Easy Green Cleaning Alternatives for Healthy Spring Cleaning

Easy Green Cleaning Alternatives for Healthy Spring Cleaning

Maid Brigade Shares Six Natural Cleaning Substitutes to Combat Allergy Season

ATLANTA—Spring is finally here! This means warmer weather, blooming flowers, and . . . ahhh those pesky allergies. Not only has this year’s mild winter caused allergy season to begin about three to four weeks early, but over the past 10 years allergy season has started to last longer!

One of the best ways to minimize the onslaught of allergies is to avoid using common household cleaning products that contain bleach, ammonia, alcohol, formaldehyde, or fragrance. The toxic fumes of these chemicals are known to ignite allergy symptoms by causing irritation of the eyes and respiratory system – not to mention being linked to many other serious health concerns. Using natural cleaning products is healthier, safer, and more economical than their chemical counterparts.

The green cleaning experts from Maid Brigade compiled a list of six simple and inexpensive green cleaning ‘must haves’ to help fight off this year’s prolonged allergy season.

1. Baking soda. A natural sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is an excellent all-around cleaner that can be used in lieu of an abrasive cleaning product. Use it to clean kitchen surfaces, as a natural deodorizer in refrigerators, closets, and basements, or as an odor absorbent on carpets. Mixing baking soda with water and spreading this mixture in the oven will loosen baked on grease and grime. Safe to use around food, a baking soda and water paste is also ideal for cleaning the refrigerator.

2. Borax. Borax is a fantastic alternative to bleach – although remember to keep it well out of the reach of children and pets. Use it as a natural mineral to kill mold and bacteria or as a clothes deodorizer and tough stain remover. It can even flush out garbage disposals and shine china! Pour three tablespoons of borax down the garbage disposal and run hot water 30 minutes later. Shine china with warm water mixed with half a cup of borax.

3. Lemon juice. Lemon juice is a terrific cleaning aid. It cuts grease in the kitchen and cuts through soap scum and hard water deposits in the bathroom. Lemon juice also helps deodorize, remove stains, and acts as a bleaching agent when exposed to the sun. Mix half a cup of lemon juice with one cup of olive oil to make polish for hardwood furniture. Stick some lemon peels in the garbage can to keep it smelling fresh.

4. Distilled white vinegar. About as multipurpose as baking soda, vinegar is a natural deodorizer, disinfectant, and fabric softener, breaks up grease and dirt, lifts out mineral deposits, and helps cut through mold and soap scum. Use vinegar and water mixed together in a spray bottle to clean the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and windows. It can even act as a natural spider repellant. Vinegar mixed with hot water is also an excellent floor cleaner. Mixing vinegar with organic salts gives it extra power and scrubbing action.

5. Olive oil. An excellent pure treatment for wood, use olive oil alone or mix it with lemon juice for a safe and effective furniture polish.Plant-derived essential oils. Use essential oils as natural disinfectants, added fragrances, and even antifungal agents. Peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oils are popular essential oils.

About Maid Brigade? Headquartered in Atlanta, Maid Brigade is the only house cleaning service that is Green Clean Certified® with more than 400 franchise service areas in the United States and Canada. Established in 1979, Maid Brigade is the green cleaning industry leader and has a longstanding legacy of providing quality customer service and consistent and thorough cleaning using the most advanced techniques and equipment. The company has also implemented a consumer advocacy program in response to reports from the Environmental Protection Agency linking chemicals in traditional cleaning products to a wide range of health risks. For more information visit maidbrigade.com or call 866-800-7434.

Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring Season Countdown: A No Fret Guide to Easy Spring Cleaning

The end of winter is near. Finally! It’s time to shed those pesky winter blues and prepare the home for warmer weather, daffodils and longer days. Ahhhh, sounds nice doesn’t it?
Marie Stegner, consumer health advocate for the leading housecleaning company Maid Brigade, provides a no fret guide to buckle down and clean for spring without breaking a sweat. Dust bunnies beware.
Get rid of baggage. Try on clothes that are not worn frequently. Get rid of anything that does not look good, fit or hasn’t been worn in a while. Donate these clothes, give them to a friend, turn them into rags, or sell them for some extra cash.

Out of sight, out of mind. Moving household items to the basement or attic is an easy way to put clutter out of sight and therefore, out of mind. For a deep home cleaning, attack these piles one at a time and enjoy tidy storage areas once and for all.

Chill out. Clear the top of the refrigerator. Piled up cereal boxes and kitchenware prevents heat from venting properly and causes the fridge to use extra energy. Cleaning the coils on the back of the fridge and the grill underneath will also reduce the energy the fridge needs to work properly.

What’s cooking? To clean oven surfaces, coat them in a paste of water and baking or washing soda and let stand overnight. Then, scrub off the paste while wearing gloves.

Broom makeover. Many house cleaning services will cover broom bristles with old nylons to sweep dusty areas. Why? The nylon will pick up dust bunnies instead of scattering them.

Switch your sheets. Polyester/cotton and permanent press cotton sheets are treated with a formaldehyde finish, which cannot be washed out. Common symptoms from this immunotoxicant include runny nose, itchy eyes, and other cold and flu symptoms. Avoid these blends as often as possible.

Let the sun shine in. When reorganizing a home office, library, or other rooms where studying or reading takes place, set up desks, chairs and tables by a window that receives ample natural sunlight. This will reduce the need to turn on overhead lights.

Leave shoes at the door. Asphalt, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals often get stuck to the soles of shoes. Wearing shoes inside means exposing children and pets to harmful chemicals. To avoid more house cleaning than is necessary, make one simple rule and stick to it: No shoes in the house!

Smell the roses. Avoid air fresheners. An open box of baking soda removes odors. Cedar blocks or sachets of dried flowers and herbs provide gentle scents, but avoid any potpourri that lists unspecified “fragrance” on the label.

Spin cycle. To remove stains from clothing (especially salt-stained winter wear), soak fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, or white vinegar for a natural approach.

About Maid Brigade
Maid Brigade cares about the health of today’s families. With more than 25 years of experience, the professional home cleaning company is the national leader in green cleaning practices and has a longstanding legacy of offering the latest in maid services and technologies. Maid Brigade is the first and only Green Clean Certified® cleaning services franchise that implements a certification program for green house cleaning so customers know that they’re getting a green cleaning that is safe and truly green. For information on Maid Brigade or for more cleaning and healthy living tips visit www.maidbrigade.com, www.greencleancertified.com/greentv or http://blog.maidbrigade.com.