Thoughts on environmentally-friendly cleaning products and Covid-19….

“Organic: When we don’t mess with their chemistry, they won’t mess with our chemistry.”

The choice of cleaning products that we use is very important to us and when we started our property rental business Chelsea and I knew we would use environmentally-friendly products to clean the rental houses – products that will do no harm to ourselves and our guests. I had heard of Better Life products from the TV show Shark Tank and ordered samples from their website. Their prices seem reasonable and we both liked the way they cleaned and smelled after trying them out in our own homes.

Enter Covid-19. Because Better Life products contain no chemicals or pesticides we wondered if they would effectively clean – especially killing viruses that might be present. So we contacted the company and asked. Here is what they said in a recent email:

“BETTER LIFE® Cleaning Products are cleaners. They do not kill bacteria or viruses. They’re like the studies that show that washing your hands with a good soap has been proven effective at getting your hands clean. Our products work the same way. We use great, plant-based cleaning agents to clean the surfaces in your home and office, an important part in practicing good hygiene.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines specific to the Coronavirus outbreak, and keeping a clean house and clean hands are a great first line of defense against this virus. They suggest cleaning “high touch surfaces everyday using a household cleaning spray” and “washing hands often with soap and water”.

All our cleaners are not antibacterial, but they leave contaminated surfaces clean.

Disinfecting cleaning products are registered with the EPA as pesticides and leave a toxic residue on surfaces (those chemicals aren’t just deadly to bacteria and germs!). Our cleaning products are not pesticides, so we don’t make disinfectant or anti-bacterial claims.

What our products do is an amazing job of cleaning surfaces. If you saw us on Shark Tank, you saw our All-Purpose Cleaner clean a surface that had been contaminated with raw chicken. Disinfecting agents are toxic to people, pets, and the planet, not to mention the surfaces in your home, so we developed a better way using natural surfactants.”

So, we wondered, if we just use Better Life cleaning products, will they be effective at killing the Corona Virus? We did further research (including and found that, after cleaning, wiping surfaces down with 7% isopropyl alcohol, diluted household bleach or hydrogen peroxide, is effective, and hydrogen peroxide doesn’t need to be wiped off because it decomposes into oxygen and water, so it can be sprayed into hard to reach areas. also said that plain old surface scrubbing with soap and water is effective, because the friction breaks the corona virus’s protective envelope when you “scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and really need to get it off”).

While we’ll continue to research best cleaning practices for our homes and our owners’ rental properties we’re relieved to find that there are environmentally-friendly options that will destroy viruses without the use of pesticides and chemicals.

Until next time, we hope you’re making the most of this rare and unusual time at home with loved ones. (A further reminder that there really is always a silver lining – sometimes you just have to hunt a little longer to find it… :0)

Finding a silver lining in all of this…

“Enlightenment is when the wave realizes it is the ocean.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

What a surreal time we’re in and how eye-opening it is that a pandemic can happen so quickly and affect so many. Our hearts go out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones. We watch in unbelieving silence the crisis in European countries and listen to the warnings that experts repeat over and over telling us that it’s coming our way and to prepare and stay home for as long as necessary.

Will people still want to take a vacation in Maine this summer and fall? We are getting inquiries and some bookings, but not that many, and it doesn’t surprise us. People have immediate priorities that don’t involve vacationing and that’s the way it should be.

We have had a few inquiries, especially from families looking to leave NYC for a few weeks and find a rental home in this area. We do have a few houses available, even though our area is not a popular destination at this time of year (which is why we locals go on vacation!). It’s probably looking pretty good to those in corona virus hotspots but is it a good idea for us locals? We’re not going to escape the virus. Are these good-hearted people speeding up the virus surge? There is an interesting article in the Ellsworth American this week.

We’re hoping you are all doing well and finding a silver lining in all of this. For me, perhaps a silver lining is paying more attention to my home and finding the rake to begin winter cleanup. I’ve also cleaned off my desk and am feeling more organized in that department. Perhaps I’ll even paint the room that has been waiting on me for months.

How about you? Are you finding any silver linings that you want to share?

Sending our best to you!

What makes a great vacation property rental company?

Greetings from Blue Hill Maine where it’s a bit chilly (but not too bad). We had a couple of days of single digit temps (and below 0 at night) but it’s back up in the mid 30s again – so we’re having a bit of a heat wave! I added the above photo of Blue Hill Bay, all covered with snow and waiting for the spring thaw, to give you an idea of how the bay looks when our town isn’t yet bustling with summertime activity.

We really like our new website ( and hope our visitors will too. During these last few months (and with alot of help from our website guru Lisa) we’ve been planning, making lists, researching, writing, and rewriting content.

We also began wondering what potential guests might tell us if we asked what they would want from a property rental company (like ours!) and from a vacation rental home that they stayed in. So we’ve decided to ask our readers.

  1. In your opinion what would you look for in a vacation property rental company?
  2. Also in your opinion, what do you think is important to travelers in their rented vacation property? (Some examples we’ve heard are: a well-stocked kitchen, nice towels and bedding, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any feedback you’d like to contribute! Until next time….

Welcome to our blog!

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. –Oscar Wilde

This is the first post on our new blog and we couldn’t be more excited, because Chelsea (my wonderful daughter-in-law) and myself, Brenda, have just started our property rental and management business serving the Blue Hill Peninsula – an area that we know well because we’re born and raised here and live here with our families. We’re a millennial and a baby boomer combining our generational visions and ideas to offer our services to the wonderful visitors that are drawn to this beautiful area of our Maine Coast.

So why are we excited about our new business and blog? Well, speaking for myself (the baby boomer), I’ve worked in the property rental business for the past couple of years and found that I really like helping upcoming visitors secure rental homes and making the process as smooth, streamlined and worry free as possible. Along the way I developed my own ideas about how a property rental business should and shouldn’t operate, what guests want, and how best to support them. So, when I found myself between professions, and Chelsea ready to start a business, we knew what we wanted to do.

When we told our families about our plan, it became apparent that, between all of us, we’ve got the knowledge, skills and experience to provide property management services as well. Hence, our family business plan developed and we went to work to make it a reality.

Using our blog, Facebook and Instagram we plan to introduce our readers to this diverse and wonderful place that we call home. Whether it be interesting, fun locations, the variety of hiking trails, best places to swim and kayak, local farmers markets, little unique shops and galleries, incredible coffee, and helpful services, there is so much to tell our readers.

(Leave us a comment. We love to hear from you!)