Who Knew? Solving Life’s Little Nuisances with Common Household Items

Posted by Kari Warberg Block

Feb 7, 2015 8:10:00 PM

I’m excited to share my favorite tips to solve life’s little nuisances, now and continuing throughout the year. They’re all part of our #ClearTheCloud campaign.

If you’ve been following us, you’ve seen them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If not, we hope you’ll follow and share them with your family and friends who are also interested in reducing their reliance on chemicals.

We’ll also be giving away lots of earthkind® products to followers who share their best tips with us and those who share our tips with others. Thank you for helping us #ClearTheCloud of dangerous toxins in the home!

This weeks’ blog post contains the past four tips, all in one spot:

 

Get rid of static cling naturally.

ClearTheCloud dog staring into dryer

A chemical analysis of airborne emissions from 5 of the most common fabric softener sheets, demonstrates that they emit many toxic chemicals, many of which cause acute respiratory tract irritation and inflammation.

So how do clothes develop static cling?  Friction develops between two different materials that come into contact with each other. The electrons on one material attract electrons in the other material in order to balance their atoms (nature is always working to stay in balance). Since a clothes dryer creates an unnatural activity, the fabric that loses the electrons becomes negatively charged, and the fabric that gains the electrons becomes positively charged. The transferring of electrons is what creates static electricity. As the negative and positive charges attract each other, the two materials will stick to one another, causing the cling.

Tossing in a small ball will naturally break up this exchange of electrons (friction) that develops static. Plus, you can further eliminate the need for chemical-laden fabric softener sheets by going natural with your fabrics.

Did you know that natural fabrics do not develop static the same way synthetic fabrics do?  Try switching your clothing to all-natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, a little at a time. In the meantime, there are now several natural solutions on the market. They’re made of vegetable surfactants, salt, and natural essential oils for scent and can be found in the natural section of the grocery store.

 

Remove makeup without adding chemicals.

ClearTheCloud_shocked woman with a lot of makeup

As a former counter girl at Lancome, and Clinique, I saw the good, the bad, and the overpriced of makeup and skin care. It can get confusing when every company promises that their product is best. It’s hard to know what to believe. Regardless, one of the best things  women can do is to take care of the delicate eye area with a good cleanser and a good moisturizer to remove left over makeup and germs.  I turned to olive oil, which has been used for centuries by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans as an anti-aging remedy, and cleanser.

You can both cleanse and moisturize with olive oil and a cotton ball, then follow up with water and a light soap as needed.  It’s less expensive, readily available, and contains vitamin A and vitamin E which has been shown to improve skin elasticity. In addition, the polyphenoels and phytosteriols neutralize the free radicals that cause so much skin damage in the human population. One of these antioxidants, hydroxytyrosol, is a rather rare compound that happens to be plentiful in olive oil. Olive oil is loved by men too! Many men have abandoned shaving cream once they’ve discovered how close a shave they can get with olive oil without drying out their skin.

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Treat minor cuts with aloe.

ClearTheCloud_girl crying with scraped knee

You may be familiar with aloe vera, and may have already used it to treat scrapes, minor burns, or scars. Referred to as the “old world cactus” aloe vera stores water and fills nature’s niche of cactuses, where cactuses as we know them, don’t grow. Aloe vera is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to woman, it’s been used for thousands of years for healing and health. Alexander the Great mandated it in the field to treat his wounded men.  If you’ve ever used aloe for a sunburn, you know how soothing it can be!

A well-stocked home safety kit should include aloe vera, or better yet, grow an aloe plant in your home. I’ve had them for over 40 years, and my children learned at a very young age to break off the ends for a quick fix anytime it’s needed.

 

 Water cleans wonderfully.

ClearTheCloud_water nature's #1 cleanser

One of the keys to using natural solutions to solve natural problems is using the right thing at the right time. ‘Natural’ can be highly effective with a little education, and tried and true advice. Think of how nature works: She cleanses herself naturally using water, sunlight, the organisms in soil, magnetic pull, and trees. It all works in harmony, without the need for man-made chemicals.

Try washing your clothes with nature’s number one cleanser: water. If this is new to you, try it! It works better than you think! I’ve significantly reduced the need for laundry detergent by simply doing this.
Other things you can do to reduce the need for detergents:

  • If you use soap flakes or powdered detergent, add the soap or powdered detergent to the washing machine before the water and clothing have been added. This helps to fully dissolve the cleanser. If you have very hard water, add ½ cup of vinegar to your rinse water to minimalize mineral staining.
  • If fabric is very dirty, e.g., ground in dirt, you may want to choose a powdered laundry detergent. If the laundry isn’t full of soil/dirt, liquid laundry detergent is a better choice. It’s less likely to leave mineral residue on the clothes if you have hard water. When washing really dirty clothes, wash whites separately (even if they’re really dirty too) because they’ll turn grey in dirty water.

As always, please leave your comments, and share these tips to help #ClearTheCloud of toxins in the home. Through education and sharing we can make a positive difference!

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Topics: Being Green, Kari's Point of View, Clear The Cloud

Kari Warberg Block
Kari Block, founder and CEO of Earth-Kind, Inc. is an inventor, serial entrepreneur and small business champion with a passion for growing people, products, ideas, and business through a sustainable approach. Kari is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post Blog and Entrepreneur.

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