Summary of “What Japan can teach us about cleanliness”

As every day, the teacher’s final words: “OK everybody, today’s cleaning roster. Lines one and two will clean the classroom. Lines three and four, the corridor and stairs. And line five will clean the toilets.”
Most first-time visitors to Japan are struck by how clean the country is.
So they’re left with the question: how does Japan stay so clean?
“In our home life as well, parents teach us that it’s bad for us not to keep our things and our space clean.”
“I sometimes didn’t want to clean the school,” recalled freelance translator Chika Hayashi, “But I accepted it because it was part of our routine. I think having to clean the school is a very good thing because we learn that it’s important for us to take responsibility for cleaning the things and places that we use.”
In the Zen version of Buddhism, which came to Japan from China in the 12th and 13th Centuries, daily tasks like cleaning and cooking are considered spiritual exercises, no different from meditating.
So why aren’t all Buddhist nations as zealously clean as Japan? Well, long before the arrival of Buddhism, Japan already had its own indigenous religion: Shinto, said to enshrine the very soul of the Japanese identity.
“So it is vital to practice cleanliness. This purifies you and helps avoid bringing calamities to society. That is why Japan is a very clean country.”

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Summary of “When the Former Maid Stephanie Land Hired a Maid Herself”

“How much do you usually charge?” I asked, knowing I’d pay her more.
I’d already picked up the kitchen as much as I could, putting away all the dishes and clutter.
I’d grimaced at the thought of scrubbing it, even though that’s exactly what I had asked someone else to do.
As Michelle walked into the kitchen, I fumbled through the story of hurting my back, and Michelle nodded, knowingly, and told me about her herniated disks.
Michelle nodded and walked toward the front door to get more supplies.
I remembered what it was like to talk to a client in the position Michelle was in: on her knees, looking up at a person the same age or younger who has hired you to clean a huge house by yourself, and I told her so, asking her if she needed anything.
“Oh, my daughter would love to read that! She wants to be a writer,” Michelle said.
By the time I saw Michelle again to do a walk-through at my old house, it was the third day I’d been able to walk more than a few feet, and I told her so.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why We Fell for Clean Eating”

At its simplest, clean eating is about ingesting nothing but “Whole” or “Unprocessed” foods.
At first, clean eating sounded modest and even homespun: rather than counting calories, you would eat as many nutritious home-cooked substances as possible.
Clean eating has been attacked by critics such as the baker and cookbook author Ruby Tandoh for being an incitement to eating disorders.
Why has clean eating proved so difficult to kill off? Hadley Freeman, in this paper, identified clean eating as part of a post-truth culture, whose adherents are impervious, or even hostile, to facts and experts.
To understand how clean eating took hold with such tenacity, it’s necessary first to consider just what a terrifying thing food has become for millions of people in the modern world.
A second version of clean eating was spearheaded by a former cardiologist from Uruguay called Alejandro Junger, the author of Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself, which was published in 2009 after Junger’s clean detox system had been praised by Gwyneth Paltrow on her Goop website.
Alice Liveing, a 23-year-old personal trainer who writes as Clean Eating Alice, argued in her 2016 book Eat Well Every Day that she was “Championing what I feel is a much-needed breath of fresh air in what I think is an incredibly saturated market”.
McGregor’s main concern about clean eating, she added, was that as a professional treating young people with eating disorders, she had seen first-hand how the rules and restrictions of clean eating often segued into debilitating anorexia or orthorexia.

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Summary of “Just-add-water: dehydrated products are environmentally friendly”

I now know that brands who call water “Aqua” are simply abiding by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, but at the time, the fancy vocabulary struck me as a mild consumer scam designed to hide how much of our fanciest consumer products are simply water.
So 25 years later, when brands started shipping normally waterlogged products to consumers with all or most of the water removed, I was intrigued.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than 90 percent of a typical bottle of cleaning product is simply water.
Drying out these cleaning and personal care products does several environmentally friendly things: It reduces their volume, thus reducing the number of boats and trucks needed to transport them.
Truman’s, which also launched in February, says shopping for cleaning products is too confusing and onerous, offering as an alternative four concentrated cleaning products for glass, floors, bathrooms, and all-purpose, shipped in small recyclable plastic refill cartridges that fit in the neck of its reusable plastic spray bottles.
It’s a subscription refill service for five cleaning products that lets you choose your scent, your bottle and baseplate color, and – for an additional $7.95 fee that strikes me as patently ridiculous – a customizable label.
Asking consumers to dilute the product at home means 97 percent less water being transported That all sounds great, but in actuality, distribution of Unilever’s products, which range from Dove to Axe, Hellmann’s to Bertolli, Suave to Tresemm√©, only accounts for 3 percent of Unilever’s greenhouse gas emissions.
While a lot of these supposedly more sustainable consumer products are rightly criticized for feeding our ever-expanding appetite for more stuff, you can’t quibble with making cleaning products – a necessary component of doing life – more sustainable.

The orginal article.

Summary of “they just aren’t judged for it the way women are”

On a typical day, men spend a third as much time cleaning as women.
Swedish women do two times as much daily housework than men even though women are much more likely to work full-time than in other countries.
In our study, which was recently published in Sociological Methods and Research, we asked 327 men and 295 women of various ages and backgrounds to assess a photo of a small living room and kitchen area.
The first thing we wanted to know was whether men and women respondents rated the rooms differently.
Contrary to popular lore, men and women saw the same mess: They rated the clean room as equally clean and the messy room as equally messy.
Women may be judged more harshly for having a less-than-spotless home, and women’s awareness of these expectations may motivate them to do more.
That people attribute greater responsibility for housework to women than men, even regardless of their employment situation, suggests that women get penalized more often for clutter than men do.
People hold women to higher standards of cleanliness than men, and hold them more responsible for it.

