The Don Aslett Museum of Clean
This first ever and one-of-a-kind museum collects, preserves, and displays artifacts and records that illuminate the little-known history of cleaning. It gives visitors a new view of clean, its power and omnipresence in our lives—and it’s fun. It highlights more than 3,000 treasures of the past and reveals the progress of cleaning up ourselves and the planet over the centuries. You will find here the tools, machines, appliances, art, posters, and dramatic presentations that add up to a look, feel, hear, and “try-it-out” trip!! Don Aslett, America’s #1 Cleaning Expert, after more than 58 years in the profession of clean, created this as his lifetime legacy. The museum is located in a beautiful southern Idaho city, Pocatello, and housed in a spacious 80,000-square-foot green building.
Click to enlarge.
Photo: Jordan Moser, electrician, Kevin Gibson, property manager, and Scott Huckstep, special projects.
1. To arrange in a systematic way, esp. on a large-scale.
2. Having one’s affairs in order so as to deal with them efficiently.
“People think getting organized is daunting, but it saves you so much time and energy in the long run.” Nate Burkes
What is your organizing style? Are you a Revealer, who puts things on display? Are you a Concealer who hides it away? Even if you can’t fit into these styles, here are easy ways to reduce stress by being organized at home and at the office. Clutter is one of life’s easiest things to fix. It takes just a few minutes so set aside time on your calendar to do these simple things and in the long run, your life will be easier to manage.
In the Office
- a memo board for invitations and memos keeps your eyes on what’s current
- a shelf frees your desktop
- a clear sorter with labeled folders keeps key files in view
- bins for storing individual items keeps things tidy
- dividers turn a drawer into a smart system and keeps supplies out of sight and close at hand
- binders in coordinating colors keep papers in order by topic
- clear plastic sleeves protect precious documents. Comes in archival quality, too.
- creating a magazine and reference library, separate from other documents eliminates clutter
- investing in a label maker keeps tabs uniform and easy to read
In the Family Room
- designate an eye-catching remote controller holder dish to encourage the family to use it when the show is over
- put gaming accessories in a basket
- wrap cords with masking tape and label
- use wire baskets to organize tapes, books, games, videos and cd’s
- purchase an even open bookcase to store bins, books and games
- create binders for mom and dad and binders for kid’s movies and games instead of jewel cases
- use cigar boxes and metal boxes found at vintage and thrift stores to store extra cords, clickers, iPods, remote controls
- purchase a bench-box to store stuff out of sight and provide extra seating
- keep extra blankets in a storage chest that becomes a table and extra seating
In Your Dressing Area
- attach a wood, 2 x 1 inch board, painted, to the wall. Add decorative hooks for necklaces and bracelets
- nail jar lids to the wood board, screw the jar to the lid for containing small things. Use spice jars.
- use a wall mounted paper towel holder to organize and display bracelets
- use trays on top of the dresser to hold coins, watches, glasses and rings
- hang an inexpensive medicine cabinet for an added mirror and storage
- label small boxes inside the cabinet and in drawers to bring order to baubles. Group items by style.
- put sorters in drawers for socks, scarves, nylons and under garments
- put scented drawer liner paper in your drawers and every time you open your drawer to put items away, it’s a memorable experience
- put tissue paper inside your sweaters when folding to eliminate wrinkles
From an article in Good Housekeeping, What’s your organizing style?”, January, 2012
Today’s new products deliver clean laundry using cold water according to a recent article in Healthy Living Healthy Planet Natural Awakenings Magazine, February 2011. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average American family annually washes nearly 400 loads of laundry. Because heating the water accounts for 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine, using only hot or warm water in a top-loading electric washer annually produces an average 2,407 pounds of CO2 pollution–equivalent to two cross-country flights.
