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2 March 2015

AspenClean Awarded Canada Product of the Year 2015

For Release: March 2nd 2015 (Vancouver BC) AspenClean is pleased to receive the award of the 2015 Product of the Year Canada™. The AspenClean All-Purpose Set was voted winner in the “Natural Cleaning Products” category. Product of the Year™ is the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. It is a distinguished award voted by consumers and is recognized around the world.

AspenClean has been providing eco-friendly house cleaning services for over a decade and introduced their full line of AspenClean products in 2009. AspenClean has the only Eco-Cert certified cleaning products in Canada, are 100% natural, use organic essential oils and are vegan-friendly.

“According to our research, innovation is an important factor for Canadians in choosing products,” said Jennifer Litterick, Group Publisher, Marketing and Retail Group at Rogers Media. AspenClean has aspired to provide environmentally conscious services and products, giving consumers who are eager for a greener and healthy world options they will be pleased with. The All-Purpose Set delivers a superior clean while being safe to use and eco-conscious. The All-Purpose cleaner is made with Organic Grapefruit and Lavender oils and keeps your home clean with the added benefit of aromatherapy.  The reusable microfiber cloth is more effective than disposable alternatives and less harsh on the environment. The remarkable power of the SuperScrub is made with Organic Tea Tree and Lavender oils to tackle those tough cleans.

“Our focus has always been centered around customer satisfaction, from our home cleaning services to each of our products,” says Alicia Sokolowski, President & Co-CEO of AspenClean. “This award means so much to us and it’s humbling that our clients are so happy with our product.”

AspenClean, among the other award recipients will be recognized at The 2015 Product of the Year Awards Ceremony on Tuesday March 24th 2015 in Toronto, ON. The editors of Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Canadian Grocer and Marketing Magazine will be in attendance.

Media Contact:
Desiree Armstrong
604-925-9900 Ext. 228 

23 February 2015

Calgary Home Show 2015

Come visit us at Booth #2148 this weekend (February 26th – March 1st) at the Calgary Home and Garden Show, where we are giving away hundreds of dollars in AspenClean prizes. Visit to save on event tickets.

To enter our grand prize competition simply tweet:
Visit @AspenClean #2148 @HomeShowsA#ACCleanHome

Show us your tweet at booth #2148 to collect your free AspenClean prize bag.  You will also be automatically entered to win a free house or carpet cleaning (valued at $500) and a whole house cleaning kit (valued at $70).

You can also enter to win without using twitter by visiting us at the booth and completing an entry ballot. While you are there, complete a video survey and take home a AspenClean Product Starter Kit (valued at $30). Plus, don't miss the chance to purchase our products at low Home Show prices. 

We’re also looking for reviews of our 100% natural cleaning products. To post a review visit our Facebook page at The most imaginative one will win a choice of a home or carpet cleaning (valued at up to $300). Feel free to post feedback, photos or videos of your experiences with our products. As an added bonus, everyone who posts a review can stop by our booth at the show to receive a free set of AspenClean all-purpose cleaning products.

See you at the Home Show!

17 February 2015

How About Some Kindness?

I want to share a story that I heard over the Valentine’s Day weekend.

A friend of a friend of mine had taken it upon themselves to spend a lengthy time wandering through a local bookstore (I won’t name any names, but it’s found between blue and violet on a rainbow). While wandering the shelves upon shelves of bestsellers, the person slipped small pieces of printed paper with inspiring quotes, poetry and the like. The theory is that while likely no one would find anything that day, somewhere down the line, in the future one of those pieces of paper would find its destined owner, and give them a little boost in their day.

It isn’t a new idea, but the intention is great. I love the idea of putting forward some good in the world. I think what I loved about the most was the fact that it was going out to strangers. This friend of a friend was unlikely to know anyone who would receive these little greetings. There was an astronomically small chance of them ever seeing the people’s reactions or the ripples that might come from it. That person was content in simply having dropped a little bit of happiness out there.

Here’s another example of some cool generosity: YouTube personality Philip DeFranco had taken to occasionally putting a decent sum money onto a Starbucks giftcard and posting the barcode to his social media, welcoming his audience to have a cup of coffee on him. But at the same time, he put an invitation out to viewers who maybe had some money to spare that day, to add funds to the card so that even more members of the “DeFranco Nation” could have a treat that day. 

While DeFranco could (and likely did) see some of the results of his act via social media, the other anonymous donors wouldn't have. They were content in knowing that out there someone was having a better day because of them.

