Archive for January, 2016

Choosing a Cleaning Service?

Posted on January 21, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Cleaning Industry | Tags: , , , |

Cleaning Concept

Cleaning services are a dime a dozen. There are more than 600 listed in the Atlanta online yellow pages. How do you pick one? Here’s a list of important considerations:

Choose a cleaning company that:

  • Has been in business a relatively long time.
  • Screens and trains every employee.
  • Has loyal and long-term employees who speak English.
  • Learns your preferences quickly.
  • Complies with federal, state and local labor and tax laws and carries sufficient insurance.
  • Brings its own cleaning equipment and supplies.
  • Charges reasonable, as opposed to cheap prices. Reasonable prices are necessary in order to attract and keep quality employees.
  • Uses non-toxic, safe, but effective eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • Makes customer satisfaction a priority.

Engaging a reliable, well-managed cleaning service will truly enhance your life.  Choose the right one and you’ll never regret it.

What our Customers Say

Awesome company

These people know their stuff. They perform their work well. timely, great job, live up to the standards and surpass.

Affordable and reliable service

We found Sponge & Sparkle on while looking for a replacement for our previous and unreliable cleaners. I liked dealing with a privately owned company and found their service prompt, affordable and very satisfactory. Their web site provided a $10 coupon which was nice too. They were very thorough and I appreciated dealing directly with the owner and their detailed follow up on their visit. We will be using them again.

Best in town

Sponge and sparkle is the best cleaning service in Atlanta. i’ve tried others and none are as professional or clean.

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.


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Five Ideas for a More Sustainable Home

Posted on January 14, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , |

greenhouse - eco-friendly construction

These days we’re hearing about and experiencing a lot more about climate change-related drought, floods, forest fires, and extreme weather events. While some still doubt it, our modern lifestyles do affect these changes. We also often hear about “Sustainability” and “Sustainable Living.” These terms refer to a range of choices each of us can make in our daily lives to minimize our impact on natural resources and the environment without sacrificing our own comfort or that of future generations. Here are five major ways you can make your home more sustainable:

1. Reduce your Energy Use.

Most of the electricity generated in America is produced by burning fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Save energy by changing your air filter regularly—ideally every three months. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes the system work harder. Also have your system tuned up annually to maximize efficiency and comfort. Installing a programmable thermostat is another important way to save energy.

If you need to replace your home’s heating and cooling system, consider installing ENERGY STAR-qualified equipment. The Energy Star program also certifies the most efficient home appliances, lighting, and windows and doors. Visit for detailed information.

2. Waste Less Food.

Some sources estimate Americans trash as much as 40 percent of our food supply every year. To minimize food waste, start by monitoring what you throw away. When you shop, plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys. Especially in the summer, when fresh produce is readily available and so tempting, wait until perishables are all used up before buying more. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires. And eat leftovers!

3. Buy and Use Environmentally-Friendly Products.

Consider the environmental impacts of your purchasing decisions. Take your own reusable bags when you go shopping. Look for locally-produced food. Buy in bulk rather than single-serve consumables when feasible to reduce packaging waste. Buy recycled-content products when feasible. For everyday cleaning, use inexpensive and highly effective white vinegar and baking soda rather than harsh chemicals. Use refillables rather than disposables for liquid soap and other similar household products. Use rags rather than paper towel whenever possible. Buy well-made, durable appliances that will last, rather than less expensive versions that will likely need to be replaced soon.

4. Maintain Durable Items and Reuse More.

By properly maintaining household appliances they will last longer and work more efficiently. Whenever possible, fix an item rather than discarding it and buying a replacement. Repurpose used items. For example, use an old shower curtain liner as a tarp for painting, and cut up old towels to use as rags. Use wide-mouth jar lids as under-liners for your plants. Cut up waste paper to use as note pads. Challenge yourself to come up with creative ways to reuse something before discarding it.

5. Use Water Sustainably.

Less water going down the drain means more water available in our lakes, rivers and streams. Replace your shower heads with water-efficient models and switch to the use of water-efficient lawn and landscaping sprinklers. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, and be frugal when washing dishes by hand. Run full loads in your dish and clothes washers.

If you’re remodeling your bathroom, select water efficient fixtures such as those recommended by the WaterSense program. ( Old toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home. They can consume as much as 6 gallons of water per flush. By contrast, water-efficient toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or less, while still providing equal or superior performance.

And if you’ve been buying bottled drinking water, think twice. Almost half of the 50 billion bottles of water currently consumed in the U.S. actually comes from municipal supplies. Transporting the bottles and keeping them cold, and then collecting and processing them for recycling, also burns fossil fuels. If you’re worried about the quality of your tap water, have it tested. Also consider installing a water filter and use refillable containers.

By adopting these practices you’ll be making your home more sustainable and save money too!

What our Customers Say

Friendly and Efficient

I always love to come home after they’ve been here cleaning. They use natural products that smell good and get the job done.

