February 26, 2009

home green home

The most thorough cleaning my cabinets have ever seen.

Green cleaning companies may be all the rage, but they are not all alike. I know, because I’ve tried a few. Last week I was lucky enough to experience the impressive skills of San Francisco’s newest environmentally friendly home cleaning service, Home Green Home.

Home Green Home is a worker-owned cooperative in partnership with WAGES and Seventh Generation. The worker/owners of Home Green Home have completed intensive training, not just about the health benefits of green cleaning and the best techniques, but also about the intricacies of running a business. They’ve completed workshops in finances and customer satisfaction. The superior training is provided by WAGES, whose mission is to build worker-owned green businesses that create healthy, dignified jobs for low-income women. In their network of eco-friendly housecleaning cooperatives, women develop personal and professional skills, become leaders, and gain economic security. WAGES uses a cooperative business model that allows women to pool their skills and work together to succeed. The workers make decisions democratically, and they distribute business profits equitably to all workers. As co-owners of successful businesses, women increase their incomes substantially and help their families move out of poverty. After joining green cleaning cooperatives founded by WAGES, members’ household incomes increase by an average of 45% and their income can nearly double from the standard industry rate.

Using non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products is especially important to people who work with the products over 8 hours per day. The women from Home Green Home told me they were excited about using such safe cleaning products because their health is much better since they switched to natural methods.

The crew uses these same products, but they put theirs in smaller bottles.

Home Green Home is also partnering with Seventh Generation and using their Free and Clear glass, all purpose, and tub and tile products. I was amazed with the tools and techniques they employed for various tasks. They had various micro fibers, scouring pads of various coarseness, little pointy tools and brushes for all kinds of nooks and crannies. Their intensive training was evident—I have never seen my kitchen and appliances so spotless and shiny.
Everything was so shiny.

You don't need special products for stainless steel.

They scrubbed crevices on the screw around the microwave door handle and removed batter remnants form my mixer so that it looks new. They even used a toothbrush around the handles on the stove. I have tile counter tops in my kitchen and I have never seen the grout look so clean. And this is just one room of my home! The crew is magic, I tell you.

No spot was left untouched.

The level of detail and service was so high. They bring absolutely every tool they might need, including vacuums (with hepa filter) and brooms. They even keep a separate set of equipment for bathrooms and kitchens, so that the tools don’t mix. I love that.

Separate buckets for kitchen and bath. They use Bon Ami and castille soap, also.

Hopefully Home Green Home will be a model for other groups around the country. Because while it is great that the products are healthy and non-toxic, more importantly, choosing this co-op is making a meaningful social difference. I’m sold!

The goodness doesn’t stop there. For all Mom Go Green readers in San Francisco, Home Green Home has generously offered 50% off your first “deep cleaning.” The offer will expire 2 weeks from today, so hurry. Just mention “mom go green” when you call.


mdtimbang said...

very cool. i love that they have different sets of tools for different rooms of the house!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea. I love that not only do they use envrio friendly cleaning products, and looks like they do an amazing job, but it is also a unique business model. The cleaners as owners of their own business. Finally a cleaning service I can feel good about using. Just great!

Anonymous said...

I used to buy fancy "green" cleaning products before I realized that vinegar cleans most things very well. Of course, the bathroom does require a little more special attention :) But, seriously, check out vinegar online - it can do A LOT!

Anonymous said...

This looks great. While I'm thrilled about the use of green cleaning products, I'm also happy about the work ethic of this company.

Debbie said...

If they want to come see CT any time soon, let me know! Lucky you!

Gift of Green said...

Oh man! Why can't I live in San Fran!! :) That is incredible!