Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gift Ideas for 2013!

It's that time of year again.  We all have Christmas shopping to do for a variety of people.  My list of Norwex gift ideas for 2013 is very similar to last year's (everyone still needs the awesome basics of Norwex) with a few additions from our newly released products.  Want more gift ideas?  Check my website.  The links in the product descriptions below will take you to previous blog posts for the item so you can learn more about the products you're interested in.


#1 - Enviro Cloth:  This is a must have for every home.  You can clean 95+% of your home with this cloth using only water on it.  Not a fan of blue?  It also comes in yellow, green, and red (pink really).
#2 - Window Cloth: Once you remove the grease and grime from your windows, mirrors, faucets, stainless steel appliances, etc, use the Window cloth to dry the surface for a streak free shine.  No really, I'm not kidding.  Check out this post for more info on these first two items.  Want to save some money?  Buy the Basic Package which includes both the Enviro (blue) and Window cloths.

#3 - Dusting Mitt: Use it dry to easily dust all of your surfaces.  Use it damp to clean window screens.  The mitt is microfiber but has a higher pile than the Enviro cloth.  With the mitt on, it is easy to remove dust from even the oddest shaped objects.  And no more sprays that leave residues behind.  Want to save even more money?  Buy the Household Package which includes the Enviro cloth (green), window cloth, and dusting mitt.



#4 - Enviro Wand: Hands down my favorite new product for 2013.  The Enviro Wand gives you a little extra reach when you're dusting.  It also BENDS to make it easy to dust ceiling fans, above cabinets, bookshelves, etc.  If you have a Norwex mop, you can attach the Enviro Wand to the end of the mop handle to get those really high spots.  Several people are getting one of these from me this year!






 #5 - Reusable Sandwich Wrap & Snack Bag: These items are both BPA, Phthalates, PVC, & Lead free!  The reusable sandwich bag keeps your sandwich snug with a Velcro closure and unfolds to make a place mat!  The snack bag is perfect for fruit, veggies, crackers, etc.  It also has a Velcro strip to keep the bag closed. 


#6 - Optic Scarf: Many of us are carrying around at least one screen for part of our day.  This microfiber optic scarf is great for cleaning phone, e-readers, tablets, glasses, and jewelry.  Safe for anti-glare surfaces.  And, it can attach to a purse, backpack or luggage so it's always handy when you need it!

#7 - Body Pack: How about a little pampering for yourself?  Or a friend or family member?  The body pack includes 3 cloths that are great for cleaning your face.  With just water!  How easy is that.  Simply your bedtime routine!  Body packs come in the vintage colors shown, neutral colors (while supplies last), and vibrant colors.


#8 - Naturally Timeless Lip Balm: This paraben-free lip balm includes organic aloe vera, coconut oil, and tea tree oil.  Can your current lip balm claim all that?  Check out the ingredients of your current lip balm.  You may be surprised what you find.  And not in a good way.

#9 - Cleaning Paste: This really should be higher on the list but I got tired of cleaning products at the top of a Christmas list.  While they are awesome cleaning products, it's good to pamper ourselves during the holidays too.  Anyway, this is another must have item for your house.  Excellent for glass top stoves, sinks, soap scum on shower doors and tub, cleaning grout, removing cleaning solution residue from stainless steel appliances, removing rust spots on flatware, and so much more.  I've had my cleaning paste since February, use it at home and at all my parties, and still have 3/4 of it left.  It lasts forever!

#10 - Superior Mop Set: This is one of the most coveted items in our catalog because of it's ease of use and how well it works.  The yellow pad is the superior dry mop pad.  This pad picks up all the fine dust that leaves streaks when you mop.  The blue pad is the wet pad.  Just get it damp with water and clean your floors like they have never been cleaned before.  You use just water so there is no residue left behind for your kids or pets to pick up when they walk across the floor.

