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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.

Bliss Home Care - Natural Outdoor Cleaning

Family having a barbecue party in their garden in summer

Summer is all about being outdoors, having fun in the sun, firing up the BBQs and celebrating the holidays. Over the cooler months we often neglect the outdoors by spending more time indoors. Now that Summer is here it’s time for outdoor cleaning and enjoying the sunshine, warm days and balmy nights. Here are 10 outdoor natural cleaning tips to get your outdoor area looking its best, ready for entertaining and all the fun that Summer brings!

Have a brighter outlook of the outside world by cleaning your door and window screens. Dip a damp wire brush into baking soda and scrub away, rinse thoroughly with a damp sponge and you’re done!

Crystal clear windows are a must and white vinegar is just what you need to get them that way. Mix two parts warm water to one part white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray directly onto windows. Then wipe dry with a clean, lint free cloth.

Outdoor furniture can easily get neglected but can be effectively cleaned with a simple baking soda solution. Use one cup of baking soda mixed with some warm water, wipe on the furniture, then rinse off thoroughly.

Protect your deck from germs and mould by spraying it with undiluted white vinegar. This will also clean, disinfect and get rid of any stains it might have.

Stubborn charred remains on your BBQ racks? Apply some baking soda and then dab with vinegar which will start it foaming. Let it sit for a few minutes then rinse thoroughly before use.

Time for the kiddies pool to come out and be cleaned so that it’s ready to be filled and splashed about in. This is easily done by mixing equal part white vinegar to water and scrub with a soft brush, then rinse.

During the off season the kids pool and beach toys will have accumulated some musty smells. Get them clean by washing them with a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda to 1 litre of warm water.

Lime and salt aren’t only margarita ingredients - they also remove rust! Get your gardening tools rust free by laying them on some newspaper and sprinkling them with table salt. Squeeze some lime liberally all over the salt covered rust and allow it to sit for three hours. Scrub the mixture off using the remaining lime and rinse under running water. Make sure to dry them thoroughly to avoid more rust!

There’s nothing worse than seeing a clothesline with dirt or grime, which is of course going to transfer to the clothes you’ll be hanging out there now that it’s summer! This can easily be cleaned by mixing a solution of equal parts warm water and vinegar, then wiping down each line removing all dirt and allowing to dry.

Dirty and stained pavers aren’t a good look and you need to get them nice and clean for all that entertaining you’ll be doing! Spray undiluted vinegar onto the pavers and make sure they are thoroughly soaked. Leave them for an hour and although you’ll notice the dirt will have loosened, you will need to scrub away with a wire brush to get them really clean.

Now you’re ready to sit back, relax and enjoy your time and summer!

We all know that our actions can really impact the environment, and although most people would like to do what they can to make it better, they believe that green living can be hard - we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be!

Here are some simple actions that will make your home environment greener and healthier for you and your loved ones and will also benefit our amazing planet.

Grow your own veggie patch

What’s better than heading into the backyard and grabbing some fresh veggies that taste great, along with the knowledge that they are free of chemicals? Not only will your body thank you but so will the planet for reducing contamination to the environment.

When choosing what you’d like to grow, it’s a good idea to make a plan so that you can stagger the sowing of seeds to give you a constant supply of those fresh and seasonal veggies! Get the kids involved too – you might find that they eat more vegetables seeing as they helped create them.

Create your own compost

When you’re done creating your veggie garden and have reaped those benefits, you can use those, along with other food scraps to create compost (your free organic fertiliser) and reduce landfill waste!

You can invest in a compost bin or you can just start a pile in a heap on the ground. It’s a good idea to keep your compost moist, not wet, and add food scraps, lawn clippings and coffee grounds to the mix.

It also will require some aerating so turning the compost with a fork once a week will help it along. Decomposition time varies and is dependent on what you’ve used to create your compost and the moisture and aeration of your heap. When it all looks and smells like very dark soil your compost is ready to be used. Use it in your garden to create an abundance of healthy soil for your veggie patch.

Improve the air quality in your home

There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of air within your home, making it much healthier for your family to live in and is beneficial for the environment!

Firstly, you need to get rid of all those toxic cleaning products that are plentiful on our supermarket shelves these days. Healthier options are always available - one of which mixing a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water which cleans and disinfects!

Another thing that you can do for the air quality is to invest in a cold air oil diffuser. Using a variety of natural oils in a diffuser can neutralise chemicals and bacteria, eliminate the need for any synthetic air fresheners and keep your home smelling amazing!

We strongly recommend not to use air fresheners and avoid scented cleaning or laundry products that don’t disclose their fragrance ingredients on the product label. These products may trigger allergies and often contain suspected endocrine disruptors, such as phthalates  and synthetic musks.

If we all do our little bit it will collectively amount to a lot - so do yourself, your loved ones and our environment a favour and start living green today!

We all want our homes to be sparkly clean and want to do what’s best for ourselves, our family, our pets and the environment. Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products can be a challenging task. Many off-the-shelf household cleaning products claim to be eco-friendly, however there are many hidden chemicals in these. Often many of these are toxic and can do harm to your health and that of your family.Bliss Home Care - Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

Through a number of studies and research we know that household cleaning products can be linked to health conditions such as asthma, cancer, reproductive issues, lung damage, burns and more. The manufacturers claim that in small amounts toxic chemicals are not likely to pose any health problems, but when you are routinely using these it’s difficult to measure the risk to your health.

