Allergies, Eczema, Asthma and 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.

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.

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Mites will not be killed in a cold or warm wash but mite allergens (faecal matter) will be made safe and washed away. 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 outside drying also kills dust mites.
  • Dust mites love humid climates – dehumidify.
  • Dust mites are sensitive to dry conditions, changes in temperature, and ultra-violet light.

Use an organic cotton dust mite proof cover for NEW mattress and pillows, as a preventative measure to mites getting into the mattress and pillows.

A latex mattress is inhospitable to dust mites. No dust mite cover required.

Latex pillows are inhospitable to dust mites, wool or silk pillows, and doonas, are naturally resistant to dust mites.

Put blankets, pillows and doonas in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer for 48 hours to kill dust mites. You must wash these items after they have been in the freezer to ensure the residue from the mites is gone.

Every two to three months, children’s soft toys should be frozen in the freezer and then hung out in sunlight for six hours.

Dust mites cannot survive on hardwood floors, as opposed to carpet.

Always wet dust and wash cloth in a 60° wash.

Sonett Sensitive range for people with allergies, asthma, eczema, for babies, young children and all those who have sensitivities: 

Pin pointing allergies is often a process of elimination. Using Sonett Sensitive range of laundry and household cleaning products is part of that process.

  • Purely plant surfactants
  • Free from any petrochemical ingredients
  • Free from fragrances, colourings and complexing agents
  • Free from optical brighteners which remain on the skin, preservatives, enzymes, GMO
  • Completely 100% and rapidly biodegradable

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Are Your Laundry Products Safe?

For years, conventional laundry detergent companies have proudly exclaimed that their products will keep your whites and colours their brightest. The ‘magical’ ingredient that makes it all possible are optical brighteners. The main goal of these chemicals is to make fabrics appear to be cleaner and brighter.

So how do these optical brighteners work and what are the ramifications of use for you, your family and the environment?

How do Optical Brighteners work?

These chemical enhancements utilise the UV light and transform it to enhance the blue light, and in doing so reduce the natural yellowing of your white fabrics over time. This then makes the fabric appear whiter, brighter and cleaner. If you were to look at your clothes and your sheets, towels etc under a black light they will appear to glow – this is the optical brighteners at work. Remember your laundry only appears to be cleaner – it’s not actually any cleaner.

Are Optical Brighteners Safe for My Family?

To accomplish this illusion, the chemical must remain on the fabric after washing. This means that you have a chemical coming into contact with your skin 24/7 and raises the possibility of skin sensitivities and rashes. Many times, a dye or fragrance is thought to be the source of an allergic reaction, but there is a good chance that the optical brightener is to blame.

According to the article “Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergents” by Design for the Environment (DFE), an EPA partnership program, optical brighteners may be potentially toxic to humans and “Aminotriazine- or stilbene-based whiteners…may cause developmental and reproductive effects.” More research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of exposure to these types of chemicals. But needless to say, if you don’t need them in your detergent, why put yourself at risk for possible problems and complications?

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What about Environmental Effects?

Optical Brighteners are not biodegradable, so when they enter our water system they pose a potential hazard to aquatic life. This pollution remains in wastewater for long periods of time, negatively affecting water quality and animal and plant life. Optical brighteners have also been shown to cause mutations in bacteria.

Unfortunately, Optical Brighteners are just one of the many potentially harmful ingredients in a number of laundry detergent brands. Among other considerations when choosing a laundry liquid or powder for your family is to find one that is free from: dyes, phosphates and enzymes.

  • Is your detergent 100% and rapidly biodegradable?
  • Does it work in soft and hard water?
  • Is it naturally scented with organic essential oils?
  • Does it contain fillers?

There’s plenty of ‘green’ laundry and household cleaning products out there, but there are many definitions of ‘green’.

Read your ingredients, a reputable company will disclose ALL ingredients on the bottle. A little research will go a long way in helping you make a truly safe and eco-friendly, skin-friendly choice for you, your family and our environment.

Sonett since 1977
biodynamic | organic | wild harvested

Ecological, effective and economical household cleaning

Caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life, made Sonett come into life. By using 100% rapidly biodegradable raw materials such as purely plant-derived soaps, sugar surfactants and minerals such as sodium carbonate and silicates, we increase the washing performance of the water, and at the same time fostering its being returned to and reintegrated into the natural cycle.

