Category Archives: Cleaning

How to Detox Your Indoor Air

During the winter months we seal up our homes to keep us safe from all of the harmful elements outside. We should also be concerned with the harmful elements that are found inside of our homes.

Toxins can enter our home in many different ways. Some find their way in through shoes, others come from the cleaners we use every day, and others can seep out of carpet and paint. Get rid of these toxins for good by following these helpful tips to detoxify the air in your home.

House Plants

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Keeping plants in your home helps to purify the air.

Toxins are devoured by house plants. Add some green to your décor and keep the air in your home clean. These house plants would absorb an array of toxins and chemicals in the air;

  • Rubber Plant
  • English Ivy
  • Aloe Vera
  • Boston Fern
  • Bamboo

Cleaning

Keep a regular cleaning schedule to avoid dust build up in your home. If you use regular household cleaners, they can be full of chemicals. Keep your family from ingesting these toxins by switching to a natural or green cleaner. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will also keep dust mites and dirt from being released back into the air.

Open the Windows

Practice airing out your home as much as possible. Release the stale air and welcome fresh air into your home. During colder months this can be hard, but letting fresh air in is vital when you are detoxifying your home. Let the breeze whisk the toxins away.

Replace Air Filters

Your air filters capture dirt, dust, germs, and toxins in the air. Replace all of the air filters in your home every 6 months.

Don’t Track in Toxins!

Wipe your feet on Dr. Doormat at the door to destroy microbes! Dr. Doormat is infused with an antimicrobial formula which creates a postive charge that starts to disable the nasty odors from microorganisms (bacteria, fungus, mold) on the mat on contact.

Making simple changes will keep the air you and your family breath clean and lower your exposure to environmental toxins – keeping you all healthier and happier!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms

Spring is technically here – even though it doesn’t seem like it yet for everyone! Purging the winter dust and clutter makes home feel so much more energizing and inviting. That’s why spring cleaning is such a popular notion – the mess and dirt can really build up after a long winter cooped up inside!

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You don’t have to tackle your whole house to reap the benefits of spring cleaning!

But what about those of us who simply don’t have time to scrub our house from top to bottom this Spring? Fortunately, you can break the spring cleaning process down into manageable chunks to get it done – even if you have a busy lifestyle.

  • One room at a time. Don’t try to get your whole home done at once – just take it one room at a time. Start with your most lived-in rooms; you’ll appreciate the results so much more. The kitchen, for example, is a great place to start. 
  • Follow the same process for each room. You’ll get into a “groove” and work much more efficiently if you follow the same routine each time. For example: purge clutter (to trash and to donate), organize what’s left, and clean from top to bottom.
  • Update your decor. Add fresh flowers and other “Spring” touches to freshen up the way your home looks and feels.
  • Clean the window treatments. If you can’t get to all the “extra” jobs in a room, at least do this! It will really make a difference when you start opening up the windows as it warms up.
  • Tackle fix-it projects. As you have time, tackle any little projects you’ve been putting off all winter. Any broken door latches, handles, etc. getting fixed will be appreciated far more than a squeaky-clean floor under the fridge. icon wink Spring Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms

If you’re too busy to tackle the whole house this Spring, don’t worry. Just focus on the tasks that you and your family will notice and appreciate the most.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Can You Allergy-Proof Your Carpet?

If you have allergies, most experts will recommend that you get rid of carpet in your home and use ceramic, tile, or wood flooring – anything that’s easier to keep clean. That’s because carpet tends to trap allergens like dust, mold, pet hair and other pollutants. allergyproofyourcarpet 300x199 Can You Allergy Proof Your Carpet?

If removing your carpet isn’t currently an option, however, there are still a few things you can do in the meantime to reduce the allergens in your home.

  • Vacuum frequently. Removing debris from your carpet before it sets in is key. Use a high quality vacuum cleaner to vacuum 1-2 times a week – maybe even more often if you have pets that shed a lot. Some high traffic areas might even need a daily vacuum! Before vacuuming sanitize the head of the vacuum cleaner, before and after you vacuum. This helps to destroy microorganisms (such as, bacteria from animal feces, mold, fungus) which can be responsible for many allergy triggers.  
  • Have your carpets cleaned professionally. The smaller carpet cleaners designed for home use seem convenient, but they aren’t very good at removing all the water from the carpet padding, which can lead to mold growth in your carpet.
  • Avoid powdered “carpet freshening” products. These are notorious for triggering allergic reactions, and it’s difficult to make sure you vacuum up all of the powder.
  • Lower the humidity in your home with a dehumidifier. According to a resource from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “To thrive, dust mites need very warm temperatures (75-80 degrees F) and high humidity levels — 70-80 percent relative humidity. One study showed when humidity is 60 percent or lower, the mite population stops growing and dies out.”
  • Keep Dr. Doormat at all entrances. We track millions of microbes, toxins and allergens into the home everyday on the bottom of our shoes. It is estimated that 60-90% of the dirt and debris is tracked in from our shoes. By trapping allergens from the bottom of your shoes and destroying microbes on the mat, it will help keep your carpets and your home environment cleaner!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Household Uses for Baking Soda

