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12/4/09 It’s Easy Being Green


It’s Easy Being Green 

It’s trendy to be “green,” but just what does that mean when it comes to house cleaning? For starters it means minimizing the use of toxic chemicals that could harm your family’s health and the environment. If you’re not one to tackle house cleaning on your own, now is a great time to find a maid service that specializes in green cleaning services.


You won’t need to look far. Residential cleaning services all over the state are responding to the demand for more natural housekeeping. Most NJ maid services are happy to provide environmentally friendly alternatives, so simply ask. If representatives are impatient or unwilling to answer questions, move along. There are plenty of residential cleaning companies happy for your business.


Keep It Simple

The green cleaning landscape can be confusing, so your best bet is to find a housekeeping business that uses all-natural, biodegradable products and/or products that list all ingredients. You can then see for yourself just how “green” they are. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it, it probably doesn’t occur in nature.


Expect to pay a little more for green residential cleaning services because all-natural products tend to be more expensive than more conventional chemical cleaners. It will be well worth the extra cost, though, especially if any family members suffer from chronic conditions such as asthma or sensitivity to foreign substances.


Yes, You Can!

If hiring a professional maid service isn’t in your budget, you can certainly go green on your own. The number one item in your housecleaning arsenal will be baking soda. You can use that to do everything from deodorize carpets (sprinkle, then vacuum) to remove countertop stains (sprinkle, then wipe or scrub as necessary). Leave a box in the refrigerator or freezer to absorb odors.


Another housekeeping standby is vinegar, popular as a stain remover and floor cleaner. It removes hard water stains on bathroom fixtures and rings in toilets. It eliminates odors without harmful fumes. It also works well on windows – spray onto glass and wipe with newspapers you’ve already read. That’s phase two of green cleaning: minimizing the use of disposable products such as paper towels, which have a different environmental impact than chemicals do. Combine the two – baking soda and vinegar – and you have a great drain cleaner and refresher. Kids especially like to watch the bubbles form from the combined ingredients.


Put Nature to Work Indoors

Reduce the need for air fresheners by employing more houseplants, which naturally absorb odors. If mold allergies are prevalent, you might need to leave plants outdoors, however. Speaking of mold, hydrogen peroxide and water remove that from bathrooms and kitchens.


The acid in lemons disinfects kitchen areas such as wooden cutting boards, which often teem with bacteria. Lemon juice shines brass and copper, and it dissolves soap scum. It’s also a great deodorizer, particularly for the garbage disposal or any drain.


Cornstarch can be used to polish furniture or clean carpets.


In the laundry room, washing soda is a terrific alternative to commercial detergents. Baking soda works as a laundry booster, and your trusted friend vinegar makes a great, natural fabric softener.


You will need to experiment to come up with the right combinations for your housecleaning needs. For example, a greasy stove might require straight vinegar, while cleanup after boiling pasta might just call for a little vinegar mixed with water.


Buying Residential Cleaning Supplies Isn’t Cheating

If you’d prefer to purchase ready-made housekeeping supplies rather than mix your own, you should be able to find green cleaning products at major shopping outlets. Method, Clorox GreenWorks and Seventh Generation are examples of natural, non-toxic housecleaning products available at many grocery and big box stores.


Remember, if you go with a maid service, you can always provide natural housecleaning products. This way you’ll save yourself elbow grease without compromising your environmental ideals. The cleaning company will likely reduce the price to reflect the supplied products.


Maid For Mommy is one residential cleaning company that uses environmentally friendly housecleaning products.

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