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 info@greengirlco.com 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.

Resins

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.

Salt

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.

Sources:

http://greencleancertified.com/green-living-home/monthly-column/Five-Safer-Green-Ways-to-Kill-Germs

http://greencleaning.about.com/od/GreenCleaning101/tp/10-Eco-Friendly-Ingredients-For-Everyday-Green-Cleaning.htm

 

Image via flickr user Shaylor