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Ecomaid House Cleaning
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House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, Green Cleaning, Eco Friendly Products, Maid Services, Housekeeping, Cleaning Services, Environmentally Friendly, Guelph, Kitchener, Cambridge, Mississauga
House Cleaning, Home Cleaning, Green Cleaning, Eco Friendly Products, Maid Services, Housekeeping, Cleaning Services, Environmentally Friendly, Guelph, Kitchener, Cambridge, Mississauga

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Facts & Myths About Eco Friendly Cleaning
There are a lot of different opinions out there about eco friendly cleaning products and weather or not they are safer than your regular household cleaners or if they actually do just as good of a job cleaning as the types of cleaners we are used to seeing. Here are some myth busters for you to keep in mind when purchasing green products or hiring an eco friendly cleaning company.
 
Going green is a safe and healthy alternative for your well-being and the environment

This depends on the ingredients of the cleaner. Of course things like vinegar and baking soda are safe ingredients to use around the house, but some products out there cannot really be classified as “green”. This is because there aren’t enough regulations on what an eco friendly product has to have in it, which means some chemicals can be added to products without notifying you of what they are but can still be labeled as “green”. Finding cleaners with plant based ingredients and certifications like Ecologo will ensure that the product is truly eco friendly.
 
Green cleaners are as good as non-green cleaners

Simply put – yes. Many people, including us at ecomaids and also the people at Green Seal can confirm that green cleaners work just as good as your common household cleaners.
 
They are good disinfectants

Eco friendly cleaning products that contain acidic ingredients such as citric acid, lactic acid and peroxide would be considered good disinfectants.
 
Cleaning with eco friendly products is more time consuming

Absolutely not. Some people think that it takes more time to clean harder stained areas with green products, but that is not true. There are many products out there that do just as good of a job in all areas of cleaning as traditional cleaners.
 
Green products cost more money

This can be true for some, but there are many green cleaning products that are in the same price range as conventional cleaners. The great things about going green is it gives you the ability to make your own solutions at home with simple household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. See our post on cleaning your kitchen with everyday household ingredients for a variety of ways to make your own green cleaning products!
 
Environmentally friendly cleaning is a fad

There are a lot of people that thought going green was a new idea that wouldn’t last. But as more research was done, people and companies understood the importance of using non-toxic ingredients in cleaners, making green cleaning much more popular.
 
Using bleach makes a stronger eco friendly solution

This is not true. Bleach does a good job of killing germs, but is not a safe ingredient and isn’t considered eco friendly. Using bleach has been known to cause respiratory problems in children, which is one of the many concerns that also comes with using the traditional cleaners we know today.
 
At Ecomaids, we use 100% certified green cleaning products with the most natural ingredients and Ecologo and Green Seal certifications. We are your go-to eco friendly cleaning company in Guelph, Kitchener and Cambridge. Go green today!
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7 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Green Cleaning
Fall is here, and what better time to beautify your house for this beautiful season? We’re going to share 7 reasons why investing in green cleaning (whether with a company or to do on your own) is the best way to go.
Commonly, when people go to their local Home Depot, Canadian Tire etc., they tend to choose the latest and greatest well known cleaning products that they are used to seeing in commercials and what not. But have you ever stopped to think about what is really in those products, and the affect it may be having on you and your kids? Well, hopefully this article is helpful in making a more informed choice the next time you find yourself picking up that bottle of Lysol.

1. It Really Makes Your Home Healthier

Choosing green cleaning products means that you will not have the harmful chemicals and toxins throughout your home that are found in regular household cleaning products. You will no longer be breathing these chemicals in and absorbing them through your skin, and the same goes for your children as well. One of the most common illnesses is asthma, and using regular cleaning products as little as one time a week can play a big role in causing it.

2. A Better, Cleaner Environment

As you can probably guess from the previous point, if harmful chemicals are being released into your house and affecting your family, you can bet that they are being released into the environment as well. A lot of green cleaning products have recyclable packaging, and the solutions themselves reduce pollution to our rivers and the air. If everyone did their part in going green; it would change the impact regular household products have on the ozone and also help with global climate change.

3. Green Cleaning Products are Safer

Because green cleaners don’t contain harmful chemicals; they will not do harm if they get in your eyes, on your skin or from inhalation like other cleaners. Green cleaners meet specific requirements to be deemed safe for the environment and for household use.

