All posts by Anna Wickham

Choosing the Right Cleaning Service

There are a number of options available when it comes to choosing a company to clean your home. You might be wondering which to choose and what the differences are.

While your choices will range in price, you may be unaware of how your choice can affect your home and your pocketbook. But as we’ll explain below, it’s about more than the price that you pay – some options are cheaper, but come with risks that you should be aware of.

Independent Contractors vs. Maid Service Companies

While using a company who pays employees as contractors may save you money in the short term, you may ultimately be putting your finances at risk. Often, people hired simply as contractors aren’t covered by the same safety nets as people hired as employees.

Maid service companies who hire workers classified as employees are required to provide workers compensation and maintain insurance policies that will protect their employees and their customers in the event of an accident, which may ultimately increase their hourly rates.

Workers hired as contractors, however, are not guaranteed to be covered by any kind of workers compensation or insurance. If a contractor is hurt in your home in any kind of accident, there are no safety measures to defend you from liability. Your homeowners insurance may shield you, but many policies exclude hired domestic help and, if you’re a renter, you’re less likely to have this kind of coverage as part of any available policy.

A similar situation has recently been in the news in California regarding Uber, the now-famous “car pool” company that connects “riders to drivers.” Uber has not paid insurance costs for any of its drivers (which, by law, must obviously be insured to drive) and does not provide any additional coverage to protect its drivers from accidents that might occur during an Uber trip.

Since its inception, Uber has chosen to classify its workers as independent contractors to avoid expenses related to insurance and “job-related expenses,” like fuel or toll costs. The California Labor Commission ruled last week that Uber must classify its workers as “employees” and not as independent contractors. As Uber is involved in every part of the operation with drivers, from recruiting to connecting with riders, the court argues that the company is a full-blown employer, not just a contracting company.

In short, Uber has not done a stellar job protecting its drivers or riders by not providing adequate insurance coverage or funds to compensate drivers for their expenses. In the same way, cleaning agencies who contract their workers don’t provide protection for their workers or you, their customer.

How to Make an Informed Choice

So how do you protect yourself from risks of liability? How do you distinguish between an agency that hires employees versus contractors? The tricky side to this is that you can’t know by simply looking. Without directly asking, most companies will not disclose how they classify their workers or what compensation they provide. In order to protect yourself and your home, you simply need to know the right questions to ask.

As you interview different agencies to keep your home looking its best, be sure to ask if the company hires its employees as contractors and if it provides workers compensation or insurance for them. Also ask if you would be liable should an accident occur in your home.

Green Girl is a Smart Choice

At Green Girl, our employees are covered by workers compensation and are provided with materials to do their work effectively without putting our customers at risk.

Call us today at (949) 325-5405, or email us at to receive a consultation. We care about you and your home and want to provide the best cleaning solution for your family.

Image via Flickr user custom_tshirts

Is Green Cleaning as Clean as Chemical Cleaning?

Green cleaning, while generally acknowledged to be better for people and their homes, is surrounded by quite a few misconceptions that cause it to be written off or not tried at all. One of these main falsehoods is that green cleaning doesn’t get surfaces as clean as traditional chemical cleaners. This simply isn’t the case. Green cleaning, while using natural ingredients, can be just as effective as its chemical counterpart. It just utilizes different elements to do so, relying on well-proven ingredients from nature and natural sources that work to keep harmful agents at bay.


One of the main ingredients that green cleaning products use, and that we use as well in our products like Non-Toxic All Purpose Cleaner, is a mixture of resins.

The most commonly used types are pine and citrus, but others are also utilized.

When included in cleaning products, resins serve a valuable purpose—containing and removing microbes. This mirrors what they do in nature. In their natural state as part of trees, resins heal cuts and abrasions, acting as a barrier between the tree tissues and foreign invaders that may potentially harm the plant. They provide barriers in the cleaning products as well—this time between people and microbes that live on surfaces. Below, we’ll highlight three ingredients commonly used in green cleaning products and how they work to keep your home both green and clean.

Eucalyptus Oil

A popular oil that is used in a number of industrial and medicinal settings, eucalyptus oil has strong anti-microbial properties. This substance when inhaled has been shown to treat upper respiratory infections and kill airborne bacteria. It works just as well on surfaces to kill bacteria and microbes.