#11 - Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent: Filler free, fragrance free, dye free.  It may not be the most conventional gift, but everyone needs it!  If you have an HE machine, you need 1 tsp. of detergent to make your brights bright and your whites white.  With 1 tsp, you will get 276 loads from a bag.  That's $0.08 per load!  This also works in traditional washing machines, you just need a little more.
#12 - Dryer Balls:  Dryer sheets are full of chemicals.  You dry your clothes with them and those chemicals coat your clothing.  Then you put the clothes up against your skin all day.  Your skin is the largest organ you have.  It absorbs all of those chemicals.  Think about how a nicotine patch works...  Norwex dryer balls are softer than other brands so they don't make the clunking noise in your machine.  They tumble with your clothes, lifting and separating so your cloths dry faster, saving you more money!




#13 - Descaler:  This is the product that really caught my husband's attention.  I cleaned our shower doors and our bathroom didn't stink for days afterwards.  This product is great for removing mineral build-up on shower doors, around sink faucets, on sink faucets, around sink drains, or from refrigerator drip trays under the water dispenser.

#14 - Mattress CleanerOur mattresses are full of dust mites.  And what do dust mites do?  They poop.  For many, this poop irritates their throats and this is what causes them to snore.  I've heard many many stories of people who got a better night of sleep thanks to the Mattress Cleaner.  The cleaner is an enzyme based cleaner.  You spray 10-12 sprays on a king size mattress every 3-4 months.  The enzymes eat the dust mites food source (dead skin cells) and poop.  This causes the dust mites to starve.  Then the mattress cleaner goes to work digesting the little bodies leaving you with a clean mattress.  Once the enzymes have done their work, they break down on their own.  Why not give the gift of better sleep!




Need a gift idea for a young person?  Check out these gift ideas!

I've thrown a lot of info at you here.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.  Any of these items can be purchased from my online website: christiesteinbock.norwex.biz
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

UPP - One Tough Laundry Detergent

A few weeks ago I helped my son get his jacket on only to find that it was covered in dirt. 

I'm assuming this happened at school the week before when the weather was cool.  Then it warmed up and we didn't need the jacket so I didn't notice it right away. 

I decided this was a good test for Norwex Ultra Power Plus (UPP) Laundry Detergent.  I didn't pretreat this with anything, just tossed it in the washing machine with 1 tsp of UPP.  Yes, just 1 teaspoon. 

This is what came out of the dryer!  Not a spot of dirt to be found on it.

With an HE machine you need just 1 tsp. of detergent.  That's a cost of just $0.08/load for detergent!  There are not fillers, fragrance, or dyes in it so it is very gentle on sensitive skin.

Check out this post for pictures comparing UPP to a leading brand of "free" detergent.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Leather Shine - Outside Lights

I haven't had the Leather Shine for long but it's now one of my favorites because it makes things look new again!  Let me show you.


We put in several of these lights last year.  When they were new, they were a nice shiny black color.  The sun and rain really took their toll on them.  A couple of them stopped working and needed to be replaced but were going to look so nice and new next to these "old" faded ones.

What to do, what to do...

I thought I'd try the Leather Shine.  I did just the right half of this light and then let it sit for a few weeks.
This is what it looked like three weeks later.  Still pretty darn good!  It was exposed to lots of rain and sun in those three weeks too.
I replaced those that needed replacing and then went to town on the old ones.  Here is one before and then after I put Leather Shine on it.  It looks amazing!  My husband thought I had replaced all of them since they looked so new.  Doesn't he know by now that I don't like spending money to replace things that work?


The Leather Shine is also great on wood that needs some reviving and leather, of course.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Just in case you're still sceptical about Norwex...

Another news story was done about Norwex.  Lab tests were conducted comparing Norwex to a paper towel with a chemical cleaner, and a different microfiber cloth.  Which one do you think removed the most bacteria?  Check it out: http://www.wmctv.com/story/23517214/andy-will-it-work-norwex-antibac-microfiber-cloth?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9343501

You can find the Basic Pack that they mention on my website.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Enviro Wand - Great New Product!

I got the new Enviro Wand last week.  I LOVE it! 