We consider it our task to do the laundry and household cleaning in harmony with nature, and especially with the water, in a considerate and revitalising way.

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8 Cleaning Resolutions for the New Year

cleaning-woman

For a positive impact!

1) Small jobs done regularly

Cut cleaning down to small jobs you can squeeze in here and there. These changes to your routine will keep help to keep your home clean and orderly throughout the year.
For example you’re spraying and wiping for after dinner clean up anyway, so also pop into the bathroom, spray, walk away to let the product do its work, then come back and wipe down surfaces (with your bathroom cloth) for a cleaner start to the morning.

2) Make beds every single morning

A made bed makes a bedroom look tidy, instantly and it doesn’t take much more than a minute to do. It’s much nicer to sleep in that night as well. Get the kids in the habit of making their beds every morning too.

Lavender Laundry Liquid is perfect for bed linen.

3) Put clothes/shoes away

Always put your clothes and shoes back in their place or in the laundry basket at the end of the day. It takes less time to do this than it does to deal with a mountain of clothes over a chair by the end of the week, or the time it takes to run around in the morning frantically trying to find a garment or the other sock to a pair. Not even mentioning unnecessary frustration.

4) Let your cleaning products do the work

Choose your cleaning products wisely. If you have a big job that involves cleaning grease, oil, soap fat in the shower – then use Orange Power Cleaner undiluted to take away the elbow grease or scrubbing.

5) Clean the bathroom weekly

Cleaning the bathroom weekly is much better than letting it become a daunting job. Regular cleaning means mould, bacteria, soap residue is kept under control.

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6) Spray, walk away, then wipe

Some products need a little time to do their work for you, check the instructions. You’ll find those products more economical when being used correctly also. For instance Bathroom Cleaner needs a little time, walk away and do something else for a while, then come back to wiping.

Toilet Cleaner, with cedar and citronella, is particularly good at adhering to the loo bowl. Squeeze it under the rim and leave it to work overnight. Then just a quick scrub in the morning is all that’s required.

Use Multi-Surface and Glass Cleaner, with lavender and lemongrass or diluted Orange Power Cleaner or diluted All Purpose Cleanser in a trigger bottle for a quick after dinner clean, remember to spray, walk away then come back and wipe, because you’re letting your products do the work.

7) Cleaning products you actually like to use

Cleaning is much more enjoyable when you use products that smell lovely when you’re using them and leave nature’s aromatics behind as well. Natural and organic essential oils, as opposed to synthetic chemical fragrances, which are just pollutants.

8) Begin the New Year organised

This is a great time of year to tackle rooms, one by one, and clear the clutter, which means it’s quicker and easier to clean during the year. Put your favourite music on and if there’s kids about get them involved too. Have 3 drop off points: rubbish, recycle, donate.

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Christmas Cleaning Plan

Not long to go, so it’s time to make a plan. There will be enough to get done closer to the date without having anything more on your plate!

1 • Garden and BBQ area

Garden tidy and planting. Think about potted colour and hanging baskets. BBQ and outdoor area clean up.

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2 • Lounge and Bedrooms

Get the kids involved too, donate or reuse, recycle wherever possible.

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3 • Kitchen

The fridge needs to be spotlessly clean, and you’ll need all the extra space you can get. Baking Soda on a saucer will keep your fridge free of odours, change it weekly. Pantry tidy up time and oven clean too.

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4 • Bathroom

A thorough clean required. Love the aroma of Toilet Cleaner at this time of year with essential oils of cedar and citronella.

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5 • Dining and/or Outdoor Area and Last Minute Jobs

Wash glassware, cutlery and crockery. Wash and iron your Christmas linen.

Last minute bathroom and loo clean, dust, vacuum and wash floors with a small amount of Orange Power Cleaner, just because the residual smell of oranges works well at this time of year. Fresh towels in the bathroom, Hand Soap and guest towels.

Done!

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Products featuredOrange Power CleanerAll-Purpose Cleanser – both super economical used in dilution except for the toughest jobs, Multi-Surface and Glass Cleaner (also in 1 litre refill), Bathroom Cleaner (also in 1 litre refill), Scouring FluidToilet CleanerLaundry Liquid Lavender (also in 10 litre refill), Hand Soap Rose (also in 1 litre refill) and Hand Soap Rosemary (also in 1 litre refill).

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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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