Monday, March 31, 2008

How do you clean your ceiling fans?

This weekend I was trying to dust my fan using vacuum cleaner extensions and a stepladder. It didn't go very well, as I couldn't seem to get around the top of the fan blades easily. Dust was also flying around like crazy and I was chasing it with my vacuum hose. I can't seem to reach using just my arms, either.

How do you clean your ceiling fans, if you have one? Obviously ceiling height plays a role. Casabella makes a ceiling fan duster that can be used to dust any high surface. I only have one fan at the moment, and not much storage space, so it feels a little decadent.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Citradish Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

Citradish (or "Citra-dish") is my newest experiment with dishwashing powders. I tend to have problems with my dishwasher leaving powdery bits inside my drinking cups, but the box claims that the product (Valencia Orange version) incorporates a rinse aid so I thought... hmmm maybe somehow it'll help rinse off the residue.[1] It also advertises itself as cruelty free, vegan, chlorine bleach free, and made with essential oils. (There's more on the side of the box, but I don't want you to doze on me.)

This is another case of "they must have updated their packaging but not their website". My box is a bright orange recycled paper number with a big juicy orange on the front, unlike the rather unaesthetic former packaging job they have on the www. (See image.)

As far as performance, I have no complaints at all. This stuff works perfectly, as well as my Biokleen powdered detergent. It leaves my dishes and cups shiny, and doesn't leave behind any sort of odor (I love scented products, as you know, but dishwasher detergent doesn't need to smell unless it's part of the functionality... I'm not going to stand around huffing my dishwasher cups.) The box claims you ought to fill both cups in your dishwasher, but I can actually get away with filling one cup only half and get the same results. Nothing stuck to my dishes, and everything came out with a nice shine. (The test is always the dog food bowls.)

The super test was the enchilada spatula and plates from last night. These products always brag that they can remove "baked-on food". Well, it actually did. I'd buy again, particularly if my local natural foods shop doesn't start stocking more varieties of dish detergent ;)

1. My logic, it is flawless!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Method Repackages Omop (And Cloths)

We were just in Target buying a suitcase (all three of ours having been stolen from the storage unit in our building), and of course I had to stop by the cleaning isle. I had read Re-nest's post on the Method aroma pill (which I mentioned in a previous post) and wanted to sniff one in person.

I noticed that they'd repackaged the omop compostable dry cloths and the omops themselves in a recycled cardboard box, to replace the plastic boxes they'd been using! (The packaging looks great- kudos to the designer.) Ironically, they haven't updated the photos on their website, but they did mention the package redesign in their blog.

I also bought one of the glass/mirror microfiber cloths because I am sick of my linty old ones and would like wiping my glass table and mirrors to go back to being an easy chore. I'm going to test out the cloth and see if I want to buy another one or try the Casabella version. (Casabella = 2 for 12.99 vs. Method 1 for 5.00. So far it feels pretty good.

They only had one aroma pill, but I did take a whiff of some new scents for the aroma ring- 'beach sage', fig, and some others I can't recall- which also aren't on the website. ?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mrs Meyer's Spring Cleaning Kit

Woo woo! This year instead of their honeysuckle scented spring cleaning kit, Mrs Meyer's has released a Rhubarb scented line. Now, I actually don't think I know what Rhubarb smells like off the top of my head (sweet?), but I like Mrs. Meyer's products and the offerings in the four-pack look good:

All Purpose Cleaner, 8oz
Countertop Spray, 8oz
Window Spray, 8oz
Liquid Dish Soap 8oz

Seems like a little aromatherapy might just make those chores more bearable as the weather warms up. I hope to be able to open the windows and fill my home with fresh air and good smells pretty soon. I just got over being sick and it feels a little stuffy in here.

The only thing I think will wind up languishing in my home is the All Purpose Cleaner. I never seem to get around to using it, because it winds up being best for big cleanings (Dilute 1/4 cup in 1 gallon of water), and I clean in little spurts. I love Mrs. Meyer's surface wipes. Hm, they also have window wipes.

Ooh, I should add that they have products in Basil now! I'm definitely going to have to try that one. They also now have Baby Blossom but I'm not sold on that one yet... I'll have to sniff it in the store.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Whole Foods' New Cleaning Line

Last time I was in Whole Foods (a few weeks ago, and I already have to go back because I'm out of vitamins. Grr!) I noticed that their internal brand, "365" now includes a line of cleaning products! They had what you'd expect- all-purpose spray, bathroom cleaner, mildew spray. The packaging was minimal with clear bottles, and came in a few different scents (I recall lavender?)

Oddly, I don't see anything about the cleaning products online. I wonder if they're testing them locally before officially announcing them. Are they at your Whole Foods?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Naturally Clean products

I noticed a new (to me) line of products in my local natural foods store and in Whole Foods. They go by the name "Naturally Clean" and they've got some intriguing products. The stain eraser promises to erase all sorts of gruesome stains from clothing. I admit it, I got excited thinking it was a safe version of the "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser". I wish someone would make a green version of -that- somehow.

Anyway, the mildew spray is calling my name, as I've started to get allergies in my shower and that means mildew's lurking. The floor cleaner looks pretty good (for my hardwood I just use a tiny bit of water and a tiny bit of vinegar though. Longterm readers know of my love for my Casabella Magnet Mop.)

When I need a new kitchen spray I'll try the kitchen product as well. I wonder if these products will be any different from my standbys. Most of their items claim to work with vegetable enzymes (plus SLS/SLES, our friend "coconut oil surfactant") What do you think?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Method Eucalyptus Mint Flushable Wipes

I was surprised a couple of weeks ago to find Method products at my nearby Whole Foods! Until recently, Whole Foods seemed to take the attitude that Method wasn't natural enough to stock. This particular store's move to carry Method came at a good time; I had just run out of bathroom wipes and was despairing of finding anything at Whole Foods (my closest one stocks Mrs Meyers products in general, but not the disposable wipes.)

I don't know what it is but I seem to keep gravitating towards Method's Eucalyptus Mint Flushable Wipes. In the past I've used them and lamented how soapy they are. They seem to leave a bit of a film on everything. I have to use a really light touch when wiping with them, or I wind up having to go over the area I've just swiped with water. Still, I love that Eucalyptus Mint smell.

So I bought a new pack despite my memories of soapiness, and basically reaffirmed my opinion. I just need to remember not to re-buy these next time; they're just too soggy. There's also something about the way they're seated in my resealable pack that's a bit difficult as well. I pull on the topmost cloth and wind up in a tug of war, finally extracting about 20 sheets. I can never seem to get them back into the pack the way they were either.

Sure, they're flushable, but I'd rather drop them in my trash bin given the chance. I don't want to flush my toilet more than I need to. I think I've made a good environmental calculation there . Sometimes it's a wee hard to tell.

I'm a big fan of disposable wipes for bathroom surfaces (except the mirrors. Microfiber all the way there.) I can clean in little spurts as I see messes appear and avoid dealing with a big job / gross bathroom.

I think in order to get my EM scent fix I may try the new aroma pill instead. It comes in gingerbread spice, sweet water, vanilla apple, grapefruit pear, and, of course, eucalyptus mint.