In case you didn’t know, unlike her brawny cleaning product brethren Mr. Clean and Mr. Muscle, Mrs. Meyer is a real person. She’s not an imaginary person created to sell a brand. She’s a mother of nine from Iowa. And she’s written a book.
Thelma A. Meyer’s book, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-Nonsense Advice That Will Inspire You to Clean Like The Dickens (out in March from Wellness Central, pre-order from Amazon.com now) is a more streamlined, eco-minded variation of Martha Stewart’s epic (I swear, it weighs 10 pounds) Homekeeping Handbook. It’s a real treat for fans of Meyer’s namesake line of natural, aromatherapeutic cleaning products — the company was founded by her daughter, Monica Nassif — and folks just looking for advice on how to keep a clean and safe home without creating a ton of waste and having to use extraneous, often eco-unfriendly products and supplies.
I won’t give away a ton of spoilers about the book, but I will say it’s beautifully designed, easy-to-follow, and printed on FSC-certified mixed source paper. Meyer’s voice is warm yet authoritative…kind of like the slightly domineering clean freak mother that you never had who would make you scrub the bathtub with baking soda and then bake you a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Or something like that. And naturally, Mrs. M doesn’t even attempt to beat around the bush (how to rid your home of tobacco odors? Don’t smoke at all.)
Chapters are organized by room/task so you’ll know straight where to go when you need to freshen the bathroom (fill a spray bottle with water, three drops of lemon oil, and two drops of eucalyptus oil), clean those antique brass candlesticks (apply equal parts white vinegar and salt to a washcloth), or dust off your computer monitor (use an old dryer sheet instead of throwing it away).
I’m particularly fond of the Toolbox section at the beginning of the chapters where Meyer lists items that are good to have around for tasks in each area of the home. Some of the items may seem odd (Tabasco Sauce, coffee grounds, golf balls, white bread, toothpaste, vodka, etc.) but they can be used and are things you might already have around the house.
And although her no-nonsense advice veers on old school, Mrs. M is up to date when it comes to environmental concerns. In addition to her already frugal, non-wasteful cleaning methodology, she also offers tips on composting, e-waste recycling, water conservation, and much more.
I don’t know if I’d want the woman standing over my shoulder while I wash dishes, but Thelma Meyer — in book form — is welcome in my home at any time.
For more good green reads, check out MNN’s Books section.