Tuesday, February 12, 2013

4 steps to the healthy maintenance of a shower

Good Morning,

  My goal today is to give you 4 easy tips to maintain your shower and minimize your exposure to unnecessary chemicals.  Healthy shower care is really the same as eating your broccoli, going to bed early and drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day.  It may be a bit boring but when done it can be a huge boost to the value, health and care of your home and family.

  Lets start first with the soap scummy and hard water facts.... In our showers, we splash about hair care and body care products.  These "left overs" land on our shower walls and floors.  They then bind with the minerals in our water, creating what we have all come to know as SOAP SCUM!  To add to this, when moisture is available and there is a food source such as hair, skin and soap scum, then we will have MOLD!   And finally, if we let our water dry on our shower walls and glass doors we will have what is known as HARD WATER DEPOSITS! 

Because of these three common soils in a shower, a whole industry has been created to make bold cleaners able to remove Soap Scum, Mold and Hard Water Deposits with a single squirt.

 Those shower cleaners to tend to be very aggressive, reactive- when mixed with other products, acidic or high alkaline, abrasive and are often toxic!! They have to be, as soap scum, mold and hard water deposits are tough customers. But most of the materials that make up our showers:  Grout, natural stone, fiberglass, acrylic ...  tend to be pH sensitive and scratch sensitive!   Here is the break down... the cleaners we use in showers are often detrimental our health and the health of the materials in our showers.  For example: Acids break down grouts and stone; abrasives scratch surfaces; high alkaline damage sealers.
 More important than our shower materials are the people in the shower????  The air flow in showers tends to be very low and as you are cleaning, you are nicely tucked away behind glass doors and shower curtains.  Which means the aggressive, reactive and sometimes toxic products are filling your lungs and landing on you and they have no place to go but linger!

  Have I painted a scary enough picture?  It wasn't hard, it is the life of a shower!  But wait don't fret, there is good news behind all these worries.  An Ounce of Prevention in a shower does wonders!!! 

A number of years ago, we were visiting one of our customers.  She had a beautiful dark brown, polished marble shower.  It was impeccable!!! And it was over 5 years old!!  When we asked what she did to maintain she looked puzzled and said... "well I rinse and dry after every use"  So simple, but this little act of rinsing and drying a shower does more to maintain it than all the products sold combined!!!!!   That day was one of those Ah Ha moments of obvious clarity.  Since then we have added to her simple but incredibly effective system and you will find our 4 tips listed below:

4 Incredibly effective tips to a healthy and long lasting shower:

  1.  Ventilate:  When starting shower/bath turn on exhaust fans and run for 45 minutes to remove moisture from  bathroom.  This steps removes moisture and poor air.  (Make sure your exhaust vents are actually working.  Test by holding a piece of toilet/tissue paper up to vent.  It should be drawn up to screen.

  2.   Rinse:    After every use, rinse down the walls. Get a hand held shower head and rinse off your soap. Squeegeeing alone isn't enough. When you squeegee, the soap is just redistributed to the lower area and into any low spots-like grout joints.  This will give mold food and create a build up of soap scum.
 3.   Dry:  If you have already rinsed the walls then go ahead and squeegee or dry with a towel or shamee.  This extra step further removes soils and keeps the moisture/mold and hard water deposits at bay.
 4.  Clean with neutral - mild products:  The beauty of the preventions steps of vventilating, rinsing and drying is you will not have much to do on cleaning day.  When you do clean, go ahead and turn on your exhaust fans again, then use a neutral cleaner to do your cleaning.  Diluted dish washing liquid works pretty great.  We also sell a fantastic neutral and highly concentrated stone and tile cleaner.  Finding these neutral cleaners takes a bit more work because our cleaning industry does not normally tell us the pH of our cleaning products.  When in doubt please contact us and we will give tips on finding good neutral products.
The little effort will be worth it in creating a healthy shower and home.

The biggest concern I come across is convincing the whole family to start rinsing and drying their showers.  In our house the rule of thumb is last one to take a shower does the rinsing and drying.  Still adding preventative care to your home is a change.  And I understand how tough changing family habits can be but give it a try for a while and see if this new habit isn't worth a lot to minimize your families chemical exposure and minimize those repair /replacement costs to your family budget.