Sponge and Sparkle House Cleaning Services

I have been using this agency for 3 plus years and have been delighted not just with their good work and professionalism but how personable their employees are at all times. They are able to accommodate emergencies including cancellations which I am sure puts them at a hardship but do so with a smile and with compassion. Please try them and use their detailed cleaning services at least once and you will be in for a treat. More importantly they use environmentally friendly products that is a huge plus for me.

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

I have been using this cleaning service for at least 22 years. their employees don’t come and go but stay with the company, which gives me a great degree of comfort. If anything is not just right, the owner herself will either come out or send someone to redo it. I feel like they are part of our family! Also they are using “green” products more than ever.

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.


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10 Signs You Should Move to Green Cleaning

Posted on January 7, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Green Cleaning | Tags: , , , , |

Carrying Green Cleaning Supplies

According to the Centers for Disease Control, chemicals in and around the home can poison people or pets and can cause long-term health effects. Every 13 seconds, a poison control center in the United States answers a call about a possible poisoning. More than 90 percent of these emergencies occur in the home, and exposure to cleaning products is one of the most common causes.

If one or more of the following signs applies to you, it’s time to seriously think about abandoning the use of chemical household cleaning products in favor of non-toxic products made from natural ingredients:

1. You have children.

Anyone who has a young child knows how innately curious they can be. Sadly, cleaning products are among the most common causes of poisoning among young children. Even ordinary liquid dish soap can be dangerous if swallowed by a child, since many brands contain formaldehyde and ammonia. In addition, children, whose immune systems are still developing, can suffer serious health effects from the hazardous chemicals in conventional products.

2. You have pets.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, some cleaning products, such as drain cleaners, concentrated dish washing soap, oven cleaners, and toilet cleaners, can be really dangerous to dogs and cats. Your pets could suffer chemical burns if they accidentally lick or are exposed to these chemicals. Of course, we humans are also at risk if we improperly use or handle these products.

3. You have asthma or other breathing issues.

Some cleaners contain compounds that significantly aggravate asthma symptoms. Exposure to these chemicals has even been known to cause otherwise healthy people to develop breathing problems. According to the Environmental Working Group, a highly respected advocacy organization, more than half the cleaning products they tested contain ingredients that can harm the lungs, while 22 percent can cause asthma.

4. You or someone in your household has chemical sensitivities.

Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, skin rashes, headaches, and more may disappear once you stop using conventional cleaning chemicals, which contain perfumes and dyes, among other chemicals, to which many people have allergic reactions.

5. You care about the quality of the air in your home.

The use of conventional cleaning products can contribute to higher pollution indoors than outdoors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, many products, especially aerosols, emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that have been associated with a host of health problems including damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.

6. You care about the environment.

If you care about the Earth’s environment, it’s time to switch to green cleaning. In addition to improving your indoor air quality, you’ll be helping to reduce pollution to our waterways, minimize your impact on ozone depletion and global climate change, reduce waste, and conserve resources. In fact, some products such as toilet bowl cleaners are so caustic that unused product must be disposed of as hazardous household waste in some jurisdictions.

7. You don’t like bacteria.

“Antimicrobial” cleaners actually don’t work any better than regular cleaners. Research reported in Scientific American and elsewhere indicates that some antibacterial products even foster the development of resistant bacteria. For example, after spraying and wiping an antibacterial cleaner over a kitchen counter, active chemicals linger behind and continue to kill bacteria, but not necessarily all of them, and the surviving bacteria develop a tolerance and continue to flourish.

8. You dislike strong chemical odors.

Many household cleaners have added perfumes to disguise the bad odors from their ingredients. The natural ingredients in many green cleaning products are either odor-neutral or have a pleasant odor.

9. You’re budget conscious.

To boost sales, some manufacturers market cleaning products as designed to tackle specific cleaning applications, but the formulations are essentially the same. White vinegar and baking soda are some of the most effective, safe, and least expensive cleaning products around. They can be used to clean bathrooms, kitchens, floors, windows, and more.

10. You want to set a good example.

If you want embrace a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle that sets a good example for your family and friends, switch to green cleaning. Your leadership will contribute towards a sustainable future.
Making the switch to green cleaning is easy. Start using eco-friendly products and you’ll soon appreciate how well they work. You won’t regret it.

What our Customers Say

My house is CLEAN!

We have had Sponge & Sparkle for a few years now and I am a fussy homeowner. They do a fantastic job–coming home after a hard week, it is so wonderful to have everything so clean it sparkles. Baseboards, blinds, all the surfaces are spotless. And they come on time every time. Great cleaning service.

These cleaners shine!

Walking into my house after Sponge & Sparkle had cleaned it was fantastic! They cleaned every nook and cranny, steamed the cabinets, got the cobwebs from our vaulted ceilings – even set my daughters doll on a pillow with a blanket. These folks care about what they do and it shows! They do a fantastic job, are reliable, honest and a pleasure to work with. My house was a mess and they fixed it!

A tough job, done well

Due to health issues, I have neglected housecleaning in my apartment for far too long. I found Sponge and Sparkle here on, made an appointment, and they did an excellent job of a really difficult task.

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Please click here to get Sponge & Sparkle blog updates via email.

About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

Read more Atlanta maid and house cleaning service customer reviews on our site.
Request a cleaning quote.



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