Christmas is the season of giving, and we want to give you a chance to win one of three fantastic prizes! For twelve days, from December 7th to December 18th, 2015, you can enter one of our three Christmas contests. All winners, in addition to the fabulous prizes listed below, will also receive a Christmas E book, filled with tips and tricks to keep your house spotless this holiday season.
Contest #1: “Oh Christmas Tree”
Think your Christmas tree is better than the Griswold’s? Did you spend hours hand-picking each ornament, or are you more a “throw the tinsel at the tree and hope for the best” kind of family? Post a picture of your decorated tree on our Facebook page, and let the masses decide if yours is the best they’ve ever seen.
What You Can Win: The 2 trees with the most votes will win a $25 gift card of their choice! Yes, you read that right: a gift card of your choice. That means that you choose the store!
Contest #2: “The Truth About Santa Claus”
There comes a time in every child’s life when they find out that the jolly, bearded man in a red suit who brings them presents is just a fairy-tale. How did you find out? Write us a short story, no more than a few paragraphs, about how you found out the truth about Santa Claus. Whether it’s a funny story, or a story that tugs on the heart strings, we want to hear it!
What You Can Win: The two stories with the most votes win a $100 Gift Card from Canada’s Cleaning Crew!
The Fine Print: In order to redeem the $100 gift card, the winner must purchase a 3 month contract of biweekly cleaning services from Canada’s Cleaning Crew.
Contest #3: “Reindeer Friends”
Rudolph may not have had any reindeer friends, but we bet you have lots of friends! And we also bet that your friends would appreciate less time spent cleaning, and more time spent with their family. Pick 3 (or 6, or 9!) friends, and tell them that we are the solution to their holiday time woes.
What You Can Win: For every 3 people you refer, you will receive 1 entry into a draw for a $500 Prepaid Visa or MasterCard! And as an additional thank you, your friends will receive $25 off of their services. It’s a win/win!
The Fine Print: To be eligible for an entry into the draw, 3 new clients must sign up for 3 months of biweekly cleaning services. For every 3 new clients you refer, you will receive 1 entry into the draw. There will be 2 winners of a $500 prepaid Visa or MasterCard.
Winners of all three contests will be announced at 8pm on December 18th – just in time for Christmas
In our previous blog, we learned just how harmful bleach can be. But bleach isn’t the only harmful thing lurking under your kitchen sink. Many of the ingredients in common chemical cleaners are toxic, and can have harmful health effects. According to the EPA, 50% of all illness can be traced to indoor pollution, and household cleaners are a huge contributor to indoor pollution! You may already know that some cleaners can cause asthma, or skin irritations, but here are some of the other way that the chemicals in household cleaner can affect your health:
Carcinogens are things that cause cancer. Often these carcinogenic chemicals interfere with hormones and promote the rapid cell growth that can lead to tumours, and cancer. However, it isn’t just the heavy-hitting disinfectants that contain carcinogens: coal tar dyes are found in many cleaners.
Yes, you read that right: coal tar!
The dyes contain trace amounts of heavy metals (think arsenic and lead!), which are very easily absorbed through the skin. The worst part? The dyes are completely necessary for the product to work!
2. Hormone Disruptors and Weight Gain
Your body uses hormones as chemical messengers. Some chemicals found in cleaners interfere with these messengers: they may block the hormone entirely, or even mimic it.
This can lead to big problems in the reproductive system: decreased sperm count, birth defects, and hormonal imbalances.
But these hormone disrupting chemicals can also have another effect: weight gain. Your metabolism is regulated by hormonal messengers the same way the rest of your body is. These chemicals can get in the way of your healthy metabolism, and cause you to pack on the pounds.
And it isn’t just your metabolism that these nasty chemicals can affect: they can also cause your body to
PHYSICALLY STORE MORE FAT.
That’s right. If toxins get into your body (through your skin or lungs, for example), and they can’t be properly disposed of, your body surround them with a layer of fat cells to keep the toxin away from vital organs. Imagine all the molecules of toxins in each spray of aerosol cleaner! No wonder we have trouble keeping the weight off.
3. Organ Damage and Illness
Some chemicals found in household cleaners can affect:
- lymphoid system
Almost every vital organ can be negatively affected by the same chemicals you THINK are keeping you healthy and germ-free. Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, headaches, and breathing problems are just indicators of much bigger problems.
Why take such a risk with your health when there are safer alternatives available? That’s why Canada’s Cleaning Crew uses natural cleaners: your health is important to us!
Community Success Story: Brittany MacKay
Business is about more than just providing a product or service.
It’s about being part of the community.
But being part of the community is about more than an address. It’s about giving back – because without the people of your community, you’d have no employees, and you’d make no money.
