Best of the GHC Blog!

The Green Home Cleaning blog has been bringing you great, helpful cleaning tips and green lifestyle ideas for just over four years! We thought we'd celebrate this month with a round-up of some of the best blog posts we've published over the years. From fighting stinky smells to getting your office organized, this list of articles has something for nearly any house cleaning headache! Click on the linked titles to view the full blog posts.

1. Eleven Habits of Highly Organized People

In this post, we offer tips and tricks for how to get more organized, feel more productive, and get more done, without losing your sanity. Check it out!

2. What to Look For in a Home Cleaning Service

In "What to Look For in a Home Cleaning Service", we share pointers for researching and interviewing cleaning services in your area. Use this checklist to ensure that your final selection is a company that will behave professionally, do a great job, and treat you with respect!

3. Tips For Getting Kids to Clean Their Rooms

Tackle the perennial parental struggle of getting your kids to take responsibility for their own belongings with the creative tactics in this blog post!

4. How to Erase the Rings From Your Toilet Bowl

If you have mineral-heavy water in your home, you NEED this post. In it, we share a simple, stress-free way to remove the unsightly rings from your toilets, leaving them bright and clean, without any need for toxic cleaning products!

5. Eight Green Cleaning Tips for Cats and Their People

Are you a cat owner? The tips in this post will help you control cat fur and dander, litter messes and odors, and other cat-related problems in your home.

6. Five Green Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home

From the garbage disposal to the shoe rack, use the ideas in this blog post to combat unpleasant odors in your home, without harsh chemicals!

7. Organize Your Office and Increase Productivity!

This post covers six ways to eliminate entropy in your office. Restore your sanity and see your productivity skyrocket with these tips!

8. A Busy Mom's Letter to Santa

Here's a fun holiday post we published a couple of Decembers ago. It's cute and funny, and it sheds light on what busy moms really want for Christmas.

9. Green Cleaning With Dogs

If you're a dog lover, you'll definitely benefit from the pointers in this blog post. Learn green and effective ways to tackle muddy pawprints, dog hair and dander, and even the dreaded "dog smell"!

10. Houseplants for a Clean, Green Home!

Learn how houseplants can help keep your home green and clean by purifying the air. This post also includes a list of the 12 best houseplants for home air purification.

It's Time to Vote in the 2017 Best of WNC Poll!

We need your support!

Greetings to all of our amazing customers!

Last year, you voted us the Best House Cleaning Service in ountain Xpress's annual Best of WNC poll.

e'd love to stay on the winning streak, but we can't do it without you! There's just one week left to vote for 2017, so if you have a free moment, please head over to the poll to vote for us and all of your other favorite WNC businesses.

Voting in this poll is an awesome way to participate in the local economy and show your support to all the local shops, eateries, and entrepreneurs that make Western North Carolina such a great place to live.

Green Home Cleaning is eligible in the Home Cleaning Services category. Keep in mind that you don't have to fill out the entire ballot in order to vote. You only have to do a minimum of 30 categories. The poll ends April 26.

A big Thank You for your support from Leslie, Pam, and the rest of the crew!

5 Green Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Bad Smells in Your Home


Warm weather is on its way, and although we are super-excited about what this means for our wardrobes and social lives, it’s also necessary to reflect on what it could mean for foul odors in our homes.

If there’s one nice thing about winter, it’s that nothing stinks in cold weather. So we get a few months’ reprieve from pesky odor generators like outdoor trashcans and the shoe racks in our entryways. Don’t let the stinky smells take you by surprise this time! Instead, use this guide to help prevent them before they reach your nostrils.

In this post, we’ve outlined five of the most common household sources of stench, and how to combat them with green, natural cleaning solutions.

  1. Garbage Disposal- To keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh, periodically feed citrus peels into it. If you encounter a strong, lingering odor that the citrus peels can’t defeat, try pouring vinegar and baking soda down the disposal, and leaving to soak for several hours before rinsing with cold water.
  2. Fridge- Keep an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator. The baking soda will absorb odors from food. Replace the box every six weeks or so. If the smell is really bad, try spreading the baking soda out on a cookie sheet and leaving it in the fridge over night. The increased surface area of the baking soda will allow it to absorb even more of the odor.
  3. Pet Odors- Use a HEPA filter air purifying unit in the rooms your pets spend the most time in. Put machine washable throw blankets over furniture your pets like to lounge on, and vacuum floors and upholstery often. See our posts on Green Cleaning with Dogs and Green Cleaning with Cats for more tips! 
  4. Trashcan- After taking out the trash, sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a handful of cotton balls. Leave the cotton balls in the bottom of the empty trashcan overnight, with the lid on. Twice a year or so, take the trash can outside and spray it down, inside and out, with the garden hose. Then leave it in the sun to dry for a full day. Sunlight is the best disinfectant!
  5. Shoe Rack- If washing doesn’t get the stinky-foot smell out of your shoes, try these solutions: First, try putting balled-up newspaper in your shoes overnight. The paper absorbs the odor-causing bacteria. If that doesn’t work, make a deodorizing powder out of equal parts baking soda and cornstarch, plus a few drops of tea tree oil. Sprinkle it in your shoes overnight. If your shoes still stink after that, try placing them in a sealed plastic bag and sticking them in the freezer overnight. And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to throw them out and buy some new shoes!

