Growing up, you might have been admonished to wash your hands before eating, look both ways before crossing the street, and zip up your jacket before stepping out into the cold. But not much was mentioned about green cleaning, even among professional home cleaning businesses.
The movement began back in 1957 but only recently started gaining traction. Now, green cleaning is a meaningful conversation that most people are having, particularly with their cleaning company. And this little change has the ability to make an impact on your everyday life.
What is the History of Green Cleaning?
In 1957, Olga Huckins witnessed a plane spraying DDT over her country home. After finding seven birds dead on her property, she contacted her friend, Rachel Carson, an employee at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rachel eventually wrote a book, Silent Spring, which advocated greater awareness of chemicals’ potential harmful side effects. By 1963, her message had reached President John F. Kennedy, who made a speech discussing the necessary stewardship of our planet.
By 1970, the first Earth Day was introduced, along with the first green products. Unfortunately, these were mostly expensive and ineffective and were not widely used by the professional home cleaning industry. Recycled paper was also introduced, but it was not an effective product, as was the same with green laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dishwashing detergents.
Welcome to the 21st century – the green cleaning service industry has had a resurgence. There are a few reasons for this comeback, including that the products significantly improved, thanks to a certification process that guaranteed quality. There was also an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton that encouraged the use of green cleaning products in all federal government agencies. And President George Bush secured the interest by extending these executive orders. This helped transform the entire professional home cleaning industry as we know it today.
What is Green Cleaning?
Green cleaning is when the cleaning products and methods utilized are safe for humans, pets, your home, and the environment. If you want to use natural green cleaning products, then you would use substances such as baking soda, lemons, and vinegar. If a professional home cleaning company says that they are a green cleaning service, that may mean that they use cleaning products that have:
- No phosphates
- No chlorine
- No artificial fragrances or colors
- Biodegradable or recyclable packaging
- Environmentally friendly ingredients
Additionally, some green cleaning products might certify that their items are fair trade, which means that their products meet specific labor and environmental standards by those that produce them.
Why is Green Cleaning Important?
Now, more than ever, it is critical for a cleaning company to switch from traditional cleaning supplies to green cleaning. An Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning study discovered that fumes from cleaning products may induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals. Additionally, children born to women with professional home cleaning jobs while pregnant had an elevated risk of congenital disabilities, according to a New York State Department of Health study in 2010. Some cleaners even caused chemical burns!
Having your cleaning company switch to green products can significantly enhance the health of everyone in your home. The Green Business Program requires all cleaning products to have a third-party certification or a GoodGuide rating of 8.1. Green Seal, Safer Choice, and Ecologo are the most common third-party certifications. Both Green Seal and UL have membership in the Global Ecolabel Network, an international nonprofit organization that ensures that the certification standards are transparent and published.
Why Is It Critical to Utilize a Green Cleaning Service?
There are many reasons to choose to hire a professional cleaning company. It is expected by 2024, that 80% of double-income households will have hired an outside professional home cleaning service, even if it is for a one-time clean. But why is it essential to hire a green cleaning service? It’s simple. Your health.
Top reasons professional home cleaning services are choosing to focus and become green cleaning services:
- To stop VOCs
- To reducing waste
- To prevent allergens
Reducing VOC Pollution with Green Cleaning
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are insidious gases released by cleaning products. They are known to cause air and water pollution. These chemicals are widely sold in many everyday cleaning products, and their release upon use can cause adverse health effects on people and pets. Green cleaning services ensure that they never use any cleaning products that contain VOCs.
Protect the Environment with Biodegradable Packaging
One of the things that green cleaning services look for is reusable, refillable, or biodegradable packaging. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also reduces the cost and stress on landfills.
Prevent Irritants and Potential Sensitivities for Allergy Sufferers
With a traditional professional home cleaning company, you may smell that traditional chemical scent or heavy fragrances after they leave your home. These harsh cleaning solutions and artificial scents may worsen customers’ allergies and sensitivities.
When you hire a green cleaning service, you won’t have that heavy scent after they leave because of the lack of artificial products. You may find that you breathe easier after having a visit from a green cleaning service once they have wiped down and removed the dust from your home, using all the tools of the trade, including a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter and microfiber cloths. Recurring scheduled cleanings will help keep your house clean of dust and allergens!
What is a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter?
A vacuum fitted with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is your best weapon against trapping the dirt you see (and don’t see!) rather than inefficiently sending it back into your home’s air. Originally designed to be used as a filtration system for radioactive particles, it has been wonderfully used by many a cleaning company to help allergy and asthma sufferers clean their homes’ air. Utilizing a special-size fiber and an electrostatic field, vacuums with HEPA filters are able to remove 99.995% of all particles from the air.
However, it should be noted that HEPA filters can only be considered efficient if they are used by air-tight vacuum cleaners. If a household member has serious health concerns, the actual vacuum should be checked to ensure it is air-tight and fitted with a HEPA filter.
When thinking about the healthiest home possible, partner with a professional home cleaning service known as a leader in the green cleaning service industry. Pure House Cleaning has been serving the communities in the Seattle, Phinney Ridge, and Factoria areas for over ten years and welcomes your questions about how they can help show you the difference a cleaning company can make in your home. Call to arrange a deep clean, move-out clean, regularly scheduled cleaning service, or see how else we can assist in helping you transition to green cleaning!