You can find baking soda in pretty much any home, but it’s often highly underused! There are endless household uses for baking soda. Plus – it’s very inexpensive and all natural.

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Baking soda has endless uses around the home.

Here are a few ways you can use baking soda in your cleaning around the home:

  1. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup in your garbage cans to absorb odors.
  2. Use an an abrasive scrub to shine your sink and stainless steel appliances.
  3. Use a paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove underarm stains and on baby clothes (light colors only.)
  4. Add baking soda to the litter box to curb odors.
  5. Wash your fruits and vegetables with a solution made from 1 part baking soda, 5 parts water.
  6. Use baking soda as an abrasive scrub to remove toilet stains.
  7. Add a scoop to your laundry to boost the power of your detergent.
  8. Scrub pots and pans with baking soda and vinegar.
  9. Make a solution of baking soda and water, then run it through your coffee maker to clean it.
  10. Clean baby bottles with baking soda and water.
  11. Use baking soda to clean your barbecue.
  12. Clean your oven with baking soda.
  13. To clear drains: pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar. Let the mixture “fizz” for a few moments, then flush with hot water.
  14. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into shoes to curb odors.
  15. Make your own air freshener by combining 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of warm water, and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Store in a spray bottle and shake well!

You’ll find that you can replace many of your store-bought cleaning products when you start utilizing baking soda around the home. Good riddance! It’s much healthier and a lot easier on the wallet, too.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Cleaning with Kids: Homemaking With Little Ones in Tow

A few weeks ago on my Facebook page, I asked what you wanted to read about here on the blog. A few of you wanted to hear some tips for cleaning with kids!

 Cleaning with Kids: Homemaking With Little Ones in Tow

A little bit of cleaning each day keeps the mess away! Everyone can pitch in.

Keeping a home clean and orderly with little ones in tow is definitely a challenge – but it can be done and it’s well worth the effort. As I mentioned in my post about your impact as a homemaker:

  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ HealthyChildren.org website, children thrive on routine and structure. Home management in the way of cleaning, scheduling, and organizing allows them to be more emotionally stable.
  • A clean home helps children learn and grow: a messy home is more predictive of bad behavior than parenting style alone, according to a 2006 article published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines.

Getting kids involved in the process of cleaning early on in life is a tremendous help. Make it joyful and fun – don’t treat cleaning up like drudgery or a punishment. It’s just a part of life and it doesn’t have to be unpleasant!

Some of these tips can help:

  • Curb clutter in your home. With less stuff (ie. junk) around, there’s less to clean!
  • Give age-appropriate tasks. Kids as young as two can do simple tasks like sorting silverware, matching socks and putting away toys. As they grow, introduce other chores like sweeping up the floor, dusting, and making their bed.
  • Stick to routines. Children thrive on routines – make cleaning up part of your everyday routine. You’re kids will know what to expect and learn to make cleanliness a habit.
  • Make it fun. Put on some fun music and have a blast while you clean! You can even get your kids their own special cleaning supplies – towels, a mini broom, spray bottles in their favorite color.
  • Be patient. As your kids learn, it may take a bit longer to get things done. Don’t hurry through or let perfectionism take over – it will be well worth it when you have little helpers who really know how to get the job done!

 

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Home Detox – Balancing the Elements: Earth

One of the ways toxins can enter the home is by way of the dirt we bring in from outside. Dirt itself isn’t necessarily bad but it can contain some pollutants that definitely are.

In this day and age, we’re surrounded by chemicals – fertilizers, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals make their way into our soil. Too much exposure to these substances can trigger allergies and cause serious respiratory illnesses and reproductive issues. Mold spores are also an issue. They arrive using dirt as their vehicle into your home, where they’re able to grow and spread. As you can see, bringing dirt in on your shoes isn’t just unsightly – it’s actually harmful to our health! earth 300x199 Home Detox   Balancing the Elements: Earth

Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce the amount of dirt tracked into the home and decrease your family’s exposure to these toxins.

