Toxic chemicals that you could be using to clean your apartment are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air, an EPA study found. That could be because apartment dwellers use harsher cleaners to try to get rid of previous tenants’ dirt.
So, what can you do about it if you live in an apartment? You could hire an apartment cleaning service to clean before you move in or even to clean your apartment weekly.
The benefits of hiring a maid service are many–they save you time and money–but maids also bring their own supplies, so there’s no chance of you picking toxic products. Instead, you can request that nontoxic or “green” supplies be used. Here are some things to look for to help you find green apartment cleaning services.
They Use Green Products
A good cleaning company will let you know what products they are using to clean your apartment. You can then check the ingredients to see what’s really in the bottle. Products should not include phosphates or phthalates.
They Use Green Tools
Some of the best green tools aren’t ones with a list of ingredients you can check. Instead, check that your cleaning company is using steam cleaners for bathrooms and floors. They should also be using vacuums that give you good indoor air quality, such as a H.E.P.A. vacuum.
They Don’t Use Fragrances
If an apartment cleaning company is using air fresheners or fragrances in your apartment, they could contain toxic chemicals. They could also be masking a smell that would otherwise be obliterated by proper cleaning.
Many companies now train and certify their employees in green cleaning. Ask them what their training consists of and how often they receive updates. Cleaning companies can even receive Green Seal’s GS-49 Standard certification, which has specific criteria for green cleaning.
All cleaning companies should be insured. In the event that something goes wrong while your apartment is being cleaned, the company’s insurance should cover any financial losses.
They’re Willing to Talk
A good apartment cleaning company should be willing to talk to you about their products and practices. You should have questions ready to find out what products are used, what training the employees receive, what certifications they have, and how they feel about green cleaning. If any of their answers aren’t in line with what you’re looking for, find a different company to work with.
As long as an apartment cleaning service checks the above marks, you should feel good about hiring them—and about having a safer and healthier apartment.