With many cleaning companies jumping on the green cleaning services bandwagon, you should also consider following their lead. You will not only enjoy the benefits of a cleaner house but, more importantly, your family will benefit from the eco-friendly cleaning products used by the professional housecleaners. Your family members with allergies and asthma, among other underlying medical conditions, will have reduced exposure to harmful substances from non-eco-friendly cleaning products.
But many cleaning companies will assert that they are using green cleaning practices but, in fact, are not. Here’s what you should be aware of in choosing from among these companies.
It Isn’t Greenwashing Its Services
Greenwashing refers to the practice of making false claims about being environmentally-friendly. While you cannot easily judge whether a company is greenwashing or not, you can dig deeper by asking for its material safety data sheets (MSDS). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires cleaning professionals to have the information for all of their products used in the delivery of cleaning services.
Keep in mind that just because a professional housecleaner has Green Seal cleaners on their MSDS does not automatically mean that the products are, indeed, non-toxic. You have to check the MSDS just to be sure – and do your basic research about toxic and non-toxic cleaning products beforehand. For example, cleaning products with phosphates and phthalates are considered as toxic.
Tip: Check the Consumer Reports’ Eco-Label website for more information.
It Doesn’t Use Air Fresheners and Other Fragrances with Harsh Ingredients
When an area has been sufficiently cleaned, it will smell like it has been freshly-cleaned, a naturally agreeable smell that requires no air freshener to accentuate its cleanliness. Many unscrupulous professional cleaners will perform sub-par cleaning procedures and then spray the area with strong air fresheners to mask any lingering scent – and, in the process, increase your exposure to harsh chemicals in your indoor areas.
Tip: Ask about the types of cleaning products that the part-time maids use. Enzyme-based solutions and steam cleaners are the better options than most commercial products.
Of course, you should ask about the following matters from the cleaning company for your own protection, too, especially in case of injuries suffered by the part-time cleaners while on the job and losses suffered by your household:
- Look at the bond and insurance of the cleaning company as well as verify their validity in terms of covered period and coverage with the issuing company.
- Check the certification as a green cleaning company before verifying with the issuing agency.
- Ask for client references – at least three of the latest clients – and call them to inquire about their experiences.
When you have found a reliable green cleaning company, such as Merry Maids, your days will definitely be easier!