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Green Pet Tips

Top Green Pet Tips

  1. Adopt from a shelter. Some pet breeders have only one goal–to raise large quantities of purebred animals for profit. They’ve also been pilloried for misdeeds such as overbreeding, inbreeding, poor veterinary oversight, lousy food and living conditions, overcrowding, and culling of unwanted animals. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Love knows no pedigree. Check out to find your perfect match.
  2. Spay or neuter your pet. Did we mention 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States? That’s 15 puppies and 45 kittens for every hairless biped that slides out of a birth canal. And “multiplying like bunnies” isn’t just any old trope. We don’t need any more homeless animals than we already have. As a bonus, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease.
  3. Rein in your pets; protect native wildlife. Always keep your dog on a leash when outside, and confine your mangy feline indoors. Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. While you may poo-poo high cat-related bird-mortality rates as collateral damage in the great Circle of Life, domestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in tip-top fighting shape. They’re also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers than say, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike.

That aside, two out of every three vets, according to the Humane Society of America, recommend keeping cats indoors, because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. The estimated average life span of a free-roaming cat is less than three years; an indoors-only cat gets to live an average of 15 to 18 years. If kitty needs to heed the call of the wild, an outdoor cat enclosure is a good compromise.

  1. Swap out the junk food. Most conventional pet-food brands you find at the supermarket consist of reconstituted animal by-products, otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries–you know, inedibles you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot fork. In fact, the animals used to make many pet foods are classified as “4-D,” which is really a polite way of saying “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)” when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless that can of Chicken ‘N Liver Delite explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption–but apparently good enough for your cat or pooch.

Now, since nutrition is one of the key determinants of health and resistance to disease, ideally you’ll want your pet’s chow to be comparable in quality with what we would eat.

Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients.

  1. Clean up their poop. Scoop up your doggie doo in biodegradable poop bags so your buddy’s No. 2 isn’t immortalized in a plastic bag, while deep-sixed in a landfill somewhere for hundreds of years. Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter at all costs. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay sediment is also permeated with carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement–it’s also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material–it can swell up to15 to18 times their dry size and clog up your cat’s insides. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid these problems; a happy cat is a cat that doesn’t claw your face off.
  2. Give them sustainable goods. Your furry friends can get in on some saving-the-planet goodness, too–and have plenty of fun–with toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (sans herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. A hemp collar (with matching leash) is a rocking accessory for a tree-hugging mutt. These days, you can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles.
  3. Use natural pet-care and cleaning products. You don’t use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos and beauty products, so lather up your cats and dogs (or ferrets, rabbits, or hamsters–we don’t judge) with natural pet-care products, as well. And if your cat horks up a hairball, or Fifi doesn’t make it all the way to the bathroom, clean up the mess with cleaning products that are as gentle on the planet as they are on your critters’ delicate senses.
  4. Pets, not fads. Sure, everyone’s ovaries ping when they see a five-year-old moppet cradle a tiny chick or a bunny during Easter, but nature dictates that baby bunnies grow up into rabbits, and little chicks into full-size chickens. Unless everyone involved understands that a pet is a long-term commitment that involves demands on both their time and money, you’re better off giving the kid a stuffed animal. Impulse buying (say, rushing out an grabbing the next available Dalmatian puppy after watching 101 Dalmatians) isn’t a good idea, either, as the large numbers of fad dogs that pass through shelters (often to their death) can attest. Repeat after us–especially you, Paris Hilton: Pets are not fads or fashion accessories.
  5. Melt the ice, nicely. Use a child- and pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw’s environmentally friendly Ice Melter. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products, which kids and animals might accidentally ingest, can cause health problems, while contaminating wells and drinking supplies.
  6. Tag your pet. It might be a stretch to call inserting an electronic ID chip into your pet an eco-friendly move, but losing your buddy causes extreme emotional distress that turns you into nobody’s friend. Then there’s the paper waste from printing out Missing posters, the fuel cost of driving around your neighborhood trying to find them, the phone bill as you bawl your eyes out to everyone you know … well, you get the idea. Ask your vet for more info. For hanging tags, check out these recyclable (and recycled) aluminum ID tags and these WaggTaggs made from recycled silver.
  7. Compost their poop. American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it’s going, according to Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world’s leading authorities on waste reduction and composting.

