Organic dengue busters

2011 posted in Household products by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

Everyone’s been quite paranoid about the ongoing dengue epidemic in the Philippines, and with reason, as cases have been reaching the thousands and dozens of dengue-related deaths, the least we can do is try to keep ourselves and our loved ones from getting mosquito bites. The commercial mosquito repellents are effective, but most are laden with DEET or harmful pesticides—not something you’d want to slather on your kids! So we’ve tested some organic mosquito repellants (a warning: many so-called “organic” repellants out there don’t work!) and here are three that really work:







1. Domicillo Lemongrass Spray. Cool, eclectic home store Domicillo carries an amazing line of organic personal care products. I’ve tried a lot of citronella/lemongrass sprays, and found most watery/having too much alcohol, hence lessening its effectivity. This one has a high concentration of lemongrass oil; I’ve sprayed it on my legs during my outdoor walks in Cavite and did not have one mosquito bite! I got mine at Ugu Bigyan’s pottery store, but you can get it at Domicillo’s LRI Plaza branch at Nicanor Reyes, Makati. The most pricey of the three (around P300, as I can recall), but worth it.











2. Bugzoff Citronella Outdoor Spray. This has a subtle scent, has no sting when sprayed on, and is also very effective. It isn’t sold individually, but comes in an “outdoor kit” containing wipes, a hand disinfectant, and a toilet disinfectant—something worth getting, since the entire kit only costs P100!!! Available at Watsons.












3. Moskishields Mosquito Patches. The cutest of the bunch! With whimsical animal designs made specially for kids, these citronella-laden cloth patches have adhesives at the back so that you can stick them onto your children’s clothing. The citronella oil’s vapors ooze out of the patch throughout the day, repelling mosquitoes. I use these for my baby, but as advised by friends, I stick them on spots where my baby can’t reach them, or on the crib instead. P50 a sheet, available at National Bookstore, Watsons, select 7-11 stores, Robinsons Supermarket, Handyman.

Well, I’m still praning! For more dengue-busting tips, please, please click here.


Eco-cleaners—are they OK?

2010 posted in Household products by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.
1 comment.


I know everyone’s doing the eco-friendly bit, right down to makeup and dishwashing liquid, but are the eco-friendly household cleaners any good? Somehow, all the chemically dangerous stuff that’s in the cleaners contribute to their dirt-busting, germ-killing efficiency. So for one month, I set aside all my Chemical Brothers-laden commercial cleaners and tried out one of the more famous eco lines, Messy Bessy products. Here’s my review of some of them:

Eucalyptus All-purpose Scrub, P250/P400: I think its basic ingredient here is baking soda, which we all know is a n effective household cleaning agent that can be found in any kitchen. The best part about it is its minty-fresh scent, and the coarseness of the baking soda makes it a good scrub, tho it sometimes leaves residue on ceramic surfaces.

Dishwashing Liquid, P130/P440: Not my favorite product, because you need a lot just to remove grease; so you actually spend more than you would if you buy _ _ _ dishwashing liquid. It smells amazing, though. Best used if you like washing dishes in the batis, so as not to poison the fishies.

Minty Orange Surface Cleaner, P240/P440:  This is my favorite—it’s actually effective. Disinfects and cleans grotty kitchen countertops, and most bathroom surfaces, plus it leaves a lovely orange-rind scent.

The Little Warrior, P70/500: Another good multi-tasking product. A favorite of the RL girls, and they use it as a hand sanitizer. Best part is it doesn’t dry out the skin.

There you go. Try out some of their products, to give your standard cleaners a break (and help out on the eco-bit, too). And maybe have your househelp give it a try, too.  Available at the Echostore at Serendra, The Podium, and Katipunan, or click here.  (photo by Jun Pinzon)