It bends, has microfiber on both sides, and attaches to your mop handle to get to those out of reach places.   Let me show you!


I started in my family room by bending it twice (it made a U shape) so it would slip over my ceiling fan blades to clean the top and both sides.  All at the same time!  Then I could wipe the bottom of the blades with the top of the wand.

This fan is 9-10 feet from the floor.

Then I flattened out one of the bends (so it made an L shape) and cleaned the top of the fan. 


Next I flattened it out and wiped around the corners at the ceiling to remove the cobwebs that like to form there.


With the Enviro Wand still flattened, I wiped this air return vent.  These always have dust and dirt on them.


I finally finished in my family room by bending it again and dusting the top of the bookshelf.  I then did the same to the top of my kitchen cabinets. 

I have cleaned all these things that are way above my head and my feet have yet to leave the floor.  No need to lug a ladder or step stool with me!

I ended my cleaning by putting a bend in the wand and cleaning the sill of this second story entry window. 



How do you clean the Enviro Wand?  The sleeve slips off so you can toss it in the washing machine like you would the rest of your microfiber!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Video of the Basics: Butter and Chicken Demo

I created a video that I could use for facebook parties.  It covers the basics of the microfiber.  I also smear butter on a window for a demo and show how the Enviro Cloth removes everything from the surface using raw chicken and protein swabs.
You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chpUCwNnWmA

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Scented laundry products release carcinogens, study finds

CBSNews did a story about the dangers of scented laundry products.  It is by no means a comprehensive study but does make you think about what you're using to clean your cloths.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20097302-10391704.html

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spirinette - Messy Pan

I like to make bacon in the oven.  It doesn't make much of a mess.  My husband has decided he really likes bacon best when it's pan fried.  So, for his birthday, I pan friend some bacon and ended up with this mess.

Since I could only fry 4 or 5 pieces at a time, I had keep removing the cooked strips and adding in raw strips so much of this got to cook on for quite come time.

Now, how do I clean this? 
Well, I started with the dish cloth and dishwashing liquid.  I did half the pan with that and it came out great, it just too a little extra scrubbing.  Then I thought: what about the spirinett?  I have a customer who LOVES these for all sorts of cleaning projects (she just ordered 15 of them because her friends keep asking her for some).  So, I got out my spirinett , got it wet, put a dab of dishwashing liquid on it and went to town. 


Voila!  Clean!  It was easy to clean the pan with the spirinett.  Just a few swipes and I was done.

A product similar to the spirinett is the Might Mesh Pot Scrubber.  This is a spirinett with a handle. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Product Videos!


Go to this link to find a page containing a list of all the new products along with a quick video showing them in action!

Need more cleaning solutions?  Check out this post that lists each room in the house with links to common & not so common cleaning issues.  The links will take you to a post about how to fix that problem area.



Monday, August 5, 2013

New Products - Flipbook!

Here is the flip book with the new products so you can see some pictures and a description of the items!
http://media.norwexcs.com/Flipbook/USA_2013_Fall_Catalog/#2

I'll be posting more info as I come across it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Products 2013

The new products were announced today at conference!  Here is a list of them.  I did not attend conference this year and just got back from visiting family so I will be getting myself up to speed this coming week and posting more about them.

1. Envirowand with Two Sided Sleeve -  The Envirowand is bendable and easy to use. It has a removable, washable chenille microfiber sleeve and and can easily attach to the mops telescopic handle to clean hard to reach areas!