Most of our pets’ poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it’s embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches. You can compost the poop–just don’t use it with your vegetable garden, because the compost doesn’t heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli., which could contaminate your homegrown produce and land up in your (very unhappy) belly.If you have room in your backyard, you can bury an old garbage bin (note: far away from your vegetable garden) to use as a pet-waste composter. Or check out the Doggie Dooley. The makers of the Doggy Dooley also sell an enzymatic “Super Digester Concentrate” for your backyard pet septic system.

  1. Be a pet chef. If you want to know exactly what is going into your furball’s food dish, or your pet suffers from allergies, you can always make your own puppy (or kitty) chow. If the idea of becoming a fulltime pet chef is just crazy talk, making the occasional meal or treat is completely doable. Those broccoli stalks left over from your last stirfry also make some tasty morsels for your pup.
  2. Get crafty. Your cat will love you forever if you grow your own organic catnip or cat grass. Scrap yarn and fabric you might otherwise toss can also easily be transformed into pet toys with some basic crafty know-how. And they wouldn’t have had to be trucked thousands of miles just to get drooled on.
  3. Get ticks off. While you don’t want to douse your pet in toxins, it is also important to keep the bugs in check. Pets can carry ticks, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease, a serious and poorly understood disease that attacks the nervous system. If you live in an area where Lyme Disease is a risk, be very cautious and seek sound advice on keeping ticks off you and your furry friends.
  4. Offset your pet. Maybe Scruffy will only drink water from an electric-powered water fountain, or perhaps you have a self-cleaning litter box from before you went green–we all have corpses buried in our backyards. Why not purchase green tags, otherwise known as renewable energy credits, to offset your pets’ carbon emissions. Heck, buy ’em for the whole family so no one feels left out. Or better yet, check if your state sells green power so you and your furry compatriots can go carbon neutral.

Green Living In Palm Beach Gardens

Green Living & Cleaning Tips for Palm Beach Gardens

25 Ways to Clean with Vinegar

The cleaning aisle at just about any grocery store is stocked with a dizzying array of options-and when it comes down to it, there are a lot of expensive, toxic, superfluous products crowding the market. Chances are, you already have one of the best, all-purpose cleaning agents in your pantry: white vinegar. As noted earlier, vinegar actually works as a great laundry booster, stripping away the chemical build-up that detergent leaves behind (and gets rid of clingy odors in the process). And beyond that, there are tons of other applications for the stuff around your home. Here, from and, 25 ideas for making the most of vinegar:

  1. Deodorize the sink: Pour 1 cup baking soda, followed by 1 cup hot vinegar, down the drain. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
  2. Deodorize the garbage disposal: Make ice cubes out of vinegar. Run the disposal with a few vinegar ice cubes and cold water.
  3. Clean countertops: Wipe down surfaces with a rag dipped in vinegar.
  4. Clean the fridge: Use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
  5. Remove soap build-up and odors from the dishwasher: Once a month, pour 1 cup of vinegar into an empty dishwasher and run the machine through its entire cycle.
  6. Bust oven grease: If you’ve got grease spots on the oven door, pour some vinegar directly on the stains, let it sit for 15 minutes, and wipe away with a sponge.
  7. To make old glassware sparkle: To get rid of the cloudy effect, wrap a vinegar-soaked towel around the glass and let it sit. Remove and rinse with hot water.
  8. Get rid of lime deposits on your tea kettle: Fill the kettle with vinegar and let it boil. Allow it to cool, and rinse with water.
  9. Remove stains in coffee cups: Create a paste using of equal parts vinegar and salt (or in lieu of salt, baking soda) and scrub gently before rinsing.
  10. Treat Tupperware stains (and stinkiness): Wipe the containers with a vinegar-saturated cloth.
  11. Remove stains on aluminum pots: Boil 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water.
  12. Deter ant infestations: Spray outside doorways and windowsills, and anywhere you see a trail of critters.
  13. Clean can openers: Scrub the wheel of your can opener with vinegar using an old toothbrush.
  14. Remove stickers or labels: Cover the sticker with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Let it sit overnight-it should slide right off by morning.
  15. Shine porcelain sinks: A bit of vinegar and a good scrub should leave them sparkling.
  16. Clean grout: Pour on some vinegar, let it hang out for a few minutes, and buff with an old toothbrush.
  17. Clean the shower door: Spray them down with vinegar pre-shower, or post (after you’ve squeegeed the glass) to remove hard water deposits.
  18. Clean a grimy showerhead: To get rid of scum, fill a Ziploc with ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for an hour, until the bubbling has stopped. Remove the bag and run the shower.
  19. Make a toilet sparkle: Pour in a cup or two of vinegar and let it sit there overnight before scrubbing with a toilet brush.
  20. Polish linoleum floors: Add 1 cup of vinegar for every gallon of water you use to wash the floor.
  21. Clean paintbrushes: Soak paintbrushes for an hour before simmering them on the stove to remove hardened paint. Drain and rinse.
  22. Clean grills: Spray vinegar on a ball of tin foil, then use it to give the grate a firm scrub.
  23. Disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe down wood boards with a wash of vinegar.
  24. Clean the microwave: Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups water and ½ cup vinegar. Heat it on full power for 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Keep the door closed for a few minutes longer to let the steam fill the microwave, loosening the grime. Remove the bowl (carefully!) and wipe down interior walls with a sponge.
  25. Polish patent leather accessories: Give them a rub with a vinegar-soaked cloth. Buff with a dry cloth.