Now, I would like to think that we’re all kind and generous to our loved ones in our daily lives.  If you’re not, then I highly recommend it. So why are people seemingly less interested in providing acts of kindness to those they don’t know? Okay, the answer to that question is likely a lengthy psychology essay that I’m not nearly qualified enough to write. Let me rephrase then: How about we start providing random acts of kindness to strangers?

It doesn’t have to be as intricate as hiding dozens of secret messages through a store. It can be as simple as holding a door open or just greeting people with a smile. If anything, it’s little things like that that start adding up quickly. Before you know it, someone’s bad day can turn good. Maybe it is a bit of wishful sentimentality leftover from Valentine’s Day, but when you think about if each of us made the effort to do one more kind thing each day, that’s a lot of extra positivity floating around out there. Then maybe that one thing turns into two or three. Who knows?

It can’t hurt to give it a try.

12 January 2015

A Clean Start in the New Year

It’s a brand new year and for most of us that means fresh starts! Whether or not it’s because of a new year’s resolution, many find the first step to that clean slate is a clean home. So we’ve compiled some tips to help you get 2015 started on the right foot!

Safety first! You always want to make sure things like smoke detectors, alarms, emergency lights and other safety equipment are fresh and ready to go should you need them. If something needs batteries, make sure you’re starting the new year with brand new ones. Also make sure to properly recycle the old batteries you replace.

Do you use the classic odour absorbing solution of keeping a box of baking soda in your fridge and freezer? If you want to keep things smelling fresh, you need to change over to a fresh box seasonally. If you haven’t switched things over for winter yet, take this chance to do it now. While you’re at it, why not give the whole fridge a cleaning?

Over time, your stove top kettles can start collecting mineral deposits. To remove these deposits, simply boil equal parts white vinegar and water inside kettle. Remove the kettle from the heat and let it sit for several hours. After that, rinse the inside and hand wash the outside with a gentle sponge. Remember to let your tap water run for a few moments before adding it to the pot.

To help keep yourself supported and extend the life of your mattress, it’s important to both rotate and (unless it’s a pillow-top) flip it over regularly. If it stays in one place for too long, especially if you tend to sleep in one spot, the mattress starts settling and leaves you lacking in proper support when you sleep. This also helps even out the regular wear and tear. It’s also not a bad idea to vacuum the top of your mattress before rotating and flipping it.

Chandeliers and other high up light fixtures often get missed in regular house cleaning. After all, it can be a difficult and awkward chore to get at them. Because of this, they will often accumulate a lot of dust and debris which can affect the quality of your light as well as the quality of your air. Make it a point to take things down, wash your chandeliers and light covers, and even wipe down the bulbs themselves. This is definitely a job that our All-Purpose or Glass Cleaners could help with.

Speaking of dust and debris, one of the big culprits in your home is often the air filters in your furnace, heaters or other ventilation systems. With the winter months in full swing, your heater is working more constantly and can stir up those particles into the air. Less clean air, more mess to deal with. It’s a simple task anyone can do in the sink or in the yard with a garden hose. Just rinse out the filter and let it dry. Similarly, your dryer’s filter can get quite cluttered as well and reduce its efficiency.

A great way to start the year is by freshly organizing spaces like your drawers, cupboards and pantries. Over the course of the year these spots get notoriously cluttered up. Spend some time to make sure everything is in its proper place and that unneeded junk is removed. If you have a utility room, you may even want to do the same there.

And of course, if you’re in our area, you can always start off 2015 with a top-to-bottom home cleaning from us here at AspenClean. You can book your appointment online now!

18 December 2014

5 Holiday Messes You Know Are Coming & What To Do About It

This cheery time of year means get togethers with family, friends and colleagues, baked goods, wrapping presents and a constant train of holiday feasts. If you have pets or children, the mess is only just beginning there and you'll likely spend more time cleaning up than you will preparing or enjoying the season with loved ones.

Thankfully there's AspenClean to help keep things tidy ahead of guests arriving. Before the season catches you off guard, get prepared; make a plan and book your AspenClean cleaning session before time runs out. You should spend Boxing Day the way you really want, with family, preferably avoiding the long lines at the mall.

