August 30, 2008
Hello, Do you know of any places that do organic/eco-friendly upholstery furniture cleaning in New York city?
I personally have hardwood floors and garage-sale furniture so I haven’t really been in the market for furniture cleaners (though I’m looking forward to a point where I am). However, here are some places that advertise as using environmentally friendly non-toxic products.
Since the term environmentally friendly is bandied about a lot, you can ask them about what types of products they use. Key points (from the Big Green Apple Guide) are
– Non-toxic: By federal law, products cannot be marketed as non-toxic unless they meet certain standards.
– Plant-based: Choose companies that use plant-based products over petroleum-based detergents.
– Avoid VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds are often found in cleaning products as solvents or scents. These will evaporate (hence the term “volatile”) in your home and remain in the air you breathe. Most are not very harmful, but some are and it’s best to avoid them.
– Biodegradable: Biodegradable products will break down into naturally occuring compounds when rinsed down the drain and sent into the nearest waterbody.
– Avoid Phosphates: These compounds are natural fertilizers and when added to wastewater, cause algea to grow, which decreases oxygen levels and kills fish (eutrophication).
So call them up and ask them what types of detergents and cleaners they use. You may not be able to find one that meets all these criteria, but the more the better. I actually called a few of these places myself. It being Saturday, I was not able to get an answer, but they were very willing to discuss it. They advertise as being environmentally friendly so they should be able to back up this claim. They are also going to be using these products in your home so you have a right to know what’s in them and where they came from.
Steven Lenard GreenHomeNYC