TIPS for Stain Removal

6 Basic Rules

  1. Attend to stains as soon as possible, much more likelihood of success when it’s fresh, as opposed to 24 hours old or more. 
  2. When tackling a stain, always start with cold water especially on stains of unknown origin. Hot water sets protein stains like milk, egg or blood, cooking the protein into the fibres. Hot water is fine for oily stains like butter.
  3. Flush the stain from the inside of the fabric to push the stain out of the fibres.
  4. Treat stains from outside in.
  5. Dab stains on delicate fabrics, do not rub or brush.
  6. Test the colour fastness on a small hidden area before treating the stain.

Sonett products for stain removal:

Gall Soap
Gall Soap Liquid 120ml and 300ml
Stain Removal Spray
Laundry Rinse
Orange Power Cleaner
Bleach Complex and Stain Remover 450g and 5kg An incredibly effective product, completely FREE from any petrochemical bleaching agents It’s effective in the washing machine from 50°C + however if it can act for longer, e.g. having the laundry soak overnight in Bleach Complex, it’s effective from 30°C. Removes all oxidisable stains such as fruit, red wine, tea, coffee, grass, blood, etc. Prevents greying of white fabrics. Brightens yellowed and greyish laundry.

Types of stains and treatment

Fruit, grass and vegetable stains

Apply Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid, leave for a few minutes, rinse out and wash as normal. Please test the colour fastness of the garment on a small hidden area before treating the stain. 

Fat, oil and grease stains

Apply some undiluted Orange Power Cleaner, leave for a few minutes and then wash out. This is ideal for removing grease stains on delicate garments. Alternatively treat with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid or Stain Removal Spray, see above.

Pen and ink 

Generally effective removal with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid or Stain Removal Spray.

Milk, blood and egg-white stains 

Thoroughly rinse protein stains using cold water, then, if necessary, treat with Gall Soap/Gall Soap Liquid. Hot water sets protein stains.

Coffee and tea stains 

Pre-treat the stain with lemon juice or Laundry Rinse, rinse thoroughly and then wash as normal. Light fabrics can be washed as normal with Bleach Complex and Stain Remover 50°C, without any pre-treatment.

Cocoa and chocolate stains 

Spray on Stain Removal Spray and leave on to be effective for 10 minutes, then rinse or put garment straight into the washing machine.

Wax stains 

Place blotting paper on the wax and carefully warm with a hair-dryer. Remove the remaining wax with a solvent. Be careful with using a hot iron as the wax liquefies too quickly and can become fixed to the fibres.

Rust and old blood stains

Place the stain in Laundry Rinse, rinse with cold water and then wash as normal using Bleach Complex and Stain Remover, if possible.

 

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9 Tips to Clean Your Kitchen Less Often

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and enjoy it way more

1. Of course you need to do a full on kitchen clean, pantry and pot cupboard tidy etc a couple of times a year, however we have 9 tips that will help you keep your kitchen cleaner on a daily basis with less work.

2. Ensure your sink is kept empty. Rinse and move items into the Dishwasher immediately.

3. When cooking, clean as you go. Nothing worse than trying to cook a meal and dodge things in your work area or a sink full of dishes. Or for that matter having the entire clean-up after a meal.

4. Keep your countertops as clear as possible, much quicker and easier to keep clean.

We recommend trigger action bottle of Sonett Multi-Surface and Glass Cleaner for quick after meal cleaning. Love the residual aroma of organic lavender and lemongrass too! If you prefer extra grease cutting orange, then make up some diluted Orange Power Cleaner in an old trigger bottle instead. Alternatively dilute All-Purpose Cleanser in a trigger bottle. Both of these products are extremely economical as they’re used highly diluted.

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5. Clean your sink after washing the dishes as there’s no point cleaning dishes in a grubby sink.

