How Safe Is Your Eco Liquid Dish Soap?

Rashes from Laundry Detergent

As I was recovering from horrible reaction from a well-known brand of enzyme based laundry detergent, my skin was worse after I washed dishes. So, I began my search for a new hand wash dish soap. Since I don’t have a dish washer, a good and safe dish washing soap is very important.

EWG.org Rates “C” on My Old Dish Soap

EWG (The Environmental Working Group) assessed my dish soap as a “C”, siting concerns on water pollution and skin irritation/allergies/damage.

I never thought an well-known eco brand would put out products like this. I was so shocked, I had to pick up the bottle and read the ingredients myself.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

That’s when I realized I had been washing my dishes with SLS in the soap. I had been avoiding SLS in my body care products, I never thought to check my dish soap. I just blindly trusted the brand.

And if I don’t want to use SLS on my skin, why would I put it in my body?

Switched to Attitude

Attitude Natural Dishwashing Liquid, Fragrance FreeLuckily, EWG pointed me to the Attitude brand (from Canada). I purchased one bottle of their fragrance-free natural dishwashing liquid (Though not EWG VERIFIED, it’s rated “A”).

I also found that many of their personal care products are EWG VERIFIED to be “free from EWG’s chemicals of concern and meets our strictest standards for your health.”

Clean Dishes, Smooth Skin

It’s been 3.5 months since I switched to Attitude. It cleans as well as my old brand with the same amount of soap. And I am happy to report that my hands are no longer completely dried out. In fact, my skin feels softer!

Buy A Test Bottle

Both my body and I are glad we found EWG and Attitude but as with every new product, I suggest buying one to try then go from there.

For the test bottle, get it direct on ATTITUDEliving.com, as of Oct. 2018, their flate rate shipping and handling is $8.95 for just 1 bottle. (They ship to Canadian provinces & contiguous USA)

This fragrance-free dish soap seems to be harder to find than their other items on US sites, so the prices are pretty much the same as ordering from ATTITUDEliving.com. But if you rather get it via Amazon, put it on your wishlist and see if a deal comes up.

How to Save on #attitudeliving?

If you like it after using it and have the space, I suggest ordering bulk direct from ATTITUDEliving.com for amazing discounts.

For free shipping order more than $60. For order over $70 and above, you get up to 25% off + free shipping!

If you need a little push to get the free shipping, check out some of their EWG VERIFIED items and buy other test bottles. That’s what I did!

My Favorit Made in USA Food Containers

<<< Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Containers >>>

Rubbermaid Brilliance 9.6 Cups Made in USA

Crackers Stay Crispy Test
–Excellent Seal–

Since Rubbermaid Brilliance containers are a bit more pricey than the usual containers, I bought one on-sale to try.

Brilliance 9.6 cups 3-packMy Dad is very impatient when it comes to opening a package, so an opened pack of crackers (especially if there is a plastic tub inside) is often impossible to close back with a clip or a rubber band. Then the crackers would go stale pretty quickly.

I gave him this container to dump the crackers in. After a week, the crackers are still pretty crispy. Not only that he kept the lid back on tight (unusal for him so he must had found the lid easier to close and open), most importantly, there where no longer a trail of crumbs on the floor.

Bulk-Buyer’s Perfect Semi-Long Term Storage

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry 10-Piece set with LidsFor things that can last a while, like nuts and herbs, I like to buy in bulk. However, having to find and open every big bag to get a small amount every time I cook is

  • Inconvenient (having to move large items around)
  • Food would go bad faster

Often it was so tedious, I’d give up cooking which usually leads to me eatting junk. And my body is not taking the abuse any longer. I need to make it easier, I thought, my body has been pretty good to me, I must treat it with love and respect!

After getting the bulk pack home, I would fill one of my Luminarc Working Glasses (also made in USA) and cover it with its lid. These easy-to-remove lids keeps it simple to keep me motivated to cook.