2. Out to Lunch Sandwich Wrap - This reusable sandwich "bag" is made of recyclable plastic that is BPE, DEHA, phthalates, PVC & lead free.  The wrap unfolds to make a great placemat for your sandwich!  (I'm really excited about this.  I think it will work great for school lunches!)
3. Optic Scarf - This scarf is made of ultra-fine microfiber that can be used to polish glasses, electronics & jewelry. Safe for anti-glare surfaces such as glasses, computer screens, phones, TV's & iPads. Clips to your bag or purse for easily access!
4. Timeless Natural Hand Cleaner - 99.8% organic.  This is a wonderful, SAFE alternative to hand sanitizers. No alcohol or triclosan! A perfect purse size container!
5. Scrubby Corner Cloth - Microfiber cloth with a scrubby corner pocket that you can stick your fingers in to scrub those really stubborn spots.
6. Ergonomic Toilet Brush and Holder - Makes cleaning under the rim easy and no holes where bacteria can live.  Use with Blue Diamond or descaler for a non-toxic way to get your toilet clean.
7. Kids Silver Care Toothbrush - Antibac head made for kids' mouths and it comes in 4 colors!
8. Timeless Relaxation Rescue Gel - This is a roller-ball application that combines aromatherapy with skin-tingling sensation to melt away stress and tension. 99.8% of ingredients are from natural origin. Free of alcohol, triclosan, and more. Travel sized to fit in your purse, desk or car!
9. New colors of kitchen cloths & towels!  Latte, Graphite, and Sea Mist.
10. Fluff and Tumble Dryer Balls -  A naturally biodegradable and sustainable alternative to our current dryer balls. Made from 100% New Zealand wool.  These dryer balls will reduce static, wrinkles and lessen drying time. They also have a 2 year warranty! Use with essential oils for a clean smell.

Don't forget to check back this coming week for more details & pictures of these great new products!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cleaning Solution Guide - Find Your Problem Here with a Link to the Solution!

This is a Table of Contents of all my blog posts to help you find the solution you need to all your cleaning dilemmas.

Basics
What is Norwex?
Microfiber  - 1/200th the size of human hair!
Video - Butter on Window and Chicken Juice Demos

General House Cleaning
Windows
--More window cleaning
Window screens
Floors
Tile floors
Spots in the carpet
--Cat yack on carpet
--Cleaning cat yack with water and Enviro Cloth
--More spots in the carpet
Spotbot
Dusting 
Dusting with the Enviro Wand
Pet hair on furniture 
Leather Shine on Metal
Ink on microfiber couch
Stains on cloth furniture
Marks on walls
Tarnished silver
Kid messes

Kitchen
Counters, sink, cabinets...
Glass top stove
--More glass stove top pictures
Kitchen sink
Mineral build-up from hard water
--Hard water mineral build-up from drain
Stainless steel appliances
Oven
Oven racks
Pots and pans
Fridge drip tray - Hard water build up
Rust spots on silverware
Grout using Cleaning Paste
 --Grout - Using Mattress Cleaner
Sink - Hard water mineral build-up
Corian sink
Gunk on faucet 
Floors
Tile floors
Dishes
Fruits and vegetables
Drain care

Bathroom
Counters, cabinets, tubs, sinks...
Bathtub - Soap scum, scratches
Bathtub - Hard water mineral build-up
Mirrors
Toilet
Shower door - Hard water mineral build-up
Rust on sink
All purpose bathroom cleaner
Grout - Using Cleaning Paste
--Grout - Using Mattress Cleaner
Sink - Hard water mineral build-up
--Drain - Hard water mineral build-up
Faucet gunk
Floors
Tile floors

Bedroom
Dust mites in mattresses and pillows

Laundry
Fill free, dye free, fragrance free laundry detergent
--1 bag lasted 8 months! 
Dirty jacket
Spots in clothing
--Cherry juice on shorts
Washing net
Sorting kids clothes

Personal Care
Cleaning your face
Crystal deodorant
--7 months later
--Care update
--3 generations using it
Mosquito bites
Hot feet
Tired legs

Car
Kid messes in the car

General Product Information
Micro-silver vs. nano-silver
WKOW news story - Does Norwex Really Work?
Cleaning Paste lasts a very long time
Caring for your Norwex microfiber
New products 2012
--New product Youtube videos
What are enzymes?
We're in Contact with Uncontrolled Chemicals article
Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested? article

Miscellaneous
Getting rid of old chemicals
A Challenge - Read the label of your favorite household cleaners 
CBSNews - Scented laundry products release carcinogens, study finds
USAToday - Pregnant Women Rife with Chemicals article 
ABC - Fresno, CA: Green Cleaning Buisness Booming
Did you know...  (interesting facts about cleaning chemicals)
Did you know... (part 2)
What Toxic Chemicals is Your Body Absorbing article
I cleaned the house without chemicals!