5 Ways to Green Your Workout

Did you ever stop to think how your workout could have an impact on the environment? Well, it can.

Thankfully there are several ways we can lessen our eco-impact, while keeping our workout routine intact.1. Bring a reusable bottle – Break your disposable bottle water habit and switch to a reusable water bottle. Breaking the plastic disposable bottled water habit reduces the use of fossil fuels and toxic greenhouse gases that come from manufacturing plastic bottles. By using a reusable water bottle you are also helping reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, sitting for years while they try unsuccessfully to decompose.2. Use the great outdoors – There’s nothing greener than the great outdoors! There are so many opportunities: running, walking, hiking, rock climbing, skiing and more! The best news- the great outdoors is almost always available. What a great way to explore a new city or country.3. Walk or bike to the gym – Set aside a few extra minutes each day and walk or bike to the gym. You’ll be getting extra exercise, lowering your fuel expenses and cutting down on the amount of emissions released from driving your car. Why not commit to walking or biking whenever you can?4. Bring your own towel – If you belong to one of those gyms that has a towel service, think twice next time you reach for those warm, white towels. Many times the towels are washed in harsh detergents, bleaches, and disinfectants. Bring your own towel and you will be saving water and protecting yourself from potential toxins.5. Recycle your shoes – Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling, transforming them into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces as well as select Nike products. They accept all brands of worn-out athletic shoes – ones that would otherwise go to a landfill – and turn them into something new, like tracks and playgrounds. You can either drop off your shoes or mail them into a facility.


18 Handy Lemon Tips

Lemons – the versatile fruit

Lemons – a fruit with a wonderful fragrance, great in food and beverages, but also very handy for multiple purposes around the home!

Lemons have been cultivated by humans for over a thousand years. The fruit is mentioned in tenth century Arabic literature, but was probably first grown in Assam, India.

Lemons are high in vitamin C, have an anti-bacterial effect and are thought to possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The juice consists of about 5% acid, which also makes them useful for a variety of household purposes. Lemons and/or lemon juice are a popular addition in environmentally friendly cleaning applications.

Selecting and storing lemons

The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.

Juicing lemons

To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.

There’s so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here’s a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.

  1. Ant deterrent – Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.
  2. Air freshener – An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.
  3. All purpose cleaner – Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first). A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.
  4. Microwave – Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors will be neutralized.
  5. Fridge – Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.
  6. Chrome/copper/brass – Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  7. Toilet – Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!
  8. Lime scale – Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.
  9. Laundry – For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to your washing machine’s rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry. A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.
  10. Dishes – A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power
  11. Drains – Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems. If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it’s working in order to keep it smelling fresh.
  12. Chopping boards – Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.
  13. Glass and mirrors – 4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.
  14. Degreaser – Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser.
  15. Furniture – 2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!
  16. Hair – To lighten hair, dampen it with lemon juice and sit out in the sun for an hour. This does work, I tried it myself. Hey, it was the 80’s! I’ve read that the juice of a lemon mixed with one cup warm water makes for a great hair conditioner. It should be allowed to stay in your hair for a few minutes then washed off. Exercise caution if you have a sensitive scalp.
  17. Cuts, stings and itches – A small amount of lemon juice dripped onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.
  18. Hands – The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap – rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

Isn’t it incredible how we have so many environmentally harsh cleaning chemicals in our homes when nature already offers most of what we need! Have some helpful hints for using lemons in and around the home? Please add them as a comment below!