And whatever is left, I’d put it in a Rubbermaid Brilliance container. For nuts, rice, seeds (things with more oil contents), I then put in the fridge.

What Else Do I Like About Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers

Rubbermaid Brilliance Salad and Snack Lunch Combo Kit

  • BPA free
  • Clear plastic (easy to see what’s inside)
  • Freezer safe (disposable ones become brittle when frozen)
  • Made in USA
  • Stackable
  • Microwaveable (there are small vent holes under the latches on the lids)
  • And they are pretty to look at!

Many Shapes And Sizes

Though I only need the one size, I must mention that there are many, many different shapes and sizes of Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers to fill your needs. The Rubbermaid Brilliance Salad and Snack Lunch Combo Kit is an excelent example!

Made in USA = Function + Quality + Design

I am so glad Rubbermaid continues to develop great products and actually kept the manufacturing for Rubbermaid Brilliance in the States. Keep up the good work!

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

100% Chick T-Shirt: Cute, Comfy, 100% Cotton, Made in USA

100% Cotton, Super Soft, Light Yet Not See-Thru

100% cotton peaceful chick t shirt made in USAThis is the most comfortable cotton t-shirt I’ve ever owned. I can feel the quality in this 100% cotton fabric, yet it’s light enough that it almost felt a linen shirt (I like my t-shirt loose fitting) only it’s not as see-thru. A win-win for me!

Cute Designs

There are different designs that come with their own colors: “Biker Chick” in black; “Country Chick” in red; “Yoga Chick” in seafoam/gray; “Peaceful Chick” in white/light blue.

100% cotton t shirts made in USA, biker, country, yoga, peaceful chickI have the “Peaceful Chick” in white.

Made in USA

The seller, Green 3, wrote “All of our products are designed, sourced, and produced in the USA in family-owned manufacturing facilities.”

I am so happy to have found the USA made quality in this fun shirt!

Sizing

The t-shirt is relax fit, slightly more shaped than the classic cut, so if you like your t-shirt loose, get one size up, I did.

Free shipping + Free Return on Amazon

If you are not sure about the sizes and designs, take advantage of the free shipping by ordering 2+ different sizes/designs to try it, then use the free return to exchange or order the ones that you like best.

NOTE: Make sure you confirm the free return offer where the price is listed. I am not sure if it’s always going to be there.

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

American Giant: 100% USA Made Hoodie & More

If you don’t already know, American Giant produces durable clothing using 100% USA materials and labor. USA made quality still means something to many around the world.

Because they also pay extreme care in designing their pieces, they dare to offer lifetime warranty for full price items.

I’m reviewing items I actually have tried or do wear.

Classic Full Zips Hoodie

My top pick!

  • 100% cotton
  • heavy weight
  • best for cool, dry spring/fall days
  • shape holding construction (no slouch look)
  • elbow patch that extends under the forearm
  • the hood doesn’t cling to your forehead and cover your eyes
  • these are not cheap but it will last a long time, being a Konmari convert, not buying junk also helps me save money and live green.

Essential Full Zips Hoodie

  • cheaper, lighter
  • Super soft material using Supima cotton and modal fiber (made from beechwood) mix
  • good for lounging around

100% Cotton Preiume T

american giant premium crew t long sleeve
It did not work for me, I returned it.

  • designed for slender, long shaped ladies
  • comfortable material but white was too see-through for my taste
  • my aunt love dark colored longsleeve ones for layering yet they are stylish enough for indoors without other layers.

Good to Know

  • Don’t Wait Too Long, Colors Changes Often!
  • Be sure to check the size chart, though most returns are honored but free return shipping do take a week or two.
  • Instead of exchanging items, they ask you to buy again and return the unwanted items.

USA Made Nano Cloth for Eco Cleaning – Spiff Cloth: Just Add Water

Cleaning after Konmari Process

Now that I’m Konmari Clean, it was time to put my things in their permanent homes and cleaning their new homes was the first step.

microfiber cleaning clothUsing the older style microfiber cloth was very frustrating. The small dust balls it gathers are very hard to wash off and surfaces often need more wiping. Even after I dusted with Swiffer, I still have trouble with it.

