Thursday, October 2, 2008

Green Cleaning

I broke down about three weeks ago and hired a cleaning service I found in Real Simple magazine called Maid Brigade. I was dubious that the Pod would get as clean as I could make it. The steep price of $80 an hour also didn't seem recession-friendly. The Maid Brigade claims to be the "ONLY national house cleaning service that is Green Clean Certified™," a certification process the company has devised. I've found from my own research that consumers tend to be dubious as I about a company's own certification or rating process and prefer to have a third party (think Green Seal, Fair Trade, LEED, etc.) rate goods and services. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the promise of a home that was friendly to my family and the environment and scheduled a visit.

And boy was it a brigade that arrived! The Maid Brigade has a policy of sending two housecleaners per job "for safey precautions and efficiency" I was told by the sales manager on the phone. They also arrived with two huge bags of equipment and "green" supplies. They were extremely professional (they came with a binder detailing the particulars of my job: 525 sq ft; hard wood floors; big 'ol mess in the kitchen; icky bathroom). I made a few small requests, gave a brief tour (how long does a "tour" of a studio take anyway?) and left with the Babe in tow. Ninety minutes later we arrived back home to find a sparkling version of the scrubby Pod I'd left behind. I took a deep breath - not a wiff of any toxic fumes either.

In September, Green Seal announced that it is working on a green standard for house cleaning services, to be titled GS-49. Green Seal sought out Maid Brigade to help them write their standards - a huge pat on the back for the Brigade.

I just discovered the Brigade's website also features Green TV with videos on green cleaning tips, featuring expert Annie Bond.

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