Gift Ideas
Top 10 Norwex gift ideas
Gift ideas for kids and babies
Stocking stuffer ideas - 2012

Hosting a Party
What can you expect to get for FREE?
Bridal showers

Becoming a Consultant
Launch Party loot!
The Fresh Start program to earn more FREE stuff to get you going!
Qualifying 
Business opportunity details
Conference 2012
Planet Green Team is #1!
Promotion - Team Coordinator
Conference 2013 - New products coming soon!

My Business
Relay for Life donation
Now shipping from Texas!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Timeles Aloe Vera Leg Cream: Hot Feet

I'll warn you, this is a fairly random use for the Timeless Aloe Vera Leg Cream but my husband has come to love it.  My husband's feet are always HOT.  It can be the middle of winter and he'll have a pile of blankets on him but his feet will be sticking out and he'll be complaining that they're hot.
 
I recently had the idea to have him use the Timeless Aloe Vera Leg Cream on his feet.  It has menthol in it so it creates a cooling sensation.  I think this feels great on my legs after I've been on my feet all day.  He thinks it feels great on his hot feet at night.  He even travels with it now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Conference 2013 - New Products Coming Soon!

Norwex's annual US conference is the first weekend in August.  On August 3rd, at conference, the new products for the year will be announced!  Check back the first full week in August to see which new Norwex products you can't live without.  Until then, see if this picture gives you any ideas.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crystal Deodorant: Mosquito Bites

Did you know that Norwex Crystal Deodorant isn't just for stinky underarm pitties?  You can also use it to relive the itch caused by mosquito bites.  Yes, you heard me right.  I had heard this over the winter and finally had ample opportunities to test it this past week.

We went camping last weekend.  I HATE bug spray so I was trying something else to keep the mosquitoes away.  I would say it worked on the upper half of me but my legs and feet were not so fortunate.  I itched most of the way home.  Once I unpacked and found my Norwex Crystal Deodorant, I got it wet and started rubbing it on all of my mosquito bites.  It takes a minute or two for it to start working, but when it does, it feels so wonderful because the itching ceases.  I would say it lasts for a good 6-8 hrs. and then you need to reapply.

Here are some additional posts regarding the crystal deodorant:
Crystal Deodorant
Crystal Deodorant - 7 Months Later

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Norwex: Now Shipping from Texas!

I never mentioned that Norwex opened a new distribution center in Texas in May.  Our products no longer have to go through customs to get to us!  Shipping has been very fast.  I placed an order mid afternoon on Friday and it arrived this morning (Wednesday).  Less than a week!  Norwex has had such amazing growth in the US, that a distribution center became necessary to sustain such tremendous growth.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Enviro Cloth - Kid Messes in the Car

I have kids.  They make messes.  This one is particularly photogenic.

I have no idea what that goo on the door is.  I'm sure it's a concoction of things since I haven't cleaned my car in months.


I got an Enviro cloth wet (with just water) and wiped it clean.

Don't believe me that this cloth is so wonderful?  We'll you don't have to.  WKOW, in Madison, WI put Norwex to the test and did a story about their findings.  Watch this short news story: http://www.wkow.com/story/22164393/2013/05/05/norwex

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Enviro Cloth - Cat Vomit in Carpet

I'm sure I've blogged about using an Enviro Cloth to clean spots in the carpet but, it never hurts to write another post about how amazing the Enviro Cloth is.

Do you know what color my carpet is going to be when we have to replace this light colored stuff?  Cat vomit brown.  I'm only sorta joking about that. 

Last week, one of my cats likely ate something he shouldn't have which caused 15 hours of vomiting.
 
