When a close friend became pregnant several years ago, and he introduced pets into his Dubai home, Tolga Soytekin began to search for environmentally-friendly cleaning products. A few years down the road and post-economic crash, that search evolved into the UAE’s first eco-friendly cleaning service. Called Eco Maid, the company uses none of the harmful corrosives that almost poisoned one Green Prophet reader’s baby. And, proving that it pays to “go green,” they can offer their service for the same price as their toxic competitors.
Why going green is good for you and for the earth:
Greener Choice lists a variety of chemicals that have known negative environmental or health impacts.
Among them, hydrochloric acid commonly found in toilet bowl cleaners can severely burn skin and irritate eyes and the respiratory tract. Many household cleaners such as APEs, formaldehyde, and naptha are petroleum-based and prolonged exposure to them can cause nausea, headaches, and even central nervous system disruptions.
Phosphates, meanwhile, leach into our water stream and often promote excess algae growth, which in turn kills off fish and other aquatic life. Although some people believe that these nasty chemicals are more effective cleaners, Tolga has discovered that citrus oil has all of the same cleaning abilities as traditional products, but none of the side effects.
They are also “pleasantly scented.”
Orange you glad we told you?
Eco Maid uses products that contain natural orange extracts coupled with biodegradable surfactants, detergents, dirt suspending agents, water softeners and builders, to “produce a formidable cleaner for everyday applications.”
That these products are imported from New Zealand to Dubai increases the company’s carbon footprint, but Tolga has entered into an agreement with the supplier whereby Eco Maid will take up local manufacture and distribution when it becomes financially viable to do so.
Green is money!
While freelance maids on their own visas charge less than $10 an hour for their services (using nasty products), most companies charge the same as Eco Maid – roughly $10 an hour. Their employees also undergo a thorough training program through a local hotel and keep any tips they receive during a shift.
“It is our philosophy is that it shouldn’t cost you any more to ‘go green,’ Tolga says.
“We understand that many companies that jump on the eco bandwagon exploit consumers through manipulating their conscience but we disagree with that ethic.”
Find an Eco-Maid in your area:
For now, Eco Maids will only service Dubai, but the company has grand plans to spread throughout the Gulf and the Levant. Tolga is convinced that in time the company will be recognized as the leading cleaning service provider.
Asked about vinegar as a viable alternative, he adds, “as much as I love the smell of vinegar on my chips, I’m not a huge fan of the house smelling of it for days at a time.
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