Essentially Sofia’s: Plant-Powered Cleaning with Essential Oils

Is there anything more satisfying than sitting back with a well-earned glass of wine on Sunday afternoon relaxing in a clean, fresh-smelling house? We agree. That’s why we sharing a little Sofia’s plant-powered secret with you: essential oils. Now, obviously, we haven’t invented essential oils (we were a bit preoccupied inventing an amazing green cleaner, after all). Essential oils are an age-old homeopathic remedy for nearly everything. But, we started playing with a DIY aromatherapy meets cleaning technique that amplifies all the satisfaction feels – and we’re here to share.

Let’s start with the essentials – the oil essentials that is.

Not all oils are created equal.

Extracted directly from plants, essential oils are natural concentrations of plant fragrance. They are perfectly safe and offer a variety of mood and health benefits. Our preferred brand is DoTerra because we think their purity and high-concentration oils are the best bang for your buck. Whatever brand you decide, here are the cardinal rules when shopping for oils:

  • Buy only organic, non-gmo brands
  • Buy brands that source their plants from their native regions (and aim for sustainability when possible)
  • Avoid any brands that have warning labels

Do keep in mind that while essential oils are safe, over-consumption can have health and environmental impacts.

The Bedroom

Lavender is a natural source of zen with calming qualities perfectly suited to creating a clam, serene bedroom. Floral, without being cloying, it’s a subtle way to soothe and relax your mind. We mix a drop into our bedding wash and use a spray bottle to mist oil infused water (just a couple drops to one part water) on linens. When it comes to the [hard] floors, we combine a couple drops of lavender oil with warm water and Sofia’s Soy Cleaner and give it a quick, simple mop.

Want to spice it up? Exotic scents create a subtle seductiveness. Ylang Ylang, lotus, cardamom, and jasmine are some that come to mind. The oil-infused linen mist trick is a great way to add some warmth to your room. Another way to use oils in the bedroom is as an antimicrobial mattress spray. Good oils for this are eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree and rosemary (in any combination you like).

Furniture Care

Essential oils not only smell wonderful but also add richness to wood furnishings when used appropriately. A particularly lovely mixture is lemon, sweet orange, and a wood-based oil like cedarwood, eucalyptus or myrhh. Combine a drop or two in a small spray bottle with Sofia’s all-purpose cleaner and wipe down dusty surfaces with a clean cloth. Be careful not to saturate the wood with oil, less is more when cleaning furniture.

Kitchen & Bathroom

We love a combination of a bright citrusy oil, an herbaceous oil such as oregano, coriander or basil, and a disinfecting oil like tea tree, eucalyptus or black pepper. Of note, black pepper oil was reported effective against several problem bacteria including Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, e. coli, and salmonella. Simply mix a couple drops of each oil of choice with Sofia’s Soy Cleaner and grease, grime and germs will be gone in no time – leaving a fresh scent and luxurious shine.

A trick to mitigating food odors in the kitchen is to create a pan diffuser of sorts. Boil water on the stove, then reduce to a simmer. Add a few drops of oils (either a fresh citrus or floral scent or a warm scent like cinnamon or cardamom) and infuse the room with neutralizing aroma.

Keep a bottle of your favorite scent in the bathroom to add to lotion, body wash or shampoo. Here is a good breakdown of the health benefits of various oils.

Disinfecting

Tea tree and lemon oils are natural cleansers and antibacterial oils. Mixing a few drops with Sofia’s Soy Cleaner gives you double the protection with the added benefit of clean shine and clean scent. Since our soy cleaner is safe and all0purpose, you can use it to disinfect every room in the house. If you’re cleaning the kiddos toys, lavender oil has shown to have some antimicrobial properties and is mild enough for children.

Pest Control

You don’t need Sofia’s for this, but we wanted to share none-the-less. Essential oil blends are brilliant pest repellents. You can deter bugs easily and naturally with tea tree oil, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus. Either apply directly onto skin or soak cotton balls then place into a jar to set on tables near you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Reasons Why Sofia’s is the Best Household Cleaner for the Busy Bee

Cleaning is the necessary evil of every household and, let’s face it, life’s messy. The calendar is jam-packed and you’re constantly on the go bouncing between work and balancing your personal life. We’re on a perpetual goose chase to figure out how to crush the work day, kill the PiYo class, make that board meeting, publish that blog post, and meal prep healthy sustenance like a champ while making time for family, friends and self-care. But, one thing we no longer have to search for – the perfect household cleaner to fit into our busy lives.

