Four Magical Green Cleaning Products Every Home Should Have

Some of the modern cleaning materials around are seriously scary. Many contain heavy-duty antibacterials and poisons with fumes that are enough to get you in the back of the throat and make you cough and splutter. Just imagine what they’re doing to your children? Or your elderly parents? And your pets?

There are four simple and safe “green cleaning” ingredients that will work hard for you and keep your home smelling clean and fresh — and leave you with a clear conscience.

1. Bicarbonate of Soda

Available at supermarkets and chemists, ‘bicarb’ is a white powder that is fantastic for removing odours, and cleaning surfaces, loos and drains:

  • Keep a small open pot of it in the fridge to soak up old food smells.
  • Sprinkle on carpets, let it stand for about 15 minutes, then vacuum up.
  • sprinkle down drains, pour a little vinegar over … and watch it fizzle up, then wash down with hot water for a few minutes
  • Use dry on surfaces, then wipe down with a damp cloth
  • Make a paste with a little water for stubborn stains on surfaces, leave for a few minutes and buff with a dry cloth

2. Vinegar

White spirit vinegar is cheap and easy to get.  It’s a hard-working, all-round cleaner:

  • Use with bicarb in a spray bottle with water for an all-round, all-purpose cleaner — eg: 500 mls water, 2 cups vinegar, 2 teaspoons bicarb (put in first, then water, then vinegar to minimize fizz!) – and a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
  • Use neat on a dry cloth to wash down pet cages to keep smells at bay.
  • One part vinegar to three parts water will clean floors, mirrors, windows, showers with ease. You can use it neat for stubborn stains.
  • It’s a great water softener – use in your rinse cycle for softer towels, cleaner whites and fresher clothes.  Also prevents mildew.

3. Dishwashing liquid

A good quality dishwashing liquid works wonders – you can use it to clean floors, walls, tiles, bathrooms, surfaces or even to wash the dogs.

4. Lemon Juice

  • Rub some non-iodated salt on your brass and silver, then rub over with a slice of lemon before buffing with a soft cloth.
  • Add a few drops of lemon to your washing up water to help cut grease and leave dishing feeling super clean.
  • Make lemon water: cut one lemon into quarters and steep it in a litre of boiling water overnight.  Strain with cloth or paper towel and add to cleaning spray bottle for a fresh smell.  Rub over your pets coats to make them smell fresh, condition their skins and deter pesky fleas.

Four simple green cleaning solutions.  Safer. Environmentally friendly. And a whole lot kinder on the pocket, too.

 

Cleaning Africa’s Year-End Bosberaad

As 2012 draws to a close, it’s time for reflecting back on the challenges of the year gone by … and putting all the right steps in place to kick start 2013. And that’s just what Cleaning Africa Services plans to do.

The company recently held its annual bosberaad* at the tranquil Luiperdskloof Lodge on the Wilge River from 21st to 25th November. The lodge is in a natural, bushveld setting that fits in perfectly with Cleaning Africa’s 100% conversion to green cleaning.

New Areas, New Area Manager

The main topics for discussion at the bosberaad were the introduction of a new area manager, and the splitting up of the service regions into four. This way, each manager will have a more geographically-efficient area to service; allowing less traffic hassles and quicker response-time to customers: a major win-win situation.

Preventative Maintenance

Another innovation was to introduce a preventative maintenance plan, which will see all on-site equipment serviced on a monthly basis, eliminating down time.

Accredited In-House Training

Cleaning Africa also intends head-hunting a Service Seta SDF (Skills Development Facilitator) to employ full time. It will become a fully-fledged, accredited training provider and all learnerships will be done in-house, giving more training opportunities to all existing staff, and many new ones too.

“It was a good, exciting and fruitful bosberaad – we have a solid, passionate team,” said Midge Wood, Cleaning Africa’s CEO. “And of course, we managed to enjoy some well-deserved downtime and good laughs, too,” he chuckled.

Here’s looking at a brighter, cleaner, greener 2013!

 

* bosberaad (Afrikaans) = strategy meeting held outdoors, for example in a game reserve [Source: Wikipedia]

It’s Official – Cleaning Africa is greening Africa!

Friday, 26 October 2012 marked a very important day on the Cleaning Africa calendar. It’s the day that completed Cleaning Africa’s changeover to purely green cleaning products and practices – like the exciting new “waterless” car wash system.

To get to this point, Cleaning Africa had to provide on-site “re-training” to over 400 staff at more than 60 sites in and around Johannesburg.