Giving back isn’t just about making monetary contributions to local charities, although that’s great too. At Canada’s Cleaning Crew, we tend to think of giving back as reaching out to your neighbours, offering a helping hand to someone who just needs a little boost to get where they want to go.
That’s why we often work with the March of Dimes Canada to employee people with disabilities. A disability shouldn’t determine someone’s worth, or influence the kinds of opportunities they receive. We truly believe in the March of Dimes Mandate:
To maximize the independence, personal empowerment and community participation of people with disabilities.
It isn’t about handouts, or pity. It’s about empowerment, and recognizing that someone has more to offer than their disability. That’s why we hired Brittany MacKay from the March of Dimes. She has an invisible disability, and though she dreamed of becoming a manager, she had a tough time taking the first step on the corporate ladder. We could see her potential, and knew she’d make a great fit. And she was a great fit: she quickly became a vital part of the team. She was hard working, dedicated, and positive.
We trained and taught her, but she taught us too.
After some time with us, she had enough experience under her belt to confidently apply to management positions.
She is now a proud manager at Starbucks!
“I am so forever grateful for Canada’s Cleaning Crew who gave me this job opportunity to help me to grow in my skills and now I am a store manager at Starbucks- without Canada’s Cleaning Crew’s help then I wouldn’t be the store manager at Starbucks- thank you so much for this amazing opportunity!”
– Brittany MacKay
Although we miss her, we are so glad she’s happily reaching for the stars.
Getting a pair of new shoes for Christmas is always fun: shaking the suspiciously sized box, tearing off the wrapping paper, excitedly opening the lid of the box, and squealing with joy as you uncover the tissue paper and see your new heels/boots/runners/flats.
But, what if instead of shoes, there were school supplies, personal hygiene items, and toys inside the shoebox?
Maybe for us here in Canada, that doesn’t sound too exciting. But for children in impoverished countries around the world, those things would be far more exciting than the latest black patent pump. That’s exactly why we here at Canada’s Cleaning Crew participate in the Samaritan’s Purse “Christmas Shoebox” program.
The program started in 1990, and has collected and distributed over 100 million shoeboxes filled with items for needy children around the world since then. In this program, there is no discrimination based on race, gender, or religion: every child is equal, and every child deserves a little help at Christmas. These boxes provide more than just basic necessities: they are a reminder to children living through famine, disease, poverty, and disaster that they matter, that they are LOVED.
And isn’t love the greatest gift of all?
We fill up our shoeboxes here in Canada, and drop them off at a collection center. Then every shoebox makes its way to a child who needs it, by plane, train, automobile – or even camel or canoe! We like to think of every shoebox like a little bright spot travelling across the world. Knowing that somewhere in the wide world, a child will open our box and be filled with joy – that is a priceless feeling.
“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE” – ACTS 20:35
Part of our mission statement includes giving back to the community. A lot of the time, that means our local community here in Ottawa. But we feel that Christmas is the perfect time to think a little… outside the box.
If you’d like to participate, you can take your shoeboxes to a local drop off location during National Collection Week – November 16 – 22, 2015. Find out more information here.
Thursday Cleaning Tips: How to clean shower drains!
Your Shoes are More Gross than Your Toilet!
You might have grown up with parents who made you take off your shoes before you came in the house. As a kid, it was the biggest pain in the butt – you just wanted to grab a Popsicle from the kitchen, it would only take two seconds. But your parents may have been onto something. As it turns out, shoes are pretty disgusting!
In a study conducted by the University of Arizona, the bottoms of shoes were sampled after normal wear. 96% of the shoes tested in the study contained large amounts of coliform bacteria!! That’s the bacteria that comes from POOP. Here’s just some of the bacteria types they found:
- E.Coli: can cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- C. difficile: a bacterium that causes colon inflammation – it is resistant to antibiotics!
- K. pneumoniae: as you might guess, can cause pneumonia and bronchitis.
- S. ficaria: can lead to respiratory tract infections.
None of those bugs sound very nice. And guess what?
They don’t stay on the floor – 90% of those bacteria are transferred to other surfaces in your house!
To put it in perspective: a toilet seat tends to have about 1000 “units” of bacteria – the bottoms of your shoes could have up to 400,000! That’s 400,000 units of disgusting, illness-causing bacteria hat could be transferred throughout your nice clean house.
Think of all the places your shoes have been: public restrooms, sidewalks, coffee shops… there are so many opportunities for bacteria to sneak a ride on the bottoms of your kicks. And the more you walk, the more debris you pick up to feed those hungry microbes, so they continue to thrive. Not to mention all the DIRT. Tracking in dirt can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your floors as the particles are ground into the pores, especially tile and hardwood.
So before you traipse through your house, un-lace those sneakers!
Tuesday Cleaning tips: How to clean kids arts off walls.
No one likes the thought of bad bacteria lurking on the surfaces of their home. And for as long as we can remember, bleach has been the go-to disinfectant and cleaner.