I started looking on Amazon for newer, greener technology. It seems Nano cloth is the talk of the town. It only needs water, not chemical, to use.

Made in USA

spiff cloth non-toxic cleaningThe top seller was not made in USA and I didn’t like that it has long fibers. I can just imagine the towel trapping all kinds of particles. The thicker material would dry slower after hand washing and would smell after a while.

Then I found the paper like Spiff Cloth, made in USA!

Amazing results on smooth surfaces

Just add water–it works! No chemical necessary.

Computer screen

cleaning monitor with Spiff Cloth

monitor1

monitor2

Stovetop

cleaning stove top with Spiff Clothcleaning stove top with Spiff Cloth

Not so good for

Sticky residue from strong tapes or thick old kitchen grimes (thin grimes are easy to wipe away without much elbow grease. See the before and after photo of my old stereo.)

cleaning stereo with Spiff Clothstereo1

What else do I like about it?

  • Easy to wash clean by hand (use soap and warm water)
  • Dries fast
  • Cut your own size (I cut the 16″x16″ sheet in half)
  • Sturdy (we’ve even cleaned outside windows with it, no damage to the cloth at all)

More to know

  • For maximun result, be sure to wring it as dry as you can
  • For thick dust layer, dusting or vaccumming before wiping makes it easier, faster
  • For soaking up spills, I recommend Trader Joe’s Kitchen Cloth at their stores for the best price. (also easy to wash clean by hand; if not found in one, try other Tader Joe’s.)
  • If it looks a bit dirty after washing, it still clean just fine.
  • Buy direct from Lawrence and Berit Hines
  • Or buy from Amazon

Where to Buy

Spiff Cloth Bonus Coupon

From time to time The Hines would run a speical. When they do I put it up in the comment section, be sure to look for it! FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, please!

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

Oh So Soft! 100% USA Made Organic Cotton T-Shirt

The USA Made T-Shirt Search Requirements

  • made in USA, of course
  • traditional unisex cut, short sleeves
  • not too thin/see-through
  • not too long
  • not form fitting

SOS from Texas Is The Winner

SOS from Texas organic cottonNeeded to kiss a few t-shirt frogs before I found my t-shirt prince, do keep in mind that I am short and a little chubby.

  • American Apparel
    $18 each, can’t tell where their cotton/fabrics are from. Don’t think I’m their target consumer… I decided not to buy from them.
  • All American Clothing Co.
    $11.99 each, I believe the cotton/fabrics are from USA
    I bought both unisex and women’s plus few pairs of jeans (Can’t help it, they have petite length.) Thought the material is nice, the shirts don’t fit me right and too long for me. Kept the jeans, LOVE them! (not vanity sizing, be sure to consult their sizing chart)
  • American Giant
    $24.50 each, I believe the cotton/fabrics are all made in USA here, too.
    They are famous for their hoodies, I bought 1 hoodies and a few unisex and women’s t-shirts. Same fitting issues as before, the material for women’s premium t-shirt is lovely and fashionable but too see-through for me. I kept the hoody, LOVE this, too.
  • SOS from Texas <<< The Winner! >>>
      sos from texas organic unisex t shirt

    • $12.50 each. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Good price and ORGANIC!
    • “From Dirt to Shirt”–Sold by the actual organic farmers
    • The fit is what I wanted/expected (like the blank t-shirt from the craft shops)
    • I kept all but one (I did expected the fit might not work), donated it to my local 100% volunteer thrift shop
    • Then I ordered long-sleeve t-shirts for the fall and winter

Softest T-Shirt I Have

When I first touched it, I knew I love it. The t-shirt has a cushiony feel, a different kind of soft from the Supima t-shirts on the market but SOS shirts feel so much better against the body.

