Affresh Blog

September 26, 2012

Affresh® Gears Up for the Chicago Marathon


This summer, affresh® asked the question: How fast does someone have to be to leave someone else in the dust? Well after a grueling, 6-week “Who Do You Leave in the Dust?” training challenge, we may have finally found our answer.

After receiving thousands of entrants, we randomly selected 50 runners to compete for a chance to win a free entry to the sold out Chicago Marathon. Over the summer these 50 participants worked restlessly, logged countless miles and posted constant updates to the group’s Facebook page. When it was all said and done, 3 top-winners won an opportunity to not only run the marathon but to compete on behalf of a charity of their choosing.

The Grand Prize winner was Jim Ford, a father of three from Hattiesburg, Miss. Jim will be running for Clean Water for Malawi, which helps drill water wells for villages located in Malawi, Africa to provide a convenient clean water source for village populations. For every marathoner he leaves in the dust on race day, affresh® brand will donate $1 to Clean Water for Malawi. For all the hours Jim put into the challenge, he’ll also receive round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for two over race weekend.

The other top finishers form the contest were Paul Bridge (Veradale, Wash.), who will be running for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Tom Block (Louisville, Ky), who will race on behalf of The Family Tree Foundation.

In addition, the following 12 winners will also receive entries to this year’s race. Affresh® Cleaners is honored to have all of these committed runners wearing the team’s jersey in Chicago:

1.  Ashley Smith - Cleveland, Ohio    
2.  Debbie Goodman Harris - Chicago, Ill.    
3.  Francesco Tuzzolino – Houston, Texas    
4.  Gretchen Baus - Portland, Ore.          
5.  Jeri Rysewyk-Howey - Stiles, Wis.  
6.  Juanin Valdez - Chicago, Ill.    
7.  Kelly Soljacich – Chicago, Ill.
8.  Melissa Brady – Chicago, Ill.
9.  Mike Dover - Denver, Colo.
10.  Tan Tran - Phoenix, Ariz.
11.  Veronika Maltsev - Lake Orion, Mich.
12.  Vicki Francis - Orange, Calif.

As an official sponsor of the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, affresh® Washer cleaner helps runners leave their smelly washers in the dust. Athletes spend a lot of time in their workout gear, and when cleaning their athletic wear, they rely on their washing machine to go that extra mile. 

Affresh® Washer cleaner helps keep washers running at peak performance and smelling fresh by reducing or removing odor-causing residue that can accumulate in washing machines, particularly when too much or the wrong type of detergent is used, or when they’re not properly maintained and cleaned on a regular basis.

We’ll have representatives on-site at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo and the 27th Mile Post-Race Party from October 5-7, 2012.


September 25, 2012

In the Air


Do you feel that in the air? Fall is nearly upon us, which means football games, crisp nights and a bounty of orange, red and yellow coloring the trees.

Fall is my favorite time of year – with the mix of colors, decorations, flavors and sounds, it definitely hits on all my senses. While most people think of summer as the time to entertain, I prefer to entertain in the fall.

I take after my mom when it comes to sprucing up our home for fall and fall entertainment. I switch out candle scents and colors to match the season; I dig out my fall plates and serving dishes; and I arrange pumpkins in all sorts of places – on the mantle, on our steps…basically anywhere I can put them.

With the change in seasons and decorations, it is definitely a time to “fall clean” and one of the places that usually needs it the most is our oven. We cook the majority of our meals at home and often use every prep dish in the house. Knowing I will likely be cooking chili on a regular basis on the stove, baking cookies in the oven and putting in various casseroles (or hot dish for my fellow northern friends), roasts and meatloaf in the oven, fall is the time to give it a good cleaning. I take a scrub pad to my stovetop cast iron grates (we have gas) and use affresh® Cooktop cleaner underneath where there is usually cooked-on noodles and remnants of sauce spillovers—we cook, but I never said we were tidy chefs.

On to our oven—we normally don’t have too many spillovers inside the oven (we save the mess for the top of the stove) so we are able to wipe out the bottom without too much elbow grease. Even though the inside isn’t too messy, it is good to clean it regularly. I take out the oven racks and use a steel-wool pad on them. If you happen to have racks that are discolored and hard to slide, a light coating of vegetable oil can be applied to the rack guides to help them slide back in. But be sure to read up on how to clean your oven from the manufacturer.

A quick wipe down with an affresh® Stainless steel wipe and voila, we are ready to cook our fall favorites and enjoy the weather with friends and family.

What is your favorite thing about fall?


September 20, 2012

Be Clean, Eat Clean


There’s something about this time of year when the air takes on a subtle chill and the sun sets a little sooner than I’d like that leaves me a little wistful.

I feel it most on Saturday mornings when I make a routine trip to one of our local farmer’s markets. It’s only when I notice that fresh blackberries and blueberries are becoming scarce that I realize I never noticed when the strawberries took their leave.