When using eucalyptus oil in cleaning, you can also get the benefit of a natural bug barrier. Insects do not like the smell and will stay away from the odor, helping you to not need to use a chemical agent for that task either.

Essential Oils

Many of these natural substances have antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.  When used in a green cleaning products, essential oils bring that same anti-microbial power to your surfaces and can prevent infections and the spread of illness.


Because of its texture, salt is excellent for naturally scouring anything from a dirty sink to baked on food off of pots and pans. But salt also works as an antimicrobial agent. Salt is a desiccant, so it removes the water from the cells it comes into contact with. By removing the water, it slows the growth of these cells, reducing the bacteria and preventing odors.

These are only a few ingredients used in green cleaning.  But from these examples, it is clear that the elements used in these products are just as powerful as their chemical counterparts. Don’t feel like you have to sacrifice cleanliness for health.  You can use products that are chemical free and keep yourself and your family safe.



Image via flickr user Shaylor

3 Benefits of Using a Non-Toxic Deodorizer

Bad smells in your home can come from many things—bad food, spills, or dirty laundry —so having home odors is a common problem. A lot of people think that chemicals are the best way to cover undesirable odors. They try to chemically remove the odor, or try to cover up the stink with a different smell.

But chemicals are not the answer in this situation, as they don’t remove the smell and are bad for you, your home, and the environment. The good news is that you can remove these odors naturally, benefiting you in countless ways. Here are just a few.

1. You Aren’t Putting Chemicals into Your Living Spaces

Many of the chemical solutions for odor use chemicals like formaldehyde and phthalates.  These chemicals are bad for you and bad for your home, as these chemicals and their fumes are toxic and cancer causing. It is common knowledge that formaldehyde is used in the embalming process and to prevent biological matter from rotting. So formaldehyde is not something to want in your home. Phthalates are just as bad. They are known to make babies and children extremely sick with just a small amount of exposure.

By using non-toxic green products, you keep these chemicals out of your home and away from you. In removing these, you can keep yourself and your family safe from the effects of these terrible ingredients, ultimately making you healthier.

2. You Are Using a Sustainable Product

Chemical odor removers are manufactured with artificial ingredients made through laboratory chemical synthesis. This means that these odor removers are dependent on man made processes. These processes turn the product into something unnatural, which can render the original components un-reusable at best and pollutants at worst.

In contrast, green and non-toxic deodorizing products use ingredients like salt, water, and essential oils to remove odors.  So as well as being made from natural ingredients that will not harm you or the environment, these products are made from ingredients that are sustainable.  After use, their ingredients are easily broken down to be used again.

3. You are Using a Product That Actually Works

As previously discussed, the chemical products people try to use to remove odors don’t actually remove the odor. They merely mask the odors with chemical scents, relying on polymers to cover but not actually get rid of the smell.

Non-toxic deodorizers work differently. The natural ingredients bond to the odor-causing particles and actually remove the smell by neutralizing it through a natural reaction. This natural reaction between odor particles and the salt or essential oils causes the smell to vanish and stay gone.

Our Product

Are you looking for an effective all natural non-toxic deodorizer? Our non-toxic deodorizing spray by Lil’ Green Girl’s World will keep your home odor-free and chemical free. By using it, you keep yourself, your family, and the earth safe from harsh chemicals and potential harm. You will find that it actually removes the odors and keeps them from returning, making your house a more pleasant environment.

Image Via Flickr User Kick Photo 

5 Ways to Go Green in Your Garden

Spring has finally sprung, and here at Green Girl Maid Service, we are just as excited as you are. For many people, this means tending their garden or lawn that has been in hibernation during the winter. The air is charged with spring energy, so even if you’ve never gardened before, you may be inspired to start.

Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while creating beauty for others to enjoy at the same time. But some gardening practices aren’t very good for the environment. Use these eco-friendly tips to go green while gardening this spring.

