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!

logo2

Sources:

http://www.abesmarket.com/blog/health-wellness/6-reasons-to-use-green-cleaning-products-in-your-home/

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/household-cleaner-affect-environment-79335.html

http://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/The-Benefits-of-Green-Cleaning–10793

http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html#Levels

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/indoor-air-quality-causes-of-testing-and-monitoring-indoor-air-pollution.html

http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/gsteps.asp

Image via flickr user sskennel

Help Green Girl Maid Service Receive a Grant!

Green Girl Maid Service is excited to be an applicant for the Chase Bank Mission Main Street Grant for small businesses. You can vote for us in the contest here.

The Mission Main Street Grant awards 20 lucky small businesses a $150,000 grant to assist in the growth of their businesses. In addition, each winning business receives:

  • A trip to Google Headquarters
  • A Google Chromebook laptop
  • A customized market research survey through Google worth $2,000
  • A marketing package for optimizing social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more.

These benefits would help our business expand marketing, employ more individuals in the community, and most importantly, help even more homes eradicate harmful chemicals and go green!

In order to remain in the running to receive one of the available grants, we need your help. We need a total of 250 unique votes by Oct 17 to progress to the next round. After that, a panel of judges will review the finalists and choose the winners.

Your vote will help support small businesses who are active members of their local communities. Help Green Girl Maid Service continue our mission of providing green alternatives and quality cleaning service to the Huntington Beach area.

We can’t do this without you. Please take a moment of your time and give us your vote and share it with your friends.

We are so excited about this opportunity and would like to thank you in advance for your help reaching our goal.

Cast your vote now by clicking here!

8 Easy Ways to Conserve Water

The state of California is in a dire water emergency. Drought conditions mean that we all need to start thinking about ways that we can do our part to conserve water. Governor Jerry Brown has asked that everyone look for ways that we can reduce water usage by just 20%.

Here at Green Girl Maid Service, we aim to help the earth as much as we can. But we know how hard it is to make changes in your busy routine. That’s why we’ve put together this list of simple things you can do to do your part and conserve water.

1. Give your yard a makeover.

One of the most effective ways to save water is to make some serious changes in your yard and flower bed. Water agencies all over California are offering cash incentives to homeowners to replace their grass with other native options that require less water to maintain. Why not make a day of it and give your yard a makeover?

2. Soak pots and pans instead of leaving the water running.

Instead of scrubbing when dinner is over, soak your skillets, pots, pans, and even plates! When you go back later to do the dishes, you’ll be amazed by what an easy job it is, as well as by how little water is required. Less work for you, and less work for water. Win-win!

3. Mulch trees and plants to keep water from evaporating.

Mulch is an inexpensive and easy way to conserve water. It keeps water from evaporating during the heat of the day, and keeps the soil cool. The water you do use for your plants will go a lot further.

4. Let your water multi-task.

When you rinse your veggies, boil eggs, or boil pasta, don’t let the water go down the drain. Instead, let it pour into a pan or bowl and use it to water your plants.

5. Skip the serving dish.

When you serve dinner, skip the bowls, platters, and other serving dishes and serve from the cookware instead. Employ your kids, friends, and family to look for other ways you can reduce the number of dishes during each meal. You can even make it a contest and keep a tally each night at dinner to see how few dishes you can use.

6. Don’t waste that dropped ice!

If you drop ice on the floor, toss it in one of your plants instead of in the sink. They’ll be grateful for the drink and that’s a little less water you’ll have to use to water them later.

7. Using a dishwasher usually uses less water than washing by hand.

If you have a dishwasher, use it. Soak dishes beforehand (instead of scrubbing), then load. You’ll conserve water and make your life a little easier in the process.

8. Use a broom.

Use a broom to clean your deck or patio rather than using a hose, power washer, or water sprayer. You can get most everything clean, and if you need to, you can spot-clean with a sponge to get tough areas.

Use these tips, and you’ll be reducing your water usage by 20% in no time. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

10 Simple Hacks for a Greener Home

1. Buy a reusable water bottle and water filter.

If you drink bottled water, there’s no better way to reduce plastic waste than by buying a reusable water bottle and a water filter. There are so many fun water bottle options these days that you’re sure to find one that you love.

2. Compost.

Composting prevents biodegradable waste from having to go in a landfill. Use it in your own garden if you have one, or share it with a neighbor!

3. Shop the thrift stores first.

If you’re in need of simple household items, such as an ironing board or clothing hangers, try swinging by the thrift store first. Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for without having to buy more brand new items. Bonus: You’ll save a few dollars.

4. Install a smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Not only do they make your home more energy efficient, but they can save your family tons of money by keeping your home at the optimal temperature only when you are home.