For the softest, go with “Natural”

sos from texas organic long sleeves t shirtI’ve washed the natural (not bleached) shirts many times now, they still feel great. They told me these would shrink about 1/2 inch after first wash but they still work for me.

White shirt is the next softest. The colored shirts are closer to the white t-shirt out there.

Customer Service

I called SOS from Texas to get help on size and color. The lovely lady actually pulled and measured a t-shirt for me. You might not get them on the first try (I’m guessing it’s a smaller outfit then the others) but don’t give up, it’s worth it!

Return Rules

Their site mentioned “Items may be returned for refund if they have not been washed or worn. If returning for an exchange, please include $6.50 for return shipping.”

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

100% USA Made Supima Cotton Sheets – Authenticity 50

Cheaper Means Cheaper

Been buying sheets on sales at department and other stores. They were cheaper but some smelled, some had pills after one wash (i.e. not going to last long), some only had weak elastic on the corners of the fitted sheets. And of course, none of those were made in the USA.

One side effect of my “Konmari Cleanup” is to simplify my life, including owning fewer quality things that last a long time. That also means, reduce waste and be green!

Authenticity 50, 100% “seed-to-stitch” Made in USA

US made products still means quality and safety.

When I found Authenticity 50, I couldn’t believe it.

  • California Supima cotton:Supima cotton produces stronger and softer fabric.
  • Georgia spun yarn
  • Carolinas woven fabric
  • Family-own factory hand sewn sheets
  • Georgia made elastics
  • Even the duvet cover’s corner ties and buttons are made in USA!
  • (more details)

Trying It Out

 authenticity 50 packageTo test them out, I got the A50 Duvet Set because I never use the flat sheet anyway. (They come with 100-night sleep trial.)

Minimal Yet Sufficient Packaging

The set came in a plastic bag inside a sturdy paper bag (good for recuse/recycle). And from the condition it arrived in, you don’t need more packaging than this. And it translates to reduced cost and less enviornmental impact.

360 Degree Elastic

I love that the elastic for the fitted sheet is 360 degree, not just in the corners. The elastic is wider and thicker than the other ones I’ve had. You can feel the quality by holding it in your fist.

Using it, Loving it

Authenticity 50 fitted 360 degree elasticI’ve slept in them for a while now. The texture reminds me of the line-dried cloth. And there is no smell, too soft, too slippery issues.

I’ve also washed it a few times, still good as new, no pills. The 250 thread-count seems to mean more than the 300+ ones I had before.

I believe we are going to have a healthy long-term relationship.

Tips with Fitted Sheets

The fitted sheets made for 14″ pocket. But do remember to include the extra paddings you have on your mattress.

White Only!? Consider The Costs

Some reviewer wished for colored sheets but think of the extra cost and the problem of not being able to sell less popular colors. The founders want to provide quality sheets at reasonable prices, I totally support having only white sheets.

Besides, I found color sheets tend to take over the room. If you want color, decorate with colorful pillows or a small throw. It’s cheaper and easier to switch up your themes this way, too.

UPDATE (Aug. 2017): Authenticity 50 now has Carolina Gray for people who don’t want white beddings.

$15 Coupon with My Referral Link

If you are looking for the coupon, sorry it has expired. But if you can still save by signing up at Authenticity 50, they do have amazing sales from time to time!

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

Best Non-Toxic Carpet Spot Remover

Folex Carpet Spot RemoverFolex is by far my favorit non-toxic carpet spot cleaner. It knocked Naturally It’s Clean Carpet Cleaner (see my review) down to a slight distant 2nd. And other Folex customers would agree with me.

Folex took the top spot because unlike Naturally It’s Clean Carpet Cleaner, it leave no oder and no color residue.

Folex also works in an instant as the bottle claimed. Follow these simple instructions: spray the spot, work it into the fiber (very important), and blot it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

Folex is cheaper, too. As of today, the best price I saw so far is from Bed Bath & Beyond with their readly availble 20% off coupon. 2nd best place to look is your local independent hardware store (where I first discovered it). And when all else failed, there is always Amazon.

