When you are shopping for your favorite Murchison-Hume cleaning product, you may notice a few ingredients we stay away from, and you may wonder why we choose the ingredients we do and why we stay away from the ones we do. We thought we’d cover a few of these whys and why nots in this week’s article. We believe that it’s important to choose ingredients that are not only effective for the job they do but are healthy to use and healthy to make. Murchison-Hume cleaning products are healthy to use in your home, and the ingredients are chosen with the health of the planet, and it’s many special creatures in mind as well. In this week’s article, we’ll cover a few of the products we avoid when making our plant-based cleaning products.
Say No To Palm Oil
You will see that we do not use palm oil or palm oil derived products in any of our plant-based products. For those of you who do not know, palm oil is an oil that comes from the palm fruit of the African oil palm tree. While this crop is grown in many countries, 85% of it that is used in products in America comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. The problem comes in the practices used to clear land to make room for this crop. Clear cutting of rainforests is something that environmentalists have fought against for decades, and every time one section of the forest is saved, it seems that another one is endangered, and all the diverse animals that depend on the forest. Two remarkable and now endangered animals that are being driven to extinction by this type of clear cutting are the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. This, plus the fact that children are often used as labor on these plantations, are reason enough to say no to palm oil.
At least for the past few decades, there has been increasing awareness of ingredients that are used in common everyday products. While no one can argue that parabens are a highly effective preservative, the mechanisms by which they preserve products is under scrutiny. They are thought to act by penetrating the cellular membrane of bacteria and inhibiting DNA and RNA. Scientists are looking to make sure that parabens are safe, and for ways to make them safer, but for now what has been discovered is that, for instance, when applied to the skin in sunscreen, the UV chemical reaction, in combination with the paraben, can create a DNA change in human skin. There is also a concern with their level of estrogenic activity. Many people are also concerned that parabens may have endocrine interrupting properties and prefer to avoid them until scientists can give firm answers to these questions.
Murchison-Hume works hard to make sure that there is a balance in our products. We products highly effective products that smell great, but that are plant-based and contain no harsh chemicals. If you have not already tried them, do so, and we know you’ll be convinced of how great they are. If you have tried them, then you know how great they are, and we encourage you to give them as gifts for housewarming parties to share the clean green power of Murchison-Hume
When you are in your kitchen making a big, glorious mess while making your family’s favorite dish, the last thing you want to think about is the clean-up job that will have to follow. Even if you are normally good about cleaning as you go, there is often a critical point in food prep where the mess outstrips your good intentions. There are times when you get a flour-and-butter handprint on the stainless-steel refrigerator or spill something sticky on the floor. Whether you are the cook and the cleanup crew or you are switching off duties, one thing is for sure: Murchison-Hume plant-based household cleaning products make the job easy!
Counter Top Care
When you are cooking, the last thing you want to think about is what you can or can’t let touch the surface of the countertop. But this what you’ll have to do if you have unsealed granite or marble. These, and some other types of countertops, are sensitive to certain types of food stains or the level of acid they contain. Granite and marble countertops are very popular at the moment, and they need to be cared for carefully, so they last for decades. There are some basic steps to take when cleaning your kitchen countertops and we’ll go over a few of those this week.
When you spill something, clean it up quickly. soda, coffee, wine, and tomato sauce, for instance, are all acidic, and you don’t want them sitting on your marble counter for a long time, slowly eating away at the sealant. Marble counters need to be resealed regularly. Granite, on the other hand, is susceptible to oily stains. If you get an oily stain on your granite counter, use a mixture of baking soda and water to pull the stain out.
Counter Safe All Purpose Cleaner
Murchison-Hume’s plant-based, environmentally friendly counter cleaner is the perfect thing to grab when you need to clean up a countertop mess. Our cleaner is effective, smells amazing, and contains no toxic chemicals, so you can use it in food preparation areas without worry that you are contaminating the food you are making. It comes in two great scents: Australian White Grapefruit and Original Fig—you’ll love both of them!
Keep It Soft!
Always use a soft cloth or clean sponge to wipe off the mess on the counter. Be sure the sponge is clean so you are not spreading bacteria. If you have dried food on the counter spray a little extra of your counter cleaner on the spot and let it set for a while, then use a spatula, turned over, to scrape it off.
Stainless Steel Countertops
If you are a serious home chef, you might have stainless-steel countertops in your kitchen, and we know you’ll want to keep them clean. Try Murchison-Hume Spit and Polish Stainless Steel Cleaner, and you’ll love the results. Anyone who has a stainless-steel appliance will know the struggle to keep the fingerprints off of them, and with our stainless-steel cleaner, it’s a breeze! This cleaner is also perfect for stainless-steel teapots, trash bins, flatware, bread boxes, canisters, and grills. Even leather, brass, and wood can be cleaned with it! It is gentle, free of harsh chemicals, and smells great!
