Category Archives: Family

Cleaning Your Home With a Team

Ok, so here you are.  The woman who has been cleaning your home has finally given her notice.  She has been with you for the last 15 years, basically since she graduated high school, and here she is expecting her second child.

It’s been nice having one person clean your home.  She was fairly reliable, showing up every week and taking about four to five hours to clean your home the same way you would.  Sure, it took some training to get her to do it your way, but it was worth it.

Woman Cleaning Toilet

What are your options for replacing her (like you could ever replace her)?  Angieslist has a good comparison of your options, here.

You could search for another woman; maybe on craigslist or in the local news paper, but that seems so last century.  Besides, the world is a much different place since you last hired a home cleaner.

The other option is to hire a service.  The nice part of this option is you know that they are most likely insured and there is a certain amount of security involved with inviting them into your home.

A reputable cleaning service will background check their employees, have liability insurance and can be dependable and reliable.  Some will send the same people each time (usually two or three), so you have a sense of continuity on each cleaning.

The down side to this is that where it took your previous woman four to five hours to clean your home, the cleaning company can usually have it done in an hour to an hour and a half.  This may lead you to believe that they did an inferior job or skipped some things you wanted done, but in reality, two or three people naturally can do the same job your previous cleaner did in 1/3 or 1/2 the time.

Team

It may also be disconcerting to have a group of people in your home versus one person.  Whereas your previous cleaner was pretty silent in her work, save for the vacuum, a team will normally communicate during the cleaning (“Don’t forget the stainless polish.”, “Did you do these stairs, yet?”).

The decision is a personal preference and one you most likely will lose some sleep over.  It is your home, after all.  Best of luck to you!

What a tangled web.

Spiders.  While our logical side realizes that they are beneficial for controlling indoor insects such as mites and flies and such, our subconscious shudders at the mere thought of them, not to mention the ick factor of running into a cobweb.  We know quite a few people who would just as soon squash one as look at it.

spider

Surely there must be some happy medium between the above picture and allowing spiders to completely take over your home.  Until we find it we have a few tips for controlling spiders in your home.

  • Vacuum on a regular basis to remove the spiders, the webs and their egg sacs.
  • Remove any clutter that provides hiding spaces for the spiders and their prey such as unneeded stacked papers, boxes and paper grocery bags.
  • Store items off the floor and away from walls.
  • Dry out and ventilate damp areas of your home to make them less desirable for spiders.

Maybe these tips could be used just for the most inhabited areas of your home and leave areas like the garage, crawl spaces, etc. to the spiders.  We think spiders are beneficial but would hate to see this happen.

indiana jones

Our own Dream Team

Do you remember the USA 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team?  Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and a host of others.  Men considered to be the absolute best in their field.  The standard for a professional basketball player.  They were the first and, in my humble opinion, the best Dream Team ever.  And I don’t even follow professional basketball.

We here at Freedom Cleaning Services have our own Dream Team.

Dream Team

 

 

 

 

After over eight years in business we have built a team that exceeds all of our and our clients expectations each and every day.  They are a thing of beauty.

They each come to us from very different backgrounds and experiences and yet they work together seamlessly as a team.  I know, that’s how it should always work, but some times it isn’t easy finding several individuals that work together well.

Some, like the talented Rose Krause (far left in the picture above) come from other cleaning companies and bring a unique perspective to what we do, offering advice and insight on how to make our cleanings better.  She has a heart as big as the outdoors.

077Others, such as Lorene Gronskei (third from left) bring natural leadership talents.  Gently guiding the team to give their all in any situation.

Some bring a sunny disposition and an amazing work ethic, such as Miss Jenna Johnson (third from left).  Jenna has a work ethic rarely seen in a 20-year-old Biology student.

And others have several of these talents rolled into one, like Carmela Lyons (far right) who comes to us from Seattle and has an eagle eye for detail.

Each has their own hardships and challenges at home but cheerfully put them aside to work together as a team to accomplish one goal; to give our clients a home cleaning experience.  Dream team, indeed!

Drawing the Line

When we first started our company, Freedom Cleaning Services, way back in January of 2006, we were only vaguely aware of the “green” movement as it applied to home cleaning.  We purchased the traditional cleaners and scrubbed away.

cough

 

By mid-June of that same year, we were hacking and coughing our way through Google searches of green alternatives to traditional cleaners.  It took us a couple of more years to find the right one for us.

 

 

Are we as green as I would like us to be?  No.  I know there are all natural or Eco-friendly alternatives to bleach, but for the life of me I have not found one that I trust to completely sanitize our towels so that we do not cross-contaminate our families homes.

That said, I am proud of the choices we have made as a company.  We have a responsibility to clean healthier for our families, those we refer to as clients and those that we refer to as employees.  They are both family to us.

077

I believe that in 2006 we were one of the first Maid Services in Minnesota to go completely green.  We did not even offer it just as an alternative.  One day we weren’t green at all and the next BOOM!