  • Stop dirt at the door. Wipe your shoes and paws on Dr. Doormat can remove up to 90% of debris on your shoes! Take it a step further – remove those shoes and leave them near the door when you enter your home.
  • Choose cleaner flooring options. Most carpet is made from toxin-containing materials PLUS it’s the perfect composition for trapping dust and other debris and holding onto it. Remove wall to wall carpet to stop this dust trap. Where that’s not practical, be sure to have your carpets professionally cleaned regularly.
  • Clean toxin-free! While there are loads of “dirt-fighting” chemical cleaners out there, you may only compound the problem if the cleaners you choose contain harsh toxic ingredients. The right cleaning tools, vinegar and baking soda are just about all you need to clean up most messes!
  • Dust often. I’m always amazed at how quickly dust can accumulate. How often you need to dust depends on a number of circumstances. Dryer vents, air circulation in your home, fireplace use and type of heating – just keep in mind that letting dust accumulate is a major trigger for allergies and asthma.

Keep dirt where it belongs – outside!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

The Champion of your Home Environment: Joyful Home Management with The Best Cleaning Tools

While I believe that Dr. Doormat is one of the most powerful tools you can have, it’s not a silver bullet. You need an arsenal of tools in your tool belt working in concert together to effectively manage your entire home environment. It doesn’t have to break the piggy bank – investing in a few quality tools is much preferable to having many, many gadgets and gizmos that do little more than take up space.

The 4-5 main tools to optimize your efforts are:

  • the right doormat
  • the right vacuum
  • the right cleaning cloths
  • dust mite covers on all pillows and mattresses
  • cleaning supplies
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Dr. Doormat and Hoover Vacuum cleaner team up to keep it clean.

My favorite vacuum cleaner is the Hoover Wind Tunnel. I’m so excited because after years of use, I just got a new one. YAY! You think your carpet is clean until you use this beauty. With 2 dogs, 2 kids, a husband, and a home office with 2-3 people going in and out all day, I need tools that work and this vacuum does. It’s also very affordable as far as vacuum cleaners go.

Quality cleaning cloths are also essential. They can really make all the difference in the world. You won’t miss paper towels – plain cloth diapers work excellently – yes, really! Think about it: they’re made to be very aborbent. You’ll also save a lot of money since you’re able to wash and reuse them!

Putting dust mite covers on all of your pillows and mattresses keeps them cleaner longer, extending their life and exposing your family to fewer ickies!

Cleaning supplies don’t have to be expensive or complicated: there isn’t much that can’t be cleaned with vinegar, baking soda and diluted bleach for the really nasty jobs. Check out my other blog post on Natural Ways to Sanitize Kitchen Surfaces for some more ideas.

If you are going to go through the effort of cleaning at least use the best tools to do the job right and make your life a little easier.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

The Champion of Your Home Environment: Staying Ahead with Routines

With kids in tow, it can be difficult to maintain order – especially if you have a busy schedule. (Who doesn’t?) Having routines in place can help streamline everything, including cleaning and general organization.

Doing a little bit of cleaning each day is a lot more manageable and less stressful than having a “catch-up” cleaning day every week or two.

Morning and Evening Routines

Having an evening routine in which you prepare for the next morning is an excellent way to make your mornings more peaceful. A few ideas to consider:

 The Champion of Your Home Environment: Staying Ahead with Routines

A little bit of cleaning each day keeps the mess away! Everyone can pitch in.

  • Get clothes ready for the next day. Choose your own outfit and those for small children. Have older kids lay out their clothes. Make sure all the basics are covered – tops, bottoms, socks and underwear – even sweaters if it will be cold.
  • What’s for breakfast? You don’t have to cook it of course, but get out the necessary supplies and dishes for the most important meal of the day. Have it all out and ready to go.
  • Check the calendar. What’s going on tomorrow? Check now and gather anything you’ll need for appointments or activities the next day. Got the Violin for music class? Gym bag?
  • Backpacks and bags at the ready. Kids’ homework and book bags packed and ready to go. Don’t forget your purse, mom!
  • At the end of each day, have the family work together to pick up any clutter and toys. You can have each person do a room or two and have it done in 15 minutes each.
  • Laundry and dishes. Before you go to bed, load the dishwasher and washer to run while you sleep. In the morning, all you have to do is switch the clothes over to the dryer to run while you get ready and put away the dishes. You’ll start off each day with clean laundry and a clean kitchen!