Non-Toxic Bug Repellents

Controlling bugs in your home does not mean you have to reach for a can of chemicals. Some of which can be toxic. The alternative is using natural products you already have in your kitchen.

Ants hate vinegar. Spray full strength distilled white vinegar along windows, doors, and crevices in your countertops. In the kitchen, a small dish of white vinegar with a drop of dish soap will also get rid of fruit flies.

If you have a cockroach problem, you can make your own killer mixture. Combine equal amounts of borax and sugar and apply it where you’ve seen roaches. Just be sure to keep the mixture AWAY from pets and children.

Moths can destroy your favorite sweater. Moth balls are poisonous and they look like candy to your kids and pets so steer clear of these. The aroma of cedar, lavender or mint will keep moths away.

When you choose natural pest solutions you are doing your part to keep harmful chemicals out of your home and the environment. And you’re reducing waste and saving money too.


Palm Beach Gardens Steam Cleaning

Vapor Steamer Technology VS. Mops and Buckets

CLEAN EXTREMEPRO uses Unique High Temperature Steamers to clean with, not chemicals.

(These are not available in Retail Stores)

CLEAN EXTREMEPRO HyperCleaning steamers convert ordinary tap water into low moisture Vapor Steam. Using Vapor Steam is easier, faster and certainly safer than other cleaning methods. Our steamers reach temperatures between 310 to 356 degrees. These high temperatures are needed to kill nearly 99% of germs and bacteria on contact.

Vapor steam is non-toxic. Traditional mop and bucket style cleaning use chemicals that are often toxic and harmful to families, children and pets who touch chemically cleaned surfaces and breathe chemical fumes.

Vapor Steam Technology vs Traditional Mops and Buckets:

  • Steam cleaning uses no chemicals to clean and sanitize.
    • Mops and buckets typically use water with a chemical cleaner added.
  • Steam is non-toxic
    • Chemical cleaners are known as Bio-Hazards. They come with warnings to wear gloves, do not ingest, etc. Breathing fumes put the chemicals into your lungs and directly into your blood stream. Touching the chemical residue after chemical cleaning cause’s residue to be absorbed into your skin.
  • CLEAN EXTREMEPRO Technicians change the microfiber cloths used in steam cleaning several times during a routine clean to prevent cross contamination.
    • Mops are commonly used over and over again without being changed or cleaned, and can
    • thus cause cross contamination.
  • Steam temperatures that reach between 310 to 356 degrees kill 99% of germs, bacteria and mold (on non-porous surfaces) on contact.
    • Most chemical cleaners must remain wet on surfaces (could be up to 10 minutes) and
    • cannot claim to be as effective germ killers on contact.
  • Steam leaves no odors after use.
    • Chemicals used in buckets leave an odor that many people recognize as clean, but you are actually breathing chemical fumes into your lungs.
    • A clean room should have no smells
  • High temperatures have been shown to be effective in combating mold, bacteria, germs, and other contaminants on contact.
    • Most chemical cleaners cannot claim to be as effective on contact.
  • Steam is frequently used in hypoallergenic environments because there is no need for chemicals.
  • High temperature steam has long been used in commercial cleaning to remove grease and other difficult to remove substances from machinery.

CLEAN EXTREMEPRO uses High Temperature Vapor Steam to clean:

  • Entire bathrooms; floors, fixtures, sinks, baths, showers, glass etc.
  • Entire kitchens including; floors, cabinet faces; counter tops; appliance exteriors and interiors.
  • All hard flooring. (Porous materials like wood must be sealed).
  • Garage floors.
  • Tables, desks cabinets etc.
  • Light switches.
  • A/C vents.
  • Trash cans.
  • Grout
  • Any other hard surfaces.

How effective are Steamer Cleaners sold in retail stores?

