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Our Checklist for Cleaning Everything in Your Home

Want to clean your home in a "green" and non-toxic way, but don't know where to start?

We've thought of everything, so you don't have to! And even if you've got a cleaning routine down, sometimes you just need a checklist so that you can feel good about checking off some boxes! So, throw on your favorite playlist and use this list for a safe, healthy, and clean home.


Don't forget to pick up our recommended all purpose cleaners, kitchen, bathroom, and floor cleaners, or use our favorite DIY recipes. We also have an in-depth kitchen cleaning guide and an in-depth bathroom cleaning guide if you want to deep deeper. Also, if you are lucky enough to have someone who cleans your home for you- be that your roommate, your SO, or a professional- pass along this checklist to make sure all your bases are covered. We even have a version in Spanish if it's helpful for you.

Every Room

  • Dust with a wet cloth, this lowers allergens and removes toxic dust. Wipe window sills and blinds with a wet cloth. We love microfiber cloths for dusting!
  • Vacuum floors and couch cushions with a HEPA filter if possible, make sure the bag or container isn't completely full in order to not lose suction.
  • Mop floors

Kitchen

  • Wipe down countertops, cabinets, and face of appliances (refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher) with an all-purpose cleaner
  • Scrub and wipe down stove top. Soak and wash stove top grills and drip pans in sink with dishwashing liquid and hot water
  • Clean inside of microwave. Microwave a bowl of half water and half vinegar on high for three minutes. Easily wipe clean. You can also do this with a lemon instead of vinegar. Just cut a lemon in half, squeeze it into the water, drop in the lemon half, and microwave for 3 minutes and wipe clean.
  • Scrub and clean inside and around sink. If sink drain is clogged or smells bad, use a safe cleaner to clean the drain. Check our in-depth kitchen cleaning guide for more details.
  • Sweep and mop floor

Bathrooms

  • Remove rugs, trash cans, and objects from the tub/shower
  • Wet tub/shower walls with warm water and scrub with tile and grout cleaner, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Make sure to stand on a non-slip surface
  • Pour toilet bowl cleaner in toilet and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a brush and flush
  • Spray/clean shelves and other furniture with an all-purpose cleaner
  • Wash and rinse tub/shower walls and then apply tile and grout cleaner to tub/shower floor and scrub
  • Use a brush and bathroom cleaner to scrub around the faucet and drain in sink. Use a safe cleaner to get rid of mold, if necessary. Check our in-depth bathroom cleaning guide for more details.
  • Wipe the vanity countertop and cabinet fronts with an all purpose cleaner
  • Clean mirror: use a damp microfiber cloth
  • Shine the faucets. For stubborn water spots, use vinegar and water
  • Wash the floor with a safe floor cleaner

Deep Cleaning Extras

Kitchen

  • Clean inside of oven with a safe cleaner
  • Clean inside of refrigerator and replace all items

Windows

  • Use a safe window and glass cleaner and wipe with a microfiber cloth
  • Clean large and hard-to-reach windows with a professional-quality squeegee
Family

What to Know Before Heading to the Playground With Your Kids

Hand washing and removing shoes protects you from more than just germs

As soon as spring hits, we find any excuse to go outside and spend time in the sun. If you have kids, outdoor time is often synonymous with heading to the playground. We LOVE the playground and always encourage kids to get outside and play! Washing hands and taking shoes off is a must after the park- so many germs! These habits could also help prevent exposure to two questionable materials that may be a part of your playground.

The first is wood pressure-treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). This insecticide was sprayed on wood play structures because it made the wood resistant to degradation and insects. However, 22% of CCA is pure arsenic (1). Arsenic is a super nasty chemical that is classified as a known carcinogen by the World Health Organization. It can also cause "immune system suppression, increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disruption and diabetes" (2). This chemical is not to be messed with!

Over time, the CCA can be released from the treated wood and can end up on the hands and clothes of your little one. It can also end up in the soil around the playground, so your child may still be exposed even if they don't play on the wooden structure (3).

The good news is that CCA treated wood was banned from residential construction in 2003. So if your neighborhood park has been recently built or renovated, chances are you don't have to worry about this. You can always check with your city or neighborhood association to see if CCA wood is in your local park. It also wouldn't hurt to double check with your kid's school to see what their playground was built with. Usually, CCA treated wood has a green tint, which can make it easy to spot.

Even if your playground does have CCA, tt's pretty easy to limit exposure. If you're planning to have a picnic or snack at the park, make sure to use hand wipes or wash hands (if a bathroom is nearby) before eating. After returning home, thoroughly wash your and your child's hands. It also doesn't hurt to wipe everyone down with a wet wipe too! This will help get rid of any chemicals and other undesirables like pollen as well. Leaving shoes at the door can stop CCA-contaminated soil from tracking all over your house.

