By Katy Killilea
A friend I admire very much has a refrigerator magnet that speaks to my soul: “A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life.” I think of this magnet in the evenings as I chip ossified breakfast cereal off of the kitchen floor. Life waster that I am, though, I like certain things neat. (If anyone knows of a similar magnet for “An Ironed Shirt” or “Consistently-Groomed Eyebrows,” please alert me.)
For people who like to clean (or hate to clean but do it anyway) and can’t stand fumes or the aura of drudgery that hovers around traditional cleaning products, there are lots of good choices. Some people splurge on an entire matching set of Mrs. Meyer’s products from toilet bowl cleaner to dryer sheets. People seem to form tribal-like loyalty to their favorite Mrs. Meyer’s scent; could a Lemon Verbena and a Basil ever really get along? The new line of cleaning products from J. R. Watkins look like they escaped from the Kiehl’s counter at Nordstrom to hide out under the kitchen sink. The lemon dish soap makes my whole world smell–and I mean this in the best possible way– of Pez. Both of these brands are available all over the place, even at Target, and are natural, not harmful to humans, and not tested on animals.
But for something completely different, look into Lily’s Garden Herbals made locally in Wakefield.
Herbalist Kim Falcone creates cleaning products that smell just right. The herbal scents are very mild and buzz up the nose in a way that puts one’s mind at ease. Kim has kids and made these products keeping in mind that there are people who might just lick the countertop as soon as your back is turned. Contrary to my consumer intuition, the prices are no higher than prices of similar products from other companies, despite their having been made in a cottage in Wakefield. How does she do it? Lily’s Garden Herbals All Purpose Cleaner leaves a toothpaste-scuzzed sink sparkling and even a smudge-magnet black granite countertop free of streaks. Many of the products are multi-purpose: the spoon-able Automatic Dishwasher Detergent works not just on dishes but also as toilet bowl cleaner. And for the scent of an herb cocktail without any actual cleaning, there are aromatherapeutic room mists.
Lily’s Garden Herbals can be purchased at Whole Foods Markets statewide, Galilee Grocery in Narragansett, Clement’s Marketplace in Portsmouth, Eastside Marketplace in Providence, and many other natural foods stores in Rhode Island. They can also be purchased directly from Kim in her cottage or through her website.