Instead of reaching for the Carpet Stain Buster, I thought I'd just try an Enviro Cloth that was wet with water.  Yes, just water.  If you haven't read about this amazing cloth, you need to read this post.
It took a little extra elbow grease than if I had sprayed the spot with Carpet Stain Buster first, but it worked and wasn't that much extra effort!  And I used just WATER!

Carpet Stain Buster in a Spotbot

I have two cats.  They tend to vomit.  Last week, one of them had some issue (probably ate something he shouldn't have) and vomited for 15 hours.
Gross.  I bought a Spotbot from a friend a few months ago.  I decided to try the Carpet Stain Buster in it.

I poured 1-2 capfuls into the tank and then filled it the rest of the way with water.
The result?  Easier & cheaper carpet cleaning!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Relay for Life - Commission Donation

First, a huge THANK YOU to all of the people who made this post possible.  All of my commission for the month of May was donated to my mom for her Relay for Life walk.  Donations of $150+ receive a giant luminary to decorate as they chose.  Here is what I did with mine.

Unfortunately there are also names on the side.  And the name of a friend who is under 40 battling breast cancer had to be added since this was made (go get a mammogram, it can happen to anyone).  Just too many names.

I am so thankful that my mom is a survivor and able to organize a great group of women to support a great cause.

My dad is also on this box.  He recently finished treatments for prostate cancer and his PSA level is now back where it should be.  Yay!  You will also see some other close family members listed.  This is a cause I hold near and dear to my heart so from now on, I will be donating 25% of my Norwex commission to help fight cancer.  I think Norwex products themselves are a tool for reducing instances of cancer in the future by eliminating the need for nasty chemicals.

If you are ever interested in ordering, you can visit my website here.




Monday, June 10, 2013

Crystal Deodorant - 3 Generations Using It

Last week, my mom and I traveled to visit my grandma for a few days.  The next morning, this is what I found on the bathroom counter.
That would be my grandma's Norwex crystal deodorant, my mom's Norwex crystal deodorant, and my Norwex crystal deodorant.

We all started using it last summer.  My grandma obviously doesn't use hers often (she doesn't need to).  My mom has been using hers everyday and is still on her first one.  I am on my second (because I dropped the first).  I am so happy that none of us are no longer putting harmful chemicals under our arms.

Check out my other blog posts regarding the crystal deodorant:
Crystal Deodorant
Crystal Deodorant - 7 Months Later

Friday, June 7, 2013

Crystal Deodorant - Care Update

Shortly after my last blog post about the crystal deodorant, I dropped it and it broke.  I could still use it but decided to start over with a new one.  I've cared for this one differently than I did the first one.  Instead of wiping it with my body cloth (which I had used the night before to wash my face) after each use, I just run it under water for a few extra seconds when I'm done using it.  I've had this deodorant for 2 months now and it still doesn't smell like BO like my old one did.  I don't know if the old one was picking up something from my body cloth (which didn't smell) that was causing it to smell or if the chemicals have worked their way out of my system.  I've heard other consultants say their Norwex crystal deodorant smelled when they first started using it but stopped after a couple of months of use.  They believe that the chemicals from their old deodorant were leaching out of their system and once their system was free of them, their deodorant stopped smelling.  I can't confirm this theory but it's an interesting one. 
Another consultant posted this pic earlier today and I thought I'd pass it on.

Check out my other blog posts regarding the crystal deodorant:

Crystal Deodorant
Crystal Deodorant - 7 Months Later

Friday, May 10, 2013

WKOW News Story - Does Norwex Really Work?

TV Station, WKOW, in Madison, WI put Norwex to the test and did a story about their findings.  Now you don't need to take my word for it.  Watch this short news story: http://www.wkow.com/story/22164393/2013/05/05/norwex

The only "issue" the two women, trying the enviro cloth for the first time, had was that they missed the "clean" smell.  If you think about it though, clean doesn't have a smell.  That "clean" smell is really the smell of chemicals.  Did you know that 27 seconds after you smell a chemical, it has entered all of your organs?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

UPP Laundry Detergent: 1 Bag = 8 Months!

