Thursday, November 29, 2018

Easy mistake in cleaning can be costly to health and wallet

This morning I received another call about a travertine floor... the homeowner's housecleaner used "something" that removed its finish/shine...oh dear...

That something is probably an acidic cleaner. Acidic cleaners and acids in general will eat away acid sensitive material- such as calcium. Calcium based stones such as marbles, travertine and even most grouts are acid sensitive. When an acid meets an acid sensitive material, they react to each other. This reaction on acid sensitive stone is referred to as an etch. The stone has been eaten away. The finish wasn't cleaned away but eaten away.

The most common accidental etching comes from our little friend: Vinegar. Vinegar is commonly used in green cleaning. However, it is not a mild cleaner. A mild cleaner is non abrasive and has a pH of around 7 or neutral. Vinegar is a non-buffered acid with a acidic pH of 3. Vinegar, even though it is safe to eat, is not always safe to use. Safe and mild are two different things. Safe refers to a product being nontoxic it also may mean - safe to use on all surfaces but not necessarily.

A product can be mild, non-harmful to a surface such as a neutral mildewcide but damaging people
Common household cleaners that are acidic are: toilet cleaners drain cleaners, shower/tile cleaners and vinegar-based window cleaners.

On top of etching, acidic cleaners are also reactive. When mixed with bleaches or alkaline cleaners they react. This reaction can be nontoxic, like the reaction you get when mixing baking soda and vinegar. But... and this is a big but!! It can also create a toxic and deadly gas!!

The most common reactive chemicals are ammonia/strong alkalines, bleaches and acids.
Never mix cleaning products!!! You may be creating a deadly and toxic gas!!!

It is incredibly easy to accidentally mix cleaners. You spray one in the air...and then you spray another in the air.  Walla- you just mixed products. I can't tell you how many times, I been told by a home and professional cleaner they had burning eyes, scratchy throats, coughing, headaches etc. when cleaning or post cleaning!

A travertine floor that has "lost" its sheen will need to be repolished. This is an expensive process and one that could have been easily prevented. An etched floor might be stressful and expensive but at least it wasn't deadly.

Home care is a science and an art.  Cleaning is chemistry and physics.
This blog is a good example why I teach healthy homes, residue free cleaning and sell residue free cleaning products.

  The 3 parts of Residue Free Cleaning
1. Practice Prevention
Start with prevention- read labels, do your research, take off your shoes, wipe down your showers, run your exhaust fans, open windows for fresh air...

2. Use the Mildest means
Always start with the mildest means. Mildest means... dusting, vacuuming, microfibers and neutral, nontoxic cleaners. You can always move up to a harsher cleaner but if you clean well, you rarely ever need to use anything more than water, neutral cleaners, vacuums and microfibers!

3. Leave your home residue free
Leave nothing behind... no germs, no cleaner, no moisture...
Rinse and dry your surfaces, don't spray cleaners in the air, let fresh air into your home

If you are going to leave anything behind in your cleaning...
 let it be gratitude 

Wishing you safe, happy and healthy home,
Denise Frakes
Home and Life Coach at your service

For education, products and coaching contact me at 253-815-0446, message me on facebook  or email me at

To purchase the best in microfibers click here. Any questions don't hesitate to contact me.
Cleaning should be easy, safe and non stressful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How to motivate your cleaning...Thanksgiving tip

There are very few things that will motivate cleaning and decluttering a house like company coming does.  If you need motivation to get your house clean - schedule a party.  For the past 4 years we have hosted our family Thanksgiving Day the second sat of November.  This year our little party has expanded to 28 people and two dogs.

Before the big day, I found myself digging into the corners of my home. I cleaned out under sinks, in drawers and through cupboards.  I know my family isn't coming to give me the white glove treatment.  They know me way too well for that!

I clean mainly for me.  This may sound selfish but in reality it is the best gift I can give.  I'm more at ease with a rebooted and refreshed home.  I'm a better hostess when I'm at ease.  My stress is lowered my enjoyment of company raised. I can greet my guests with an open heart and joyful excitement.  

 Plus, when I'm highly motivated and focused in prep mode, I can get a ton done.  I ride the energy and excitement - using it for motivation.  Post celebration, I get to enjoy a happy and clean home.  Our guest rarely judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves- be kind.

I wonder how many gatherings never happen because we are embarrassed or stressed about our homes?  My home isn't perfect, fancy or even completely finished... homes are works of art in progress.  If I wait for the perfect time.... it will never happen.

I love having people pop in and out of my home and life.  Some days I get caught with life exploding all over, dirty dishes and life....  It seems company pops by on those days more than when everything is tidy and clean!  sigh... oh well such is life.

The fact is cleaning and cluttering are space cleaning.  By cleaning, sorting, organizing and refreshing a space, you create a more welcoming space for you to live in and welcome warmly your friends and family

I call cleaning, decluttering and organizing Re-Booting or Refreshing because they reset your life. Just like unplugging your electronics for 60 seconds and then plugging back in does for your computer! Magic!!! All better!

Plan a gathering at your home, one person or 28 people.  The number doesn't matter as much as the act of opening up your home does.  The gift you gain by having company in your life is exponentially greater than the effort it takes.  In a world of cell phones and facebook, good old face to face gatherings are priceless for body, mind and spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving!
        Denise Frakes
            Home and Life Coach

Early morning of our fake turkey day - 3 rented tables, chairs and one converted ping pong table