4. The Quality of Air Will Be Better in Your Home

We’ve talked about regular cleaners not being nice to breath in because of chemicals, but have you ever cleaned your house with them and just found that they emit far too strong of a scent? A lot of brand name eco friendly products or even ones you make right from home contain essential oils that are safe to breath in and let off a soothing aroma.

5. You’ll Save Money

Going green can be extremely cheap; especially when you make your own products. Buying things like essential oils, vinegar and lemon juice can cost next to nothing, and are easy to make. See more on how to make some of your own products by checking out our other post here: http://ecomaids.ca/10-uses-for-lemon-peels/

6. There are Less Antibacterials

Any products that are “antibacterial” are actually no better to use than regular ones. The American Medical Association has said that using products that contain antibacterials actually promote a resistance to antibiotics in humans. Eco friendly products do not contain antibacterials
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7. You’ll Have A Better Understanding of What is in Them

Brand name companies that you are used to seeing in stores are not required to list any of the ingredients that are used in their products. So, by making your own simple to use products with simple, affordable and safe ingredients; you know exactly what is in them and that they are safe to use anywhere you please!
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Green Spring Cleaning Ideas for Your Home!

Its that time of year again. The time we can open our doors and windows on a nice spring day and let the fresh air flow in. But after being cooped up inside all winter, we are all thinking about some well needed spring cleaning to freshen up our homes.

Here are some tips and tricks everyone can use for getting the house ready for spring, including some homemade solutions for green cleaners that don’t have all of the harmful chemicals found in regular household cleaners.

First let’s start with store bought cleaners.
There are many earth friendly products out there that can be found at almost any Home Depot, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire etc. Looks for brands like Attitude, Method, Bio-Life, and Seventh Generation. These contain ingredients that are safe for children and the environment.

Now that that is out of the way. There are many ingredients you may have around your home that can be used to make your own homemade green cleaning solutions. To make these solutions you’ll need:

– White vinegar
– Olive oil
– Baking soda
– Borax
– Liquid castile soap
– Essential oils like lavender or tea tree oil
– Microfiber clothes
– Newspaper

Homemade Green Cleaning Solutions:

Countertops & Bathroom Tile:

Mix together 2 parts vinegar and 1 part baking soda with 4 parts water. Apply the solution and scour with a sponge (don’t be afraid to let it sit for a few minutes for harder stains), and then wipe it away.

Floor Cleaning Solution:

Take 4 cups of white vinegar and a gallon of water and mix together. You can add a few drops of your desired essential oil for a nice spring scent.

Glass Cleaner:

Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 4 cups of water into a spray bottle. Spray it onto the glass and use a good cloth or old newspaper to wipe.

Wood Furniture:

Mix together equal amounts of lemon juice and olive oil. Put a small amount onto a cloth and wipe furniture in long, even strokes.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

Simply shower some baking soda onto a toilet brush and start scrubbing. Once in a while, use borax instead. You can use straight vinegar to clean the outside of the toilet or mix it with water. The strong smell of vinegar doesn’t take long to dissipate.

Homemade Disinfectant:

Mix together 2 teaspoons of borax, 4 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid castile soap with 3 cups of hot water. Wipe the solution on with a damp cloth or use it in a spray bottle and wipe clean.

Mold:

Simply wipe any mold or mildew with straight vinegar for best results.

Household Air Freshener:

Put an essential oil of your choice on a cotton ball and put it in the corner of any room. The oils could irritate skin so keep it out of reach of children.

Happy spring everybody!
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10 Uses for Lemon Peels!

You may know that there are a lot of uses for lemon juice, especially in cooking. But there are many other ways lemon peels and their juices can be used in the home, rather than squeezing some lemon onto a salad or piece of fish and just throwing it away!

Here are 10 uses for lemon peels that you’ll definitely want to try:

Cleaning Solution:

Put a bit of salt in a bowl and dip half of a juiced lemon into it and you have yourself a nice citrus cleaning scrub solution. This is great for counters, sinks, pots and pans, etc. Test it on a small area when using it on surfaces you’re unsure about as salt may damage some surfaces.

Vinegar Cleaning With a Hint of Citrus:

Just use lemon peel in your vinegar solution to give yourself a nice smelling all purpose cleaner.

Hand Scrub:

Mix together lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and olive oil to create a nice scrub for your hands!

Save it for Later:

If you have no use for it right away, you can always save your lemon zest by simply putting it in a freezer bag or container and storing them in the freezer. Just take it out when needed.

Freshen up Your Cutting Board:

Take a half of a juiced lemon and use it on your cutting board to deodorize it and kill bacteria.

