Thursday, March 29, 2012

Residue Free Homes: The basics and support sites

I love my job. Just in case you ever wonder, I love my job. Why.. because I get to research, learn and share. Tonight I'll be speaking on detoxing homes. This morning, I wanted to post the basics of creating a healthy and residue free home, plus give you links you can use for researching the safety of your own personal care products and household chemicals.

Lets start by creating a residue free home. What is a residue free home? It is a home that supports you and your families health as your number one priority. A residue free home leaves nothing behind that would be detrimental to the health and well being of your family.

A residue free home turns our focus upside down. In the the consumer products and personal care industries: beauty, speed, effectiveness rule our products. This creates products that may be effective but may also be also harmful. The first place I start in a home is to reorganize our priorities.

Priorities of a residue free home:
1. Health of family, pets and environment
2. Longevity of surface and investment
3. Appearance and beauty

With our focus turning to the health of our family we need a guideline. Here are my 5 rules of thumb for creating a residue free home. Of course this is the condensed version but it will get you started.

Creating a residue free home: my 5 rules of thumb
1. awareness- what do you use?
2. curiosity- what is in it, is it safe? A little research is a powerful friend
3. prevention- can I prevent the need to use this product?
4. mildest-safest means possible- is there a safer way or product I can use instead?
5. leave nothing behind- if I use it do I remove all traces?

Starting with awareness. What do you use in your home?
Take an afternoon and look around your home. Look at personal care products, look at cleaners, air fresheners, candles, home maintenance products, lawn care, auto care, pest control, disinfectants/germ control, crafts, office, pets.... the list is usually pretty big. Don't let this stop you. Your first step is only awareness of what your family uses in your home.

Be curious, ask questions...
Next, Start with one product at a time- one day at a time
Read the label - all of it!!!
Ask yourself how it is used. Sprayed in air, aerosol, put on skin...???
Does is smell?
How do I feel when I use it? What about my family?
Do I mix it with any other products- by accident or on purpose?
How often do I use it?
Where do I use it?
Why do I use it?
What is in it?
How long have I been using it? WHY?
Do a little further research. Look up the product's safety.
For cosmetics and personal care products:
EWG Skin Deep

For household products:
This site is a great start but by no means as good as the cosmetics sites.

Prevention: Is there anyway to prevent using this product?
This may be your best way to create a residue free home. Start minimizing the products/chemicals you bring into your home.
An example would be: Instead of using deodorizers to create fresh air, open the windows and let fresh air in. I know crazy right???

Use the Mildest Means Possible: Look for safer products, non toxic products, products used without getting into our air or on our skin. This is where, with a tiny bit of education, you can use incredibly safe products and get better results. Hint- we are a great resource!!

Leave nothing behind: When you clean or apply a product/chemical is there a residue left behind? In the past 20 years of cleaning, residue is the number one thing we remove when we clean.
Don't leave it in the air, on our surfaces or on us. When you use a product do not spray it into the air- unless it is oxygen we don't want to breath it! If you apply it to a surface rinse and dry it. If it creates any kind of odor, vapor, particles or gas turn on your exhaust vents and open windows.
Our homes are sacred spaces. This is where we should be able to be healthy and vibrant. It should never be the source of our un-health. Take back your home, become empowered to create healthy homes and vibrant families.

A word to the wise....this is a process. Remember Rome was not built in a day. Start with awareness and look at one product at a time, on day at a time. Listen to your body. Listen to your family. When you find a product or contaminate that makes you cringe don't panic but rejoice, you have just discovered another way to make your home healthy. Creating a residue free home is about living free and healthy. If you find products you do not want in your home, do not throw away but recycle or take to hazardous waste site for proper disposal.

Congratulations, you are one step closer to a healthy home. If you want further help. We teach classes on creating residue free homes and we can also work directly with you in your own home.
As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home!
Denise Frakes
Co-Owner of Blue Sky Services
Certified Healthy Home Specialist

Friday, March 16, 2012

What a residue free home isn't.....

