In 2003, Debi Sarandrea and her husband sold their computer business and went on an extended sailing trip to the Exumas Islands in the Bahamas. At the end of the trip, Sarandrea met a woman who owned a franchise of a popular cleaning service who raved about how she found the business so rewarding—the hours supported her family life and she liked being able to help people. It was that day on her trip that Sarandrea planted the seed for Harmony Clean, Inc.
The business description immediately resonated with Debi, but she knew that she could not expose her future employees to harsh chemicals while cleaning houses all day. She saw the warning labels on traditional household cleaning chemicals—they often include respiratory caution and eye irritants, and they are made with petroleum-based ingredients which are nonrenewable resources, she says. Sarandrea says she’s sensitive to such harsh chemicals, so green cleaning products was a safer alternative.
“Using natural products was an easy and obvious choice for us based on our personal values,” says Sarandrea. “No one else was doing it at the time.”
Harmony Clean, Inc. provides non-toxic, earth-friendly house cleaning services to residents in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and its surrounding areas. Sarandrea says that regular house cleaning not only gives your house a great appearance it can also help protect your health, and your investment in your home by removing dirt and germs.
Sarandrea and her sister, Vicki Brown, began to hire employees and taught them the system, the value of green cleaning, and the meaning of sustainability, says Sarandrea. 14 years later, they now have 25 full-time professional cleaners who begin each service with an initial detail clean to remove all levels and layers of dust and dirt. They then return on a regular maintenance schedule—weekly or every other week—to keep homes clean and tidy.
Sarandrea and Brown use a commercial mixer for their multi-purpose cleaner to ensure that proper ratios are maintained and to avoid waste. They also use reusable microfiber cloths, which lift and remove dust, rather than pushing it around, says Sarandrea.
Owners, Sarandrea and Brown, tested and researched many products before settling on their core cleaning chemicals. Some of their criteria include: non-corrosive, environmentally friendly, reusable tools, natural product content, and recyclable container packages.
Sarandrea says that house cleaning is an intimate service, because clients trust her staff in their sacred spaces. She recognizes that they are cleaning people’s personal spaces in their homes. Harmony Clean, Inc. attributes much of its success to client referrals, so they have to keep building that trust as her and her sister’s reputation is on the line, she says.
Harmony Clean, Inc. is special, because they have trained cleaning professionals who care about their client’s happiness and wellbeing, says Sarandrea. It was out of Sarandrea and Brown’s concern for their employee’s health and safety that they chose to use green cleaning products and it followed that it would also benefit clients and the environment.
“Nowadays, most clients choose us for our green values and our customer service pledge,” says Sarandrea. “They want to make a difference in the world we all live in. Our community is very green-minded.”