Of course I know they’ll be replaced by bountiful bunches of Brussels sprouts, crisp, sweet apples, pumpkins and my personal favorite – winter squash. Still, I hate to see them go. Each week I have the same routine. I clean out the refrigerator (using affresh Kitchen and Appliance cleaner of course) to get it all clean and smelling like citrus and then I hit the farmer’s market.

About a year ago I made the switch to clean, seasonal eating, cutting out processed foods and trying to support local farms. Not only has it set the stage for a healthier way of eating – it’s also a great way to get creative in the kitchen and become familiar with the flavors of the season.

In the fall, flavors like apple, cinnamon and all varieties of squash abound. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m ready to say goodbye to the sweet tastes of summer. Luckily, I’ve picked up a few helpful tricks to keep those flavors around for as long as possible in my nice, clean refrigerator.

School yourself on storage: Whenever I get near the end of the season, I stock up on blueberries, strawberries, even fresh zucchini, rinse them, prep them and put them in the freezer. Fruits and vegetables can hold up to 12 months in your freezer but of course, the sooner you use them, the better the flavor. Don’t know what to do with frozen berries? I toss a few into protein shakes when I’m in a hurry or warm them up and turn them into a compote that’s delicious without being packed full of artificial flavors or unnecessary sugars.

Front and Center: Speaking of frozen foods – it’s just as important to clean your freezer as it is your refrigerator. When you do, bring the frozen foods that have been in there the longest to the front so you use them up first. And when you’re cleaning your refrigerator, make it a habit to double check the temperature to ensure it hasn’t accidentally been turned up or down.

Talk to the farm: More and more farmers are looking for ways to provide fresh, seasonal produce for their customers throughout the year. I was ecstatic to learn last week that my local CrossFit gym had hooked up with a local farm willing to make weekly deliveries of grass fed beef and fresh, chemical-free produce. Do a little digging and see what options local farmers can offer.

If you’re like me, you put time and effort into making sure your kitchen is kept clean and smelling fresh. Why not fill it full of flavorful, fresh produce? Bring on the fall season!


September 17, 2012

Gridiron Cleaning


I’m not a huge fantasy football player, but I’ve participated on-and-off for several seasons now. My friends and I don’t make a big deal out of it – a small cash prize to the winner and an excuse to drink beer together every Sunday. We use the league as a way to stay in touch with friends spread out across the world, not as much an exercise to sharpen our football expertise.

Anyway, we held our annual draft last weekend and a few of us local guys decided to get together to draft our teams side-by-side, beer and pizza on hand in case of an emergency. I invited three or four buddies over to my apartment to enjoy the afternoon. I thought it would be fun! My girlfriend did not.

She immediately noted that the apartment was a mess and in no shape for visitors. While I agreed the place had gotten a little scattered over the past week, I insisted that these weren’t visitors – they were my best friends, drinking buddies, pals! They wouldn’t care if the place was a bit messy, why should she?

Well, you can likely guess how that went over. Seriously, how many times do you think that debate has happened throughout history? And how many times has the ‘they don’t care, why should you’ defense ever won? Even Neanderthals had to pick up around the cave before having a few buddies over for the big mammoth cookout.

So with little debate (come on, I’m smarter than to think I had a chance with that one), I helped pick up before the guys showed up. It only took about a half-hour to tidy up, just long enough to ensure that we were both happy; her because our place was clean, me because I still had a girlfriend.

We agreed that if I plan to have friends over at any point during the football season, I’ll make sure the apartment is presentable first. Seems like a fair deal. After that, my friends and I can behave like Neanderthals.

So come on over any Sunday this season, games start at 1 and we’ll be ready with pizza and beer.

Just don’t come over any earlier than that or you may find me with a bottle of affresh®, a pair of rubber gloves and a vaccum – my pre-football Sunday uniform.   


September 12, 2012



As the world’s worst procrastinator, recently I read this article that I wanted to share with all of you.

Apartment Therapy is one of my go-to’s for great home tips on everything from décor to chores. I really identified with the author when he said, “I’m famous for writing a chore on my to do list, then subsequently avoiding it all day because I find it unpleasant. Then I’ll write it on the next day’s list, and the next day’s list, and so on and so forth until it’s six months later and now this measly little chore has become a Humongous Unwieldy Beast of a Nagging Household Chore — a task so mighty and great that I am now completely overwhelmed at the thought of even beginning to tackle it.”

The author suggests scheduling out your time so it keeps you on track, i.e. I have one hour to clean so 8-8:15 will be the bathroom, 8:15-8:45 will be the kitchen/dishes and 8:45-9 will be dusting. Sounds like a good idea if the couch doesn’t lure me away.

This week, I’m going to try to schedule out my minutes at home like this and see if it helps keep me get rid of a few of those Humongous Unwieldy Beast of a Nagging Household Chores. I’ll keep you posted.


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