March 2010: Maid to Shine Offers ‘Green’ Cleaning
Maid to Shine Offers ‘Green’ Cleaning
House cleaning is more “earth friendly” for Maid to Shine, a business that offers cleaning solutions powered by plants.
“We’ve offered special cleaning for moms with newborns for 10 years,” owner Marlene Pashos said, “before they called it green cleaning. This is critical for newborns. We have extended green cleaning service to all clients.”
Pashos said she began private housekeeping in Chesterfield, Mo., working for five years until beginning her business in 1993. Her sister began helping, and then her son Tim came on board.
“He’s the butler in the logo,” Pashos said.
The business kept expanding and they moved their services across the river to the River Bend and Edwardsville areas, where they have been in business for 10 years. Maid to Shine has teamed with Better Life, a St. Louis manufacturer specializing in green cleaning products. These cleaning products use natural sugars, starches and amino acids, which have a rapid biodegradation rate. Pashos said that she has researched various products.
“Products will say they are ‘green.’ Not all ingredients are,” Pashos said. “Consumers see the word (green) and think it’s safe.”
She said household cleaners are not required to list all ingredients. The products may still contain chemicals and not be truly green, Pashos said.
“Every chemical can affect something (with health),” she said. “Organic gases are in the air two or three days.”
“Because homes are becoming more energy-efficient, there are less opportunities for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to escape,” said Tim Barklage, co-founder of Better Life. “This is yet another reason to use cleaning solutions that are both people and pet-friendly.”
“Chemicals land in the carpet,” Pashos said. “It’s about people’s health.”
“Our standard of green cleaning goes beyond the use of our products. This lifestyle is evident behind the scenes … from the disposal of products, to the recycling of office equipment and papers, to the choice of towels and car pooling,” Pashos said.
Barklage said chemicals found in traditional cleaning solutions can be a catalyst for breathing difficulties, skin irritations and headaches. The most sensitive to these chemicals include expectant and new mothers, as well as infants. Others are those who have respiratory allergies or infections, as well as heightened skin sensitivity.
Maid to Shine was present at the Third Annual Mississippi Earthtones Festival at the Alton Riverfront Amphitheater, where Pashos provided information about green cleaning.
“Everything and anything we do can have a positive or negative impact on our planet. We want to play a part in the solution, and believe that even small changes can make a difference,” she said.
She also has concern for her employees and thinks it is better for them to do green cleaning.
Pashos said she has about 100 regular customers and a lot of one-time cleans through the Yellow Pages. The service covers a 25-mile radius in Madison County. Some people want a deep clean for a move, she said. There are nine employees who clean in three-person teams.
Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call (618) 254-2462 or visit greenandcleanhousekeeping.com.
Maid to Shine is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International.