“Finn has a delicate stomach, so he gives me a lot of research material,” Cobb says. A 20-year Valley resident, Cobb has spent decades concocting natural cleaning solutions and sharing them around the country, selling more than 7 million copies of her books and appearing on more than 70 talk radio shows a month. As for pets, she shares, “If the cat has a hairball, or the spaghetti doesn’t agree with the dog, cover it completely with baking soda. Wait until it dries, and vacuum it with the hose.” Look for more tips in Cobb’s upcoming cleaning mobile app.
What’s your earliest memory of being interested in the cleaning industry?
My mom was a clean freak. She had grown up on a farm and realized all the chemicals used weren’t healthy for us. She taught me if you don’t respect the earth and the things that are here, it won’t be there for those who follow us. I’ve always been like that – if you can clean with baking soda, lemon juice and white vinegar, why use something that’s toxic? Our kids have more allergies and asthma than they’ve ever had, and a lot of that is related to moms opening up several bottles of cleaning products every time they clean.
What are your plans for your app?
You can have me at your fingertips any time. You’ll type in your problem, like “red wine,” and answers will come up right away. By the way, the first time I poured white wine on red wine to see if it would take it out, I was absolutely amazed and astounded that it does. We’re going to be doing a lot of in-front-of-the-camera and behind-the-camera work, and launch a line of products.
What’s the best go-to natural thing you’ve made?
Right now, I would say it’s my magic bathroom cleaner. For shower doors, any kind of tile in your bathroom – stone, travertine, marble, anything that gets water spots or mineral deposits on it – take a spray bottle that will hold two cups, and put one cup of Dawn dishwashing soap and one cup of heated, warm white vinegar in it. Mix it together and spray it on the surfaces you want to clean. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and go over it with a scrubbing sponge. Rinse it down with cold water.
Is there any cleaning tip you have that’s good for Phoenix homes?
The hard water stains are absolutely the worst, and red dust and dirt is very hard to get out. I recommend people vacuum hard floors before they wash them, because the grit is granular and will scratch. If you’re going to use a dust mop, use a really fluffy one. When you’re cleaning your floors, use nothing but microfiber cloth. Wring it out in hot water, keep it clean, and have extra heads if you have a large house of hard floors.
Why should people be conscious of the toxins in the cleaning products they’re using?
Your skin is the largest organ on your body. It absorbs anything you put on it, so if you’re using things with hazardous materials, when you wash and clean with those, they are going on your skin and into your body. When your children are crawling on the floor, they’re ingesting whatever you cleaned the floor with. There are products that actually will give animals seizures if you use them on your floors. By using natural products, we’re helping to save the earth, we’re keeping ourselves healthier, and we’re hopefully avoiding some of the cancers caused by toxic waste.
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