This post has been a long time in the making.  On August 21, 2012, I opened a new bag of Norwex Ultra Power Plus (UPP) laundry detergent.

I finally used the rest of it on April 15th, 2013.  Nearly 8 months later!  (I have 2 small children and a husband so this lasted 8 months for a family of 4.)

I have an HE front loader machine so I threw out the scoop that came in the bag and relocated a teaspoon from my kitchen to the laundry room.  I only used one teaspoon of detergent for each load!  That means I got 276 loads from the one bag of detergent.  That's only $0.08 per load!  And I didn't have to lug jugs full of fillers from the store to my laundry room.  Known laundry detergent fillers include wood pulp, animal fats, animal bones, and drywall dust.  I wish I were kidding about that.

I have many customers who use Norwex UPP laundry detergent and love it.  In fact, I had to order 10 bags of it last month for customers who needed and wanted more.

If you want to learn more about Norwex laundry detergent, check out this blog post.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested - NYTimes Article

This article was posted in the NYTimes a few days ago.  If you've been to one of my parties, you've heard me say that 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced in the last 50 years and most of them have never to been tested for their impact on our health or the environment.  Well, this article explains why.  

  Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?

Unlike pharmaceuticals or pesticides, industrial chemicals do not have to be tested before they are put on the market. Under the law regulating chemicals, producers are only rarely required to provide the federal government with the information necessary to assess safety. 

Regulators, doctors, environmentalists and the chemical industry agree that the country’s main chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, needs fixing. It is the only major environmental statute whose core provisions have not been reauthorized or substantively updated since its adoption in the 1970s. They do not agree, however, on who should have to prove that a chemical is safe. 

Currently this burden rests almost entirely on the federal government. Companies have to alert the Environmental Protection Agency before manufacturing or importing new chemicals. But then it is the E.P.A.’s job to review academic or industry data, or use computer modeling, to determine whether a new chemical poses risks. Companies are not required to provide any safety data when they notify the agency about a new chemical, and they rarely do it voluntarily, although the E.P.A. can later request data if it can show there is a potential risk. If the E.P.A. does not take steps to block the new chemical within 90 days or suspend review until a company provides any requested data, the chemical is by default given a green light. 

The law puts federal authorities in a bind. “It’s the worst kind of Catch-22,” said Dr. Richard Denison, senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Under this law, the E.P.A. can’t even require testing to determine whether a risk exists without first showing a risk is likely.”
As a result, the overwhelming majority of chemicals in use today have never been independently tested for safety. 

In its history, the E.P.A. has mandated safety testing for only a small percentage of the 85,000 industrial chemicals available for use today. And once chemicals are in use, the burden on the E.P.A. is so high that it has succeeded in banning or restricting only five substances, and often only in specific applications: polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin, hexavalent chromium, asbestos and chlorofluorocarbons. 

Part of the growing pressure to update federal rules on chemical safety comes from advances in the science of biomonitoring, which tells us more about the chemicals to which we are exposed daily, like the bisphenol A (BPA) in can linings and hard plastics, the flame retardants in couches, the stain-resistant coatings on textiles and the nonylphenols in detergents, shampoos and paints. Hazardous chemicals have become so ubiquitous that scientists now talk about babies being born pre-polluted, sometimes with hundreds of synthetic chemicals showing up in their blood. 

It often takes a crisis to draw attention to how little the government knows about industrial chemicals in circulation. After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, at least two million gallons of chemical dispersants were spread to break up the slick. But federal officials could not say they were safe because minimal testing had been done. 

The current presumption that chemicals are “safe until proven dangerous” stands in marked contrast to how pharmaceuticals and pesticide companies are handled. Companies making these products have to generate extensive data demonstrating the safety of pharmaceuticals or pesticides before they are sold. 