The search for the Best Green Cleaning Products on the Planet

Delphis eco logoAfter thorough investigation of all “green” cleaning products, Delphis eco products were chosen by Cleaning Africa to partner its move towards ecologically-friendly, sustainable cleaning.

“Our clients want real change in the cleaning industry. Proven, effective products that aren’t harmful to Earth and her people. They don’t just want lip service,” said Midge Wood, CEO of Cleaning Africa. He recently attended two global cleaning industry expos in China as part of this quest.

“These products are awesome. They’re fully EU Ecolable accredited (not easy to get!), very cost-effective and biodegradable. They’re also derived from totally sustainable resources. We couldn’t be happier to use them”, Midge confirmed.

Waterless Car Saves!

Using the latest technology, waterless car washing is now a reality. The special formula ‘encapsulates’ the dirt, which is then wiped off with microfibre cloths – without any scratching.

The savings are astronomical. Conventional methods use over 40 litres of water per car wash (you probably use around 90 litres if you wash your car with a hosepipe, or at least 10 litres using a bucket and cloth). With the new waterless system, less than one litre is used, half of which is just to rinse out the cloth!

Besides dramatically cutting down on water and electricity costs, (serious considerations today!), this waterless car wash system is much kinder on the environment. No more harmful detergents and surfactants being washed into the drains, which ultimately poison rivers and marine life.

SO Worth It!

“Changing over to green cleaning has been a long and hard journey, but every one of us at Cleaning Africa believes it’s been worth it – every step of the way!” said Midge enthusiastically.

If you’d like to find out more about these eco friendly cleaning products and waterless car washes, please call us now on 011 794 6665 or contact us.

First FM Expo a Winner …

Cleaning Africa Services was recently a first-time exhibitor at the Facilities Management Expo held at the Sandton Convention Centre, 29 – 30 May 2012.

The expo showcased a host of innovative new products and ideas and enabled visitors to see a range of suppliers offering unique products all under one roof.  The show also included a business conference where leading facilities managers had the chance to share and discuss the latest trends and challenges facing their industry.

Delphis eco logoAt the 2012 expo, the emphasis was on “Go Green, “Sustainability” and “Health and Safety” – all boxes ticked by Cleaning Africa’s’ new range of Delphis eco cleaning products.  Fully EU Ecolable accredited, these products offer better cost-efficiency, are readily biodegradable and derived from totally sustainable resources.

“It’s heartening to see so much interest for these eco-friendly products by facility managers and procurement managers alike,” said Midge Wood of Cleaning Africa.  “Clearly, the move is towards greener, healthier, more sustainable products – especially in the cleaning industry”.

Visitors to Cleaning Africa Stand at FM Expo 2012
Visitors to Cleaning Africa’s stand

For Cleaning Africa, the FM Expo was a great success: providing extensive networking opportunities, a captive audience and the chance to attract many new contracts with customers seeking greener cleaning options.

If you didn’t manage to make the FM Expo this year, but still want to find out more about cleaner, greener options, call Cleaning Africa now on 011 794 6665.

 

Greening Cleaning

For the past two years, Cleaning Africa Services has been researching ways to become more “green”.

At its annual Bosberaad (Indaba) in February 2012, the company proudly announced that it has made a commitment to reducing its Carbon Footprint on the environment .

As of 1st July 2012, Cleaning Africa is going completely ‘GREEN’.

      How green is ‘green’?

  •         Only 100% Green chemicals will be used
  •         Dramatic water savings through the new ‘Waterless Car Wash’ systems
  •         Huge electricity savings with low-pressure hand pumps
  •         Green Waste Removal and Disposal

Two Pilot Sites will be Tested

Starting on the 27th February 2012, two Mercedes-Benz dealerships– one in Bryanston and the other in Constantia – will have all their conventional chemicals recalled and each will receive a different range of green chemicals for testing.

One of these is the Innu-Science bacteria-based range and the other is the Delphis Eco range which is predominantly derived from plant based ingredients. Theses companies have emerged tops from a selection of the latest green products that have been rigorously tested by Cleaning Africa over the past several months.

Car Washing goes ‘Water-less’

In April 2012, a representative of Cleaning Africa is going over to China to finalise an agency for “Waterless Car Wash Carts” and “Waterless Car Wash Chemicals”.  On average, these systems use about one litre of water per car wash instead of the usual 40 litres one would use with a high-pressure washer.

These waterless units are fully mobile and use manual sprayers with a low-pressure supply system that also saves on the consumption of electricity.

Green Waste Disposal

Negotiations are currently underway with a green Waste Removal Company to partner Cleaning Africa for the safe removal of waste products at our sites.

 

Watch this space for Cleaning Africa’s “Wild Wash”!