1. Create your own compost.

Composting is easy and gives you two eco-friendly benefits. First, it gives you a great use for your table scraps besides adding them to a landfill. Second, it prevents you from needing to purchase nutrients from a gardening store. All you need to do to create a compost pile is get a container and fill it with your table scraps, fruit and vegetable remains, and spent coffee grounds and tea bags. Then just make sure that you are turning it every once in awhile to aerate it.

2. Water during the coolest parts of the day.

Watering is necessary, but watering during the cooler parts of the day means that the same amount of water will go much further. This is because there will be less evaporation because of the sun. Try watering right after the sun goes down, before you go to bed at night, or first thing in the morning before you head off to work.

3. Use mulch.

Mulch is another way to make your water go further than it would otherwise. While compost is there to add nutrients to your flower bed and lawn, mulch is used to help insulate your garden from evaporation, keeping moisture in longer. Mulch can be purchased at any gardening goods store. Like watering during the coolest parts of the day, using mulch will also help save you money on your monthly water bill, especially during those hot upcoming months.

4. Use natural pest control when possible.

Sure, it’s annoying when those insects and creatures interfere with your gardening efforts, but the truth is that they are there for a reason, upholding their part of the pollination process. It’s important to remember that without them, we wouldn’t have the beautiful gardens that we enjoy. Though you might be aiming to exterminate one kind of pest, you may end up harming another that’s necessary to the ecosystem that isn’t harming your flower beds.

Instead of using chemical pesticides to get rid of these little guys, try other methods. Ingredients such as cooking oil and baking soda can be combined in different ways to repel the insects you want to repel without harming them.

5. Join an urban community garden.

If you don’t have a lot of space, going green in your garden may be more work than you have time to invest in. If this is you, consider joining an urban community garden. These gardens allow those with tight urban spaces to continue to exercise their green thumb. Urban gardens reduce water use and wasted resources, and they are also cheaper and easier to maintain because maintenance is shared within the community.

Gardening is a fun and often therapeutic activity. With a few minor changes, it can be good for the environment as well!

What are your favorite green gardening tips?

Image via Flickr user mcdermottd

How to Go Green While Traveling


Many of us already know how to go green at home while we go about our everyday lives. But what about the times when we are away from our normal routine? No doubt there is an entire movement dedicated to keeping the environment protected while traveling. Ecotourism is all about being conscious while you enjoy the very environment that we have the responsibility to protect.

Whether you are exploring the mountains or the canyons, the oceans or the desert, we must protect the environment so that it is available for our posterity to enjoy. Use these tips to do your part while traveling.

1. Choose Greener Transit

Depending on where and how you are traveling, you may have the option to choose a transit method that helps the environment. If you’re exploring an urban area, be sure to use public transportation methods like the subway, bus, or train. If you’re driving across the country, it may be possible to rent a hybrid vehicle. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, and if you’re in an area where weather permits, try renting bicycles to explore. If you need to take a non-hybrid vehicle, be sure to carpool.

2. Buy Local

Wherever you go, support the local economy by buying local whenever you can. This is also a great way to explore the local area where you are traveling. No doubt that local restaurants will be the most authentic cuisine in the region. Even staying in a local hotel over a corporate chain can be your access pass to local finds that you would never have learned about otherwise.

3. Choose Green Travel Products

There are some products that we just can’t live without while traveling. One of those items is the water bottle. Those long hauls across a state or region call for plenty of water to keep everyone hydrated. Before leaving on your trip, invest in some reusable bottles that you can fill up at rest stops. Doing so will not only save you money over your trip, but will reduce your carbon footprint.

Another common travel product is hand sanitizer. But do you really want those harsh chemicals on your skin and near your children? Instead, stock up on Lil’ Green Girl’s Non-Toxic On-the-Go Hand Sanitizer before you go. You’ll get the protection you need from germs without the strong smells and harsh, drying alcohol of traditional hand sanitizers.

4. Choose Eco-Friendly Travel Companies

Some businesses in the travel industry are conscious of the environment in all they do. These businesses make sure to choose green products, offer green alternatives to traditional practices (such as hotels offering not to change towels and bedsheets everyday), and do not participate in damaging or unethical practices.

However, some businesses don’t make the environment a priority. When you choose a green business over one that is not conscious of their effect on the environment, you are voting with your money and letting non eco-friendly companies know how important it is to protect the environment.