5. Swap one chemical cleaning product for the green version each month.

If you are currently using traditional chemical cleaning products, it can be a little overwhelming to think about throwing them all out and starting fresh with all new green products. Instead, simply mark your calendar for the same day each month. On that day, replace one chemical cleaning product with the green version. Do this every month until you’ve gotten rid of all the toxic cleaning products in your home.

6. Store reusable shopping bags in your back seat (or even better, your passenger seat) so you won’t forget them.

You’ll never remember your green shopping bags in the trunk. After grocery shopping, hang the bags on the door handle of your home so you remember to place them back in your car.

7. And speaking of cars…Ride a bike or take the bus to work one day a week.

You might think that a bike is expensive, but you can find one on Craigslist for the price of a couple of tanks of gas. If both forms of alternative transit are available to you, try both and see which you prefer.

8. Plant a small herb garden.

You may think you need a large backyard or garden in order to plant herbs, but you can do it with virtually no space. Try it indoors or on your balcony. If you’re like me and you habitually forget to water indoor plants, make sure you place them in visible spots, such as directly in front of your kitchen sink or at your desk right next to your computer.

9. When you buy fresh greens, chop them as soon as you get home.

Sure, vegetables don’t keep as long after they’ve been cut, but chopping them ASAP will make it easier for you to eat them instead of letting them get old in your refrigerator.

10. Take the green clean paperless challenge.

The next time you clean your home, make it your goal to use no paper products. If you find that you needed one or two, come up with a green alternative, like towels or sponges, and add it to your shopping list to pick up the next time you’re at the store.
What is your favorite green cleaning tip? Share with us in the comments!

 

5 Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally


This time of year, the weather is perfect for outdoor gatherings like backyard barbecues, sports, and weddings. But what do you do when your time outside is being ruined by annoying mosquitoes?

Many insect repellants on the market today contain harmful chemicals that you don’t want on your skin or near your home. Fortunately, there are lots of effective, natural alternatives to keep mosquitoes at bay.

1. Lavender

Lavender is one of the best natural insect repellant options because of its lovely scent. Combine about 30 drops of lavender essential oil with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread evenly on exposed skin. Not only will you smell great, you’ll be itch-free, too.

2. Natural Citronella Candles

Candles made of citronella, an essential oil, are widely-used to repel mosquitoes. However, most citronella candles are made with paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum. Not only is paraffin not a natural substance, but it is chemically treated and bleached during the manufacturing process. Paraffin candles also emit black smoke and toxic chemicals when burned, making them harmful both to the environment and to people.

The good news is that natural citronella candles are available so that you can take advantage of the benefits of citronella without the harmful substances. These citronella candles use beeswax and soy wax, which are natural and sustainable.

3. Neem Oil

Neem oil is made by pressing the fruits and seeds of the neem tree, which naturally grows in India and other areas of the tropics. It has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic traditional medicine. It is an essential oil with a wide variety of purposes, one of which is a natural insect repellant. Try mixing one part neem oil and one part coconut oil and spreading on exposed skin. Not only will it keep mosquitoes away, but it is believed to be nourishing for your skin as well.

4.Garlic

Admittedly, garlic doesn’t smell quite as good as lavender. But it is a useful and natural way to get rid of mosquitoes because, just like you and me, mosquitoes don’t like the strong odor. Simply crush 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and boil them in water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it in mosquito-prone areas.

5. Bats

While it may not be an ideal option for everyone, attracting bats to your outdoor space is an effective way to significantly decrease the number of mosquitoes nearby, because bats feed on mosquitoes. One bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes within an hour! You might consider this method if you have a professional outdoor venue, or if you have regular outdoor get togethers.

To attract bats to your outdoor space, install a bat house at least 10 feet off the ground on the sunny side of your house and away from bright nighttime lights. In addition to helping get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, you’ll be helping boost the declining bat population.

 

With so many easy options for keeping mosquitoes away from your outdoor gatherings, you’ll never again have to expose your guests or the environment to harmful chemical methods.

What natural methods do you use to repel mosquitoes?

Image via Flickr user Combust

4 Reasons to Switch to a Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

It’s hard to resist the convenience of using hand sanitizer to keep hands clean throughout the day.  If you’re not near a restroom, if you’re on the go, or if you’re in a hurry, hand sanitizer is the obvious choice.

However, alcohol-based hand sanitizers have several disadvantages.  Below are 4 reasons why it might be time to make the switch to a non-alcohol hand sanitizer.

1.  Alcohol evaporates instantly, making it less effective.

After using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, your hands are sanitized and clean.  Horray!  The only problem is that within seconds of sanitizing, hands can easily become re-contaminated when you touch something else.