Deep Cleaning – A Chore A Day

When it comes to the chores like vacuuming, dusting, and the like: tackle just one chore a day to keep on top of them all. Vacuuming and sweeping can be done on the days where you have a little more time. Quick chores like dusting can be done on even really busy days!

  • Dusting
  • Floors
  • Empty garbage cans
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • Clean out the car
  • Wash windows
  • Clean bathrooms

Don’t feel like you have to assign a chore to a certain day of the week – just rotate through them as you can. If you miss a day, don’t panic: just pick up where you leave off. If you are in the “cleaning mood” you can do more than one. Be flexible.

Take back your Saturdays with daily routines that keep your home in order!

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

The Ick Factor

Do you recoil at the sight of the big three:  excrement, ooze, or vomit?  You’re not alone. Across cultures and across time, people have known instinctively that these three items – mostly representing disease,  a loss of bodily fluids and/or spoiled food have been considered repugnant.

Where did these ideas come from and what does it mean for you?

We all just kind of know we don’t want to touch this stuff.  We want to wash our hands and clean our shoes if we step in it.  But where did these responses come from?

Dr. Valerie Curtis, Director of The Hygiene Center at the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who calls herself a“disgustologist”, has made it her life’s work to study revulsion and has written a new book called Don’t Look, Don’t Touch: The Science behind Revulsion.

Dr. Curtis wanted to know why we recoiled from pus, urine, maggots, feces, and putrid flesh. And it is her conclusion that our healthy squeamishness protects us and has helped us survive. From an evolutionary viewpoint, revulsion protected our ancestors who knew to avoid

·         Death

·         Deformity

·         Disease

According to Dr. Curtis, In order to survive, mankind just knows.  It’s that simple.  It’s not intellectual.  It’s not something you have to think about or to process, your life force tells you the right thing to do.

Dr. Curtis found 7 triggers that will set off the Disgustologist in all of us:

1.       People we see who are atypical in size (like dwarves or physically impaired)

2.       People with obvious signs of illness, including oozing sores – even chicken pox

3.       Spitters and those who hawk up fluid from their lungs

4.       Signs of sexual infection and even sexual fluids

5.       Spoiled food

6.       Animals and insects that transmit disease: rats, mice and roaches

7.       Contamination that gives off foul odors or visual signs of putrifaction

What our instinctual brain is responding to are these:

bacteria

chemical content

fungi

Parasites

Of course there are some diseases and physical attributes that we have learned through education and tolerance that are not harmful and should be embraced as a society.  There are a number of ways you can go about avoiding some of the genuine dangers.  For me it was always about creating a safe and healthy home environment for my family.  I can’t control everything we’re exposed to but I can control what comes and goes into my home on the first step with Dr. Doormat. With so little effort you really can make a difference for your family too.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Avoid Foot Fungus! Here’s How…

With the weather changing in some parts of the country it may be time to put away our sandals and visits to the beach and get our exercise at an indoor gym or pool. If you’ve ever experienced or even seen foot or toenail fungus, you know it it’s not something you want to mess around with. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So take note of a few foot health tips to keep fungus at bay!

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Avoid foot fungus & keep those feet looking pretty!

  • Take care of your toes. Keep your toe nails short and clean. Wash your feet and in between your toes well when you shower or bathe – especially after working out or wearing open-toed shoes! Don’t pick at the skin around your nails – this gives germs easy access to a vulnerable area and puts you at risk for infection.
  • Scope out your salon. If you get pedicures or massages at a salon, ensure that the place is clean and up to code. Watch to see that they sanitize all of their equipment thoroughly and don’t just jump to the next client! Not everyone knows this, but you can bring your own mani-pedi set and even nail polish to the salon for them to use.
  • Keep your feet covered. While barefoot fun has it’s place, you do need to wear shoes when you’re out and about in public. This is particularly true when it comes to the gym, pools and any other public place where many people choose to go barefoot! Don’t pick up their germs – wear swim shoes and clean them well between each outing.
  • Designate a pair of flip flops for the public shower.
  • Change your socks regularly and keep your shoes clean. Put on a fresh pair of socks each day – more often if you’re sweating a lot. Keep your shoes clean too, since that’s the last place you want to be harboring bacteria if you’re trying to avoid foot fungus!

If you ever find yourself with an unwelcome and unsightly infection, follow these tips anyway to help it go away faster and avoid spreading it to others. Also, avoid polishes and consider using an anti-fungal foot powder to really add on the protection.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.