TALKING GREEN WITH THE QUEEN OF CLEAN®
“We don’t need all of these chemicals to make our homes clean. The most sustainable methods for cleaning happen to be the most effective.”
After digging into the dirt of cleaning products, we found that cleaning supplies most of us perceive to be the most beneficial are, in fact, the most dangerous, laden with chemicals that pose health risks seldom publicized.
“As a society, we’ve fallen victim to the successful marketing and packaging of modern products, which promise to make the task of cleaning easier, and smell better,” said Linda Cobb, best known as The Queen of Clean®, bestselling author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean®. “Somehow we have learned to associate ‘clean enough’ with the potent scents of disinfectants and labels extolling the virtues of anti-bacterial ingredients. The chemicals we use to remove dirt are actually far less healthy than the dirt these products ostensibly remove.”
The irony is that these modern products are actually toxic to our bodies. Warnings are all but concealed in the fine print on clever packaging, along with seldom-heeded instruction about proper use. According to Cobb, many disinfecting products are used incorrectly. “It’s no wonder; warnings on the labels are printed so small that most of us need a magnifying glass to see them.”
What most people won’t realize without reading the fine print is that disinfectants don’t actually kill bacteria unless they remain on a surface for about 10 minutes. “The disinfectants must be washed off thoroughly with water, otherwise the chemicals remain on the surface and contaminate the food that is prepared there,” said Cobb. She recalled an instance when one family’s dog walked over a freshly cleaned floor, licked its paws and and had seizure. She noted that pleasantly scented laundry soaps can also pose health risks. Petroleum distillates present in most laundry detergents are harsh chemicals that remain on the skin and are readily absorbed into our bodies. “We don’t need all of these chemicals to make our homes clean. Aside from the fact that they cost too much, they pollute our environment and make us sick.”
Once in charge of a cleaning and natural disaster restoration company, Cobb likens the effects of using harsh chemicals in our homes to the incidence of “sick building syndrome.” She attributes the increasing rate of asthma and a host of other auto-immune diseases to our over-use of chemicals. Over-use of antibacterials is posing another set of problems: new strains of super-bacteria resistant to antibiotics. “As a society, we seem to have become obsessed with anti-bacterial cleaning without considering that a little dirt can actually strengthen our immune systems.” Cobb’s advice: “My philosophy is that if you wouldn’t eat it or place it on your skin, then you probably shouldn’t clean with it.”
While green cleaning may appear to be a modern concept, sustainable living is really nothing new. “To me, green cleaning harkens back to what our mothers and theirs used, before we became so scent minded,” said Cobb. “The most sustainable methods for cleaning our homes happen to be the healthiest and the most effective.”
In fact, most of today’s cleaning supplies are derivatives or variations of the most basic ingredients — household products that were considered good enough to clean any home before “improved” with modern chemicals that purported to make cleaning easier and smell better.
There is a lot we can learn if we look back in time, to our grandparents’ generation. They practiced what we would now consider “sustainability” out of necessity.Food was locally farmed without pesticides or preservatives; kids got dirty and shared bathwater with a bar of soap; their scratches were treated with iodine, water and a Band-Aid; clothes were laundered with a little Borax; furniture was polished with lemon oil; air was freshened with baking soda and cut flowers; and kitchens and bath rooms were disinfected with white vinegar and a clean cloth. Without all of the modern disinfectants, anti-bacterial soaps, de-greasing solvents and freshly scented detergents, families were healthier and there were fewer cases of childhood asthma, auto-immune diseases, and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections reported.
“My mother had a natural solution for everything. When I was growing up, she was the ‘go to’ gal for home remedies and cleaning advice. She became known around the television station as the Queen Mother. It was nice for her to see that the things she taught me were useable and viable.”
The Queen Of Clean® Linda Cobb has appeared on the Today Show, Oprah and Dr. Phil. Locally, she answers viewer calls every Wednesday morning on Channel 3’s Good Morning Arizona, and is a featured guest on the Beth and Friends show on KEZ 99.9 every third Thursday each month. For more information, visit www.queenofclean.com.
Click Here to see the full article and read the interview with Linda Cobb , The Queen of Clean® in AZGreen Magazine’s in AZGreen Magazine’s Digital Edition,.
LINDA COBB has appeared on The Today Show, Oprah and Dr. Phil. Locally, she answers viewer calls every Wednesday morning on Channel 3’s Good Morning Arizona, and is also a featured guest on the Beth and Bill Show on KEZ 99.9 every third Thursday each month. For more information, visit www.queenofclean.com. clean