Only takes a minute with Sonett Scouring Fluid. Alternatively, Sonett Scouring Powder is another favourite for this job, especially if you’re partial to pots of tea and have tea stains in the sink, it cuts through tea and any other stains in a jiffy. Containing no water it’s also highly concentrated and economical.

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6. For tea/coffee stains in cups, put 1/4 tsp Sonett Bleach Complex and Stain Remover into the cup, pour over boiling water, rinse out in the morning. Quick and easy and not just for laundry purposes!

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Bleach Complex is so helpful, we keep a tub in the Kitchen as well as the Laundry and refill from 5kg pack

7. If you have burnt on offerings in a pot or pan, rinse as much as you can, then pop in 1 tsp of Bleach Complex and Stain Remover, pour over boiling water and leave overnight. You’ll be amazed how quick it just all rinses out in the morning. That saves a lot of hard work and time scrubbing!

8. Keep your cleaning products close. You don’t need an array of cleaners in the kitchen, keep it down to the essentials and then store them neatly under the sink, or in some baskets/buckets.

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9. Bathroom Cleaner may be used wherever you need to remove limescale and greasy dirt at the same time. Removes limescale deposits in hard-to-reach places and simultaneously cleans fittings and stainless steel. In other words, a quick spray over taps, leave a while to do their work, then wipe.

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If there are frustrations such a pots and pans that need replacing or fixing, or not having the right tools for the job, sort it.

Because you’re preparing food in your kitchen we think it should be a place of cleanliness and free from clutter, with just a few things that bring you pleasure, a room that ensures you’re in a good frame of mind when preparing meals for yourself and those you love.

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Floor Cleaning Tips

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Dirt from everywhere collects on your shoes and gets tracked into your house. Spills accumulate as well. And I didn’t even mention kids and pets!

Tips for keeping floor clean:

  • Use entrance mats to protect against grit and moisture, at front door, back door, deck and garage if internal access.
  • House rule – outside shoes to be left at the entrance, it’s going to save you a lot of work and damage to flooring.
  • Mop up spills as soon as possible to reduce the risk of staining.
  • For stubborn stains, spot clean with undiluted All-Purpose Cleanser
  • Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove loose dirt or grit as these can cause fine scratches.
  • Avoid the use of harsh conventional household cleaners and bleach-based detergents.
  • Invest in a removable/washable cotton mop, don’t use a sponge mop for floor cleaning, these just spread the dirt around. Work your cotton mop in a figure 8 motion for optimal cleaning.

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Sonett Floor Mopping Fluid – protects floors with a natural wax film and without building up layers.

Petrochemical residues just attract more dirt. Clean with clean ingredients. 

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All-Purpose Cleanser or Floor Mopping Fluid for floor cleaning?

Floor Mopping Fluid

  • Protects waxed, oiled and varnished floors with a natural wax film and without building up layers.
  • It is suitable for tiles, stone, wood, cork, parquet flooring, laminate, linoleum and synthetic/vinyl flooring.
  • Even brings a shine to scratched wooden floors.
  • The natural waxes keep floor cleaner for longer, once a month Floor Mopping Fluid and a weekly vacuum should be all that’s needed.
  • Does not contain organic essential oil fragrance.
  • 100% rapidly biodegradable.

Application:
Add 5 ml of Floor Mopping Fluid to 5 litres of warm water using the attached measuring cup for dosage.

Please note: Floor Mopping Fluid should not be used undiluted. Shake well before use. It may darken untreated wood, please test on a suitable spot before use. Floors primed with hard oil or wax, do have to be professionally re-oiled or waxed at regular intervals.

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All-Purpose Cleanser

  • Excellent general purpose cleaner that’s not harsh or acidic.
  • Cleans and protects all floors and tiles.
  • The small amount of orange peel oil aids cleaning of grease and oils.
  • Kitchen/dining room floor needs cleaning more regularly, All-Purpose Cleanser is the one to use for this area to cut through any oils.
  • Fresh natural fragrance of organic orange and lemongrass essential oils.
  • Suitable for septic tanks and filtrations systems.
  • Easy for microorganisms to 100% decompose these surfactants.

