Take your Shoes Off

Take your Shoes Off

In Japanese homes, it is considered disrespectful to leave your shoes on as you enter someone’s home. Guests remove their shoes and either slip into soft booties or socks provided by the host or go barefoot. Other countries observing this custom include Thailand, The Czech Republic, and Sweden. After all, think about where your shoes have been. If you stop at a petrol station to fill up the car on your way home, you likely track petroleum and grease on your feet. If you’ve walked on a freshly treated lawn, you could track toxic pesticides, manure or chemical fertilizers onto the floor your baby crawls across or drops her pacifier. What’s more, seemingly benign dirt can even contain traces of lead.

The professional cleaning industry estimates that we track 85% of the dirt in our homes from the outside on our shoes or on the paws of our pets. In a recent warning about lead exposure, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that shoes remain outside the house.

According to a report called The Door Mat Study, lead-contaminated soil from the outside causes almost all the lead dust found inside of homes. The study revealed that wiping shoes on a mat and/or removing them at the door cuts lead-dust by 60 percent. The study also explained that limiting the amount of dust and track-in may also help reduce exposure to lawn and garden pesticides, wood smoke and industrial toxins, mutagens, dust mites and allergens.

If you like the idea of keeping outside dirt outside your door, put slippers or socks in a basket by the door. Not only will your tile floors stay clean and wood floors protected from scratches, but removing shoes effectively keeps dirt and toxic threats from being tracked onto carpets and area rugs.



No Headache

No Headache

Sometimes cleaning chores can feel like a bit of a headache. But is it possible that your headache is actually real, and is being caused by the products you use?

Scientists regard household cleaning products as one of the most insidious threats to human health, and a key source of indoor pollution ( Often containing synthetic colours, fragrances or scents, these products can cause headaches or breathing problems.

In 2000, cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers. Dr. Jeanne Conry, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists maintains that many chemicals in frequent household use today are not adequately tested for safety before being allowed on the market (Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times, 2016). According to the Organic Consumers Association, some cleaners cause hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns.

While there are many triggers for health disorders like these, perhaps it’s a good idea to make sure that they are not being caused by the cleaners you bring into the home as part of your regular shop.

Consider this: multiple reports of burns, rashes, dizziness and scratchy throats were made by housekeeping employees at North Central Bronx Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center (USA). So these places switched to green cleaning products. The number of lost days linked to injuries from cleaning products? In 2004, they numbered 54. In 2010, after the switch? Zero. (Mireya Navarro, The New York Times, 2010).

Research shows certain chemicals may cause long-term, gradual changes, unnoticeable to the human eye. Some common ingredients are regarded as ‘sensitisers’. Repeated exposure can cause a build-up in the body, leading to allergies. Perhaps you haven’t noticed a reaction to particular cleaning products and therefore assume they’re safe to use. This may not be the case. 

The wisest course of action is to take responsibility. Don’t assume that retail outlets only sell ‘safe’ products. In a growing environmentally conscious marketplace, scanning ingredients lists and packaging is vital. If you read “hazardous, corrosive, warning, danger or irritant” on the bottle, ask yourself. Do you really want to splash that around your home?
Why Natural

Why Natural

Choosing ‘the good oil’. Why going natural with cleaning products is a healthier choice for you and for the planet

Maybe you want to save money, maybe you want to save time, so when it comes to household cleaners you go with what you’ve always chosen. Standard products are often cheaper, and the ingredients promise to be super-quick and super-effective in blitzing the bugs.

But ask yourself: if you are cleaning your home but filling it with chemicals are you really cleaning it?

The concern about cleaning product chemicals posing a threat to health is not new. In 1959, The New York Times recommended a ‘chemical chest’ to hide away cleaning agents, disinfectants, insecticides and other household products as brands did not necessarily indicate the products’ dangerous nature (Dr. Bernard L. Oser, Director of Food and Drug Laboratories, 1959). In 2017, it seems little has changed, and legislation is unable to keep up with regulating chemicals in the cleaning industry.

At present, there are more than 84,000 chemicals in commercial use, with 1000 new ones being developed every year around the world. Long after household exposure to these chemicals has happened, links have been made to health issues like hormone disruption, allergies, and asthma.

In today’s busy life, it’s tempting to choose a cheap quick fix in preference to green products. Sometimes it’s because there’s a mistaken perception that environmentally friendly products don’t work as well or are less convenient. But this is simply not the case! Nature has always made the best antiseptics, and in Australia we are blessed with some of the most powerful in the world.

Koala Co uses high concentrations of potent essential oils, so that our cleaners not only work with the full force of nature but also leave homes smelling as aromatic as the Australian bushland. Essential oils shouldn’t be confused with fragrances and perfumed oils, commonly used to mask chemical smells in standard cleaners. Essential oils are the healthy, eco-friendly and ethical alternative to ‘fragrance’ infused products. They won’t damage you, your home, or the planet.

Switch to a Koala Co. cleaning product. There’s no harm in it.