We hope you find these tips helpful! If you live in the Asheville, NC area and you need assistance with any aspect of housecleaning, give us a call at 828.505.7320 or get in touch via our contact form today!

Green Home Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is in the air, and for many of us, that means taking a day or two out of our busy schedules to give our homes a good cleaning. We all know the basic checklist items that spring cleaning entails: putting away winter clothes, dusting every surface, sweeping under the rugs and washing the windows. But what tasks might you be neglecting in your spring cleaning campaign? We put together a list of oft-forgotten items that need doing annually. Take care of them during spring cleaning, and enjoy a clean, green, and healthy home all year round!

  • Vacuum and wipe down walls and vacuum ceilings. This can be done in every room, since dust, cobwebs, and fingerprints have a tendency to collect in these areas and remain unnoticed during regular cleanings. But this task is especially important for the kitchen and bathrooms! In the kitchen, move the appliances to vacuum around them, and be sure to wipe down the walls around the stove and sink. In the bathroom, pay special attention to the wall behind where you stand when you use hair and skin products. Residue from hairsprays and colognes can build up over time and turn into a gunky mess that’s nearly impossible to clean.
  • Wash throw rugs. Once a year, your throw rugs, kitchen and bathroom mats, and welcome mats need a good washing—so what better time than spring cleaning to tackle this task? If your rugs and mats are machine washable, you can just throw them in the washer while you complete one of the other tasks on the list.
  • Wash drapes, curtains, and linens. Window treatments gather dirt and dust throughout the year, and can be a major source of allergens in the home. You probably wash your bed linens fairly regularly, but spring cleaning is a good time to freshen the bedding in guest bedrooms, as well as blankets and throws that are kept on living room furniture.
  • Clean kitchen appliances. Take everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, wipe down the walls, and take the drawers out to be washed in warm soapy water. Degrease the oven and stove, wipe down the inside of the microwave, and empty crumbs out of the toaster or toaster oven.
  • Empty and dust cabinets. And while the contents are out of the cabinets, take the opportunity to clean and polish those dishes, glasses, and utensils that are used only rarely, like crystal goblets and fine silver.
  • Laundry machine maintenance. Wipe down the inside of the washer. Even though we think of the washing machine as a self-cleaning object, residues can build up on the walls and agitator from detergents as well as minerals in the water. Now is also a good time to clean out the dryer air filter. NOT the lint filter in the front or top of the machine that you clean every time you run a load of laundry, but the air intake filter in the back of the machine.
  • Vacuum and wipe down light fixtures. You might want to wipe down the light bulbs, too, since dusty light bulbs can cast murky light.
  • Clean upholstery and vacuum underneath cushions. If the upholstery on your chairs and sofa zips off, launder it according to the instructions on the tag. If not, you might consider renting a steam cleaner or hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service to do the job.
  • Air out the bedrooms and living areas. It’s spring! Open the windows and let the fresh air in! While you’re at it, now’s probably a good time to wash the insides of those windows.
  • Clean electronics and cables. TV screens tend to get cleaned a lot more frequently than the parts of our electronics that we can’t see. But spring cleaning is an excellent time to clean behind, underneath, and on top of your electronics. Trust us: nothing gathers dust and cobwebs like a bundle of cables snaking behind an entertainment center.
  • Wipe down doorknobs, cabinet hardware, and light switch panels. It may seem like a small thing, but paying special attention to these areas can really make a room sparkle. The best part? It’s really easy to do, and right at kindergartner eye level!

We hope you found this checklist helpful. But if you find that you need a little more assistance whipping your home into shape for the year, give us a call at  828.505.7320, or get in touch via our contact form today.

Happy Spring from your friends at Green Home Cleaning!

8 Green Cleaning Tips for Cats and Their People

A while back, we published a post on how to stay clean and green with dogs in the house. But we left out our feline friends!

In some ways, it may seem easier to keep a home with cats clean than a home with dogs. Cats, after all, clean themselves! And if they are indoor cats, they're unlikely to track dirt or mud into the house. But cleaning up after cats does present some unique challenges.