Being eco-friendly while traveling isn’t always easy. It takes some planning in advance and some decision-making, but with these green tips, you can help the environment while you do some exploring!

Image via Flickr user Spicuzza

Going Green in the Kitchen

If you’re not conscious, your kitchen is one place in your home where a lot can go to waste: water, food, energy, and more. However, if you are intentional about it, your kitchen has tons of potential for being eco friendly. Just follow a few easy tips, and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint in no time.

1. Buy for life… or at least for awhile.

Whenever you can, it’s best to purchase kitchen tools and appliances that you can use long term rather than less expensive items that will wear out and end up in landfills when you replace them. When given the choice between a cheaper, less sturdy option and a more expensive, higher quality item, spend the money for the better item. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll likely cook more, reducing eating habits that are taxing on the environment, such as fast food.

2. Get energy-efficient appliances.

If you’re upgrading kitchen appliances, go for the most energy efficient models. Doing so can have a much greater impact than little things you can do here and there in the kitchen to go green. An energy efficient refrigerator will run 24/7 for years. Think of how much energy you’d save over time!

3. Avoid pre-packaged foods.

One of the best ways to reduce waste in your kitchen is to avoid foods that are pre-packaged or overly packaged. Look for alternatives to your favorite pre-packaged products and eat fresh instead.

4. Buy in bulk, but don’t waste.

If you are able to consume all of the product before it goes to waste, purchase items in bulk. It uses less packaging, requires less energy for transporting by the manufacturer, and saves you trips to the grocery store in your vehicle. 

5. Invest in a water filter.

Making the switch from water bottles to an in-sink or external water filter can reduce your waste by hundreds of water bottles each year. As a bonus, it can often produce water that tastes even better than bottled water!

6. Use a low-flow aerator.

Most kitchen faucets expel water at a much quicker rate than needed. By getting a low-flow aerator to slow the flow of your kitchen faucet, you can reduce the amount of water you use with almost no noticeable difference in your kitchen routine.

7. Optimize your dishwasher settings.

Studies have found that using a dishwasher utilizes less water than hand washing dishes. Make it even more efficient by changing any settings that use too much energy or perform functions that aren’t necessary. For example, you can let your dishes air dry instead of using a drying cycle, and you can wash on the low cycle. It might also be possible to skip hand washing before dishwashing for some of your items.

8. Compost your organic waste.

Those egg shells and banana peels can have lots of other purposes, so be sure not to throw them in the garbage where they will go in landfills instead. Use your compost to nourish your house plants or garden.

With just a few changes, your kitchen can transform from one of the biggest energy drains in your home to one of the most energy efficient areas of your home.



Image via Flickr user designbuildinhabit

Which Cleaning Products Should You Replace First?

Surely you’ve heard about the many benefits of making the switch from traditional chemical cleaning products to green cleaning products. But ditching all those chemicals and replacing all of your cleaners with green ones is a big step. If you’re just getting started, where do you begin? And what are some of the most harmful chemicals to get rid of first? Here’s our guide to getting started with green cleaners.

Glass Cleaner

Cleaners meant for glass and mirrors are a particularly pervasive product, and therefore they are one of the first cleaners you should replace with a green alternative. Getting that “streak-free” shine that every glass cleaner boasts is a result of the evaporative nature of ammonia, a key ingredient in glass cleaners. Ammonia is a major irritant. It is often inhaled when used and it is harmful to the lungs.

Glass cleaner is also one of the cleaners that is used most often. That’s why we recommend our clients replace their window cleaner as soon as possible, before almost any other green substitution you make. Instead, try using Lil Green Girl’s World non-toxic glass and mirror cleaner.


The dangers and health risks of bleach are well-known: bleach is a corrosive chemical that is extremely toxic when in contact with skin, eyes, or anything else. To safely use bleach, you should ideally be wearing gloves and goggles. Is a chemical that strong really something you want in your home? Does it take much convincing to get you to rid your house of bleach? We didn’t think so.

A great alternative to bleach is an all-natural, all-purpose household cleaner such as Lil Green Girl’s World non-toxic all-purpose cleaner. With natural ingredients such as coconut, pine, and citrus-based resins, you’ll get the fresh clean you need without the health risks.