Shop Murchison-Hume for plant-based household cleaners to keep your kitchen clean and your countertops looking great!
Living intentionally and mindfully is a great way to live. In past blogs, we discussed how to design and declutter your home to enable an intentional lifestyle. This attitude can and should permeate every aspect of your life. This can include choosing eco-friendly products for cleaning your home that are free of harsh chemicals. In our modern world, the word “chemical” has taken on a negative connotation, and that’s just silly because everything is made of chemicals. It’s the harsh chemicals, with unintended consequences, that need to be avoided—not chemicals in general, since everything is made of chemicals. In most cleaning products, you will find lots of synthetic, non-biodegradable substances that are bad for the earth and not safe for people and pets. Murchison-Hume has made the intentional decision to avoid this category of chemicals and stick with eco-friendly ingredients. You may already know that Murchison-Hume cleaning products are plant-based, eco-friendly, and in this week’s blog, we will explore what is not in our cleaning products.
- This is a class of synthetic preservatives commonly found in cosmetics, shampoo, and personal care products. Beginning in the 1950s, parabens have been widely used in many household products. In fact, according to an article in Scientific American, “90 percent of typical grocery items contain measurable amounts of parabens.”
- The dangers that parabens pose are that they “...are known to disrupt hormone function, and effects that are linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.”
- Murchison-Hume doesn’t use parabens as preservatives. Instead, we’ve chosen to use a non-paraben, highly effective, broad-spectrum fungicide and bactericide. This maintains product safety even at the extremely low concentrations (.05%) by preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi.
- Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are used in plastic and vinyl products to increase their flexibility. They are commonly found in soft baby toys, shower curtains, and are used as stabilizers in personal care products that have fragrances including lotions and creams.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics published an article stating that infants exposed to infant care products, specifically baby shampoos, baby lotions, and baby powder, showed increased levels of phthalate metabolites in their urine.
- The dangers of phthalate exposure, while unclear, seems to point to effects associated with endocrine interrupters. Endocrine interrupters have been connected to birth defects that cause cancerous tumors, affect the reproductive organs, and cause developmental disorders.
- Our product packaging is phthalate-free. Our stylish bottles are made of PET, which is a BPA- and phthalate-free material. All our ingredients are also phthalate-free.
- Usually associated with embalming, formaldehyde is also used extensively in household items. You can find this common chemical in wood cabinets, pressed wood, and grocery bags and cosmetics, deodorants, shampoo, and fabric dyes. It is used as a preservative in these products.
- The danger with formaldehyde comes during a process called off-gassing. Products release this colorless but pungent gas, and it is inhaled by people and can cause respiratory irritation. It is also a known carcinogen.
- Murchison-Hume products are all formaldehyde-free.
So what are Murchison-Hume products made from?
- Since we’ve told you what is not in our cleaning and personal care products, it makes sense that you’d wonder what indeed is in our products! We are committed to full disclosure and, we warn you, we can get pretty excited about all the wonderful natural ingredients that go into our eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products.
- Our personal care products are made with shea butter, grape seed oil, chamomile extract, and essential oils. These natural ingredients moisturize without feeling greasy and have a natural, invigorating scent.
- Our cleaning products are also made of eco-friendly products, most being 98% naturally derived. All ingredients are listed on each product page.
- Did you know that, in addition to being eco-friendly and packaged in phthalate- and paraben-free bottles, all our products are also cruelty-free? No products were tested on animals. For this reason, we recommend exercising caution when using and keep all products away from eyes and avoid ingesting it in any way.
We started this blog by talking about living intentionally and for us, this extends to working intentionally on our cleaning and personal care products that are made expressly to be eco-friendly, people and pet safe, and to do the job they are designed for with effectiveness and we love that our products do that while looking and smelling great, too! You can clean your home with plant-based cleaning products knowing you are keeping your family and pets safe from harsh chemicals. Shop for yours today for your own home and don’t forget that a cleaning kit makes a great gift, too!
When you are interested in moving from a messy, cluttered home to an organized minimalist one, you can find that while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. When you find yourself wanting to make the move to a minimalist approach to your home and your life in general, there are several ways to get inspired for large scale clean outs and for everyday habits that will help you stay tidy and organized. In this week’s blog, we’ll take a look at the Japanese inspiration that many people turn to, and we’ll go over a few of our favorite concepts and hope you find them motivational. We are Murchison-Hume, the makers of high-quality plant-based and delicious-smelling home cleaning products that work wonderfully with a minimalist, intentional household.
