Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 10/25/2015

They get grimy, dirty, smelly and can be some of the dirtiest things in your home. What are they? Your kitchen appliances! But with some everyday household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your kitchen appliances can look and smell like new for many years to come.   To clean your dishwasher: Regularly clean the seams and liner of your dishwasher this will help reduce bacteria buildup and improve its effectiveness. Scour the inside of your dishwasher with a pad dipped in baking soda to remove residue and stains from the interior surface and crevices of your dishwasher. Run a regular cycle of wash with lemonade. The ascorbic acid will help remove any remaining buildup, and leave your dishwasher smelling clean and fresh. To clean your oven/range: Loosen baked-on food inside your oven using a plastic spatula. Use the juice from two squeezed lemons to clean your oven. Place the juice into an oven safe dish, throw in the lemon remains and bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Now you have a clean and fresh smelling oven. To clean your refrigerator: Clean your refrigerator monthly. Remove all of the food from your refrigerator and discarding items that are aged or expired. Create a paste from ½ cup of baking soda with 1 tbsp of vinegar. Apply the paste to a soft scouring pad, and scrub. Wipe away any residue with a damp sponge, Vacuum the undercarriage of your fridge. Wipe down the outside with warm water and vinegar. Keep baking soda at the back of fridge to help keep it smelling fresh. There is no need for fancy cleaning products the things you have around the house will do just fine.  Do you have any other tips for keeping your kitchen spic and span?





Posted by Kathy Foran on 5/17/2015

Recently there as been an increase in EEE and West Nile cases and health officials are urging residents to be proactive and take steps to avoid contracting either illness. There are some measures you can take to keep your family safe from mosquito-borne illnesses.

  • Keep doors and windows closed, especially during dusk to dawn hours. Check all of your screens to make sure they are free from holes.
  • Remove standing water, look for areas water can pool like trash and recycling bins, flowerpots or any outdoor containers. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET.
  • Limit skin exposure
  • Stay indoors from dusk until dawn
For more information on protecting your family from mosquito-borne illnesses consult the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/26/2015

Did you know the average household contains between 3 and 10 gallons of hazardous material at all times? This can be a threat to the health and indoor air quality of the home. How do hazardous materials enter your home?  They can enter in the form of cleaners, bleach, oil, light bulbs, paints, batteries, medicines, mercury-containing materials and other household items loaded with potentially harmful chemicals. So how can you keep your home free from these materials? First, you need to identify the hazardous materials in your home. They come in three forms: Solids (i.e. rat poison), Liquids (bleach, gas, antifreeze, drain cleaners.), Gases (such as natural gas or propane). The most important thing you can do to help make your home safer and avoid the dangers of hazardous materials is to store all hazardous materials properly. Always keep hazardous materials in the original container with the label for future reference. Follow all manufacturer suggestions for storage temperatures. Store flammables away from the home, any sources of flame or heat, and out of direct sunlight. Watch for fumes or other signs that the materials are not behaving properly. If you do detect fumes, wear a face mask, remove the leaking material, and ventilate the storage area properly to rid it of all dangerous toxins. Only purchase what you need when you need it. To further reduce your risk, look for safer alternative products like natural cleaners, mouse traps and paints.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/19/2015

Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative. If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness. Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 6/15/2014

Having a baby often makes new parents more aware of the chemicals we are exposed to every day. A natural place to start making your home as eco-friendly as possible is the baby's bedroom; here are a few ways to start creating an organic nursery: Use low- or no-VOC paints One of the first things new parents do is paint the nursery but many paints contain VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs are toxic fumes that off-gas from common household items such as paint or a new vinyl shower curtain. When painting the nursery use low- or no-VOC paints. Don't use carpet Keep the baby's room carpet free. Carpets can trap mold, dust mites, and more. Because carpets need replacing they also add to landfills so they are not a good green option. If carpet is a must choose one made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp or jute. New synthetic carpets also give off-gas VOCs. Use a green mattress Where baby sleeps can be another place to go green. Many mattresses are treated with chemical fire retardants or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). That may seems like a good thing but PBDEs have been known to accumulate in our bodies and affect the endocrine and nervous systems. Look for organic cotton or natural wool mattresses. Avoid stain resistant treated products Other items that may end up in a child's nursery that have VOCs are furniture and pressed wood products with resins and glues. Look for furniture made from certified sustainable wood or reclaimed materials. You should also try to avoid plastic as it is made from petroleum. Plastic items also usually end up in a landfill. Go green with diapers Reduce the dioxin pollution by using cloth or chlorine free diapers. Dioxin is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals this is not something most parents want next to baby's sensitive skin. Choose nontoxic toys Babies put everything in their mouths, so look for toxin free toys. Look for soft organic cotton toys or toys made from wood that comes from FSC-certified forests. Toys made from PVC, contain phthalates, an ingredient in plastic that can affect reproductive and developmental health. Making these small changes for your baby are easy and healthy. It may take a a little more time and effort but you will have peace of mind you are starting your baby's life off the right way.