Air Fresheners and Deodorizers

When most people think of harmful chemicals, air fresheners and deodorizers rarely come to mind. But chemical air fresheners are a toxic inhalant, and one that is used more often than regular cleaning products so it is arguably even worse to keep around than most cleaners.

Air fresheners contain phthalates, which is considered a “probable human carcinogen” by the EPA, meaning that it is likely that it can lead to cancer in humans. It is also known to interfere with healthy growth and development in laboratory tests.

Air freshener is a relatively easy chemical product to replace in your home with a better, greener alternative. There are also many fragrant green products to choose from to keep your home smelling fresh. Try Lil Green Girl’s non-toxic air freshener in Zen Garden scent. This product doesn’t simply mask bad odors with perfume and chemicals, but instead attacks bacteria that cause odors and eliminates it.

It may seem overwhelming when you first decide to make the switch to green cleaning products, but take it one step at a time. Begin with these three particularly toxic household chemicals, and you’ll be well on your way to a greener home and a healthier you!

Image via Flickr user tusnelda

How to Go Green This Christmas

Christmas is a time to gather together with family and friends and celebrate. But anytime lots of people are gathering for a celebration, it often means lots of energy is being used and lots of materials are being wasted.

This year, plan ahead to make sure that your holiday is as green as possible. Here are our Green Christmas tips for you and yours:

1. Ditch the disposable dinnerware.

If you don’t already own some, invest in cloth napkins and use your own plates to eat on rather than paper or styrofoam. While it may cost more in the short run, you can use those items for years to come. Just think of all the money you’ll save by not buying paper napkins, styrofoam plates, and plastic utensils.

2. Be aware of wastefulness.

Americans waste more food during the holiday season than during the rest of the year. Be aware of this and plan ahead to waste less food. Some ideas include:

  • Purchase reusable plastic containers in advance so that you can send food home with your guests.
  • Freeze any leftovers that can be frozen. You can always get them out of the freezer later. But if you put food in the refrigerator and don’t eat it within a week or so, it will get thrown out.

3. Wrap your gifts with decorated newspaper.

Get the family together to use watercolors to decorate old newspaper that you can then use to wrap gifts. Avoid gift bags as they tend to use more paper than wrapping (the bags are made of thicker paper, and tissue paper is usually used as well). Also avoid stuffing boxes of gifts with tissue paper for decoration. If you need to pad something breakable that is wrapped in a box, use cloth instead of tissue.

4. Consider service gifts over material gifts.

More than any other time of the year, we purchase brand new material goods around the holidays. This year, instead of getting each other brand new products, try offering each other service gifts. Those can either be services that you offer your loved ones yourself, such as doing the laundry for a month, or a service that you can purchase using a gift certificate, such as a day at the spa or a green clean home from Green Girl Maid Service.  Not only will you bring fewer materials into the “cycle of stuff,” but you’ll give a personal service to a loved one or help support a local business.

5. Use fire to heat the house.

If possible, heat your home with your fireplace instead of your central heating system. If you have guests over, close the doors to unused rooms and reduce traffic through doors that lead outside to keep the warm air from escaping.

6. Make food homemade rather than buying at the store.

This is the time of year to cook homemade rather than purchase pre-packaged foods that are likely packed with preservatives and covered in plastic wrap. Chances are you have plenty of people around that you can enlist to help you in the kitchen. It also creates some bonding time that would not have happened otherwise!

Merry Christmas from us here at Green Girl Maid Service! We hope you and your family have a happy holiday.

Image via Flickr user flashfire

3 Natural Ways to Clean Your Garbage Disposal (and 3 Ways Not To)

It’s kitchen cleaning day, and you’ve got everything under control: you’ve sanitized those countertops, cleaned the stovetops, and scrubbed the sink. You’re just about to knock off for the day when you smell it. It’s coming from the inside of the sink and you know the culprit immediately: the garbage disposal.

Our garbage disposals serve us well, but we sometimes forget that they need to be cleaned too. But have no fear, because you have several options when it comes to cleaning your garbage disposal. Plus, each method is easy and uses common ingredients that you likely already have in your home.