Freshen up Your Garbage Disposer:

Simply throw some lemon peels down the disposer and let the water run. It will smell great afterwards and it is a 100% natural solution versus using harsh chemicals.

Deodorize Rooms in the House:

Take lemon peels, herbs and essential oils and put them in a pot of water to let off a nice smell inside your house without using harmful chemicals.

Cloved Lemons:

I’m sure you’ve heard of cloved oranges that are made at Christmas time. Use a lemon and it will dry rather than rot. Make sure to stick the cloves evenly around the lemon and place it wherever needed.

Candied Lemon Peels:

Provided you have the time to make them, candied lemons are always a nice treat!

Infused Olive Oil

Put lemon zest in olive oil and steep it for a few days and you’ll have a nice citrusy oil for salads or other types of cooking!
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Homemade Cleaners for Cleaning Furniture:

We talk a lot about using natural, eco-friendly cleaners on our blog rather than chemical based cleaners that can be harmful to us and especially our kids. So here is a great way to clean your furniture using natural ingredients that you probably already have in your home!

 
Remove Dust:

Even though you may not be able to see them, it doesn’t take long for dust mites to invade your furniture, which is why cleaning furniture regularly is a good idea, even if it looks like it doesn’t need it. Cleaning furniture regularly will also help keep pet dander to a minimum, reducing the affect it will have on people with allergies that live in or visit your home. Also, believe it or not, particles of dirt can penetrate the fabric of your furniture and damage the fiber.
 
The best way to remove the dust is to simply use a vacuum with a brush and crevice tool and get every corner of your couch or chair. It is a good idea to remove the cushions and clean the base of the furniture as well, and also the underside of the couch if you want to get serious (you’d be surprised what can build up under there). Finally, give the cushions a good vacuum too.

 
Cleaning Furniture with Natural Ingredients:

It is important to first make sure what kind of material your couch or chair is made from before applying any solution to it as it may harm it depending on what it is.
 
Using the recipes below, always test a small area of the furniture first – preferably where no one will see it, just in case it doesn’t go as planned. If everything is fine then spray the piece of furniture lightly with the solution and rub it in gently. Afterwards, lightly spray it with clean, cold water to rinse it off. Only use hot water if attempting to remove something like grease. Use a soft cloth that will absorb everything well. Dry it by dabbing the furniture with the cloth. Leaving the windows open on a nice breezy day will also help with drying afterwards.
 
Keep in mind not to soak the fabric when doing this and do not leave the furniture in direct sunlight as it can fade the material over time.

 
Recipes:

All-Purpose Upholstery Cleaner (Option 1):

- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of biodegradable dish soap, castile soap or shampoo

Shake in a bottle or jar, or use an electric mixer to mix solution.

 
All-Purpose Upholstery Cleaner (Option 2):

- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of biodegradable dish soap or shampoo

Use the same instructions as the above recipe. This is also good for removing odors.

 
Spot Cleaner:

- Club soda
- Lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide

Soak up the spot with a cloth before applying the solution. Rinse with cold water afterwards and dry by patting with cloth.
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How To Clean Mold With Non-toxic Household Products:

Mold spores are always in the air, indoors and out. It’s when it starts to grow that it becomes a problem, which can play a big part in causing respiratory problems and other health issues in the long run. This article is going to mention a few ways on how to clean mold the eco-friendly way.

People who are sensitive or allergic to mold are especially at risk. These people are susceptible to things like itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing and headaches. Mold can trigger asthma attacks for people with asthma or even cause the development of asthma itself.

So if you find mold growth in your home, you’re going to want to get rid of it sooner rather than later. Instead of using your average cleaning products with harsh chemicals in them, there are many household eco-friendly solutions that can work just as well.

One of those solutions is, as mentioned a few times in our blog posts – vinegar. It’s cheap and non-toxic and simply gets the job done. Spray it on the mold and let it sit for a few hours and wipe it clean with a rag or sponge. Vinegar has a strong smell, but will fade after a while. If the smell bothers you, add some drops of an essential oil like lavender to make it more appealing. Some essential oils actually have bacteria-killing properties in them. Grapefruit seed extract is one of them, which is also an antifungal agent.

Another solution is baking soda. Mix it with vinegar or water to make a paste and spread it on the mold. Let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes and wipe clean.

Thirdly, Try using hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is used all the time as a disinfectant. Spray it on the mold and let it sit for an hour for maximum results and wipe it up.

Soaking the mold with one of these solutions is important in preventing mold spores from getting into the air, which can just make matters worse. If the mold is excessive, a sergical mask is recommended while cleaning.