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Summary of “Yes, you need to wash your produce. Here’s how.”

First, it’s best to wash produce right before you use it, because dampness encourages bacteria growth and therefore spoilage, food research scientist Amanda Deering of Purdue University told The Washington Post.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends washing produce under cold running water – go ahead and wash your hands before and after you do the food, too.
Water is sufficient, so don’t use soap or bleach or even commercially made produce washes.
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Maine tested three commercial wash treatments and found that distilled water was just as effective or more effective at removing microbes and pesticides.
Mushrooms: The conventional wisdom is that simply wiping mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or paper towel, or even a pastry brush, is preferable to rinsing them in water.
The good folks at Cook’s Illustrated, who test these kinds of things, found that a pound of white mushrooms only absorbed 1 tablespoon of water after being submerged in water for 1 minute.
Especially if you plan to roast gill-heavy mushrooms and need to ensure the water is driven off, you should stick with wiping them clean.
Sturdier strawberries can stand up to being rinsed in a colander under running water, but Better Homes & Gardens suggests that more delicate berries be set in a colander and then dipped in a bowl of water.

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Summary of “Blueland delivers home cleaning products to your door as tablets”

“We’re basically shipping water around the country,” says Heather Kauffman, cofounder and COO of Full Circle, who keeps an eye on the home cleaning products industry since her company creates complementary products, like dish brushes and sponges.
Today, a new direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand called Blueland launches with a set of cleaning products that come in the form of small tablets, which the customer mixes with water at home.
It joins a smattering of other brands replacing liquid products with tablets, including Dazz and Bottle Bright, which makes tablet cleaning sprays.
Blueland is debuting with a $29 starter kit that comes with three acrylic spray bottles that are designed to last forever, along with three tablets that you mix with water to create multi-surface, bathroom, and window cleaners.
“It’s a little strange that tablets are not more widespread because we’re comfortable using tablets in our dishwashers and washing machines,” says Kauffman.
Blueland has a lab in Montana where scientists have been working to ensure the tabletized version of the cleaning product is just as effective as the liquid version.
Other small startups-like Dazz and Bright Home-are working on similar tablets for cleaning sprays, and By Humankind just released mouthwash tablets to replace the traditional bottled version; companies like Bite also offer tablet toothpaste.
Buying products in tablet form means not having to lug large bottles of cleaning supplies home from the grocery store, or having big boxes shipped to your home.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I spent 2 years cleaning houses. What I saw makes me never want to be rich.”

I worked for a company cleaning houses for two years.
I found the houses on little winding roads, the hidden keys tucked under gnomes or rugs.
I had 20 clients and two or three houses a day to get to, anyway.
If I cleaned houses quicker than the girl who’d replace me, clients would want to continue paying the lower rate.
The owner spent a lot of time in the hospital, and so his house stayed clean, except for dust that settled on the kitchen counters and the dining room table.
I saw the lady from the Porn House after cleaning one time, at the store.
I got used to the loneliness these houses held.
I vowed never to have a house bigger than I could clean myself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The new household rules: ditch your toilet brush and wash much, much more”

The cleaning expert Aggie MacKenzie is more relaxed, saying she relies on “a sniff test” to know when a towel needs washing, but even she will not let a towel exceed “Three or four days” of usage.
Sally Bloomfield, a professor of hygiene at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says that towels and bed linen need to be “Hygienically cleaned” at 40C, despite the environmental benefits of a 30C wash.
Bloomfield thinks a weekly towel wash would suffice, but reiterates: “Don’t share towels.” To extend the time between washes, avoid putting towels on top of each other and let them dry out after use.
In any case, if a guest wears shoes indoors, Crombie recommends washing the floor as soon as they have left – but, she laughs: “I’m not normal!” MacKenzie, who has co-authored a new cleaning book called The Miracle of Vinegar, also likes shoes to be removed at the front door.
Cleaners’ verdict: Toilet brushes are not to be trusted.
“Once a week?” The Good Housekeeping Institute agrees: “At least once a week, but if there are people with bugs or small children around, then daily.” Bloomfield thinks a toilet should be cleaned two or three times a week, to stop the spread of germs, while Crombie performs “a five-minute challenge” on her toilets every day: “Wipe the sink over, wipe the toilet seat and pan, a bit of bleach, quick wipe of the bath, open the window. I can do it in four minutes 30,” she says with some satisfaction.
Cleaners’ verdict: Daily toilet clean plus a weekly deep clean of bathroom.
“A shower is water plus energy and that’s invariant,” says Staddon, whose gran used to flake off the lye soap with a penknife, and give Staddon the same bar to wash with as she used to wash dishes and clothes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I spent 2 years cleaning houses. What I saw makes me never want to be rich.”

I worked for a company cleaning houses for two years.
I found the houses on little winding roads, the hidden keys tucked under gnomes or rugs.
I had 20 clients and two or three houses a day to get to, anyway.
If I cleaned houses quicker than the girl who’d replace me, clients would want to continue paying the lower rate.
The owner spent a lot of time in the hospital, and so his house stayed clean, except for dust that settled on the kitchen counters and the dining room table.
I saw the lady from the Porn House after cleaning one time, at the store.
I got used to the loneliness these houses held.
I vowed never to have a house bigger than I could clean myself.

The orginal article.