A user’s guide to safe apartment cleaning

user's guide to apartment cleaning
Like many of our customers, I have a family and I am a working professionals. Like you, I simply don’t have the free time to focus on apartment cleaning like our parents did. Why? Because I am consumed work. I am consumed with family. And quite frankly I am consumed with my depleting personal interest. Therefore, I believe apartment cleaning isn’t the focal point of the new American household. Nonetheless a cleaner, healthier home is still very important for our overall well being. So, I want to provide you with an easy guide to safe apartment cleaning.

Save 20% when you book an apartment cleaning with Green Maids & Co. Click here and use code AC20.

Apartment cleaning basics:

  • Cleaning as you go:
    I can hear my mother’s voice ringing in my ears: “If you can do it in two minutes, do it.” Cleaning as you watch TV, putting your clothes away instead of leaving them on the floor and getting in the housecleaning habit (even when you don’t feel like it) are the easiest ways you can stay “clean.” Forget about filling your Sundays with hours of in-home errands-just clean your apartment as you go, and before you know it, you’ll have a house that’s spic and span. It’s not easy to be mindful in the moment, so I make it a point to set myself up for success. Here’s what I do: I always, always have a bottle of Green Shield Organic’s All Purpose Cleaner near my kitchen sink-it smells great and it’s environmentally friendly-along with a few rags I rotate in and out throughout the week, so I can clean in the moment. Before long, it becomes a habit.
  • Be frugal, not cheap:
    The local dollar store can be a Mecca for cleaning supplies. The items are inexpensive, there’s a variety of products to choose from and you can get nearly everything in one place. That sounds good on paper (and a few items here and there make sense), but make sure you’re not hurting your apartment by saving a little money. Yeah, I know it’s tempting to purchase your cleaning supplies at a dollar a piece-heck, I did that for years-but in doing so, you could be putting your living space at risk. How? By introducing toxic chemicals into your apartment. While the items you purchase are only a buck or two, many of them are filled to the brim with the kind of harmful chemicals that can damage your health and the earth. I suggest buying rags and other non-liquid items at dollar stores, and then go to your nearest Home Depot or Lowes (or shop online) for safer cleaning products. Start here.
  • Don’t ignore these rooms:
    When it comes apartment cleaning, there are two rooms you’ll never, ever want to ignore when it’s cleaning time. Trust me. When you ignore your bathroom and kitchen, you’re setting yourself up for a grueling measure of madness. Until recently, I would only clean my bathroom when I saw it get dirty (if I saw it get dirty). It wasn’t until a guest politely pointed out how grimy my bathtub was that I started realizing just how derelict I had been in my cleaning duties. Same goes for my kitchen. Think your sink and counters are the only things you need to keep tidy? Think again! Cleaning the inside of your refrigerator every week is a must. There’s nothing worse than having a guest reach for a bottled water, only to stare at a moldy crisper drawer. I learned the hard (embarrassing) way. Now, I make it a point to clean as I go (see first lesson learned) and spend every Sunday cleaning both rooms. When they’re clean, I’m calm. And my guests are happy.

Save 20% when you book an apartment cleaning with Green Maids & Co. Click here and use code AC20.

Safer apartment cleaning tips:

safe apartment cleaning
Cleaning apartments isn’t rocket science. If you clean as you go, invest in safer cleaning products and keep your fingers on the pulse of your living area, you’ll find yourself living in a spotless apartment before you know it. Speaking of health, there are some easy ways to ensure your apartment is safe for you and your loved ones. Here are a few best practices I’ve learned through my research:

  • Surround yourself with safe cleaning products:
    Bringing a newborn home? Have young ones at your feet? Cleaning your apartment before moving out? Be sure to have non-toxic cleaners beneath your sink. In most cases, you’ll want to eschew those major brands and instead rely on products that will keep your house free of toxic fumes. Brands like Seventh Generation and Method are the way to go. I bought Method Dish Soap to have on hand for any baby bottles and pacifiers in need of quality cleaning. Need to clean their clothes? I use Method Free and Clear Laundry Detergent-a safe solution for your baby’s cleaning needs. Here’s a list of other green-cleaning products you’ll want to consider buying to set your loved ones up for success.
  • Purify the air in your household:
    Did you know that the air inside your apartment is two to five times more polluted than the air outside? That’s a scary thought, especially considering the lungs of infants are very immature. Place plants around your house to ensure a steady flow of oxygen. One place to consider is in the nursery-ground central for your baby. Did you know that plants can clean up to 90% of the toxins out of the air in less than 24 hours? Aloe Vera, Sansevieria and Spider Plants are all good choices and are easy to care for, making them a win-win for your cleaning and childcare needs. Learn more about the cleaning power of plants.
  • Keep your carpets toxin-free:
    Diapers aren’t the only things that make a mess-your carpet can fall victim to your baby’s messes at any moment! Instead of reaching for that commercial cleaning product, consider creating your own in advance. By mixing baking soda and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle, and sprinkling liberally, you can get most any stain out of your carpet while keeping it safe for the little one to play on. Whenever possible, try not to use any of those commercial carpet cleaners, as their chemicals can get trapped in the carpet.
  • Be mindful of your cleaning habits:
    Did you know that powerful fumes from household cleaners can irritate children’s airways, making their allergy or asthma symptoms worse? The next time you’re in need of new cleaning supplies, look for phosphate-free products (here’s a great resource), as well as cleaning products that are VOC-free, solvent-free, petroleum-free and biodegradable. You may wind up spending more, but it’s worth it when you consider the safety of the children in your life. While you’re at it, make sure you don’t clean with the kids in the room. While multitasking may seem like the smart thing to do, you’ll want to make sure the children are far from the cleaning products you use, just in case.
  • Rely on the professionals to get started:
    When in doubt, rely on a New York City apartment cleaning service. Hiring a reliable cleaning crew to tend to your apartment can be a great first step toward getting in the habit of routine green cleaning. Best of all, a cleaning service as help you create an apartment cleaning schedule, determine move out cleaning services if you need to move, conduct apartment carpet cleaning and develop an apartment cleaning checklist. Here’s another tip: When you’re searching for the right apartment cleaning service near you, use the following terms to help narrow down the right service for your needs: “apartment cleaning jobs,” “apartment cleaning services,” “apartment cleaning products,” “New York City apartment cleaning” or “apartment cleanings services in Chicago” (depending on where you live), and “apartment move out cleaning prices” if you need to clean before moving. The more specific you are with your search, the better results you’ll get.