Some clients worried about the effectiveness of the cleaners.  I am sure we may have lost one or two because of our decision.  Now green or Eco-friendly cleaning is the norm, even though there are those that charge a premium for the service.  That’s someone else’s business decision.

This month marks the 8th Anniversary of our decision to go “all-in” on green cleaning.

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.

Bleach Alternatives

Ok, so you know that chlorine bleach is bad for you, your family and the environment but you want to really kill mold, mildew and really disinfect your bathroom (or kitchen or whatever).  What to do?

We’ve got you covered.  Below are some safer, yet equally effective, alternatives to chlorine bleach that you can use without having to deal with the guilt associated with using a known carcinogen in your home.

bathroom-cleaning-191x300

Oxygen Bleach

What is itOxygen Bleach is Sodium percarbonate a chemical, an adduct of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, with formula 2Na2CO3 · 3H2O2.  You may know it most commonly as the product OxiClean.

Just as effective at killing mold and mildew as it’s chlorine cousin, but with none of the toxic fumes that come with the other bleach, Oxygen Bleach is a perfectly acceptable alternative to your standard chlorine bleach

Vinegar

What is it? Vinegar is a liquid consisting mainly of acetic acid and water. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria.

A mild disinfectant, vinegar has become a ‘go-to’ for DIY home cleaners.  Please make sure to read our blog about what NOT to clean with vinegar.

Borax

borax

What is it?  Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.

A word of warning on this one; borax, if ingested, is still a dangerous chemical.  That said, it does not give off harmful fumes and when used responsibly is an effective disinfectant and MUCH safer than chlorine bleach.

Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil

What is it?   Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a pale yellow color to nearly colorless and clear essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor. It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia.

According to one source this essential oil is a powerful disinfecting agent.

It’s all about the family.

Family.  It’s one of the reasons we started Freedom Cleaning Services back in 2006.  We were both laid off and needed to continue to feed and house ours.

But what we do goes way beyond our family.  It extends to the families we service and beyond.  Our goal is to touch as many families in a positive way as possible.

Family sitting on bikes on path smiling

We are in business to make money, of course, but we found early on that we can do this AND make a positive impact.  First, it was just giving families more time by taking one of the most life sucking chores in the history of chores off of their hands.  Home cleaning.

Next, in 2008, we joined Cleaning for a Reason.  Through C4R, we can give women one less thing to worry about by cleaning their homes at no charge while they are going through cancer treatment.

Starting in January of this year, we began a real push.  We created a new page on our website to be used as a Family Resource Guide.  Our hope is that a family member who needs a service or business can go to our website and find what they need.  We spotlight local businesses and individuals.

Now we want to help families struggling to feed their families.  We are talking to NACE (North Anoka County Emergency Food Shelf) about ways we can help.  One way is through donations.  During the month of July, for every dollar NACE collects in donations, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will proportionately match.  The more donations, the bigger the grant.  And considering the fact that NACE can turn one dollar of donations into $8.60 in buying power, that would make a huge difference for hungry families.

NACE

 

 

 

If you would like to donate and help hungry families in Anoka County, you can do so here.

We will continue to look for ways that we can help families in our community.  because it really is all about the family.

Cleaning for Your Four-Legged Family Members

As any dog, cat, ferret, bunny or goldfish owner will tell you, our pets are our family just as much as our children or spouse are.

Dog giving woman high five.When we’re cleaning our homes we need to be sensitive to not only using things that could harm the rest of the family but also our four-legged family members.  This mean knowing what is in our cleaning chemicals and avoiding those ingredients that could be harmful to our pets.

ACHOO!

Did you know that your pet can have allergies, just like you can?  It’s true!  besides the usual suspects in allergies such as dust, dust mites and pollen your pet can have allergies to things like cigarette smoke, and fragrances and dyes in cleaning products and air fresheners.  Symptoms that your pet is allergic to something in your home may not be the same as your red, watery eyes and runny nose.  Usually a pet allergy will manifest itself as scratching, chewing and licking, sometimes to the point of creating open sores, which has its’ own nasty implications.  An open sore on a pet can open it up to infection.

Poison!

There are some chemicals that are just downright dangerous to your pet and oftentimes they are in the same products that we use to clean the areas our pets use the most.

According to the website eartheasy.com “Cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers or formaldehyde can put pets at risk for cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage.”

For example, chlorine is heavier than air, so even though your might be spraying your counter tops with a chlorine cleaning product, thinking that your dog won’t get up there, the chlorine will land on the floor.  the same area your dog loves to lay on and, from time to time, lick.

?????????????????????????????Ammonia, found in oven cleaners and window cleaning formulations is an irritant to the mucous membranes.

There are a number of cleaning products on the market that are natural or eco-friendly.  Choose your products wisely.  ALL of your families’ health depends on it.