City Guides To Eco-Friendly House Cleaning Services

After having my second baby this past spring, two dear friends did something very nice for our family. They gave us a gift certificate for professional house cleaning from a local eco-friendly cleaning service.Having never used a professional house cleaning service before, I was somewhat shy about using the certificate, but then came one week in July. We were expecting out-of-town guests, I was down for the count with a summer cold, my husband was swamped with work, our two-month-old was not a fan of sleeping, our two-year-old was suddenly a fan of building "mud castles," and I thought all hope for a clean house was lost. Then, Eureka! The gift certificate became my golden ticket. I made an appointment and two days later our apartment was beautifully clean, and knowing it was cleaned without the use of harsh, toxic chemicals made it that much better.

While professional house cleaning is not a service I use on a regular basis, it did make for a wonderful treat. I recently bought a gift certificate for a relative who is coming home from the hospital. So, whether you're in need of a regular cleaning service or want to treat yourself or someone dear to you, it's nice to know there are eco-friendly options.

The following professional cleaning services use non-toxic products and sustainable cleaning methods. Many of these companies will also provide extra services such as pet care, organizing, and recycling upon request.

Atlanta: Eco-Friendly Maid Services makes its own all-natural cleaning products to use in clients' spaces, such as an all-purpose cleaner made from a lemon balm tea base with vinegar and essential oils. They also only use Green Seal approved vacuum cleaners.

Austin: Enviromaids offers 7-day cleaning services using non-toxic, no VOC cleaners.

Boston: Go Green Pro Clean uses only Green Seal certified products and will work with clients to reduce household toxins and create a greener, healthier indoor space.

Burlington, VT.: Patch's uses Green Seal Certified, biodegradable cleaning products. They offer a wide array of services and will create a specialized "cleaning program" if you have a specific set of cleaning needs.

Chicago: Green Maid uses Green Seal approved cleaning products. They offer both traditional and specialty cleaning services, such as holiday or special event preparation.

Los Angeles: Green Clean. In addition to providing eco-friendly cleaning services, Green Clean offers education and training programs for housekeeping and janitorial services that are looking to go from "toxic to eco-friendly."

Memphis: 2 Chicks and a Broom offers cleaning, organizing, and various personal services such as house or pet sitting. They use plant based, non-toxic products in their cleaning such as Caldrea and Dr. Bronner's. 2 Chicks also partners with the "Cleaning for a Reason" campaign, an organization that offers free professional cleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatment.

Minneapolis: Blue Spruce is an owner-operated eco-friendly cleaning service that uses such brands as Dr. Bronner's, Seventh Generation, and Envirocare to professionally clean without use of toxic chemicals.

New York: Great Green Cleaning. Awarded "Best Green Housecleaning Service" (2011) by New York magazine. In addition to non-toxic, plant based cleaners, they also use an appliance called an ionator, which electrically charges tap water so that it effectively cleans and kills germs without use of chemicals.

Philadelphia: Clenz Cleaning uses an in-house produced "M20 Magic Water" that is non-toxic; they give clients a free bottle of the trademarked cleaner after an initial visit.

Phoenix: Planet Hugger uses vegetable based cleaners in their services. They also offer a free recycling take-away service for your bagged recyclables.

Portland: Green Clean provides eco-friendly housecleaning and organizing via bicycle. Because of their mode of transportation, they ask that clients provide the vacuum, broom, and mop.

San Francisco/Oakland: Eco-Friendly Co-op Network brings together four eco-friendly cleaning services in the San Francisco Bay area. The cooperative also works in partnership with WAGES (Women's Action to Gain Economic Security), with a joint goal of providing non-toxic cleaning services while providing career opportunities for women.

Seattle: Homemaid Sustainable Cleaning. Operated by a husband-wife team who bicycle to clients' homes, Homemaid also employs sustainable practices such as purchasing carbon offsets to counter the carbon emissions caused by electrically running vacuums.

St. Louis: Herb'n Maid was named the "Best Green Business 2010" by the Riverfront Times. Herb'n Maid has also developed its own line of non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners that are locally made in the St. Louis area. In addition to cleaning, they offer a green concierge service to assist clients with everything from home energy consultations to chemical-free pet grooming.

(Image: Apartment Therapy)

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