Both Folex and Naturally It’s Clean are made in USA and I believe they only clean, don’t disinfect.

Better, Safer Than The Electric Blanket

Forget about electric blanket, stay cold or worry about electric fire, you are sleepless either way. Go with a water heating blanket!

My father never liked electric blanket, why?

  • You can’t sleep on it
  • Hard to keep it clean (Though it says it’s washable, he worries the electrical might be damaged. And it may be safe but the worry keeps him from sleeping.)
  • Direct heat is uncomfortable
  • The EMF, electromagnetic field, should be avoided (This is from me, there are already enough signals bombarding our bodies, we don’t need to wrap ourselves in it every night.)

Aqua Bed Warmer non-electric blanket (heated by water)He was sleeping on a small water heating pad from Asia but it broke down right when the weather turned cold. The option of going back to an electric blanket troubled him.

Not believing that we won’t have something similar in the States, I went searching. And then I found it.

Aqua Bed Warmer Non-electric Heater Blanket by Aqua Bed Warmer. This one also heats by water only better. As of today, he has been sleeping on it for almost a month.

He loves it!

heat_blanket_water_boxIn the first days, he kept saying how lucky he was to get something ever better in the States.

  • It fits on top the mattress and under the bed sheet (Full length means even the feet stay warm)
  • No safety concern (at worst you just get wet)
  • Can keep it on all night
  • Precise temperature control (he likes around 98 F)
  • Gentler heat
  • A quiet heating unit
  • 100% cotton pad cover
  • Very well made
  • No EMF (because it’s water, not wires inside the blanket)

Great Customer Service

Aqua Bed Warmer is one of the brands under Firstech based in the Washington State with its R&D in Alaska.

So I called to ask for more details like the warrenty and return/repair. The person answered the phone didn’t know I was talking about the heating blanket. Most people call about products for their other brands. I took it as a good sign that not a lot of people have issues with it.

He didn’t have much data to go on but told me his uncle has been sleeping on one for a while and he never heard any complaints about it. He didn’t tried to convinced me, just trying to give me as many details as he personally knew.

He said if we got it via Amazon we can return it with in 30 days.

Through out the call, he was very patient, friendly, and funny. I felt it was safe to buy from this company.

Special Notes

Aqua Bed Warmer water heated dual zone blanket

  • It runs from $250 to $450, expensive compared to electric blankets. But to my dad not sleeping well (leads to sickness) is even more expensive in the long run.
  • When my mom put her hand on it she said it didn’t feel hot but when my father lay on it, he can feel it getting warmer.
  • And when we got it, the company gives out a 2-year warranty if we registered the product online.
  • Be sure to measure your mattress so you how will it might fit.
  • The now have the Aqua Bed Warmer dual-zone option for people share a bed.

Parissa Wax Strips, Hair Removal for Wimps

I’m one of those who never shave their legs unless I have to. I much rather be hairy then going through the pain, expenses, and time of hair removal. With an very important formal function coming up, I needed to look for options.

Parissa Wax Strips, Legs and BodyShaving was not acceptable, I’ve touched ladies with leg stubbles, NOT AN OPTION! I also had used the drugstore brand hair softening cream, chemicals, also NOT AN OPTION. And that left me with waxing.

A visit to my local natural food store which has a very strict standard when choosing what they sell yielled the Parissa brand. Parissa products are non-toxic, parabens/preservatives free, all natural, and not tested on animal. The ones I got (summer, 2015) was made in Spain.

While I researched for the pain level, I only found one video that said it hurt. Eventually, I found this video by Effortless Ruth that convinced me to get it. I think the person who said it hurt might not have followed the instructions well.

I read the instructions, watched Ruth’s and Parissa’s video, then in less than 5 minutes I have hairless legs! No Pain, no mess. I’ll never dread waxing my legs again!