So Fresh and So Clean

Sofia’s Soy Cleaner is a powerful all-purpose cleaner. It’s so powerful that it can replace most of your other cleaners, saving you space and money. The soy compound was formulated to remove black scuff marks from epoxy floors, and it performed so well, it earned itself a spot on our shelves. Sofia’s not only whitens and brightens; it cuts grease and grime effectively and quickly, leaving a luxurious shine.

Safety First

No one likes splashing their home’s surfaces with poison, us included. So we made Sofia’s Soy Cleaner from non-toxic, plant-based components without dyes or synthetic fragrances. It’s derived from soy and is safe for use anywhere kids, pets, food – or you – touch.

Earth-Friendly

Earth is our home, and we ought to be good to her. If you can make a powerful cleaner that is also environmentally friendly – well, why wouldn’t you? Sofia’s is plant-based, naturally derived, non-toxic and biodegradable. It’s ethically and consciously derived for safety — not just for you, but for the environment.

Making Lemonade

Automation is awesome. It saves us time and makes our lives easier. Sadly, most chores aren’t digital (or are costly to outsource). A Roomba can suck up dirt all day long, but the floors will still need mopping on Saturday. We’re entrepreneurs too; we know the value of that extra 20 minutes. Sofia’s cuts grime quickly, giving you back your time — so you can spend it on better things than scrubbing and funnel savings from outsourcing to your next vacation. Bonus, skip the trip to the store. Sofia’s is available online and conveniently ships straight to your door.

Bang For Your Buck

Sofia’s is a gentle household cleaner that can be used on almost all of your surfaces. Though you will still need some anti-microbial wipes, there is very little need to build an arsenal of cleaners. Powerful enough to use in the garage, gentle enough for cleaning the kitchen — it’s the perfect all-purpose cleaner for almost any function, simplifying your life and space without taking a bite out of your budget.

The Benefits of Using Plant-Based (i.e. Green) Cleaners

 Sofia’s Soy Cleaner For Domestic Use

As the number of green (i.e. plant-based) cleaners on the market increases so does debate over perceivable benefits (and if they really clean as well as traditional cleaners). So what is the big deal with green products? Arguably, the most significant benefit is the health value of not using toxic materials to clean your home.

Plant-based cleaners contain no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants, or other harsh chemicals. Obviously avoiding these contaminants benefits you – and your children’s – health. Sofia’s Soy Cleaner uses soybean oil to make a house-friendly cleaner, limiting the toxins absorbed by the skin or breath. Plant-based cleaners also reduce headaches, allergies and other symptoms associated with toxic chemicals. Asthma, in particular, is less irritated by green cleaners.

 “Studies have shown that using a household cleaning spray, even as little as once a week, raises the risk of developing asthma. Snow says that using green cleaning products can reduce the chances of developing asthma, which today is the most common chronic illness and the leading cause of school absences due to chronic illness across the country.” – 7 Benefits Of Green Cleaning

Soy as a cleaning component is also safer than conventional cleaning products as it does not cause chemical burns to the skin and eyes. For those with sensitive noses, plant-based cleaners don’t have a strong chemical odor. Bonus: you can add essential oils to Sofia’s to create any aroma that you like, but that’s another blog post. Sofia’s Soy Cleaner is not only safe for the humans in your family, it is also non-toxic for your fur family.

The Battle over [Anti] Bacterial

The green versus conventional cleaner debate always touches on the use of antibacterial soaps to eliminate germs (food-borne and otherwise). What’s interesting is that the FDA has determined that antibacterial soaps are not any more disinfecting than regular soap. In fact, significant exposure to antibiotics has concerned the medical world as antibiotic resistance continues to grow in the Western world. Additionally, the antibacterial agent Triclosan has been linked to negative impact on the hormonal and thyroid.

Most antibiotics are consumed through food or the over-prescription of medications, however, limiting your exposure to them never hurts. Enter green products. Sofia’s Soy Cleaner is safe for countertops, refrigerators and other food prep surfaces in jeopardy of toxic exposure. Should you need to disinfect an area, you can look to your medicine cabinet for a safe, affordable anti-microbial. Use a hydrogen peroxide mixture to sanitize, then follow up with Sofia’s all-purpose cleaner for shine.

Knowledge is [Plant] Power

Sofia’s has only five ingredients, which are all listed right there on the bottle (water, surfactant, soybean oil extract, and co-solvent). Though the government does not require cleaning products to list ingredients, it’s important to us that customers know – and trust – what they are using in their homes.

