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Bliss Home Care | How to make a beeswax wrapAt Bliss Home Care Services we are all for finding natural and sustainable ways to make our world and our environment a safer and healthier place to live. One place to start is to make small changes in our home and everyday life. This blog is dedicated to eliminating cling wrap which is harmful to human health and ends up in landfill and in our oceans. We’re going to share how easy it is to make your own reusable bees wax wraps to replace cling wrap.

Bees wax wraps are a safe and healthy alternative to cling wrap and the best part is that it will reduce the waste each home is producing. According to the most recent statistics from National Waste Report, Australia as a nation produces 64 million tons per year. That equates to approx. 2.7 tonnes of waste every year – that’s right 2.7 tonnes of waste in 365 days! Let’s say no to cling wrap and reducing waste.

Why Is Cling Wrap So Bad?

All plastic products are made up of chemicals and there have been many reports and findings over the years that these chemicals seep into our food and drinks and eventually cause many harmful health concerns.

It’s also a non-recyclable product and ends up in landfill or litter in our streets and eventually finds its way into our beautiful oceans, affecting our environment, wildlife and sea life.

What Is A Safe Alternative?

Firstly, say no to cling wrap and replace it with a safer and healthier alternative – bees wax wraps which are reusable and incredibly easy to make at home.

Given that it’s the beginning of the school holidays here in Melbourne, Australia making your own bees wax wraps to replace cling wrap is a great activity to get the kids involved in. They can make their own colourful, bright and reusable bees wax wraps that the whole family can use in 4 easy steps. All you need are 6 items and you have a whole lot of fun ahead of you!

What You Will Need

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place your bees wax bar in an oven proof container and insert into the oven until it’s completed melted. This normally only takes 5-10 minutes. Do not use a microwave to melt the bees wax.

Step 2

Place an old towel or blanket on a flat surface to protect your surface. Cut out squares or circles from your sheets of baking paper and cotton fabric.

You can make a variety of sizes to suit different sized bowls and for sandwiches. Ensure you cut the baking paper a little larger than the fabric for any overflow and drizzles.

Step 3

Dip your brush into the melted wax and paint it onto the fabric squares with a small clean brush or pastry brush. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom to ensure a smooth and even coverage.

Just a small amount of the wax is sufficient, don’t use too much wax on the fabric as this will cause it to crack. Turn the fabric over gently and repeat on the other side.

If you’ve used a thin fabric, the melted bees wax may have seeped through to the other side to coat the entire fabric.

Repeat this process until you’ve used all the beeswax and fabric.

Step 4

Once both sides of the fabric has been evenly coated and you’re happy with the bees wax wrap, lift the corners from the baking paper gently and hang it to dry.

And there you go, you have made your very own bees wax wraps! Just remember that they are not air-tight so we do recommend using them to cover foods that will be eaten within a day such as sandwiches, a bowl of food or fruit. It is not recommended to use them on perishable items such as fresh meat, fish or poultry.

You can simply maintain your beeswax wrap by rinsing them clean after use with cold water and mild soap. If you used hot water it would melt the wax. Air dry the wrap on your dish rack or on a towel on a flat surface. They can be reused time and time again.

Help to spread the word on how easy it is to make small changes to make a big difference. You may also be interested in reading our article Reduce Waste at Home where we share our top five ideas to inspire you to make more changes to your daily habits and further reduce waste at home.

Biological Cleaning

The revolutionary environmentally friendly cleaning product is based on Bio-bacterial technology.  It consists of billions of friendly bacteria that target and digest organic matter eliminating the source of cleaning problems rather than masking them.

Enzyme and bacteria cleaning products or in are composed of living bacteria and or enzymes that break down and softens organic soils like fat, proteins, carbohydrates and grease, while simultaneously eliminating bad odours.

Enzyme and bacteria cleaning products present an alternative to harsher chemical solutions, like solvents and strong acids or alkalis.  They are more user-friendly than products with extreme pH.

The process by which enzyme and bacteria cleaners work is important to understand. When a bacteria product is applied, the microorganisms, which have been dormant, begin to grow and digest the waste that is present and is used as their food source; and the bacteria in turn multiply.

Since bacteria does not have a mouth, they breakdown and metabolize waste by producing enzymes. The waste that has been broken down is now small enough to be absorbed through the bacteria cell wall. Once the waste particles are inside the cell they can be broken down and used as a fuel and energy source, allowing the cell to reproduce again and again, thus repeating the process. As long as organic soils are available as a food source the process will continue.

Straight enzyme cleaners are products that contain only the enzymes, which have been separated from the bacteria that produce them. These products also breakdown soils like grease, starches, and proteins. Once the enzymes have done their job, they are used up and cannot reproduce themselves; in turn they will not be able to degrade any more waste.

This process guaranties natural way to treat common cleaning problems with no need for harsh chemical cleaners, making cleaning process simpler, healthier and environmentally friendly cleaning.

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Eco friendly product rubber stamp.

Make sure it's Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified - Why?

Until recently and even at present time, most cleaning companies cleaned for appearance which is what their clients were looking for.  However, more and more home owners are concerned with the chemicals that are used in their homes and are looking for better alternatives.  Green cleaning is not only cost effective, but it is better for a home’s indoor air quality and making it better environment for families.