Almost all steam cleaning is effective at removing dust, dirt, and debris. The 2 big differences between CLEAN EXTREMEPRO’s steamers and R Store steamers are:

  • Effectiveness at killing germs and bacteria on contact.
  • The wetness/dryness of the steam.
  • Retail Store Steam Cleaners:
  • Mostly reach temperature between 210 to 240 degrees F. which is not hot enough to kill 99% of germs and bacteria on contact.
  • At 240 degrees or less, the steamer must remain in 1 spot for 10 to 20 seconds in order to be effective in killing germs and bacteria.
  • Since it takes 10 to 20 seconds to kill 99% of germs and bacteria, you can imagine how long it would take to sanitize all the hard surfaces in your home or business; hard floors, bathrooms, kitchens etc.
  • Because of the low temperature, they leave a lot of water on surfaces. This may cause streak marks to be left on surfaces that must be polished in order to look clean.
  • Compare these facts with CLEAN EXTREMEPRO steamers that run between 310 and 356 degrees and produce a dry Vapor that is highly effective in killing germs and bacteria on contact.

We call the use of Mops, Buckets and Retail Store steamers and other chemical based products “cleaning for appearance”. Many people say if a room looks clean and smells like my favorite chemical cleaner, there-fore it must be clean. CLEAN EXTREMEPRO HyperCleaning has higher standards of what a clean room is. We call it “HyperClean”. We clean to remove the maximum amount of contaminants and chemical residues from surfaces for a safer environment for your home or business. Using High Temperature Vapor Steam Technology is a major part of our process.

Brief History of Steam:

  • The year 75 AD is the first known record of any mention of steam technology. A mathematician named Hero (aka Heros, aka Heron) wrote 3 books on mechanics and the properties of air, and presented plans for a simple steam engine.
  • 1679 we saw the first application of his plan in the form of what we would call a pressure cooker.
  • More advances continued with steam being used for pumps, engines for manufacturing, and some cleaning applications.
  • Historians debate that between 1672 and 1769 the first steam powered railway locomotive was invented.
  • 1763 saw the invention of steam used to power boats.
  • In the 1830’s steam was first used to drive turbines which is still the basis for much of today’s electricity supplies.

Steamers for smaller applications like home and businesses use soon followed.

New Articles Coming Soon.

Check back for new articles.

Home Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers

For allergy sufferers in Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and Jupiter, keeping a clean home can reduce allergens, but some cleaning products can actually trigger allergy-like symptoms.

People with allergies should make house chores part of their allergy management plans. Cleaning reduces the amount of allergens (substances you are allergic to) in your home, which can help alleviate your allergy symptoms. If you are able, look for a professional cleaning service with expertise in cleaning with steam and or other non-toxic, allergy safe products.

But be careful that your cleaning efforts don’t backfire, since many cleaning products can cause allergy-like symptoms for some.

Cleaning products don’t cause allergies, however using the wrong cleaning product can act as trigger.
Symptoms of Allergy Irritation

Symptoms of irritation that can be caused by cleaning products include:

Itchy, watery eyes
Asthma attack, wheezing
Skin rash

Who Should Clean?

The best way to avoid irritation from cleaning products is to have someone in the household who does not have allergies do the cleaning. Even the act of cleaning, especially doing things like sweeping, can trigger an allergic reaction, because it stirs up dust and other allergens. Use a professional housekeeping and maid service whenever possible. According to Bryan Akner, president of Clean Extreme Pro of Palm Beach Gardens Florida, it may be best in extreme cases to have the allergy sufferer to leave the house during the cleaning process, especially while vacuum cleaning if the home is not equipped with a central vacuum cleaning system which evacuates 100% of dust and odors from living areas.

However, if you suffer from allergies and must do the cleaning in your home, it can help to use products that are less likely to cause allergy symptoms.

First, a word or two on what not to use.
Home Cleaning: Products to Avoid

It’s best to avoid using cleaning products that contain harsh, potentially irritating chemicals. Common home cleaning chemical ingredients that can be irritating include:

Sodium lauryl sulphate
Sodium hypochlorite

These chemicals are found in many cleaning products, including:

Furniture polish
Mildew removers
Dish detergents
Dish soaps
Laundry detergents
Fabric softeners
All-purpose cleaners
Drain, oven, and glass cleaners

Learn to read labels and stay away from cleaning agents that have these ingredients.
Products to Use for Home Cleaning

For allergy sufferers, the best types of cleaning products are those that are non-toxic. “Green” cleaning products can be better for those with allergies, but read the labels carefully, as some of these products still contain irritating substances.
Proper housekeeping can reduce allergens, but some cleaning products can actually trigger allergy-like symptoms.