Citrus and Rosemary Ice Cubes

Cut a lemon or orange into ½-inch slices, then cut each slice into 4 quarters. Add a sliced piece into each of the segments of an ice cube tray. Then, cut fresh rosemary and add a little to each ice cube segment. Finally, fill the ice cube tray the rest of the way with water and freeze.

Put a few of the ice cubes down the garbage disposal and turn it on while running a little bit of cold water (but not so much that it melts the ice). If you have food particles stuck on your garbage disposal blades, ice is a great way to knock it loose, while the citrus and rosemary leave your kitchen smelling clean and fresh.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Sprinkle about a half cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal, then pour a cup of vinegar into it. Let the solution bubble and settle for a few minutes. Then, run hot water into the disposal to rinse it clean.

Ice and Rock Salt

To remove serious gunk from your garbage disposal naturally, use regular ice (or add some lemon rinds or lemon juice) followed by a half cup of rock salt. This will help loosen any grime, even stuff that has been there for awhile!

What Not to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

There are a few misconceptions when it comes to green cleaning of your garbage disposal. Here are a few common items that seem like they’d help, but can actually harm your garbage disposal.


While they may seem like an effective method of knocking food residue from your garbage disposal, the membranes on the inside of the shells can get wrapped around the garbage disposal blades. But let those eggshells help nourish your garden by composting them instead!

Fruit Seeds or Pits

Another method that might seem effective is using fruit seeds or pits. But the leftover pieces of avocados, olives, peaches, and even citrus fruits can jam your disposal, so add them to the compost pile instead.

Coffee Grounds

If used in very small quantities, coffee grounds can be a good method of cleaning your garbage disposal. But if you’re looking for a way to trash your coffee grounds everyday after your morning cup of coffee, the garbage disposal isn’t the place. They’re a perfect addition to your compost pile though!

That last bit of kitchen cleaning wasn’t so bad after all, and green cleaning couldn’t have been easier. Plus, your kitchen is now smelling fresh and clean.

Image via Tip Garden

4 Advantages of Green Cleaning Products

For the last several years, green cleaning has gained more and more traction as an alternative means of cleaning your home, school, or business. At Green Girl Maid Service, we believe that using green cleaning products is the best choice for you and your family.

While there are lots of green cleaning products on the market today, we started to see a need for green cleaning products that met our high standards and all the purest, most natural ingredients.

These standards included:

  • All natural ingredients
  • No phosphates
  • No sulfates
  • No ammonia
  • No animal testing
  • No added coloring

This is when Lil’ Green Girl’s World was born. Not only do we use these cleaning products for our cleaning service clients, but we offer them for sale on our website so that you never have to settle for cleaning products that threaten the health and safety of your family.

So what were our goals when we created the Lil’ Green Girl’s World green cleaning products?

A Safer Environment for Children


Your children are of course your number one priority. So why expose them to toxic chemicals such as the ones traditionally used to clean your bathroom or kitchen? With green cleaning products, you can get the same cleaning power as chemical cleaners while creating a safer environment for your children.

Cleaner Indoor Air


Your cleaning products might just be having the opposite of the desired effect, making your air more polluted instead of more clean and pure. According to the EPA, homes that use chemical cleaning products are 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Breathe easier with green cleaning products.

Cleaner Water Supply


Toxic cleaning products are not only a potential risk to your health, but they are detrimental to the environment as well. Ingredients in common cleaning products such as ammonia and phosphorous are known to make their way into our lakes and streams.

This not only poses a threat to our drinking water, but it can pollute the water that fish and other wildlife need to live. When you choose green cleaning products, you are not only contributing to cleaner water to drink and swim in, but you’re helping form a better earth for animals and plants that rely on it.

A Greener Life


Remember that “going green” doesn’t just mean using green cleaning products. It can mean consciously using less plastic and paper, using alternative means of transportation, and even looking for ways to cut your energy usage in your home.

For even more tips on how to live a greener life, check out more of our green cleaning tips here.

Experience the benefit of green cleaning products today by visiting our online store. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of you and your family. Take the first step today!



Image via flickr user sskennel