Application: Fill your bucket with water, then add 5-10 ml of All-Purpose Cleanser per 10 litres of water, depending on the degree of soiling.

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In a nutshell:

Use All-Purpose Cleanser for your weekly floor clean in kitchen and dining room, 3x per month, for the extra oil/grease cutting power.

To gain the natural waxing benefits of Floor Mopping Fluid use on all hard floors once a month. The natural waxes keep floor cleaner for longer, a weekly vacuum should be all that’s needed, other than kitchen/dining area.

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Thoughts on little ones:

For those with babies in the home, crawling, then putting their fingers in their mouth, it goes without saying, you don’t want petrochemicals or any other nasty chemical residues on your floor.

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Unless your home has only one kind of floor throughout, you will have to deal with cleaning different kinds of hard-surface floors. The first step toward efficient floor cleaning is to know what your floor is made of.

Ceramic Tile Floors
Glazed/shiny ceramic tile is virtually stain-proof, but unglazed/matte ceramic tile is porous and must be sealed to resist stains. Never use harsh abrasive, acid cleaners that may harm the glaze.

Flagstone and Slate Floors
Flagstone and slate are natural stone flooring materials that have rough, porous surfaces and are set into grout. They must be sealed with a commercial sealer.

Linoleum Floors
To shine and resist foot traffic, linoleum should be waxed. Once it’s waxed, the only regular maintenance linoleum floors need is vacuuming and an occasional swipe with a damp mop. Solvent-based products can soften and damage linoleum. Scouring the floor, flooding it with water, or using very hot water is also a no-no for linoleum floors.

Marble Floors
Non-polished marble is very porous, stains easily, and therefore, must be sealed with a commercial sealer. Varnish or lacquer quickly peels off. Polished marble is less porous but can still stain; a commercial marble sealer is also recommended for this finish.

Vinyl Floors
A vinyl floor is a breeze to maintain. All you have to do is keep it clean. Do not flood with water. Water can seep into the seams and loosen the adhesives that hold the flooring down.

Wood Floors
The product used to seal a wood floor determines how it can be cared for. Varnish, oil, wax, shellac, polyurethane or lacquer are used to finish floors.

Non-polyurethane finish

  • Vacuum frequently to remove dust and dirt before they scratch and dull the surface, or wear away the floor. Make sure you use a soft bristled vacuum attachment that won’t scratch the floor.
  • Always keep water to an absolute minimum when cleaning  a non-polyurethaned finish. Water makes wood expand. Think moist, wrung out cloth, not wet cloth. If you spill food or drinks, wipe up immediately to prevent any permanent damage or staining.
Editor's floor cleaning 'helper'
Editor’s floor cleaning ‘helper’

Floor Mopping Fluid – origin and properties of the ingredients:

The substances used for this gentle surface-protecting mopping fluid are carnauba wax, shellac, and Japanese wax. Carnauba wax is obtained from the leaves of the South American carnauba palm. Shellac is obtained using the secretions of the lac insects (Laccifer lacca). Japanese wax, obtained by decocting the berries of the Japanese wax tree, protects the surfaces from drying out. It is softer than carnauba and shellac wax. Sugar surfactants, obtained from starch and coconut oil, potash and corn-oil soap, serve to finely emulsify the waxes in the mopping fluid and to disperse them in the water.

Special product feature:
Free from petrochemical solvents, brighteners, emulsifiers and preservatives. Free from silicone oils. Completely biodegradable.

All-Purpose Cleanser – origin and properties of the ingredients:

Sugar surfactant and coconut oil alcohol sulphate, obtained from the raw materials sugar, starch, and coconut oil, are active cleaning substances, unaffected by hard water, which, next to soap, show the best degradation pattern. In this combination they possess outstanding grease- and dirt-dissolving properties. Orange-peel oil further improves and intensifies the fat-dissolving performance.
Special product feature:
The active washing substances used exhibit an exceptionally good skin tolerance. Like all our products, All-Purpose Cleanser is highly concentrated thus being outstandingly economical in its use.