Crumb rubber is another questionable material that could be found in your playground. Crumb rubber are those small black particles you find in artificial turf that seem to always end up stuck in your shoe/sock/bag/shirt/life/etc. It's actually made from old, used tires that have been chopped up into really tiny pieces. While this may seem like a good idea from a recycling standpoint, it's not great for health. Tire rubber contain a ton of bad chemicals like PAHs, phthalates, phenols and benzothiazoles (4), and the tires are not treated before they end up as crumb rubber. These chemicals are linked to serious health issues like endocrine disruption. The crumbs are so small that they have a habit of getting in your clothes and hair, accidentally getting eaten by curious babies, or sticking to your skin. Crumb rubber can also give off more chemicals as they're heated up in the hot sun. There's even speculation that crumb rubber might have played a role in the cancer of adolescent soccer players (5).

When returning from the playground, you can leave shoes outside so soil and rubber doesn't get tracked around the house. Also make sure to wash your hands or shower! Avoiding play time when it's really hot outside can also limit the amount of exposure. If you've been around crumb rubber, make sure to dust yourself and your play equipment off before you leave the playground to get rid of any hitchhiking rubber pieces. Changing your clothes after returning doesn't hurt either!




References:

  1. https://www.ewg.org/research/poisoned-playgrounds

2. https://www.ceh.org/campaigns/legal-action/previous-work/childrens-products/arsenic-in-play-structures

3. https://www.sciencenews.org/blog/science-public/toxic-playgrounds

4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653512009848

5. https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/health/artificial-turf-cancer-study-profile/index.html

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Family

3 Fun and Easy Ideas to Get Your Kids Playing Outside That You Need To Try This Summer

And Why It's A Good Idea to Spend As Much Time Outside As Possible

Let's face it, the allure of screen time is hard to pass up for kids... and parents too (who can deny that those 30 minute of silence when Paw Patrol is on are pure bliss). As tempting as it is to have shows on repeat all day, getting your kids to play outside is so important. Not only will it knock them out for bedtime, but outdoor playtime is good for your kid's body, mind, and happiness!

There are so many health benefits of outdoor time for kids that it's hard to keep track of them all. Researchers have shown that it can reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes, and decrease ADHD symptoms. On top of that, it can increase Vitamin D levels, improve critical thinking skills and can help boost test scores. (1). You might be saying, "this is great and all, but how do I actually get my kids excited about going outside?!" We hear you! In order to encourage more outdoor play, we came up with three outdoor activities that are super fun for kids but easy for parents to set up. Try them out this weekend!

1. Outdoor Art Time

Doing arts and crafts outdoors is a great way to get kids outside even if they aren't the run-around-in-circles type. Plus, all the mess is outside and you can just hose everything off after. One of our favorite outdoor arts and crafts is rock painting. We have the kids hunt for rocks in a variety of shapes and sizes and then bring them back to a station where they can paint some funny faces on them. It's so fun to see their creativity at work!

Another activity is creating hammered artwork from nature (we'll explain). This one requires a bit more parental supervision, but it's totally worth it. The kids go and collect a variety of leaves, grasses, and flowers and then pound them between sheets of paper with a wooden mallet or hammer. The colors and shapes transfer to the paper to create some seriously cool art. We find that a thicker textured paper like watercolor paper produces the best results. Kids enjoy this so much they'll ask to do it over and over again!

2. Adjective Scavenger Hunt

What if we told you that with just a few minutes of prep you could keep your kids outdoors and occupied for what can seem like countless hours? Sound too good to be true? An outdoor scavenger hunt will do just that! We like to make lists of adjectives (like soft, hard, green, round, pointy, long...etc.) and give the kids a basket to go find things in the backyard or neighborhood park that fit the description. Sometimes we even have the kids come back and do a show and tell and compare the objects they found.

3. Water Gun Freeze Tag

This one is a great activity as it starts warming up outside! Get a couple of water guns or squirt bottles and use them to play a version of freeze tag. Our version: someone is designated "it" and if they spray another player with water, they are frozen. If another player tags them, then they are unfrozen and can start running around again. Sometimes the game just devolves into everyone running around spraying everyone else, and that's fine by us! Feel free to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine and watch, but we find it pretty tempting to play too.

So there you have it- three easy outdoor activities that will help your kids get off their screens and back outside. We hope that they are a hit with your kids and will be on repeat all summer.


References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

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