tips + tricks
posted November 15, 2012 by fred |
hard water is a common conundrum, but how do you know if you have it? and what are you supposed to do about it? as usual, science has the answer.
what is hard water?
hard water has had contact with the earth for enough time to absorb and dissolve some minerals. in short, it’s mineral laden, or “hard.”
is that bad?
hard water leaves deposits when it gets warmed. it also interferes with some styles of soaps and detergents. have you ever stayed at a hotel where suddenly your shampoo won’t lather up like usual or rinse out as well? that would be hard water. so, no, it’s not great.
how did hard water get that way?
the earth does a great job of cleaning and filtering water for us. somewhere along its path, it flows over or through some rock, dissolving a little bit as it goes.
how do I know if I have hard water?
your home will tell you. do you have white deposits in your coffee maker? crusty stalactites on the showerhead? rings around your faucets? discoloration in the dishwasher? you can think of these chalky deposits as little presents from the earth or you can admit you have hard water.
I admit it. I have hard water. how should I deal with it?
remove hard water deposits
the gentle and most natural way to get rid of these marks is an old standby, white vinegar. just a few minutes of soaking and a little elbow grease with a scrubby pad should do it. white vinegar also removes stubborn water spots from your car windshield.
our daily shower spray is a gentle daily treatment that slows the buildup of hard water deposit and soap scum.
to prevent pesky deposits on your dishes, we now offer smarty dish® plus dishwasher tabs. it’s specially formulated to leave your dishes sparkling clean even where the water’s hard. you can also use smarty dish® plus to bolster your laundry. hard water can wreak havoc in there, too, but it’s just a little tougher to see.
and now you know.
posted September 5, 2012 by fred |
denim experts tell us not to wash our expensive jeans too often. raw denim, not at all for the first six months. and when you do, it should only be washed in cold water, gentle cycle and then line-dried. it’s all a lot more hassle than it should be for some jeans, if you ask me.
luckily, my wife gave me a helpful chemistry lesson the other day. yes, I am a chemist, but wives know all.
long story short, we had something come up out of the blue and she wanted to wear her favorite jeans, which had been relegated to the dirty clothes pile for careful laundering later that week. there was no time for all that now, so she grabbed the bottle of our new dryer-activated fabric softener spray. as I looked on impressed, she dampened a towel, gave it a couple squirts of the spray and threw it in the dryer along with the jeans. fifteen minutes later they came out looking like they had just come from the dry cleaners.
it turns out that the hypoallergenic, concentrated formula we worked tirelessly on to soften fabric, help eliminate wrinkles and leave a fresh scent also gives your denim a pick-me-up without putting them through the wash cycle. an unintended bonus that I’m now passing along to all of you. aren’t wives the best?
posted July 12, 2012 by alexis |
last week, we had the pleasure of having dr. ben tanner, head of a disinfectant testing lab, come speak to us about the good, bad and beneficial of the germ world. even better than that, he offered to write a guest post for the method blog about his talk. so without further ado, ben, take it away…
method is one of my favorite consumer brands. besides loving their products, I admire their commitment to the environment and dedication to innovation. I also know that the folks at method love to soak up technical information that pertains to their business. and it just so happens that I love to talk about microorganisms and how they fit into modern life.
I figured a little bit of suspense wouldn’t hurt, either, so Antimicrobial Test Labs shipped out some agar plates for method to play with before my visit. you know, just to see how germy they really are.
I had several goals in mind for my chat with method. the first was to impress upon them the ubiquity of microorganisms on earth. in fact, some recent studies indicate that the average 200 lb. adult carries around six pounds of microorganisms with them. I’ll wait while you take that in. microbes are everywhere!
but don’t panic, not all microbes are bad. microbes fall into two main groups: those that can and will make a person sick and those that are effectively harmless and sometimes even helpful. we microbiologists call the bad germs “pathogens” and the other germs, well, germs.
I also spoke about the “hygiene hypothesis,” which is the notion that some exposure to germs can be good for people. and it’s true! studies suggest that children who grow up with more germ exposure tend to have less allergy and asthma later in life. we spent the rest of our time talking about ways to let the harmless germs live while also reducing risk from pathogens that can be present in our environment. it was a blast.
dr. ben’s top three tips
1) wash hands frequently
2) thoroughly cook raw meats, especially ground meat and poultry
3) when disinfecting surfaces at home, allow plenty of time for the product to do its job against the germs – usually 5 minutes or more
posted June 7, 2012 by alexis |
a lot of you were wondering how to make these jell-o treats we had at our class of 2012 party. not ones to leave you hanging, here’s the recipe for the prettiest jell-o you ever did see. also, it should be noted that the alcohol-infused version is, of course, only for adults. enjoy!
what’s in it:
1 packet Knox gelatin
1 3oz. packet Jell-o gelatin of your choice
1 cup water
1 cup liquor of your choice (adults only)
how the magic happens:
slice the oranges in half and juice the fruit (an electric citrus juicer makes quick work of this). remove the membranes and discard. place the oranges in a cupcake tin so they will sit up straight. set aside.
mix the Knox gelatin in 1 cup water until gelatin is soaked in water, about a minute. place over heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. add the Jell-o mix and stir to dissolve. when the solution is clear, remove from heat (then add the alcohol, if you’re going that route). mix and let cool a bit, then ladle liquid into the orange halves.
refrigerate 3 hrs or until solid. remove orange from tin and slice in thirds. the best part? no waste!
for the over-21 crowd, here are a few winning combinations we liked:
cherry Jell-o and peach Schnapps
orange Jell-o and peach Schnapps
lime Jell-o and Malibu pineapple rum
berry blue Jell-o and Malibu coconut rum
posted May 23, 2012 by alexis |
it probably goes without saying that a big part of the clean happy movement is the use of lovely planet-friendly products. but we would hate for anyone to think that’s where it begins and ends. because clean happy is also about turning a dreaded chore into something delightful.
so we’d like to offer a few suggestions for how to make all cleaning happy cleaning. and here they are:
snow white’s seven dwarfs were onto something with “whistle while you work.” music makes everything better. even underwear folding. so crank up the tunes and bust a move while you clean. incidentally, we made a playlist for precisely this purpose. which you can listen to here.
we’re big on dressing up. have you ever mopped your floors in a banana suit? just try not to have a good time in that little number. but it doesn’t even have to be that elaborate. throw on an eye patch and pretend you’re tending to the deck of your pirate ship. now isn’t that more fun than just muttering expletives under your breath at your family?
speaking of which, children and pets can be more than just mess-makers. if you play your cards right, you can even get them to help. stage a race to fold piles of laundry. see who can incorporate the best dance moves into their sweeping. wrap tiny microfiber cloths around your cat’s paws to create four fluffy dusters. actually, no, don’t do that. your cat will hate it. but do the other stuff.
we cannot overstate the power of good lighting. it makes everything from rough mornings to aging seem somehow manageable. it also works the same for cleaning. so turn the lights down low and get in the mood to kick dirt to the curb. bonus: light a few candles, turn on the slow jams and it’s practically a date.
have others? tell us. pretty please.More Entries »