 

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12 TIPS to Detox Your Home

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Indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air, simply because of conventional common household fragrance and cleaning products, skin care, hair care and body care products. These are being found to have negative health effects on nervous, immune, reproductive, endocrine and respiratory systems.

Many conventional cleaning products are full of synthetic chemicals that aren’t even listed on the ingredients label, same with personal care products.

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Here’s a few things you can do to reduce toxin exposure in your home

  1. Open windows and doors when you can and allow the fresh air in.
  2. No shoes in the house.
  3. Ditch conventional chemical cleaners, same with skin care, perfumes, body care, make-up and personal care. We recommend using high quality, rapidly 100% biodegradable, Sonett for household and laundry cleaning, Dr. Hauschka, NATRUE certified natural and organic (biodynamic and wild harvested) for premium skin care and make-up, SPEICK Men Care and Cosmos certified SPEICK MEN ACTIVE for superb natural shaving, skin, hair and body care, Less is More for organic haircare, and for babies and kids, Organic Babies.
  4. No conventional air fresheners, they’re just home pollutants, as are many fragrant candles, use natural beeswax candles and pure essential oils instead. Baking Soda neutralises odours. Place a small dish with a couple of teaspoons Baking Soda anywhere around the home, fridge, car, a sprinkle in the rubbish bin.
  5. Always use a moist cloth for dusting that you can put in the laundry afterwards. Dry dusting just moves dust particles around in the air.
  6. Be really stringent about cleaning where mould has a tendency to grow.
  7. Think about getting a shower filter and a tap filter.
  8. Use natural wool carpets instead of synthetic, and cotton rugs
  9. VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at ordinary room temperature. Typical indoor VOC sources include paint, cleaning products, sofas, beds, glues, permanent markers and printing equipment. Levels can be particularly high when there is limited ventilation. Use low VOC, low odour latex water based paint, think about latex and organic cotton mattresses, and check out alternatives for sofas.
  10. Be wary of plastics and avoid BPA plastics all together and microwaving food in plastic containers. Choose glass or BPA free plastic for baby bottles.
  11. Avoid non-stick cookware, use stainless steel or cast iron instead. Lodge, America’s oldest family-owned cookware manufacturer, refers to its cookware as ‘natural non-stick’. Cast iron is extremely durable and can be pre-heated to temperatures, on oven top or in the oven, well above what is considered safe for non-stick pans. Both are also extremely long lasting, as opposed to ending up in landfill very quickly.

Why I chose to avoid non stick cookware

What’s the deal with non-stick cookware? Is it safe?

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12. Use plants to help detox your home. According to the NASA Clean Air Study some of the very best plants for air filtering are:

  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’) filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene & toluene, ammonia.
  • Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’) filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene & toluene.
  • English Ivy (Headera helix) filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene.
  • Florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) filters benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene & toluene, ammonia.
  • Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata) filters benzene, formaldehyde, xylene & toluene.

All of the above are toxic to dogs and cats.

  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) filters formaldehyde, xylene & toluene.
  • Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) filters formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.
  • Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) filters formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

The above are non-toxic to dogs and cats.