Japanese Organization and Intentional Living
Even before Marie Kondo took America by storm with her organizational “What sparks your joy?” purging trend, people looked to Japan for ideas for organization, minimalist style and how to live comfortably in small spaces. Marie Kondo has taught us practical ways of applying Japanese simplicity to our lives, bringing time-tested ideas to a modern world. Sorting your possessions into those that bring you joy and those that do not is a healthy way of getting rid of things that weigh you down emotionally and fill up your home with things you don’t need or want. This rejection of an all-consuming consumerism is a refreshing break from the madness of shopping and the need to have it all to be happy. By recognizing and honoring the idea that happiness does not come from a large number of things, but can be sparked by few, precious things, you can reduce your desires for things and it follows your frustration at not being able to have all you see and compulsively want. The roots of this simplicity can be found in Japanese culture and religion. Springing from Japanese cultural touchstones such as Shinto temple rituals and Buddhist concepts of non-attachment, minimalist tidying culture can have deep spiritual meaning and equal rewards. This Buddhist non-attachment is very closely related to the idea of living in the moment and with intention. By turning non-attachment into an exercise that sparks joy, this minimalist trend is a positive, warm spin on what can be seen as cold detachment. Instead of thinking you are purging your things, think that you are setting items you don’t love and use free to be used by someone else and that you are freeing yourself from possessions that don’t make you happy.
Tidy Up that Emotional Baggage
There is more to clutter than meets the eye. According to an article in The New Yorker, Jane Graves says that clutter is about memory, emotion, and sentiment. Clutter can be made up of things that remind us of our past, our loves, and our hurts. All these things reinforce who we are, or at least who we have defined ourselves to be up to this point. Clearing out your clutter can give you the chance to redefine yourself. While you are sorting through possessions, you are also sorting through your life and clearing out emotional baggage, as well as things. The KonMari method offers a way of dealing with both aspects of this cleaning by providing a touch of a ceremony. By holding every item as you go through your things, you can evaluate whether they bring you joy, and if they don’t, you get rid of them. Many of us keep things to remember the good old days and seek to hold on to that happiness by keeping piles of objects associated with that time. But it is possible to minimize the objects and keep just one or two that will do the trick. Or, you can transform the object from clutter to treasure. For instance, a drawer of concert T-shirts can be made into a quilt for a bed. You get an empty drawer and a practical item to keep and treasure. Bins of art projects by your children can be sorted and a few prize pieces pulled out and framed.
Anxiety and Clutter
Another reason people keep things is out of anxiety. If you have half a closet filled with clothes for worst case scenarios, it’s time to clean them out. This could mean clothes for a job you don’t want but might need to take, or a funeral outfit for a relative you are afraid of losing. Fear of loss and anxiety about not being able to replace certain items is a big reason people keep things they don’t need. Children or grandchildren of people who grew up during the Great Depression, or even the recession of the 1970s, will recognize the compulsive thrift that can turn your home into a museum of fear, instead of joy. Facing these ingrained, and sometimes generational, fears and habits can take time, and you may need help from a professional organizer. Clearing out your things can end up giving your not just a clean closet, but enable your to face down issues you may not have known were so powerful in your life. Embracing a minimalist house can give you the cozy home you’ve always wanted and advance your psychological growth.
When you’ve cleaned out a substantial amount of possessions, you will see that every space in your home has the potential for being beautiful and bringing you joy. From the kitchen countertops to the area under your bathroom sink, every place in your home can have an air of beauty. Our plant-based cleaning products are all-natural and free of harsh chemicals. You can get effective kitchen, bathroom, and textile cleaners in a bottle that look good even left on the counter.We design all our products to be refilled and reused and are playing our part in intentional non-accumulation. Try them today and see how great they’ll make your home look and smell and how effectively they clean!
So this year we’re trying to be mindful about all of our lifestyle habits: How we work, what we eat, how much we sleep, how we exercise and of course, a complete overhaul of everything we use on our skin! We just bought the new @goop Clean Beauty book and we have to say, we’re blown away. It’s the very first “beauty” book we’ve seen with a full 360-degree perspective on everything beauty related (including the abovementioned habits). First up: we’re concentrating on eating clean! We’ve already tried a few of the recipes inside and have to admit, they aren’t that bad at all! We’re not saying you’re going to immediately stop craving pizza but honestly, if you can get a few good, clean dishes under your belt, why wouldn’t you? We always start out with the best intentions, but by mid-week (and mid-year), we tend to slide back into our lazy habits and do what’s easiest. The trick is making clean habits the easy option! This book is a first step in the right direction. xx