Many conventional cold-water detergents still contain toxic chemicals that when drained, end up in waterways, creating a host of environmental concerns and exposes wildlife to endocrine disruptors. For both clean and green clothes, buy biodegradable laundry detergents made with plant oils and other natural ingredients that are free of phosphates, bleach and surfactants such as petroleum-based nonylphenol ethoxylates, or NPE. Kinder to the planet, greener choices are also gentler on our skin surface.
Consumers concerned about killing bacteria, dust mites and other allergens may be tempted to turn on the hot water tap for sheets, linens and undergarments, but Philip Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., a professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University of Medicine, says that most of the hot water people use is not hot enough anyway. He says that, “You need the water that’s between 140 and 150 degrees to kill germs.” However, turning your hot water tank to 140 to 150 degrees may be too hot for your taste and could cause burns to the skin. Tierno, author of “The Secret Life of Germs”, notes that the sun is one of nature’s most efficient germ killers. That means that hanging clothes on the clothes line outside and airing pillows, blankets, clothing, shoes, etc. is an effective germ killer and a great eco-option. Tierno says that ultraviolet radiation kills germs and is just as effective as bleach.” This is good news.
Natural disinfectants that can be added during rinsing include white vinegar (one half cup per load); grapefruit seed extract (one teaspoon per load), tea tree oil (two teaspoons per load), and lavender or peppermint essential oil (a few drops per load), which also brings a fresh fragrance to our laundry. No need to buy expensive fabric fresheners that may have chemical ingredients, too.
I have used all these essential oils and white vinegar as disinfectants and they are great, in my opinion.
Articles from Natural Awakenings and The Secret Life of Germs
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of flame retardant chemicals used to make household objects less likely to catch fire. Unfortunately, they’re linked to some serious health impacts:
- They’re bioaccumulative (build up in our bodies) and persistent (don’t break down easily in the environment).
- PBDE exposure is linked to hormone disruption, thyroid problems, and reproductive harm like undescended testicles, delayed puberty, reduced fertility, low birth weight, and birth defects.
- They’ve been detected in in breast milk, which is particularly concerning because developing children, infants, and fetuses are at highest risk to PBDEs. Studies show that exposure in the womb is associated with neurological impairment such as lower IQ’s.
Twelve states and the European Union have banned certain PBDEs, but the U.S. government as a whole has not taken action on these toxic chemicals. Studies have shown that American adults have 10 to 100 times higher levels of PBDEs in their bodies than adults in other countries, and the highest human levels in the world tested to date have been found in pregnant women in California.
Where Are PBDEs Found?
PBDEs are added to many household and offices products, most commonly:
- Polyurethane foam found in upholstered furniture and bedding
- Foam padding often found in baby products
- Computers, televisions and other electronics
Because PBDEs shed off of these products, they build up in household dust and indoor air. Once they are in the dust in your home, these chemicals can enter your body by breathing them in or accidentally ingesting dust. PBDEs have also been so widespread in our environment that they have moved up the food chain are now common contaminants in meat, fish and dairy products. PBDEs are found in the highest concentrations in the fat components of these foods.
Easy Ways to Avoid PBDEs
Reduce Exposure to Dust
- Clean your home with a wet mop or microfiber cloth.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Remove your shoes at the door to avoid tracking chemicals inside.
- Wash your hands several times a day, which has been shown to reduce PBDE levels in your blood significantly.
Choose PBDE-Free Electronics
- Certain PBDE-free products are now available from Canon, Dell, HP, Intel, Erickson, Apple, Acer, Nokia, Motorola, LG Electronics, and Sony.
Reduce Your Fat Intake
- Choose leaner meat or poultry cuts.
- Choose cooking methods that remove excess fat, such as broiling, grilling, and roasting.
Look for Safer Furniture
- Many companies such as Wal-Mart, Ikea, and Sam’s Club have eliminated PBDEs in their products.
- If you’re not buying from one of the above companies, email or call the manufacturer of the product you are interested in and ask them if they use PBDEs.
- Choose furniture made with less flammable fabrics like leather, wool and cotton.