But with so many products on the market these days, how do you know which ones are truly "Green"? Here are some suggestions on what to look for when choosing green cleaning products:

  1. Is the product certified? Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is Australia's only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector Eco-labeling program and is the only Australian member with GENICES recognition from the Global Eco-labeling Network (GEN).
  2. Is the product non-toxic? Look for products that are non-toxic to humans and aquatic life.
  3. Is the product biodegradable? Biodegradable means that it can be broken down by microbial action. The longer it takes to break down, the more harmful it is to the environment. Check the label to see if it says it's biodegradable.
  4. Is the product concentrated or ready-to-use? Ready-to-use cleaners are composed of 90% water, which means extra energy and packaging went into making this product. And extra packaging means extra solid waste ending up in our landfills. Concentrated product however, uses very little water and less packaging, which is much more environmentally friendly. It also cuts down on weight, which means less cost associated with the fuel needed to transport product to its final destination.
  5. Does the product work in cold water? Using cold water saves energy, whereas the need for using hot water with the chemical uses more energy.
  6. Does the product contain chlorine bleach? The waste water after using a product containing chlorine bleach can react with other chemicals, which can be toxic.
  7. Is the product derived from petroleum? Petroleum-based solvents are made from non-renewable resources, they are flammable, and can be toxic when inhaled. It's better to use solvents derived from pine oil or citrus because they're considered renewable resources.
  8. Is the product an aerosol? Aerosol bottles can be dangerous if punctured, as they may produce an uncontrolled spray, which can put you at risk of exposure.
  9. Is the product neutral in pH? Neutral pH products are safer for the environment and end user. Acidic or alkaline products can burn if accidentally spilled on your skin. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.
  10. EDTA and NTA. Avoid purchasing products that contain these ingredients.  Instead look for alternatives such as sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate or sodium silicate.
  11. VOC Concentration. Look for products that have a VOC concentration of no more than 10% of weight of the product when diluted for use as directed.
  12. Is the packaging made from recycled products? Many containers and cardboard boxes are made from "post consumer" materials.

Once you've decided to make the switch to green cleaning products, use this as your guide for making the right choices.

Microfiber: More Than Just a Cleaning Cloth

Microfiber is no longer a "buzz word" that is taking the cleaning world by storm.  Most cleaning companies should be using them on a daily basis as a basic cleaning tool.

How to choose the right microfiber cloth for your all cleaning needs.  There are different grades of Microfiber for different types of tasks and most manufactures will carry at least 3 different types of  Microfiber cloths.  The most common types are:

  1. Heavy Duty Microfiber Cloth - which is mainly used for heavy duty cleaning to remove deep soil and oils.
  2. Medium Grade Microfiber Cloth - used for dusting and medium duty tasks such as wiping bench tops and sinks.
  3. Microfiber cloths that have a suede like texture are used for glass, mirrors and for polished surfaces.  These cloths are usually much thinner than heavy or medium grade cloths, are more tightly woven and may come in blue colour.

When purchasing for your Microfiber cloths, visit your local cleaning suppliers, as they more likely to supply high quality Microfiber cloths.  You can usually tell a good quality Microfiber cloth by doing couple of tests.  First, run the cloth across your hand.  Does it seem to catch?  This is caused by the dense fibers and indicates quality Microfiber.  Next, put a small amount of hand lotion on mirror and then wipe your mirror cloth to see how many passes it takes to remove the lotion.  A good quality Microfiber cloth will remove the lotion in only one or two passes.

Microfiber cloths come in variety of colours and the reason for that to prevent cross contamination.  You certainly would not want to use to clean a toilet and then use the same cloth to clean your kitchen bench tops.

Bliss Home Care Microfiber Cloth Earth Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

How to Care for Microfiber Cloths

when washing microfiber cloths, it is best to wash and dry them separately from other laundry items such as cotton cloths, towels or clothing.  If you don't wash them separately, they will pull the lint off these items and become so loaded it may make them useless.  Avoid using bleach and fabric softener.  Bleach will damage the fibers and fabric softener will reduce the static charge, which is an important part of what makes Microfiber cloth works so well.

when cleaning Microfiber, use about half the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for a load of laundry.  Microfibers release soil very easily when washed, so more is not better in this case.  It is recommended that your water temperature not to exceed 95 Celsius.  Microfibers can air dry (Microfiber cloths dry very quickly) or you can use a machine to dry them as long as you use a low heat setting and do not add a fabric softener sheet.

The Importance of Green Cleaning

Green cleaning is much more than using few chemicals labeled as GREEN.  Green cleaning is defined as a system of cleaning promotes healthy surroundings for children, families, visitors and pets that we love.  It is equally important and detrimental to environment that we live and share.

We are becoming more concerned and aware about the health of the environment.  Awareness is also growing about importance of air quality.

Did you know that the air in our home can be more toxic than the air outside....

The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.  If you are not regularly airing your home (allowing fresh air to enter) will have stale, stagnant and filled with chemical pollutants. Poor air quality in your home can lead to health problems such as allergies, respiratory problems, eye irritation and tiredness.

We are also constantly adding to the air pollution in our home with products we use such as hair spray, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides etc. and we are constantly breathing this polluted air in our homes.  The air in the home is not moving around and refreshed by winds and renewed by plants.   Pollutants and soil is brought in all the time with our shoes.  Cleaning is an important part of removing dirt and pollutants from your home and allowing fresh air to flow in pushing stale air out will create healthy breathing for you and your family.

It has been, and still is a traditional practice, in many countries to air out the blankets and rugs on a daily cleaning ritual.  This would remove dirt and toxic spores and the sun light would kill and re-freshen bed coverings and rugs.  These days houses are sealed, covered to avoid nastier from coming in but what we are doing is trapping pollution from the outside and concentrating the fumes from hundreds of products we use inside in our homes (air fresheners, deodorants, insecticides, cleaning products) which can lead to toxic indoor atmospheres.

How a home is cleaned can be a major factor in the quality of indoor air.  It is important to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions.  A simple practice is to OPEN THE WINDOWS on a regular basis to let fresh air in and help move the stale stagnated air to move around.  Good practice to air your home on a regular basis, especial your bedroom after you have woken up let some fresh air in.   When cleaning your home open the doors and windows.

Another is to use non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products in your home.

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