But, let’s be honest here: who likes the harsh, chemical smell of bleach? There’s a reason they don’t sell it as perfume! Not to mention all the nasty potential hazards that come along with using it. Here are just a few of the yucky properties of bleach:
- Mixing bleach with ammonia (a very common ingredient in other household cleaner) creates a TOXIC gas that can cause coughing, nausea, chest pain, and fluid in the lungs.
- Chlorine bleach contains volatile organic compounds, which according to the American Lung Association, “contribute to chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions and headaches”.
- There is evidence that exposure to bleach can trigger an attack in people who have asthma. In fact, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, named bleach an “asthmagen”, which means it can also cause asthma.
- Bleach is corrosive: stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, marble, and granite can all be damaged by bleach. (And we don’t know about you, but we have a lot of those substances in our house!)
- It can stain both skin and clothing or other fabric.
What if we told you that there is a natural alternative that is just as effective as bleach, without all the nasty smells and side effects? Don’t look so shocked, it’s true!
This miracle cleaner is none other than tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of several species in the “myrtle” family. It has long been used throughout history for a variety of purposes: to treat health conditions, acne, dandruff, and as an anti-microbial agent. In Australia, aboriginals used tea tree as an antiseptic to treat skin conditions: they would crush the leaves into a paste and apply it directly to lesions and wounds. So clearly it gets the job done!
And there no need to go to a specialty store to purchase it: you can buy tea tree oil at your local drugstore, grocery store, health food store, and even Costco! Simply dilute it with some water, throw the solution into a spray bottle and you’re good to go – a little goes a long way with this stuff.
Homemade tea tree oil cleaner is cost effective, and has fewer harmful side effects. So get rid of that bleach lurking under your sink! It’s a no brainer.
Canada’s Cleaning Crew only uses tea tree oil cleaners – no nasty bleach!
Why is it that after you go to the hairdressers, your hair is perfectly coiffed and shiny as can be, not a flyaway in sight – but the next day, when you try to style it, it turns into a frizzy mess?
Because hair dressers are professionals!
They know the little tips and tricks to get your hair to cooperate. They’ve done it a million times, and learned the methods that work the best. If you knew what they knew, maybe you could get your locks to look as bouncy as Kate Middleton’s blow-out!
It’s the same idea with cleaning. When we clean your house, we use all the tricks up our sleeve to get your house spotless. We know a few secrets to getting things deep-down clean that we’ve learned over many years. And we might be persuaded to share those secrets with you!
If you sign up with your email, you’ll receive a handy dandy e-book with 5 of those secrets to getting your bathroom – arguably one of the hardest rooms in the house to really keep clean – fresh and fabulous! The e-book has all the info you need to get your sink, toilet, counter top and floors sparkling.
And no need to use harsh, smelly chemicals! We give you homemade cleaning recipes that work just as well – or better – than what you’re used to keeping under your sink. Not only are these homemade cleaners better for your lungs and skin, they are much cheaper! And unlike your Great Aunt Mildred, we are willing to part with our recipes.
In the cleaning industry, there is no binding oath to prevent us from spilling our secrets. So consider this our gift to you! Once you use the tips in our e-book, your bathroom will no longer be the germ-y, mildew-y disaster it’s been until now.
Click here to download our ebook.
Thursday Cleaning Tips: How to clean gas stove top grates!
We are a crew that cleans like it’s our job… because it is!
But we are more than that: we are part of our community’s heart. (Cheesy or not, it’s true!)
We started this business to provide a service – cleaning – but we provide so much more than that. We provide jobs, we provide opportunities to lift people up to their full potential. Many of the wonderful people who have worked with us in the past have gone on to managerial positions elsewhere, or started their own businesses. And we think that’s fantastic! We have high standards and expectations of our crew, and we give good, hard-working people a shot to meet and exceed those expectations.
Business isn’t just about making money (although that’s nice too!) – it’s about contributing, giving back, and being part of something.
Part of that “something” is helping YOU! Our crew is trained in top notch techniques to get things done the right way, the professional way. You have enough responsibility in your life! Between career, family, and hobbies, there are hardly enough hours in a day. Whatever precious spare time you have left shouldn’t be spent cleaning. Life is too short!
But, if you insist on doing some of the cleaning, check out the rest of our blog! We give you easy tips on how to clean smart, so you can save time (and elbow grease!). Our tips come right from our policies: we always practice what we preach. There is a reason we do things the way we do, and we want to share that information with you! And, while you’re at it, sign up for our mailing list to get a free e-book chalk full of bathroom cleaning tips: get your tiles gleaming and your floors sparkling without using any crazy chemicals. Yes, it is possible!
So, check out the rest of our blog, grab our fabulous e-book, and drop us a line when you’re ready to stop wasting time cleaning!