- Look for crib mattresses stuffed with cotton, polyester, or wool instead of foam. The Mattress Matters report has some safer brands.
Help Eliminate PBDEs for Good!
Cleaner and greener PBDE alternatives are available and currently used by major manufacturers of household products. We can achieve fire safety without the use of these toxic chemicals.
Ask lawmakers to ensure that harmful chemicals like PBDEs aren’t put into our products in the first place. Congress can pass the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, which would require that chemicals be evaluated for safety before they’re placed in products we use everyday. Visit our Making Products Safe page to find out how you can support it!
More Information & Fun Resources
- Check out the CHEMSec report on Electronics Without Brominated Flame Retardants and PVC. You can find product reviews for small and large household appliances, computers, cell phones, TVs, video cameras and more on p. 22 of the report.
This report is published by Women’s Voices for the Earth.
Did you know that recycling one can creates quite a bit of energy? Enough to run your television for three hours!
Visit www.cityofseattle.gov for more information on how you can make a difference by recycling your stuff.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Vioguard self-sanitizing computer keyboard for use in hospitals and clinics.
The keyboard was developed by Kirkland-based Vioguard LLC.
Vioguard LLC, owned by two Microsoft Hardware alums and their business partners, sees its device as an alternative to manual cleaning. After use, the keyboard automatically retracts into an enclosed monitor stand to be bathed in ultraviolet light.
Computers are becoming more common in hospitals because of electronic medical records, and shared keyboards are one of the major ways that disease can spread.
The Ultraviolet “Class C” light used by the Vioguard keyboard is a well-known germicide. Vioguard cites outside lab tests showing the effectiveness of its system, which it claims can rid highly contaminated keyboards of bacteria related to the deadly MRSA infection and other diseases in as little as 10 seconds.
Vioguard was awarded a patent in December, and the keyboard went through a clinical trial. The results were recently published in the American Journal of Infection.
“We’re very pleased with the FDA clearance, which substantiates our medical claims and allows hospitals and clinics to make use of this new tool,” Larry Ranta, president and CEO of Vioguard, said in a statement Tuesday. “Conventional computer keyboards have been identified as a key point of transmission of viruses and bacteria, especially within the medical setting. The Vioguard keyboard takes the guesswork out of sanitization efforts, reduces labor costs, and helps fight the spread of harmful and often deadly superbugs.”
Ranta said Vioguard is seeking partners to help bring the keyboard to market.
Here is how Vioguard describes how the keyboard works:
Vioguard’s self-sanitizing keyboard has the look and feel of a standard notebook keyboard, and requires no software or special hardware to function. A powerful microprocessor controls UV exposure, operation of the sensor, and monitors safety interlock switches and lamp status.
On a user-triggered or predetermined basis, the keyboard automatically retracts into its own clean, light-tight enclosure. The keyboard is then safely flooded with high power germicidal UV light. By waving a hand within inches of a built-in motion sensor, the motorized keyboard drawer quietly opens and presents a completely sanitized keyboard and touchpad.
Greg Lamm, Staff Writer – Puget Sound Business Journal
Want to have more energy in 2012? Practicing the art of mind fully de-cluttering can deduce feelings of depression and anxiety in our lives. Too much stuff can actually drain our energy and make us feel overwhelmed. The practice of removing clutter can rejuvenate our lives and free our minds. What better time than now to just do it. When we set aside 20 minutes and/or write it down on our to do list we have made the first step in our committment to ourselves.
Clearing clutter releases huge amounts of energy in the body, according to many sources. When we rid our lives of things that have no meaning any more, we literally feel lighter in the body, mind and spirit. One guideline is to keep what we love and have used in the past year and get rid of the rest. This may mean letting go of clothing, cards, dishes, projects started, stuffed animals, watches, jewelry, scarves–you name it. If you feel bad about throwing it away, donate it, sell it or give it away. By practicing the art of removing clutter, we make room for things of importance and significance. There may be some things from the past that are not serving us now.