This was not always the case. Pharmaceutical companies used to be able to sell drugs with minimal prior testing, but that changed after a drug called Thalidomide, given in the 1950s to pregnant women for morning sickness, was found to cause severe birth defects the public outcry helped push the medical field to take a precautionary approach to introducing new drugs. 

Federal reform of the toxic substances act may be coming. Last week, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey, and Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York,  introduced a bill called the Safe Chemicals Act of 2013, which would require the chemical industry to demonstrate that a chemical is safe in order for it to be sold. The bill, which has more than 25 Democratic co-sponsors, would put limits on trade secret practices and requires industry to reduce use of the chemicals designated by the E.P.A. as being of “greatest concern” because they are most toxic. 
The bill has strong support from environmentalists but opposition from the chemical industry. It has some similarities to rules that went into effect in the European Union in 2007. 

Rather than adding more regulations, Calvin Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council, said in testimony that the “E.P.A. should take advantage of the massive amounts of data and information that the agency already has access to.” His organization has also argued that the bill risks raising costs, squelching innovation and putting American companies at a competitive disadvantage.
Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, is expected to introduce a competing bill that is likely to win the support of the chemical industry. While details about the bill are sparse, it aims to be less of a burden on industry. It would probably not require prior testing on many chemicals, and it would demand less data of companies than would Mr. Lautenberg’s bill. 

The competing bills may end up splitting the Senate down party lines, which could doom reform altogether. 

In the absence of federal action, more than 20 states have created their own toxic-substances programs to police chemical safety. Many business owners say this trend is creating a confusing patchwork. Health and environmental advocates counter that, pending effective federal reform, these programs are better than nothing at all. 

For now, consumers and companies looking for safer products are largely on their own.
Ian Urbina is an investigative reporter for The New York Times.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Washing Net - Clothing Sorter for Kids

Many of you have probably already thought of this idea, but I hadn't. 

Someone at a recent party told me they know someone who has a washing net for each of their kids.  When their kids take off their socks and underwear, they place them into their designated washing net.  When it's time to do laundry, she collects each of the washing nets, zips them up, throws them in the wash, then dries them.  When laundry is done, sorting all of those little socks and underwear is a snap!

So, I grabbed my Norwex washing net and decided to give it a try.  It has two loops so you can hang it anywhere.  I just put it around a hanger and hung it above my son's laundry hamper.
Here you can see it hung by both loops if that works better for your kids.

I've had several customers comment that they like the Norwex washing net for this nifty feature.  There is a band of elastic that you can tuck the zipper under so the bag doesn't come unzipped or snag your other laundry.

When I'm ready to wash socks and underwear, I just grab the bag, zip it up and throw it in the wash with the rest of our socks and underwear.  Once washed, it all goes in the dryer.  Sorting is now a cinch.  This is going to be a life saver once my two year old is potty trained.  They are close enough in age and size that their underwear is all going to look about the same.  Without this trick, I'd have to check each pair to see whose is whose.  Nightmare averted!

The Norwex washing net is 12" x 17" in size.  It is also great for delicates or keeping your microfiber clothes contained.



Friday, April 5, 2013

Micro Silver vs. Nano Silver

Norwex uses only micro silver in their products.  Micro silver is larger than nano silver and does not leech out of the cloths like nano silver does.  Check out this article for more info on the effects of nano silver in the environment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Crystal Deodorant - 7 Months Later

Some of you may have read my initial post about the Norwex Crystal Deodorant.  Well, it has been 7+ months since I started using it and here is where I'm at with it.

You can see that there is still quite a bit left.  Since I've started using the crystal deodorant, I haven't had to use anything else.  It has worked really well.
My only complaint is the BO smell** that it takes on.   The smell doesn't transfer back to me so I can still use it when it smells like that, but it's not the way I like to start my day.  I bought some coconut oil last week and soaked it in that for a while.  That has helped so far.  I'm not sure yet how often I'll have to do that if I want to keep it odor free.  So, while this is a bit of a pain, I still feel better knowing that this is much better for my body than the alternative.
 **Read this post for a solution to the BO smell!