As always, wishing you all a healthy and happy home,
 Denise Frakes
Residue Free and Healthy Home Care Specialist

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Huge Thank You and Promised info!

Hi All,
    For those who attended my, Residue Free- Beyond Green, talk at Marlene's, thank you for your amazing reception and interest in creating healthy homes.  As a huge bonus, my cold felt better after visiting with you last night.  I think it was from all the TLC you passed my way-THANK YOU!  

   Most likely with a clearer brain, my use of the microphone stand would have been a bit smoother!  Of course, the beauty in living is there is no such thing as perfection.  If we wait for this illusive thing called perfection we will be waiting a very long time and so much good comedy would have been lost along the way!

   As promised, here are some connections and resources for you.  They include links to Emmanuel from King County Hazardous waste, where to by Alpaca Ball and to Jeanette who is the city of Federal Way Recycling and Solid Waste Project Manager.  As an added bonus, I gave you the links to Women's Voices of the Earth- a great resource for making your own products and the link to our very own Marlene's.

  If you want further info, have any questions or want to be contacted for upcoming talks I'm giving, please call or e-mail me anytime.  Thanks again for attending, it was indeed an honor and pleasure  visiting with you all!!
  As always, wishing you a healthy and happy home.
 Healthy Home Specialist
 Residue Free Living
 Master EFT practitioner 

Emmanuel from King County Hazardous Waste.  As you could probably tell, Emmanuel is passionate and quite knowledgeable in his work, plus his is an absolute pleasure to work with.  Please check out the amazing resources King County has to offer its residents.  How fortunate are we that we have a place to ask questions, safely and at no charge dispose of unused products ( cleaners, chemicals etc) and have awesome people to work with!! http://www.lhwmp.org/home/

Alpaca Balls- Dryer Balls.  Jeannette from Federal Ways Recycling program told us about a great place to find this balls at  www.Etsy.com  To find, in the search button type in: Alpaca balls.  As you will recall, alpaca dryer balls are felted wool to be used in your dryer in replacement of dryer sheets and fabric softener.  This is a huge reduction in chemical exposure plus when these balls finally wear out in 2-5 years, you can compost them as they are made of all natural fibers!!  Love it!!  There are two alpaca ball sites I recommend.  For keeping your alpaca ball shopping local, visit the Twilight Tango Alpacas which is located in Enumclaw Washington.  For finding your alpacas from a place near and dear to my heart, contact Pacages Farm Store - Alpaca Star Ranch in Amhurst Colorado. They raise their alpacas on the same farm my great grandfather raised his kids including my grandpa Biddie and Aunt Velma.
Jeannette City of Federal Way Recycling.  I feel so lucky to have friends like Jeannette.  Jeannette is incredible in her wisdom and resources.  She is the city's Solid Waste and Recycling Project manager.  If you live in the City of Federal Way you can count yourself lucky to have Jeannette on your team.  Jeannette has helped increase our city's recycling availability and knowledge.  She has opened doors for recycling in many of our multi-family housing as well as organizing local recycling events for us Federal Way-ers.  For all things recycling Jeannette is my go to expert.  She is a joy to work with and makes recycling very cool!   To get hooked up on her activities and contact Jeannette go to  www.cityoffederalway.com/recycle

Women's Voices for the Earth.  This site and organization are dedicated to keeping our families safe and healthy.  When you have a minute or two please visit is good mine of information.  The Women's Voices of the Earth is loaded with tips, recipes and resources for minimizing your chemical exposure and creating healthy homes and lives.  I love working with people and organizations that find joy in teaching and sharing, this is such an organization.  It is run by professionals with hearts of gold!!  http://www.womensvoices.org/

Marlene's Market.  I love Marlene's not only for their incredible selection and healthy foods but maybe more importantly for the contribution they make to our communities health and happiness.  Each month Marlene's brings in guest speakers to help teach and share valuable wisdom into living and being healthy.  The bulk of these classes are at no charge or at a nominal fee.  Next month, a class that is calling my name is on Feb 9th, Raw gluten free chocolate deserts- yum!!  I'm already booked on that day or I would be calling to schedule today.  Please go to Marlene's home site for articles, specials and class schedules. http://www.marlenesmarket-deli.com/