You may use an array of products including scents, soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, softeners, glass cleaners, bathroom and drain cleaners just to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at these and what their warning labels state: corrosive, may produce burns, vapour may be harmful, avoid contact with skin, contents can be harmful or fatal. So why do consumers continue to use these products?

Being aware of what’s in your cleaning products may help you understand why they can be so harmful used over a long period of time. Here are four common chemicals that are used in commercial cleaning products and how it may affect your health:

Phthalates
Often found in fragranced household products such as air fresheners, dishwashing soap, scented soaps and event toilet paper. Phthalates are known to affect the reproductive system of men and women.
2-Butoxyethanol
Often found in glass cleaners, laundry stain removers and carpet cleaners. Sometimes also known as 2-BE or butyl cellosolve is known to be associated with blood disorders and may even cause liver and kidney damage.
Ammonia
Often found in window cleaners, toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners and all-purpose
cleaners. Vapours from ammonia can irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs. Asthmatics are particularly sensitive to the effects of breathing ammonia.
Sodium Hydroxide
Often found in oven or drain cleaners. This product is extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns. When inhaled it can also affect your throat and respiratory system.

Replacing your cleaning products with a few simple ingredients such as water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and clean sponges can be as effective as the toxic commercial chemical products. You may want to visit our Clean Home Pinterest board for inspiration on natural cleaning tips: https://au.pinterest.com/blisshomecare/clean-home/

Make wise choices and eliminate environmental toxins that are harmful to your health. Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals by choosing safer, healthier options that also minimise the impact on our environment and keep you healthier, for longer.

Bio Bacterial Cleaning Explained

When we established Bliss Home Care Services we decided we wanted to be an innovative cleaning company that uses only earth friendly cleaning products. The products, together with our proven earth friendly cleaning practices ensure the highest grade of cleaning for homes and offices which is not only safe for our environment but for families, pets and children.Bliss Home Care - Biological Cleaner

One of our favourite cleaning products is Biological Cleaner. This product is a general purpose cleaner that contains active “good” bacterial ingredients and is the perfect alternative to harsh chemical solutions. The active bacterial ingredients means that it is able to effectively remove grease, grime, dirt and soap scum that is commonly found throughout all homes. The most important thing about this product, apart from the fact that it’s a highly effective cleaning product, is that it’s 100% chemical free, is biodegradable and non-hazardous.

Let’s take a closer look at how this earth friendly cleaning product works…

This natural, earth friendly cleaning product is even effective enough to be used to keep bathrooms and restrooms free of germs and build up of unhealthy bacteria, mould and soap scum. It is often used to clean busy washrooms, urinals and toilets and is much safer for the environment and human health in comparison to chemical cleaning products.

When considering purchasing cleaning products please ensure you choose wisely and carefully to maintain and protect this beautiful planet we live on, now and into the future.

Earth friendly cleaning - Green Cleaning - Bliss Home Care ServicesEarth Friendly Cleaning - Easier Than You Think

As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with new cleaning products that will save time and get things done better or faster. Using natural products and resources for earth friendly cleaning is not as difficult as it may seem.

With a spike in the number of adults and children suffering from allergies, asthma, sinusitis or bronchitis it's imperative for us to avoid using synthetic chemicals in our home environment. Using commercial products that are filled with chemicals, even when they claim to be 'natural' is introducing allergens and poisons into our homes.

By making a conscious decision to switch to earth friendly cleaning products and practices in your home, you will be saving money as well as improving the lifestyle for your home, family and pets. There are many inexpensive and easy to use alternatives that can used safely to replace chemical laden cleaning products.

Here are 3 powerful natural items, which you may already have in your pantry, that can easily be incorporated into your cleaning regime for safe and effective earth friendly cleaning:

Bi-Carb Soda

This is a versatile product which can deodorise, soften water and scour away grease. It's safe to use in your kitchen so simply mix it with a little water to clean bench tops, stainless steel sinks, microwaves, range hoods, cooking utensils, the list is endless. You can also use it to wash fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables safely removing unwanted chemicals and wax on the outer layer. It is a great odour eater - simply place a small bowl in your fridge or sprinkle it into smelly shoes. It's also wonderful to have a relaxing bath in and leaves your skin clean and smooth.

Lemon

Lemons are high in citric acid so it makes them one of the best natural cleaners due to its low pH and antibacterial properties. You can even use lemon juice in your laundry to replace bleach - it does a great job of whitening while leaving a fresh lemon scent.It's a great cleaner for bathrooms including taps, shower doors and build up of hard water deposits. And don't just throw away the peels once you've used your lemon! Use these in your spray bottles to create a citrus smelling cleaning spray.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is an effective cleaner and is able to cut grease, remove mildew and odours. If you have persistent odours in your home, leave a little bowl of vinegar out overnight. You can also use it as a hand rinse to remove strong scents such as garlic and onion from your hands. You can also create an effective window cleaner by diluting vinegar with water and using this in a spray bottle and you can even use this spray along doorways, windowsills and bench tops to keep ants at bay.

Making small changes in your immediate surroundings and cleaning practices will help with the long term goals of protecting not only your home but our environment.

NOTE: do not use vinegar and lemon on natural stone e.g. marble.

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.

Bliss Home Care Services | Environmentally Friendly Cleaning

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.

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