Lil’ Green Girl’s World hand sanitizer is long lasting, providing protection from germs for hours after application.

2.  Alcohol dries out your skin.

One complaint of frequent users of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is that they dry out hands. Over time, this can cause painful cracking or broken skin that actually puts you at higher risk of becoming sick from germs.

Unlike alcohol hand sanitizers, Lil’ Green Girl’s World products don’t dry out your skin over time.

3.  Non-alcohol hand sanitizers are safer for children.

Hand sanitizers that contain alcohol pose several threats for children.  First, alcohol is very toxic if ingested.  There have been hundreds of cases nationwide of children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer.  Second, alcohol is extremely flammable, so it requires careful, safe storage, both at school and at home.

While children should be supervised while using any kind of product, non-alcohol hand sanitizers are not flammable and not nearly as hazardous if ingested.

4.  Alcohol can be an irritant.

Because alcohol-based hand sanitizers are so widely used, its easy to forget what a heavy-duty chemical it really is.  Not surprisingly, many people experience irritation when using alcohol directly on the skin.  All of us have experienced the burn of alcohol when using regular hand sanitizer on hands with a small cut or sore.  Some people are intolerant to topical alcohol altogether.

See the different yourself.  Try Lil’ Green Girl’s World On-the-Go Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer and notice a real difference.  With plant derived ingredients and non-toxic chemicals, this hand sanitizer will bring you one step closer to a safer, green life.

The Benefits of Hiring a Maid Service Company over a Mom-and-Pop Operation and a Housecleaning Agency

When you decide to hire a maid service to clean your home, you might be surprised at all of the different business options out there when it comes to maid services. How do you know which is the best maid service business type to choose? What exactly are these different types and why are they different? Does it really matter which type of business you choose? The answer to the last question is yes because you could end up losing money if you make the wrong decision, unfortunately. In today’s world, you have to be smart about hiring a professional maid service (or any service that enters your home), and we at Green Girl Maid Service would like to educate you on this topic by explaining the three different types of maid services out there.

Bond Clean Australia

  •  The first type of maid service business is the mom-and-pop operation. These businesses are becoming more and more numerous and popular as they are an easy business to get started, and many couples can do a maid service and work together. According to an article “10 Things Housekeepers Won’t Tell You” by Jonnelle Marte, posted in The Wall Street Journal Sunday edition on October 6, 2013, the majority of the mom and pop services work on a “cash-only” basis; they will work under the table and charge substantially less than an agency or company for several alarming reasons. They have no overhead – no background checks, hire inexperienced workers, don’t have medical insurance for their employees (which can really come back to haunt you if one of their workers gets hurt cleaning your home), nor will all of these operations bring their own cleaning supplies; they may expect you to provide all of the cleaning materials, equipment, and supplies, ultimately costing you more money. However, the most shocking reason has to do with taxes. Small-time mom and pop cleaning services make you foot the payroll tax bill when you pay in cash under the table with no record, so if you hire a housecleaner for $80 a week for four hours of work, you will owe the IRS $320 in payroll taxes because you are directly paying your housecleaner’s living wage in cash.

Another red flag when it comes to a mom-and-pop maid service operation is the fact that very few of these businesses get bonded and insured because they don’t want to spend the money on bond payments or insurance. The lack of insurance should stop you from hiring from this  type of business immediately because according to one of the best insurance resources on the Internet, Insurance.com, insurance is necessary for liability reasons in case a housekeeper gets injured on the job in your home. Your homeowners insurance will step in and cover injuries suffered by the housekeeper and even protect you if you are sued; however, your liability may not cover a severe injury, and you will still have to pay your deductible. To be protected by a bond, the maid service makes payment to a surety company. Not only does a bond protect from theft or damage, but it also compensates you if a job is not completed on time or correctly. You just have to fill out a claim to receive compensation for the unfinished or poorly done work. Another relief with a bonded housecleaning service is all employees must have a background check, so you can breathe easy knowing your housekeeper in your home has a clean record if you go with a bonded housecleaning company.

However, do know that just because a company is bonded, it doesn’t necessarily mean the process of getting your money or stolen items back. The process is long, and there are several stages that have to happen before you can get your money back; it can take months, even a year, and even worse, you may never get your money or stolen property back. The employee must be arrested, tried, found guilty, and convicted before the bonding company will pay back the missing money and/or property because without this, it’s just the word of the homeowner against the housekeeper. From Jonnelle Marte’s article, the executive director of a trade group, the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International, Ernie Hertzog says, “Bonding situations don’t pay off unless there is a conviction.”