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20 TIPS for longer lasting clothes

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1)  Fading colour is one of the first signs of wear, if possible hang your clothes to dry in the shade, away from harsh UV.
2)  Use colour protective Sonett Laundry Liquid Colour.
3)  Turn all clothes, especially jeans, inside out for washing, drying and ironing.
4)  Use good hangers that won’t snag fabrics and keep the shape of your garments.
5)  Store your clothes in a dark, cool place.
6)  Button up and zip up! You don’t want zips, buttons or velcro to snag on fabrics and damage other items in the wash load.
7)  Use a protective laundry bag for your lingerie, swimsuits and delicates.
8)  Front loaders are much more gentle on your clothes than agitators and use the delicate cycle plenty.
9)  Iron less as ironing is hard on clothes, another reason to use delicates cycle which won’t crease clothes as much and use hangers to dry.
10) Shop for quality and classics from brands that care about longevity and use quality fabrics. Disposable fashion won’t last, no matter how well you care for it.
11) Read the labels and follow care instructions.
12) Dry cleaning is harsh on clothes.
13) Remove stains as soon as possible. Sonett Stain Remover is effective yet very gentle to delicate fabrics. Spray, wait 10 minutes, then pop in the delicates wash or hand wash. For tough stains, particularly with an oil or grease content use Sonett Gall Liquid 120ml or 300ml or long lasting Gall Soap.
14) Sort your laundry, whites do stay whiter when washed without coloured items. If white need a fresh up use a Bleach Complex & Stain Remover 450g or 5kg and do an overnight soak before washing.
15) Change from your work clothes when you come home.
16) Always use an apron when cooking to protect your clothes.
17) Avoid dryer use.
18) Don’t overload your washing machine.
19) Fragrance free Sonett Laundry Rinse, revives the brightness of colours, rinses out any laundry liquid or powder residue and it smoothes fibres. Smooth fibres need less ironing and ironing is hard on clothes.
20) Use effective and gentle Sonett Laundry products, kind to your clothes, your skin and our environment.
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Do you have a fragrance sensitivity?

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I can’t walk down the cleaning isle in the supermarket without getting an instant headache, so I avoid that isle all together. I hold my breath in the perfume area of department stores. I offered to bring in a girlfriend’s washing to find the basket of laundry completely overpowering in residue fragrance from fabric softener. Like many, I have a sensitivity and an aversion to synthetic chemical fragrance.

Fragrance sensitivity can be defined as an irritation or an adverse reaction to chemicals in a perfume or other scented products such as air fresheners, laundry and cleaning products, scented candles, perfume, deodorants, cologne and cosmetics.

People with asthma or other respiratory illness may be more susceptible to fragrance allergies.

Common Symptoms of Fragrance Allergy

  • mild to severe headache
  • sneezing, coughing and runny nose
  • breathing difficulties, dizziness, and fatigue
  • loss of concentration
  • skin irritation, itching, and rashes
  • muscle aches
  • watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • wheezing
  • swelling
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Strong fragrances from perfumes or colognes can even trigger a migraine

Secondhand Fragrance

In a public place people are sharing what is now being called ‘secondhand fragrance’. This is the combination of harmful chemicals being released into the public air space from air fresheners, cleaning products, scented candles, plus all the products people are wearing (hairstyling products, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, perfume etc). Everyone is involuntarily breathing contaminated air even if they choose to not wear fragranced products.

Dogs have 20 times more scent receptor cells than humans, and the scent-processing section of their brains is larger than ours.
Dogs have 20 times more scent receptor cells than humans, and the scent-processing section of their brains is much larger than ours. They don’t need synthetic fragrance in their environment either.

Fragrance sensitivity at the workplace

Some employers are becoming aware of this issue, and are accommodating fragrance sensitive people. Some companies have stopped using air fresheners, and use fragrance-free cleaning products in order to minimise fragrance chemicals in indoor environments.

Baking Soda is an odour neutraliser.

Synthetic Chemical Fragrance

Up to 95% of synthetic chemicals used to make fragrance recipes are derived from petrochemicals. To make matters worse for the unsuspecting public, many products labeled as ‘unscented’ are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance. Products with the ingredient ‘fragrance’ contain endocrine disruptors called phthalates.

