5 Questions to Ask Your 'Green' Cleaning Service

Jason Hargraves
Written by Jason Hargraves
Updated June 15, 2021
Cleaning products and practices are the two areas where you can determine the "greenness" of your cleaning service. (Photo by Elizabeth McQuern)

Products, practices key to being environmentally friendly

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If you're searching for an environmentally friendly cleaning service for your D.C.-area home then you better be prepared to ask some tough questions.

Otherwise, you may fall victim to a little "green washing."

That's what those in the industry call companies that hint at providing a "green" clean, but don't have the proof to back it up. They often rely on products that say "green," "citrus" or "orange," but have plenty of harmful chemicals that most of us have never heard of.

"If you can't pronounce it, chances are it's not good for you or the environment no matter what the advertising says," cleaning expert Annie Bond, who works with the highly rated Maid Brigade, likes to tell consumers.

Misled by a label? Learn not to be fooled

Always look at the list of ingredients on cleaning products, rather than trusting the label or fancy packaging of so-called natural or organic cleaners.

"Many products that claim to be green contain chemicals that have been found to cause ADHD, reproductive problems and even cancer," Bond says.

Don't forget to read the labels in your laundry room, too. Those detergents also can contain potentially harmful ingredients.

When taking your clothes to a professional dry cleaners don't hesitate to ask about their practices.

Ensuring your cleaning service is using environmentally friendly products is only half the battle. How the maids clean is equally as important.

Germs, for example, can be spread from room to room if a clean cloth isn't used each time. Also, vacuum cleaners without proper filters can spew pollen and dust mites back into your home's air.

So, what can you do to make sure your cleaning service is living up to its claim? Bond recommends you start by asking these five questions:

  • Are the cleaning products and solutions you use certified as being green?

  • Are your vacuum cleaners green certified with closed canisters and a filtration system?

  • Are your cleaning cloths made of reusable materials? 

  • How much green training does your staff receive?

  • Where's the proof to all your answers?

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