our most frequent request.  I wasn't the only one struggling with the built on, indestructible man made coating called soap scum, it was most of us!

As it turns out, soap scum is completely and easily preventable.  In the course of preventing soap scum, you also are preventing mold and hard water deposits!  I know, this just keeps getting better and better doesn't it?  You might be wondering why this little life ease tid bit has evaded your life.  Another of life's unexplained questions...

Dallas and I learned it from a little fiesty and wise lady in her late 80s.  She had a dark brown polished marble shower.  She had called us out to inspect her shower, thinking it might need sealed.  At the time, the shower was about 5 years old.  Her tough to care for shower - looked brand new- no etching - no watermarks and no soap scum!  If you are familiar with marble you will know this surface would be one of the toughest to keep looking great in a shower.  Anyway, we asked her how she kept her shower looking so beautiful. She looked at us blankly, like really dont you know?  Apparently we didn't...  "Well, I rinse and dry it after each use".  hmmm

Common sense isn't always so common......  Of course she was spot on, or maybe I should say no spots on.  Rinse and dry (wax on wax off).  As people, we rinse and dry ourselves otherwise we would all be walking around with soap scum too.  It makes sense- not quite sure why and how I had missed this nugget of wisdom...

So what is the magic recipe for no soap scum showers in your life every again:
      After each use rinse and dry your shower.  Don't put your shower to bed wet and soapy.  It is bad etiquette. 

A couple other helpful hints....

    Use your exhaust fan.  As soon as you turn on the shower water, turn on your exhaust fans and run them for a solid hour after showering.  Mold and dust mights love moisture- remove the moisture and help prevent high humidity and molds.

    Use good tools.  A product I love for drying my showers is the Norwex Microfiber shower mit.  It has two sides- one with the world's best microfiber and the other with a scrub texture.  When I wipe down my shower I'm actually cleaning and detailing it too.  This microfiber also has baclock technology- which is a silver filament keeping your microfiber from building up bacteria- as it self purifiers. 
   I recommend cleaning your microfiber once per week.  Click here to see this tool and order one if you would like.  Click here to learn how to care for your microfibers

So there you have it.  Live a life with no soap scum!  If you already have soap scum build up, feel free to email me.  If you live locally- the Seattle/Tacoma area, I can refer you to a company to help you get cleaned up so you too can live a life of no soap scum!  If you live out of the area, I'll be writing more about showers.  Comment below with any questions and thoughts- thanks;-)

As always, wishing you sweet travels and happy living
              Denise Frakes
Certified Home and Personal Coach at your Service



Quick microfiber care tips....  I'll write more about the care of microfibers but here is the reader's digest version...

Please do not use bleach, fabric softeners and dryer sheets to care for your microfibers.  The bleach breaks down the fibers and the fabric softeners and dryer sheets coat your microfibers, leaving them less effective.  Use a mild and clean laundry detergent.  




Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cleaning is an action not a chemical

When you think of cleaning what comes to mind?  Sparkling surfaces?  Spray bottles of cleaners?  To-Do lists that run long and deep?  Never ending chores?  Freedom?  Bleach?  Little finger prints on your clean windows?

For me, when I think of clean I get this feeling of clarity, freshness, gratitude, openness.  I feel refreshed, at ease and happy.  I breathe deeper, my shoulders drop and my smile comes easily.  I accomplished a project and I see the results- it feels good, I feel good.  That's how clean makes me feel but do always joyfully dive into cleaning? No, but most times yes.

I have been a professional cleaner and educator of cleaning and residue free homes for over 26 years.  Through this journey my appreciation for this life long task has evolved from despise ( teenage years) to wonder and appreciation (now).  I have witnessed over and over again what happens when cleaning goes wrong- surface damage, clutter build up, chemical exposure - even emotional disruptions.  I marvel how much better I feel after my home is clean, my desk is clear and my chores done.

The fact is cleaning is an action we will need our entire lives.  And yet, how much time do we devote to actually improving our ability to clean efficiently, effectively and easily?  It seems to me, when we have a chore that requires daily, weekly and yearly energy it is worth learning about. This life long chore can cost you a fortune, make your home sick or leave you exhausted and frustrated.  It is the same chore that when done beautifully can create a healthy, welcoming, sparkly clean, fresh and inviting space.  One way diminishes you the other lifts you up.  hmmmm It's crazy.  Why would we ignore a lifelong task that has that much impact on our lives?

It is partly because we aren't taught to clean.  Sure we learn from our parents, from commercials and from our friends.  I think cleaning is thought of as genetic trait.  You are born with a smart cleaning gene or not.  Thankfully, cleaning isn't a gene and you can absolutely learn to make this little gem shine.

 I have found cleaning to be a minefield of emotional residues.  Did you know the emotional part of your brain is the same part of your brain you sense smells?  We buy cleaners because they smell good to us, they remind us of home, or they smell like clean- bleach, pine sol, lemon, tide.... The scent of clean is a billion dollar industry.

How you feel about your cleaning chores will tell me how much this action weighs on your spirit.  Cleaning is emotional, you have a relationship with cleaning and home care.  And like any relationship it can lift you up or weigh you down.

 The number one question I have been asked as a professional cleaner is ... What do you use?  What product is the magic bullet?  We did restorative cleaning for years.  Everyone thought we must have a mysterious, only available for professional cleaner's, amazing cleaner.  We actually used safer, milder products than most families do.  Most of our products were milder than 90% of what you can buy at the grocery store.

Why... because cleaning is an action not a chemical.  There is a science and an art to cleaning.  The action of cleaning is called TACT.  TACT stands for Time, Agitation, Chemical and Temperature.  Early in our career we learned this simple and life changing formula.  The difference between us a professional cleaners and the average household is we maximized the Time, Agitation and Temperature of our cleaning.... Which enabled us to turn the chemical part into the mildest, safest, most efficient product necessary.  Sometimes, a lot of times, our chemical of choice was and is water!!! 

Through the years we created what we call Residue Free Cleaning.  Residue free cleaning is as much a mindset as it is a science.  Focusing your efforts in prevention, using the mildest form of TACT and leaving your home and life residue free.

 Cleaning is a practice, a skill and a science.  Beautiful cleaning is a art. If you feel lost when cleaning, or frantic to get your chores done, if your home must sparkle at any cost, and if cleaning feels like a lifelong sentence then relax, there is help. There is no need for anyone to struggle with what could be a life enhancing gift anymore.  Master this skill now and lighten up the rest of your life.

    As always wishing you health, happiness and prosperity on your journey,
                     Denise
    Residue free cleaning specialist and your personal coach