Sofia’s Soy Cleaner for Commercial Use

The benefits of plant-based cleaners do not end at home; commercial and small business owners greatly benefit from switching to a green approach. Industries that are a particularly good match for a green approach are printing, manufacturing, automotive, and microprocessing plants. Essentially, any commercial space that does not need to meet food and beverage specifications is prime for Sofia’s Soy Cleaner. When companies replace petroleum-based cleaners with plant-based cleaners, they reduce workers’ risk of contacting toxic substances. In doing so, companies prevent symptoms caused by toxic chemicals in conventional cleaners like headaches, blurred vision, bone marrow and reproductive health damage.

In fact, Sofia’s was originally developed for a commercial customer of Pro Floor Design, an epoxy flooring installer. The customer was looking for an effective neutral cleaner to remove black scuff marks from epoxy flooring. The soy formula cut scuff and grime, leaving a lustrous shine.

“Along with powerful cleaning, soy-based cleaning products offer safety for the people applying them because they do not contain petroleum distillates, which are central-nervous-system depressants and can have adverse effects on the kidneys and liver.” – United Soybean Board

Plants are Better for the Environment

Soy is both renewable and environmentally friendly ingredient of a green cleaner. It’s a responsible raw material choice that helps to reduce pollution to our waterways and air. Green cleaners also minimize ozone depletion and global climate change with fewer smog-producing chemicals releasing into the atmosphere. Sofia’s packaging is also fully recyclable.

But…does green actually clean?  

The Florida Department of Environment Protection reported that green cleaners typically require less product per application to clean an area. Additionally, Sofia’s is an all-purpose cleaner. This means that you only need one cleaner (versus multiple) for the primary function of cutting grease, grime and dirt. Another study by William Nazaroff and Charles Weschler found that green cleaning products are as effective (relatively) at achieving cleanliness as non-green cleaners, according to Rice Catalyst. Bonus, Sofia’s is all-purpose, so you only need one cleaner versus one cleaner for each grimy task.

Sofia’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is still a few weeks (thanks a lot, Phil), but we’re getting a jump start on the annual sprucing. Why? Let’s propose a crazy concept – let’s be rebels and tackle spring cleaning in the winter. How about we throw on those Uggs and knock out these chores as [insert your favorite] winter comfort food is slow cooking? After all, we don’t want to be cooped up inside cleaning when the sun finally comes out and temps go above 50. Might as well spend these cold nights knocking out those spring chores! (Bonus, cleaning burns calories). Sold on proactivity? Here’s the one and only Martha Stewart’s chore list to knock out during spring cleaning. Don’t worry, Sofia’s will be right there with you. We’re in this together, guys. 

Time to Strip Down

Cabinets | It’s time to strip down…those cabinets and shelves, that is. You can typically see the dust on an exposed bookshelf, but ignorance is dirty, dirty bliss when it comes to cabinets. Alas, dust and grime are also hiding on your interior cabinets. The solution? Remove the contents and go to town on the whole surface with an all-purpose cleaner. After all, you only do this once a year (versus bookshelves), you might as well do it right.

Beautiful, Inside and Out

Windows | If you want inside to match what’s on the outside, you’re going to have to clean BOTH sides of that glass pane. House Beautiful gives this pro-tip: “Wash ’em on a cloudy day to ensure that the sun won’t dry the cleanser before you’re done wiping.” Wash window screens with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush, then rinse. Wash, or dry clean, draperies and curtains. Dust wooden blinds with a feather duster and wipe with a damp cloth. For step-by-step instructions, see page three of Martha’s spring cleaning guide and substitute Sofia’s all-purpose cleaner when she calls for a non-ammoniated cleaner. (Concession, save the windows task for last – there’s no point cleaning all those windows if it snows again.)

It’s not Deeper than Surface Level

Surfaces | Countertops need to be properly cleaned, potentially sealed and dirty grout resealed. Use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect countertops, followed by Sofia’s Soy Cleaner for a gleaming finish. This goes for basically all surfaces – stainless steel, marble, wood, etcetera – but, please clean according to material specs. For example, if you have granite countertops, you’ll want to seal it again a year after insulation (which was, hopefully, properly sealed initially) to prevent stains. Wood floors can be spot-treated with Sofia’s, but will need to be properly conditioned and wet-cleaned in limited amounts (i.e. if you did it last month, skip this month to preserve your floors).

Don’t be a Grout Grouch

Grout | Grimey grout is a by-product of everyday use. Grout is extremely porous, an easy target for stains, grime and discoloration. When (not if) your grout is irreparably stained, The Spruce claims that replacing it is “so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.” We’ll let you be the judge with their guide. (Make sure you apply a grout sealant). 

