Nick’s Notes 2.19.2016–A Renewed Commitment to an Abbington Green Clean

New Allergies can start at any time!
I would never have believed that at the age of 54 you can start having a new allergy. My new one started this past November when I started getting a rash around my eyes and on my face and neck. It got to the point my eye lids would swell at times and I had to stop wearing my contacts and instead had to wear my glasses. At least the glasses hid the redness around my eyes. 
I finally went to the Minute Clinic, and when I removed my glasses, the Nurse Practitioner made a gasping sound…..I guess I scared her (it really wasn’t that bad!).  She determined that I had had an allergic reaction to something and must have touched that something and then rubbed my face and eyes. She said that five days of steroids should take care of it. It did go away after day one, but when the steroids were gone the rash came back.
Next, I go to a Dermatologist. She says the same thing…it’s an allergic reaction to something, and I just needed a longer period of steroids. So I get a steroid shot (…I hate that!) and an additional 20 days of steroid medication. It went away immediately, but the minute I was off the steroids, it came back…but just only on my face. The Dermatologist ended up giving me another shot of steroids, to help get me through the Holidays.
In January, I made an appointment with an Allergist to have the “patch test” completed to determine what exactly it is that I am allergic to. Have any of you ever had this done? 
I guess the modern version of the needle testing is to tape 10 swatches of sticky potential allergy substances to your back and then cover all of that with tape…then they tell you that you can’t shower or get wet for 3 days. Now, I’m one of those people that can’t stand being constrained in any way. Putting tape all over my back, felt so constraining…comfort was not going to happen for a few days…especially as a few of the substances start to cause my back to itch. 
Meanwhile, work at the Inn continues…….
Well, it was determined that I am allergic to Methylchloroisothiazinoline. 
Methylchloroisothiazinoline is a preservative used in hygiene products such as shampoos, lotions, sun screens and so on. It is also used in common household cleaners, soaps, paints, pet care, and yard care products. So basically, almost everything…

When I got home, I looked at the list of products that contain Methylchloroisothiszinoline, and it was overwhelming. So many of the things we were using at the Inn listed it as an ingredient…it was truly all around me and  I guess my body finally reacted to the amount of contact I had had with it. I thought by using green based products, like we do at Abbington Green, I would not have had an issue with our cleaning regiment…but we have now found out that many of these products do contain this ingredient. So, changes had to happen immediately. 
We have always been committed to green practices at the Inn. Cooking with organic, locally sourced products is important to us for our guests, and we are excited to now make changes to our cleaning procedures. Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn is proud to be recognized as a TripAdvisor Bronze Level GreenLeader…”the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program showcases a variety of eco-friendly hotels and B&Bs, from budget to luxury – and they’re all committed to green practices like recycling, local and organic food, and electric car charging stations.”
Leave it to my great staff to do some research and come up with some great natural cleaners based mostly on vinegar that we can use in the kitchen around me as well as throughout the Inn. 
While we were away, the team deep cleaned the Inn, and paid special attention to the kitchen, which is where I spend the most time during the day. I thought I would share some of them with you since they work so well and do not contain Methylchloroisothiazinoline. I’ve posted some recipes at the bottom of this post.
So, some good things came from the discovery of my allergy issues. I hope our
guests will notice the extra efforts we put into cleaning each and every detail in our rooms, common areas, and kitchen to be as Green Friendly as possible but also minimize use of products that contain Methylchloroisothiazinoline. Even Lady Amber Abbington is being bathed in a new shampoo so she can still keep giving me the hugs and kisses I love.

All the best, Nick

Here are some of the recipes for the cleaners that we’ve begun to use at Abbington Green. We did some research online, found some great recipes and adapted them to make them our own. We are now feeling the Green and you can too!

Abbington Green Clean–All-Purpose Cleaner
3 cups distilled or filtered water (we are lucky to have filtered water at the Inn) 
1 cup white vinegar 
1-2 tsp lemon juice 
5-7 drops essential oil (lemon or mint or a clean scented one you prefer)
Pour into a spray bottle and fill the remaining space in the bottle with hot water.

Abbington Green Clean–Disinfecting Kitchen Floor Cleaner
In a bucket combine:
1 gallon of warm water 
2 Tbsp white vinegar 
1 tsp fresh lemon juice 
4 drops of tea tree oil
one tiny squeeze of liquid Castile Soap (we used Dr. Bronner’s)

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