Save 20% when you book an apartment cleaning with Green Maids & Co. Click here and use code AC20.

Going green is easier than you think:

green apartment cleaning
Not only is green cleaning less expensive than buying commercial products, but you’re getting a much safer product in the process. And here’s another great thing about green-cleaning: You don’t have to look far for items that work. Simply open your cupboards and look for the following:

  • White Vinegar – Dissolves dirt and soap scum on hard surfaces
  • Liquid Castile Soap – Can be used as a spray cleaner when mixed with white vinegar and water
  • Natural Salt – Can be sued as a fabric softener and to clean cookware
  • Baking Soda – Able to remove water deposit stains on bathroom fixtures and mirrors
  • Borax – Can be used to clean your toilets and sinks
  • Washing Soda – Capable of keeping your small appliances shiny and grease-free
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Can clean grout, mold and mildew on tile and in toilet bowls
  • Lemons – Can be used as a spray cleaner when mixed with vinegar, baking soda and hot water

The household items (mentioned above) can serve as highly effective solutions for your apartment cleaning needs. Better yet, they’re inexpensive and safe-unlike many commercial cleaning products. Not only can in-store cleaning solutions throw your wallet out of whack, but they can expose you to harmful chemicals that threaten the health of you and your loved ones. For example, did you know that using cleaning supplies with toxins can cause eczema, airway and eye irritation, and allergies in your newborn? Or that they can lead to poisoning and other unknown health effects? That’s a scary thought … but there is a solution. By hiring a professional cleaning firm like Green Maids, you can rest easy knowing your family can laugh and play in a safe and toxin-free environment.

At Green Maids & Co. we believe that every family deserves a healthy and clean home free from damaging chemicals, toxins and pollutants. We also understand it’s tough to spot harmful ingredients that can put your newborn at risk. To learn how you can avoid bringing toxic chemicals into your household, contact us. Or, look for these ingredients in cleaning supplies-and avoid them at all cost:

  • Phthalates
  • Perchloroethylene, or “PERC”
  • Triclosan
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS”
  • 2-Butoxyethanol
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine
  • Sodium Hydroxide

Save 20% when you book an apartment cleaning with Green Maids & Co. Click here and use code AC20.

Your apartment cleaning action plan:

Not all cleaning products list their ingredients next to the label, so it can be tough avoiding products that have one or more of the fore-mentioned toxic chemicals. To help you navigate the aisles the next you’re time buying cleaning supplies avoid these items as best you can:

  • Air fresheners: The fragrances (even those marked unscented) can trigger asthma and allergies. The Environmental Working Group reviewed 2,000 household cleaning products in 2012 and found that 53% of cleaning products contain ingredients harmful to the lungs, and 22% of cleaning products contain chemicals known to cause asthma in otherwise healthy people.
  • Fabric softeners and dryer sheets: The fragrances and other ingredients used to make them can cause asthma, allergies or lung irritation.
  • Cleaning products with artificial fragrances: The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic, yet because the formulas used for these fragrances are trade secrets, companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients used.
  • Antibacterial products: The ingredients used to kill bacteria in these soaps can encourage the development of drug-resistant superbugs.
  • Corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners: These are the most acutely dangerous cleaning products on the market. The ingredients in these cleaners can cause severe burns on the skin and eyes, or if ingested, to the throat and esophagus.
  • Bleach and ammonia: Separately, these cleaners produce fumes with high acute toxicity to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung issues. Used together, these products produce a toxic gas that can cause serious lung damage.
  • Products that create suds: Ingredients such as 1,4-dioxane, diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, etc. are known carcinogens linked to organ toxicity. In addition to acute and long-term health issues, many of these chemicals pose health hazards to the environment, too.

Save 20% when you book an apartment cleaning with Green Maids & Co. Click here and use code AC20.

If you’re still unsure how to kickstart your better apartment cleaning habits, contact our apartment cleaning services in New York City, and have them walk you through the ins and outs of tidying up your apartment. Sometimes all it takes is a consultation for you to pick up the tips you need to keep your place clean. If look at other green cleaning services, make sure they are a member of the Green Business Bureau (GBB), a national, third-party organization that provides certification for businesses that follow environmentally responsible practices. Members of the GBB routinely demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, which will give you the confidence you need as they clean your home with care.