Create a residue free home. Why would you want to do such a thing? Our homes should be the place we can go that is safe, healthy and relaxing. Our homes should not be the source of our un-health or stress. Unfortunately, for so many reasons our homes are becoming a potential source of our dis-ease. A residue free home puts the health back into healthy home.

Before I tell you about a residue free home, let me tell you what it isn't:

A residue free home isn't about being a watch dog but about being curious and thoughtful.
A residue free home isn't about being afraid of all chemicals but about being aware and wise.
A residue free home isn't about being perfect but about celebrating our imperfections.
A residue free home isn't a task master of lists but about listening
A residue free home is more of a practice than a goal.
A residue free home is a place where gratitude, joy and presence thrive.
A residue free home isn't a place to fret and worry when company comes unexpectedly but a place where all are welcome and happily received- dirty dishes and all.

Before I start in on the details of residue free, I want to help you create a home that gives you and your family the freedom to be yourself and be vibrant in your health. What good is having a beautiful home if the family it holds isn't nurtured in its walls?

Before I begin my next blog, take a minute and dream about your home:

Think about how you want to feel in your home. How you want your family to feel.
Think about what makes a happy home, what part of your home makes you the happiest.
Think about who lives in your home and what they mean to you.
Think about the abundance and blessings in your home.
Think about what truly matters...
And then we will talk.

In the mean time, I wish for you and your family a happy and healthy home,
Denise Frakes
Co-Owner of Blue Sky Services
Certified healthy home specialist

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cleaning is not a product it is a process

There is a missing link in today's cleaning. Not here at Blue Sky Services mind you, we still believe in actual cleaning- we call it residue free cleaning. When we are through cleaning, there should be nothing left behind but clean, beautiful - undamaged surfaces. Your granite should just be your granite, your tile should only be your tile. Clean should be clean!!

Think about the process of:

Washing dishes: washing, rinsing and drying.
Washing clothes: washing, rinsing and drying
Washing teeth: washing, rinsing
Washing hair: washing, rinsing and drying

So what happens if you take the rinsing and drying part OUT of cleaning???

We would be eating off soapy and dripping wet dishes.
We would be wearing sudsy and wet clothes
We would swallow our tooth paste instead of spitting and...
We would all have flat and sticky hair from all that soap residue left behind!!

Do you see where I'm going with this? Life would be messy. There is a missing step in today's clean. What would happen if you cleaned your windows by spraying cleaner on and leaving it to dry? In a very short, time you would not be able to see your front porch.

This is what is happening in our modern fast food of cleaning process: mop on, spray on, spray some more, mop some more- air dry. Sometimes these products we spray and mop on attact soil, sometimes these cleaners are unsafe for our families. There needs to be a removal step!! To clean, actually clean and not just smear around, there needs to be a little thought, a smart process and care should be taken for the our families and the person doing the cleaning's well being. Cleaning may not be a cool topic but it is a essential part of healthy homes and families.

Did you know, cleaning is a process, it isn't just applying cleaner/chemical? When cleaning is done right, not only is the cleaning process gentle to you and your surfaces but there are no chemicals/cleaners left behind! (this is a good thing) Cleaning is not a product it is a process. Surfaces, families and homes should be left residue free. Safe products should be used and they should be used safely!

This month, I'll be posting/visiting with you about residue free cleaning and creating residue free homes. Cleaning is a process, healthy homes are more than just energy efficient. When done right a healthy and truly clean home will:

help our families stay healthy,
extend the life of our belongings
create beautiful homes in the process

My thought for the day- don't put on soapy clothes and for heavens sakes don't put sudsy dishes in the cupboard. If you put cleaner on - take it off, don't leave your homes soapy and wet!

As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home,
Denise Frakes
Co-Owner of Blue Sky Services
Certified healthy home specialist