Published on October 31st, 2015 | by Martin Miron0
The Sweet Smell of Success
Kimathi Lewis, owner of Nature Kleen since 2003, was a crime reporter for The State, the largest newspaper in South Carolina. The entrepreneur decided to start her own housecleaning business. “I love cleaning. In South Carolina, I had a friend and she’s a hoarder. I just couldn’t stand seeing the house the way it was, so when she left me there one day for a few hours I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started cleaning and she loved it. That’s just me, I like seeing things clean and neat and smelling great. I can’t stand it any other way.”
She had an acne condition and the dermatologist prescribed antibiotics. Her complexion cleared up, but she innocently continued taking the medication for almost six months and contracted a serious fungal infection as a result. She couldn’t stand the scent of perfume or chemicals and limited what she could eat.
“I had a friend, Ken Wallace, who is a nutritionist, and I was working my health issue out through nutrition. He talked to me about natural cleaning, so I started to do some research about all the chemicals in commercial products and I decided to start creating my own.” She also started taking tai chi with Andrew Williams. With this, in addition to altering her diet to become a vegan and her faith, her body eventually healed within six months. “I wasn’t paying attention to what I put into my body and the effects. Three months later, I don’t any form of medicine anymore. If there’s something wrong with my body, I work it out through tai chi or nutrition.”
Lewis makes and sells her own nontoxic, antiviral natural cleaning products from household items. “I found recipes for different problems and that’s how I came up with a natural cleaning line,” she says. More people are definitely looking for it. Some of the commercial manufacturers are adding a “green” line of products. They may call it green because they put one or two natural ingredients in there, but they are still using the harsh chemicals. Their mindset is that if it doesn’t have the strong chemical in it [that the consumer can smell] its not going to work.” She notes that people need to know to look out for this kind of “greenwashing”.
“I have an all-purpose spray that I make to wipe down cupboards, doors, door frames and baseboards. I even use it to clean glass and mirrors. But I don’t do furniture with that. If there’s built-up stains on your floor or baseboard, it gets rid of that, it works like a charm. There’s also a scrub that I make to clean the tub, sink and shower. It works great on tile,” says Lewis.
“In all my recipes I use essential oils, not just because of the smell, but because they have cleaning properties and are antibacterial and antiviral. To freshen the air in a household with dogs or cats, she dabs a little peppermint essential on cotton balls and puts them the windowsill to get rid of pet smell. Clients may also choose from tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus. She advises that people not use powdered carpet fresheners because much of the product remains after vacuuming and actually attracts dirt.
“If you have a lot of clutter or everything is not straight or neat or clean, it’s like there this heaviness in the atmosphere,” says Lewis. “When you clean and straighten everything, it’s just calming and peaceful and you can relax; that’s what I want. I do organizing in some people’s homes, but if it’s too much, I’m not able to because that’s going to take a lot time. If the client wants that, it would be extra and I can come in at another time just to focus on organizing.”
Lewis visits clients in the Metro Atlanta area weekly, biweekly or monthly, as needed.
For more information, call 678-790-8238 or visit NatureKleen.info.
Martin Miron is the editor of Natural Awakenings Atlanta.