If we think of natural and organic essential oils, Lavender for example, it contains a myriad of natural chemical constituents, around 100, and one of those is linalool. In the entirety of a natural and organic essential oil this constituent isn’t usually a problem. However there is also synthetic chemical linalool, an isolated man-made ingredient, which is much more likely to result in a sensitivity.

Sure makes it difficult for consumers!

Do your homework, look for certifications and ethical brands that can be trusted. An ethical brand, is also transparent with their complete ingredient list, and will assist you with any ingredient questions.

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Natural and organic essential oils of lemon and lemongrass in Sonett’s laboratory

Sonett products are free from enzymes, petrochemical surfactants, synthetic chemical fragrances, dyes and preservatives, bleaching agents, optical brighteners, genetic engineering and nanotechnology.

Sonett has a neutral range which is even free from natural and organic essential oils. There are those who are sensitive to nature’s essential oils as well.

The complete range of Sonett products has been independently certified according to the criteria of Ecogarantie, the premium label for ecological washing and cleaning products.

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Correct dosage for Laundry Liquid Lavender (using natural and essential oils only) with Sonett Measuring Ball.

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How often should you wash your sheets?

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Slipping into fresh sheets is one of life’s little pleasures!

You’re in bed for around 8 hours a night, naturally sloughing off dead skin cells, which dust mites feed on. You may perspire, there’ll be body oils as well, because one of the functions of your skin is as an elimination organ, and that phase is active during the night time.

Seven nights and you’ve clocked up 56 hours in bed!

The bottom sheet is likely to be more grubby than the top sheet, so if you don’t use fitted sheets you can wash the bottom sheet weekly, replacing the top sheet as the bottom sheet for the next week and alternating. That’s one sheet washed per bed per week instead of two.

If you have a bottom fitted sheet and a top flat sheet you can’t alternate so weekly wash is recommended.

Pillowslips should be changed daily for acne sufferers. If acne is present on chest or back, then sheets need to be changed daily as well.

While you’re laying in your bedding around 56 hours each week, you don’t want unnecessary conventional laundry optical brighteners or any other residues on sheets and pillowslips either.

Stay well aware from using products that use synthetic chemical fragrances, as many people are sensitive to them, resulting in mild to severe headaches, sneezing etc.

For washing bedding our favourite is Laundry Liquid Lavender alternatively if you wish to be completely free from even natural and organic essential oil aromas then useLaundry Liquid neutral. Of course there’s Laundry Powder as well.

TIP: Use a small squeeze of Liquid Gall Soap in your wash for an extra cleaning boost, particularly where body oils are present.

You’ll find you don’t need a conventional fabric softener with Sonett Laundry products, however, we do have Laundry Rinse which you add to the final rinsing water.

Laundry Rinse helps to rinse out any laundry liquid or powder residue and neutralises the rinsing water which is important for allergy-prone people. It also brightens up colours, smoothes fibres and softens fabrics.

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Dust Mites

House dust mites are present in most human environments, thriving in warm moist places such as mattresses, bedding and carpets, and feeding mainly on flaked-off dead skin. They are sensitive to dry conditions,
changes in temperature, and ultra-violet light. House mite faeces, get into the air easily and can provoke a strong allergic response when inhaled.

Up to 85% of people with asthma are affected by the faeces of house dust mites. Those with the most common form of eczema – atopic eczema which is closely linked to asthma – are also affected by dust mites.

Low-temperature cycles in washing machines don’t get rid of dust mites, say scientists, 30 or 40°C washes only killed 6% of house dust mites compared with 100% at 60°C, Korean researchers found.

Allergy UK agreed with these latest findings presented at an American Thoracic Society conference. They advise allergy sufferers use 60°C washes.

Hot tumble drying items for half an hour after drying outside in UV light also kills dust mites.

There is a close link between asthma and allergies, around 40% of Australians have some form of allergy, more than 80% of people who have asthma also have an allergy.
Source: Asthma Australia

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You may find our Are Your Laundry Products Safe? blog of interest.

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