Lastly, if you can’t see mold but think it may be somewhere in your house, or if it’s a really big case of mold build up, don’t be afraid to call in a professional service. Some things are better left to the pro’s!
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A Natural Approach On How To Remove Grass Stains:

Grass stains are the pinnacle of hard-to-remove stains. The kids go out to play, only to come back a few hours later with a white shirt turned green. Well, maybe we can help with that.

Sometimes we try all we know to get the stain out, just to take it out of the wash to find that the little bugger is still there – bound to the fabric of the shirt more than ever. With that being said, let’s take a step back and give this stain a fight that it can’t win.

How To Remove Grass Stains:

You probably wonder why grass stains are so hard to get out. It’s because they contain chlorophyll, which is the green color of the plants juices that absorb sunlight. They consist of other colored chemical compounds as well, such as xanthophylls and carotenoids. These compounds will set into the fibers of the natural fabric because they are naturally occurring compounds, rather than sit on top of them.

So, there is a secret on how to remove grass stains, and it starts with this. The first thing you want to do is treat the stain as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more those compounds settle.

Mix together some dish soap and hydrogen peroxide and soak the clothing in it for 10 minutes. Then use a small scrub brush like a toothbrush and scrub the stain until it is gone. For the most part, it should come out right away, but if not then soak it again and scrub until it’s gone. Afterwards, rinse the piece of clothing in hot water and put it in the washing machine like normal. Make sure the stain is out before putting it in the wash because the heat will set the stain.

A secondary way to remove the stain is to buy some enzyme pills at a health food store. If you mix the powder inside the pills with warm water, it will form a paste that you can rub into the stain. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes, rinse, and wash as usual. The enzymes help break down and lift the stain to the surface, making it easier to get out. As well, you can also purchase a mixture of this for a good price, which can also be helpful with carpet stains. For clothing stains though, the pills are a cheaper alternative.

Hopefully this gave you some insight on how to remove grass stains, and maybe some comfort in knowing you don’t have to worry so much when the kids run out that door with that brand new white shirt on! Enjoy!
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12 Tips For Cleaning Hardwood Floors The Natural Way.

Hardwood floors around the house are a popular thing these days, and people want to know the best ways to keep them looking great whether it’s for a party with friends or for your own peace of mind. Here are a few tips on cleaning hardwood and getting the most out of it:

Maintain your hardwood: 

It is a good idea to regularly give your floors a quick sweep or vacuum every few days to keep excessive amounts of dust from building up on them.

Reduce pet hair: 

We all know pets are known for shedding quite a bit of hair, especially coming into the spring/summer seasons. A great way to minimize the amount that gets onto your floors is by simply giving them a full body brush outside of the house. This will keep future hair loss from your pet down to a minimum inside the house.

Dealing with spills: 

Spilling liquids or pet accidents can happen at any time. It is important to know that these must me soaked up ASAP as they can ruin the finish on the hardwood and cause permanent stains. Use a cleaning rag or microfiber cloth to soak up spills.

Using water: 

Wood absorbs water and in turn makes it expand. Using too much water when cleaning hardwood floors can cause it too warp and do serious damage to them. You should minimize floor washing and choose something that won’t damage the wood and will maintain it’s natural look.

Washing: 

As stated above, do not use excessive amount of water. If anything you should use a damp mop which will help get rid of any extra dirt and dust that might be stuck in any grooves. Another option is to wash it on your hands and knees so you have more control over how much water goes onto the floor. Whichever method you choose, be sure to buff the hardwood with a dry mop immediately after.

Using vinegar: 

Some people suggest using a mix of vinegar and water for cleaning hardwood floors, but because of the acidity in the vinegar it can actually damage the floor’s finish. If used, it should be a very diluted mixture and never used on a wax finish.

Using tea: 

Black tea has been known to be a natural cleaning agent for darker hardwood floors. Simply steep one or two bags in boiling water. When it has cooled down, moisten a cloth in the solution and start washing.

Warranty tip: 

Be aware that using vinegar, water, tea or anything else not approved by the flooring manufacturer will likely void the warranty on the hardwood.

Sanding the floor: 

Sanding will need to be done if you are planning on refinishing the floor due to damage or staining. This can be a big project but is a more affordable option than purchasing a whole new floor.

Scuff sanding: 

If there is damage to only the finish on the floor and not the wood itself, it can be easily fixed by lightly sanding the area with an electric buffer smooth out the scuff.

