Cleaning Green

Photo: Prikhodko

Green cleaning your home or office.

Hiring a maid or cleaning service can help; and now there are a number of non-toxic, environmentally friendly companies to choose from.

The Green Home

Green home cleaners can be used on a regular basis, for annual spring cleaning or just for special events such as moving into a new home. "A moving-in cleaning is a great opportunity to start off on the right foot," says Emmanuel Rey, owner of Enviro-maid in Toronto.

The chemicals found in many household cleaners are hazardous to the environment and your health. Just look at all the warning labels on the products under your sink or on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Green cleaning services like Greenway Maid in San Francisco and Aspen Clean in Vancouver use products made with natural ingredients -- baking soda, olive oil, borax, tea tree oil, citric acid. Some companies are adding other natural elements. Zen Home in New York City leaves behind the smell of lavender and jasmine from the essential oils burned during their visit. They polish off the visit with an organic chocolate bar waiting on each bed -- now that's a successful combination of environmental sustainability and the luxe life anyone can enjoy.

The Green Office

Conscientious consumers, and allergy and chemical sensitivity sufferers are bringing the green cleaning movement to work. Non-toxic companies are ready to sanitize doorknobs and light switches, clean the bathrooms and kitchen area, dust blinds, windowsills, electronic equipment and fans all with natural products. Employers can feel confident flu germs aren't being spread around an unclean office without having to give up environmental practices.

Many green cleaning service, including Victoria based Select Janitorial are adding a growing number of medical and dental offices to their client list.

Green Education

It's also important to know how to clean green in between visits and many companies are happy to make recommendations to clients. Finding the right product for your home or office on your own can be a long process of trial and error. Often people give up and go back to traditional products because they simply can't find something tough enough the get the job done. Your green cleaner has already done the footwork and can act as an outstanding resource as you replace the products under your sink with effective non-toxic alternatives.

On average green cleaning costs a bit more than traditional services but in every other way it is comparable.