What products does Lily use to clean?
Many people ask why we don’t make “Lily’s Carpet / Rug / Furniture Cleaning Solutions”. It’s an easy answer. The world of green chemistry is constantly changing as alternatives to toxic ingredients in cleaning products are developed. Cleaning product formulations are continuously improving and Lily’s improves with them. As greener products come onto the market, Lily’s tests them to see if they perform as well or better than what is already being used. If so, they are incorporated into Lily’s cleaning product collection. This way Lily’s uses the greenest products available and isn’t tied to a stockpile of cleaning products that are no longer the greenest in the market.
Nearly all the products Lily’s use are U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) DfE (Design for Environment) certified
http://www.epa.gov/dfe/. This means that the DfE scientific review team has screened each ingredient in a product for potential human health and environmental effects and has determined that the product contains only those ingredients that pose the least concern among chemicals in their class. These products are used with minimal water in a steam cleaning process.
Why Green? What's the difference?
Traditional carpet cleaning uses an assortment of chemicals, some of which may irritate people and pets, and cause havoc in the environment. The active ingredient found in most rug, carpet and furniture shampoo is perchlorethylene or perc. It’s also used by most drycleaners. Perc has been linked to numerous health and environmental problems: it is documented in air; soil; and sediments. It is a Hazardous Air Pollutant under the Clean Air Act, and is regulated by the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the “Superfund” Act. Perc is a neurotoxin, a liver and kidney toxin, and a possible developmental and reproductive toxin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies perc as a probable carcinogen and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends perc be handled as a human carcinogen.
The dangers of carpet cleaners received a lot of publicity when John Travolta’s son who was only 15 months at the time, was hospitalized after inhaling fumes from carpet cleaning solutions. He was diagnosed with a relatively rare disease called Kawasaki syndrome, a serious rash condition contracted generally by children. Some studies have suggested a link between carpet cleaners and Kawasaki disease, although the evidence is not conclusive.
We are not interested in discrediting another service. We just think consumers have the right to know what choices are available to them. At Lily’s we offer an alternative to the traditional chemical based methods by reverting back to old fashioned non toxic low residue soaps, water and elbow grease. That's why nearly all products we use are DfE certified (see above question for details).
How does the cleaning process work?
Lily’s comes to your home; all work is done right before your eyes. A steam cleaning machine is used along with DfE certified cleaning products, MINIMAL water and elbow grease. Yes, the guys will actually scrub by hand if appropriate rather than use harsh chemicals or scrubbing machines. Water will be used from your kitchen / bathroom, an outlet will be used for electricity and your toilet will be used for waste water.
What should you do to prepare for a visit?
It is helpful if you vacuum the area to be cleaned and move any furniture. If a piece of furniture does not have legs, we can clean around it, dry vac under it, or the furniture will need to be left off the carpet until it is completely dry. Lily’s team is happy to help with furniture you cannot move yourself.
What should you do once we leave?
We suggest staying off the cleaned surface as much as possible. However, it will not harm the carpeting / rugs if you need to walk on them. A clean pair of flip flops helps to minimize dirt being tracked back into the moist carpeting / rug.
It is safe to be in your home after we leave.
There are ways to help the drying process. Depending on the season, Lily’s team will advise you on the best methods.
Can you help with animal/food/children/drink accidents?
Accidents happen! If you have children and animals you know that only too well. There are things you can do to reduce permanent damage depending on the type of soiling. We are happy to provide advice when accidents happen. Give us a call.
When we come to clean accidents we often use enzymes. This can help break down the proteins that cause undesirable stains and smells. They can help remove moderate levels of odors.
Can you help with allergies?
We have cleaned for many people with allergies and asthma with great results. They have found that our process with non irritating cleaners and water minimizes their triggers.