“If your not using a professional cleaning service the bottom line is that baking soda and vinegar can get just about anything cleaned, in different concentrations for different uses,” says Bryan Akner of Clean Extreme Pro. “You can use white vinegar and baking soda almost anywhere, really, and it doesn’t have that ‘off’ odor that a lot of cleaning supplies have.” But, warns Akner, “You never mix bleach with vinegar or bleach with ammonia.” Of course a professional housekeeping and maid service has access to more efficient non-toxic and allergy friendly cleaning products as well as the top choice of allergists, steam cleaning.

Ackner suggests:

Vinegar and salt for a surface cleaner
Baking soda and water to clean baby bottles
Baking soda on carpeting to remove scents or odors
Olive oil or lemon juice with vegetable oil for furniture care

Tips to Reduce Allergens at Home

There is really no way to completely eliminate allergens in your home, Akner says, so try not to obsess.

That said, allergy sufferers can benefit from regular home cleaning to reduce indoor allergens, including molds, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and cockroach droppings.

Here are cleaning tasks you may want to add to your regular routine:

Reducing dust-collecting clutter
Regularly vacuuming carpeted floors with a double-bag or HEPA filter vacuum
Regularly washing blankets and throw rugs
Washing all bed linens in hot water every week
Keeping counter surfaces clean and dry
Not leaving food around, and storing food in sealed containers

Taking a few simple steps to keep dust to a minimum, preventing molds from growing, and controlling cockroaches and other pests may help minimize your allergy symptoms.

If you live in the North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens or Jupiter Florida or surrounding areas, get in touch with Clean Extreme Pro for the very best in housekeeping and maid services for allergy sufferers.

How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops

What’s the best way to clean granite counter tops? Bryan Akner, president of Clean Extreme Pros housekeeping and maid service of Palm Beach Gardens Florida says he hears a lot of varying views on this — use Windex! No, never use Windex! Use a special granite-only cleaner! No, you don’t need a special granite-only cleaner! — but after doing our research, we think we’ve discovered a consensus among stone experts on how to care for granite. The best part? You really don’t need any special cleaners to get those counter tops shiny and streak-free.


The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Granite

DO: Make sure your granite counter top is sealed. While granite is a very hard surface and less porous than marble, unsealed or weakly sealed granite will soak up oils, spills, and stains. To check whether your granite is sealed, leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal. If after a few minutes the water has soaked into the granite, then it’s time to reseal the stone.

DON’T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.

DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.

DO: Use warm water, a mild or gentle dish soap, and a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth for daily wipe downs.

What About Disinfecting?

A well-sealed granite counter top is relatively impervious to bacteria. Hot water and dish soap should be adequate for daily sanitizing. However, if a stronger disinfectant is desired, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.

And then there is the Clean Extreme Pro’s favorite method of using a commercial grade steam cleaner. Super-heating the granite counter top with nothing but pure steam and a clean micro-fiber cloth is not only safe for the granite, its also a great way to clean if there is anyone that is chemically sensitive in the home according to Mr. Akner.

What About Special Granite-Safe Cleaners?

There are granite cleaners out there, like this one from Method and this one from Granite Gold. Some all-purpose surface cleaners also specify that they’re safe for granite. Use these cleaners if you want — just know that you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to. The cleaning tutorial below will work just fine!


All you need to clean granite counter tops are warm water, mild or gentle dish soap, a dish cloth, clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel, and 91% Isopropyl alcohol (optional).
How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops

What You Need

Warm water
Mild or gentle dish soap
Dish cloth
Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Isopropyl alcohol (optional)


Wet your dish cloth with warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dish cloth.
Wipe down the granite counter tops. You don’t need us to tell you how to do this part. Just wipe away any spills or crumbs on your counter top!
Dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Dry and buff your granite counter top thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry cloth towel to avoid streaking.
Shine and disinfect with a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. To periodically disinfect your granite counter tops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Enjoy your nice, shiny, clean granite counter tops!