Removing dust:

It is important that you make sure as much dust from the floor is removed after sanding before refinishing your hardwood. You don’t want any dust particles being sealed into the floor.

Eco-friendly finish:

There are many plant based oils to choose from when refinishing a hardwood floor. Make sure it is non-toxic with no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). There is also a clear coating made from recycled whey protein. To naturally maintain your hardwood and ensure zero risk of damage, a good choice would be to use Murphy’s oil soap or another oil based polish that will give your hardwood a clean new look.
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Get The Most Out Of Tea Tree Oil!

Tea tree oil is an aromatic oil that actually has many good uses. It smells great, naturally kills bacteria and even helps sooth skin.

We are going to list a few things you can use tea tree oil for so you can get the most out of it!

1. Cleaning your toothbrush

We all know that over time your toothbrush can get very dirty, and aside from going right out and buying a new one, tea tree oil can be used to clean it. Simply just put a drop of it on your toothbrush every now and then.

2. Treating mold

To Get rid of mold and keep it from coming back you will need to mix a drop of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Generously spray down the moldy areas and let it sit for 5-10 minutes and wipe it away.

3. Pest control

Tea tree oil can be applied to a place where you might be getting insects or want to prevent from getting them all together. Insects and other bugs do not like the smell of tea tree oil.

4. Soap scum

Tea tree oil solutions are great for use on bathroom tile, shower & tub. Also works well for bathroom counter tops and sinks, and it will prevent any mold and mildew growth! Mixing it with salt or baking soda will help get out harder stains.

5. Laundry

Throw in a couple drops of tea tree oil in with your clothes before you wash them. It will help give your clothes an extra fresh scent and will also kill and bacteria that might be lingering around in your washing machine. A common problem people have is forgetting to put their clothes in the dryer in time only to come to a load of wet stinky laundry. Running them again with warm water and tea tree oil will get rid of the smell and save you from using more detergent!

6. All-purpose cleaner

Using the same solution as the mold treatment, mix a drop of tea tree oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle and you have yourself your own homemade all-purpose cleaner. Use it on wood, stone, ceramic tile and more!

7. Treating wood

Using tea tree oil on wood will help repel insects. Preferably do not use this directly on a kitchen table or areas where you eat, but it is perfect for furniture on your deck and in the house.

8. Moths

When you store your clothing, use cotton balls soaked with tea tree oil to keep out moths and other bugs.

9. Exercise equipment deodorizer

Use tea tree oil on stinky exercise equipment like gym shoes, hockey bags, helmets and anything else that tends to have a lingering odor. The oil also helps kill bacteria that comes from sweat during exercise.
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Spring Cleaning Tips: Cleaning Your Kitchen With Everyday Household Ingredients

Spring is here, and what better way to start it off than some environmentally friendly spring cleaning tips to get your kitchen smelling fresh, using only ingredients you can find right in your home!

Here are a few recipes you can try that will work wonders in your kitchen:

Baking soda and vinegar:

For those annoying, tough greasy messes we often make in the kitchen, mixing baking soda and vinegar together into a paste works great. Just apply the paste to any sticky mess, let it sit, and wipe it down. This combination helps break down stains making it easier to soak up. Using a coarse scrubber with this recipe will also help bring up thicker messes.

You can also use this mixture down the drain of your sink, followed by pouring boiling water down it to get rid of any drain odours.

Lemons and salt:

This is a great idea for a fresh spring smell. Using these two together gives you a homemade natural scrubber. Cut a lemon in half and shake some salt on the counter or the stain you’re cleaning. Take the lemon and rub the surface and watch as the salt breaks up the stains and the lemon lifts it up.

You can also use lemon juice in your garbage cans at home. Use lemon juice ice cubes or lemon wedges and ice to get rid of odours and keep them smelling fresh.

Cream of tartar:

Great for cleaning stainless steel appliances without scratching or damaging the surface. Mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar with half a cup of cream of tartar and clean away!

Oranges and vinegar:

This will give your kitchen a nice fresh scent and is a great all-purpose cleaner. You simply take full orange peels and place them in buckets. Then pour vinegar in with the peels just so it reaches the tops of the peels. Keep the buckets in the cold cellar or garage for two weeks, making sure to stir them occasionally. After two weeks, strain the solution, divide it into spray bottles and fill them with water to dilute the formula. You now have your own homemade orange oil! This is great for around the house and especially on wood surfaces.

Rice:

Put rice or barley through your coffee grinder to clean it out.

Those are a few tips to get a fresh start on spring. Happy cleaning!
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