Here are eight tips to help cats and their people keep a clean, green home!

  1. Brush Regularly. The biggest vector of uncleanliness in a cat's home is the cat's own coat. Litter boxes may be stinkier, but you can at least confine them to one spot in the house. Stray cat fur, on the other hand, can and will cover every surface in your home. The best way to prevent this is to brush your cats regularly. At least once a week, give them a thorough grooming session.
  2. Keep bedding clean. You'll also want to launder your cats' beds weekly to prevent dirt, hair, and odors from spreading. Be sure to use a non-toxic, pet friendly detergent!
  3. Protect furniture. Cats are not always respectful of our furniture. To reiterate tip #1, it's important to brush regularly to reduce shedding, thus reducing the amount of time you have to spend vacuuming the sofa. It can also be helpful to make sure you have cat-friendly furniture to start with. Choose couches and chairs with tightly woven upholstery fabrics, as these are easier to clean. Place blankets or towels on top of furniture your cat likes to nap on. Then you can just throw the blanket or towel in the wash, and the surface underneath will remain clean. Another challenge in protecting your furniture is to prevent scratching. Wood and upholstery do not stand up well to cat claws over time. In times past, declawing was a common solution to this problem. But these days, it is well documented that even indoor cats need their claws. There are a couple of ways to mitigate scratching damage without resorting to declawing. First, provide a scratching post or mat. And if kitty still insists on scratching the furniture, you can reduce the destruction potential by trimming her claws every two weeks or so.
  4. Pick up stray cat hair with rubber gloves. If you're using a lint roller or hauling out the vacuum every time the sofa or drapes need de-furring, stop! A much easier solution is to use rubber gloves. Cat fur sticks to rubber gloves just as well as it does to the adhesive sheets on your lint roller, plus you can use the gloves for this purpose over and over again, which is good for your pocket book as well as for the planet.
  5. Vacuum, sweep, and dust regularly. This might be a no-brainer, but it's worth mentioning. You might be able to drastically reduce the amount of cat hair flying around your home with frequent brushing and bed laundering, but you're not going to get it all without vacuuming. Plus, vacuuming is the only way to get rid of cat dander, which can't be seen with the naked eye, but CAN affect the air quality in your home. If you have one cat, vacuum at least once per week. If you have multiple cats, you'll probably need to vacuum more often. Maintain a regular dusting schedule, as well, to control the fur and dander situation on tables, shelves, and knick-knacks.
  6. Control the litter situation. The litter box is, hands down, the biggest drawback to cat ownership. But for cat lovers, the snuggles and yarn chases make all the trouble to keep the box clean totally worthwhile. Be vigilant about the litter box and the area around it. A lackadaisical attitude to cleaning them will lead quickly to smelly, unsanitary conditions that could be a health hazard to you and your cats. If you have multiple feline friends, keep one litter box for every two cats. Scoop daily, and replace the litter as soon as you notice that scooping alone does not eliminate the odor. Keep your litter boxes in an area of the house that doesn't receive high human traffic. Some people use a spare bathroom for this purpose. Others put the litter box in the garage or on a covered, screened-in porch. You might also want to put containment walls of some kind around the litter box area to prevent litter tracking. Finally, clean the floor under and around the litter box each time you change the litter.
  7. Keep odors to a minimum. No matter how awesome you are at preventing kitty-related cleaning catastrophes, it's going to happen at some point. Your cat will pee, poop, or puke on something not intended for that purpose. Keep a spray bottle of enzyme-based odor eliminator on hand for these trying times. They are available in pet and environmentally-friendly formulations at your local pet supply store, and they are a life saver. Take, for instance, the time my cat, Cinderella, somehow got herself trapped in my car overnight. The next morning, as I was leaving for work, I was confronted not only with an angry cat, but also with a powerful cat urine odor. In my car! I immediately sprayed the wet area with enzyme spray, and the potency of the odor decreased dramatically. One more application the next morning, and you never would have guessed that my car had been used as a litter box.
  8. Air purification. The previous tips in this post should do the trick to keep the air clean and smelling fresh in your home, but if you have multiple cats, or if you just want to go the extra mile, you might consider purchasing an air purifier. This will not only attack any cat-related odors that might occur, but it will also keep hair and dander to a minimum. Another option is to invest in some air purifying houseplants. Be careful with these, though, as some types are poisonous to cats.

Here's to a healthy, comfortable, green home for you and your beloved furry companions. If you live in the Asheville, NC area, and you need professional, pet-friendly home cleaning services, give Green Home Cleaning a call at 828.505.7320 or use our contact form to get in touch today!