  • The second type of maid service business is a housecleaning agency. If you want an experienced and skilled housekeeper but don’t know where to find one on your own, a housecleaning agency can be a place to go to find a great maid for your home. Agencies will usually have a list of services from which you can choose; these services are based on your needs, budget, and preferences, so this can be the best advantage of going with an agency. The agency representative will help you choose your housecleaner, set up a schedule of customized services for you, and, depending on the type of agency, take care of other things for you. The representative, in most every case, will act like a broker between you (the client) and the cleaner and take a percentage of the total cost of services.

One of the main problems of going with an agency, according to an article from NOLO: Law  For All, “Hiring Workers in Your Home: Legal Requirements,” some agencies will find you a qualified worker, but you will be the employer, and the housekeeper will be an independent contractor. This means you are responsible for paying the worker, handling all the taxes, and paying for bonding, medical, and worker compensation insurance. This can be complicated, and can cost you a lot more money than you expected.

  • The last type of maid service business is a housekeeping company, just like us at Green Girl Maid Service. When you hire a company, the company sends you qualified workers, pays these workers, takes care of all tax issues and medical insurance and worker’s compensation. Housekeeping companies are also bonded, which means all employees must go through a background check, and you are covered in the case of damage or theft. Running a business legitimately can be difficult to make money; however, the consequences can shut down a business. Prices are higher when you go with a maid service company over a mom-and-pop business, but the reason is companies have a much higher overhead because they are following the rules. The protection you will receive from a company far outweighs any extra costs! Companies will always provide their own cleaning supplies and equipment as well, so you won’t have to worry about that extra cost either. Most of these companies are locally-owned and have earned a good reputation, so you are guaranteed attentive, superior service as they do not want to risk their reputation. You will get professionalism, expertise, experience, and industrial-grade cleaning equipment used by intensively-trained house cleaners who will come up with a customized cleaning plan unique to your home and your needs. The best way to go when choosing a maid service, a company holds no surprises — just guaranteed professional service, and all you have to do is pay the company. The company does the rest of the work for you.

Now that you are aware of the different types of maid service businesses out there, you can see that despite the higher initial cost, a company is actually your best deal when you take into account all of the overhead, tax, and insurance issues.

 

Miele Vacuums: Highest-Quality, Eco-Friendly, Dust-Busting Allergy Fighters

At Green Girl Maid Service, we take your family’s health under our top consideration when cleaning your home, and that’s why we choose Miele vacuums over all other brands of upright professional vacuum cleaners. Named by Vacuum Cleaners Digest as one of the best brands available on the market for the past 20 years, we like the Miele Callisto for many reasons, and after you read our reasons, you’ll understand why we chose this vacuum cleaner over the hundreds of vacuums out there.

Miele Callisto
Miele Callisto

One of the main reasons for our choosing the Miele Callisto vacuum is air filtration, thanks to its HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorption) filter technology. Going through twelve stages of air filtering, 99.9+% of the dust particles in the air in your home remain trapped and sealed inside the vacuum canister, and the air that exits the cleaner is clean and allergen-free. Dust mites can wreak havoc on allergy sufferers, so this vacuum cleaner ensures you and your family can breathe easier. According to Miele Vacuum Cleaners, an online blog that gathers reviews and articles about this brand’s products, not every upright vacuum cleaner that claims to fight allergens is as powerful as a Miele; in a comparison of the Miele S7260 and the Dyson DC41, both designed to remove pet hair, the Dyson model does not come with a certified HEPA filter, but every Miele vacuum does come with HEPA air filtration technology, eliminating dust mites from the air.

 

Another reason for our choice of the Miele vacuum is its high-quality motor production. Using varying levels of noise insulation, the motor on every Miele vacuum is sealed, so when we use our vacuum in your home, the noise is hardly even noticeable. Very dependable and user friendly, this brand of vacuum cleaner has a very low rate of repair. Along with this excellent motor, the Miele vacuum has so many other great features such as suction control, crush proof hoses, and natural hair floor brushes to ensure your hardwood floors do not get scratched.

 

As we said earlier, we selected the Miele Callisto over all of the vacuums in this brand to use in your home. According to Consumer Reports, this model comes with many tools, such as crevice and upholstery tools, floor and dusting brushes, manual carpet-height adjustment, and a telescopic wand. This vacuum works hard on removing pet hair and other allergens from your home, and the customer reviews at Consumer Reports testify to this. Raving reviews from other users led us to buy this vacuum, and we love our Miele Callisto as it fits in with our philosophy of using only green house cleaning products and practices. We think you will be very happy and satisfied breathing in pure, clean air without dust mites and allergens in your home after we are done cleaning it with our Miele Callisto vacuum cleaner.