Is your refrigerator running? Well, you’d better catch it before it gets away…

Appliances | Arguably the worst thing to tackle during spring cleaning are the appliances. Let’s start with the largest (i.e. the most daunting) – the fridge. Remove all food and shelves, taking the opportunity to purge old jars and condiments. Wipe down with a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect any food-borne bacteria, then wipe down with Sofia’s. Wash shelves in warm, soapy water, dry them and replace, and – finally – organize the fridge contents. Martha also suggests dusting the fridge coils (yes, we aren’t thrilled either). 

Next up is the dreaded oven deep cleaning; here are Martha’s tricks for a clean oven. And then, the dishwasher and microwave. Use Sofia’s to cut food grime, followed by these Good Housekeeping steps for a dishwasher that runs like new. For the microwave, loosen residue with one cup of water mixed with a half-cup of lemon juice heated for 3-5 minutes on high. Use a Sofia’s-soaked towel to wipe down the exterior, then easily remove the grime from inside.

The washing machine and dryer are fairly simple. Clean filters, wipe down the outside, dust underneath (if possible). To clean your washing machine (and eliminate odors caused by front-loading machines), The Spruce says to add two cups of hydrogen peroxide to the empty washer drum and then run a hot water wash cycle.

Pot Calls Kettle Black

Pots + Pans | Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub. Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent filming. Do not soak stainless steel cookware as it pits the surfaces. And, please, don’t spring clean your cast irons – simply scrub the pan with salt and rinse, wipe dry. This will lift away food and preserve the seasoning. 

Upholstery Woes

Couches and Rugs | Upholstered furniture holds millions of dust mites that can irritate allergies. Use your upholstery and crevice vacuum tools to suck up dust and dirt on upholstered furniture and rugs. Beat cushions by hand outdoors, and shampoo rugs and carpets according to specs (making sure to note that you dry-clean rugs without backings). 

No Dust Bunnies Around These Parts

Dusting | Dust your home thoroughly (including the fans and window casings. Work from the top down and remove shelf contents, wiping them down as well. Vacuum dust that settles on the floor.

Like we said, we’re in this with you. We’re giving away a Sofia’s Spring Cleaning Kit to help you out in every room of the house. The kit includes two microfiber clothes; grout scrubber; two Tuff Scrub microfiber sponges; three-pack sponges; two-pack of Dawn scrubbers; and, a 16-ounce bottle of Sofia’s Soy Cleaner. Entering to win is simple, just like, share or follow on Instagram (@sofiassoycleaner) until March 15.    

 

Introducing Sofia’s Soy Cleaner: A Powerful, Plant-based All-Purpose Cleaner

Sofia’s Soy Cleaner, a green all-purpose cleaner, started out as a solution to a problem. Customers of an epoxy flooring installation company (Pro Floor Design), were searching for a cleaner that could effectively remove black scuff marks from their epoxy floor. They took their search to the source, chatting with Tom Wolski – the owner-operator, about what cleaning solutions would best fit their needs and leave their floors shiny.

Tom brooded over the options with his chemist. They wanted a neutral cleaner, that was strong enough to cut through scuff marks without demanding a ton of elbow grease (or in this case, industrial mop and polishing equipment). Sure, they could send recommendations for the standard cleaning solutions, but why not customize a cleaner with the same chemist who formulates the epoxy? Besides efficacy, neutral and safety were paramount in the formulations. To preserve the life of the epoxy floors, the team turned to plant-based elements to build a powerful solution that is non-toxic both to the earth and to humans.

“The best things happen by chance because that’s life.”

Eventually, they formulated a neutral, plant-based cleaner that removed the marks in no time and left the floors gleaming. Satisfied with its efficacy on epoxy flooring, Wolski tested the green cleaning solution on other surfaces. First the counters and cash wrap, then at home in the shower, then sinks and the kitchen. The results were wonderfully clean surfaces. Not only did the cleaner whiten and brighten, it cut grease and grime effectively and quickly.

Naturally, Tom wanted to share this cleaning all-star outside his client base – after all, everyone deserves a clean home and a little extra time to enjoy that luxurious shine. Thus, Sofia’s Soy Cleaner was born. Shortly after, Sofia’s pitched it’s all-purpose, green cleaning solution to Walmart and was accepted into their online offerings. It’s now available for purchase both for residential and commercial use either directly from Sofia’s or walmart.com.

Are you excited to make your home safer and more beautiful (and save time in the process) in 2018?Here are some of the reasons that you want to check out this non-toxic cleaner for your home or business this spring cleaning! So long as supplies last, we are happy to send you a sample of Sofia’s for your home!