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 Kudzu.com, made an appointment, and they did an excellent job of a really difficult task.

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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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Too Funky in Here? How to Get Rid of Home Odors – Naturally

Posted on August 13, 2015. Filed under: Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Kitchen Cleaning | Tags: , , , , |

skunk sells perfumes

Did you know that the air inside your home can be much more polluted than the air outside, even if you change your air filters  And chemical air fresheners only mask odors but do not eliminate them, and might be bad for your health.

Several natural odor-eaters, such as white vinegar, baking soda, and coffee, will do the trick.  These everyday products don’t just hide bad smells, they actually neutralize them. Not only are they inexpensive and environmentally friendly, but they really do work.

If your house is persistently funky-smelling, first consider getting a thorough cleaning by a professional company. Make sure they use green and non-toxic cleaners rather than harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.

After, that, here are a few tips for maintaining an odor-free home:

  • Routinely clean the garbage can with white vinegar and water. Then place about a tablespoon of coffee, a few cloves, and a tablespoon of baking soda in the center of a coffee filter or a piece of cheese cloth. Close with a twist tie to make a sachet, and put it at the bottom of the can to eliminate unpleasant odors.
  • Keep the garbage disposal clean. Insert the sink stopper, fill with a few inches of hot water, add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda, turn on the disposal and immediately pull out the stopper.
  • Keep the bathrooms fresh. Make your own non-toxic air freshener. Combine 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and about 10 drops of essential oil (your favorite scent) and put in a spray bottle to keep handy in the bathroom.

There’s no need to spend money on air fresheners or perfumed cleaning products when you can keep your home fresh and clean using inexpensive, natural, non-toxic products. Vinegar and baking soda will defeat the funkiest odors. Try them—you’ll be glad!

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.

Very thorough

Camille did a great job cleaning our house in Decatur last week! Everything looked and smelled terrific!

Love the Service

My friend told me about her neighbor’s business and I jumped at the chance to find someone to clean my house. So every other week, two very nice, polite ladies come and keep my house in shape. My floors are clean, things get dusted and my sink and bathtub do’sparkle’. I feel safe leaving the house while they are there and feel like the cats will still be inside when I get back. The thing I like most is the clean smell that lingers after they leave and that they use organic products. But they will use my products if I ask. I would recommend a detail cleaning first, even if your house is cleaner than mine. I only have them come every other week but hope to have them weekly in the future. I am getting used to a clean house. I don’t have to worry about paying taxes or anything except paying a set fee. That’s great as well.

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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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Quick Household Tips – Atlanta House Cleaning Blog

Posted on May 1, 2014. Filed under: Bathroom Cleaning Tips, Cleaning Bedroom, Household Tips, Kitchen Cleaning, Safe Cleansers | Tags: , |

by Raina Raflo, Founder, Sponge & Sparkle – Atlanta House Cleaning Experts since 1981

Here are 13 quick tips that work for keeping your house smelling fresh, cleaning your jewelry, reducing the spread of viruses and more.

woman cleaning atlanta house cleaning service

 

Tips to Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Lightly spray a bit of perfume on light bulbs to create a lovely scent when the light is turned on.

Drip a few drops of essential oil into the water of your humidifier.  A wonderful natural fragrance will fill your home.

Kitchen & Dish Washing Tips

Spray your Tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and it will remain stain-free.

Throw your kitchen sponges in the dishwasher cutlery tray. They will stay in place there and come out bacteria free.

Purchase inexpensive oven liners (I get mine at Kroger) so that toxic oven cleaners never need to be used.

Laundry Tips

Substitute oxygen bleach for chlorine bleach.  Unlike chlorine bleach, this environmentally safe alternative will keep clothes vibrant without yellowing or weakening fibers, or leaving a bad odor.

You can throw most baby or pet toys in the washer with warm water and all purpose detergent.  Throwing in a towel  along with them will help to get any slime off.

For a nice change, try drying at least your towels outside in the fresh air and sunshine when the weather is nice.

Reuse Tips

Use an empty tissue box to store and reuse those plastic grocery bags.

Save the spare sets of chopsticks from Chinese take-out and use them to stake indoor plants and for paint stirrers.

Miscellaneous Household Tips

Polish jewelry by popping 2 Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immersing the jewelry for 2 minutes.

Keeping the temperature indoors at 68 degrees or above and the humidity at 50% may decrease the likelihood of transmitting the flu virus through the air according to a 2007 study by the Mt.  Sinai School of Medicine in NYC.

Try putting Listerine in a spray bottle to deter mosquitoes! I tried this and it really works. Just spray liberally around where you are going to be sitting and wait about 10 minutes.

 

 

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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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11 Household Cleanliness Tips

Posted on December 21, 2008. Filed under: Household Tips, Safe Cleansers | Tags: , |

  1. Spray a bit of perfume on light bulbs to create a lovely scent when the light is turned on.
  2. Polish jewelry by popping 2 Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immersing the jewelry for 2 minutes.
  3. Spray your Tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and it will remain stain-free.
  4. You can throw most baby or pet toys in the washer with warm water and all purpose detergent.  Throwing in a towel  along with them will help to get any slime off.
  5. Use an empty tissue box to store and reuse those plastic grocery bags.
  6. For a nice change, try drying at least your towels outside in the fresh air and sunshine when the weather is nice.
  7. Drip a few drops of essential oil into the water of your humidifier.  A wonderful natural fragrance will fill your home.
  8. Keeping the temperature indoors at 68 degrees or above and the humidity at 50% may decrease the likelihood of transmitting the flu virus through the air according to a 2007 study by the Mt.  Sinai School of Medicine in NYC.
  9. Throw your kitchen sponges in the dishwasher cutlery tray. They will stay in place there and come out bacteria free.
  10. Purchase inexpensive oven liners (I get mine at Kroger) so that toxic oven cleaners never need to be used.
  11. Try putting Listerine in a spray bottle to deter mosquitoes! I tried this and it really works. Just
    spray liberally around where you are going to be sitting and wait about 10 minutes.
  12. Save the spare sets of chopsticks from Chinese take-out and use them to stake indoor plants and for paint stirrers.
  13. Substitute oxygen bleach for chlorine bleach.  Unlike chlorine bleach, this environmentally safe alternative will keep clothes vibrant without yellowing or weakening fibers, or leaving a bad odor.
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