Preparation begins with acceptance. These messes will happen, they are inevitable, especially if you're festive, because nothing makes a mess at Christmastime like enthusiastic decorating and baking. These mishaps happen to all of us, so plan for the following:

Baking Messes

Gingerbread, shortbread, mince meat tarts, rocky road and maple fudge. Quiches, fresh rolls, pie and icing everywhere on everything. Did we miss anything? The Christmas Pudding? Fruit Cake? It's an endless list of wonderful smells that will make your kitchen the most crowded and messy place in your home for weeks to come, long before the turkey goes in the oven. If you have children rolling cookie dough and decorating gingerbread houses, you're looking at even more fun as your kitchen counter turns into an art studio with melted sugar as the paint. Cleaning up with water? Don't forget, water and flour make sticky glue which takes twice as long to clean as anything else. Watch those socks or shoes for cookie dough!  

Wrapping Messes

It's the season of giving, not receiving, but whoever says that is forgetting the time it takes to do all that giving. Even if you were smart and shopped online, the wrapping job in front of you is daunting, and it leaves behind a horrific mess. Beware the household pet who stumbles upon your wrapping station on the bed before you've cleaned up, because you might just have a furry fury on your hands. The leftover scraps of wrapping paper can be recycled or reused, but who has the time? While you wait to decide how to dispose of the mess, it migrates throughout the house. Then, on Christmas morning it becomes a hopeless cyclone of chaos that threatens to consume everything! And what about the environment or those poor trees? And do you have tape on your socks, sleeves and pants yet? You will... You will.

Spilled Beverages

Get through this holiday season without a single spill and you might be deserving of a trophy, or at least a winning lottery ticket, because that is some fine luck. Now we all know there's no point in crying over spilled milk, but spilled egg nog on your new sofa is another matter. That sticky mess won't be going anywhere quickly, and even if you get most of it the smell will stick around longer than peppermint or ginger, trust us on that. We know from experience. You're going to spill wine, you're going to spill coffee, hot chocolate, brandy or scotch. When you do, will you be prepared? There's the physical prep with good cleaning supplies. And then there's the emotional prep, which means not letting it ruin your day, even when that tipsy relative or reckless child threatens your sanity. 

Outdoors Invasion

We avoid the snow in Vancouver, but not the elements. The rain and mud make pets your biggest enemy here, as well as the shoes of house guests who seem to forget you have carpets or that it's raining outside. Christmas trees and pine cones are just the beginning of the decorative mess and you're probably forgetting the firewood if you own a fireplace. That bark and sap get everywhere, no ifs, ands or buts about it. A Christmas party is a lot of fun, but it brings with it a flurry of outdoor mud and mess. Pets will shed just as fast as the needles on the tree, and even if you're going artificial (surprisingly less environmentally friendly), you can still look forward to plastic needles and fake snow everywhere. 

Turkey Dinner

Two words will likely consume your entire dinner cleanup: Christmas Crackers. Yes, the useless toys, ripped paper hats and the containers they come in will be discovered in the deepest corners of your home for weeks to come. But they are fun aren't they? Plus, it's tradition! Actually, turkey dinner comes with a number of pitfalls. The gravy stains on the table cloth, the mashed potatoes in the rug, the roasting pan and the rest of the dishes. If you're using fine china you can't even use the dishwasher on the day you need it most of all. How's that for cruel irony?

Are you on the floor in a corner hiding with your head between your legs yet? Don't worry, we're here to help. There are solutions to these problems. You know there are because every year you find a way to get it done. The problem is it usually comes at the expense of your own sanity and you spend far too much time trying to avoid the mess in the effort to keep it minimal.

So what's our solution? To quote one popular Disney song, just 'Let It Go!' Have a blast, make a mess and rely on AspenClean to keep your home clean this season. Don't know what you want for Christmas? Leave a hint or two for your loved ones and ask for cleaning from your family this season, or give the gift to each other and cut back the overall gift budget. You'll enjoy the holidays more because you're spending them the way you should, with family, relaxing in front of the tree, nestled away from the elements.

Need more help? Consider AspenClean products for environmentally friendly cleaning you can do yourself. Compile a schedule of cleaning tasks and the days they are to be done. Assign them to family members in advance and save yourself the need to nag. Use recycled wrapping paper if you're concerned about the environment and get your presents wrapped for charity if you are concerned about time. Use a second hand table cloth, consider a live tree to avoid shedding and make sure you have a dedicated spot for shoes and jackets when guests arrive. You can have fun with holiday coasters to avoid rings from drinks and create wrapping and decorating stations for things like Gingerbread Houses. 

Good luck this holiday season and have a happy new year, no matter how you like to ring it in. We're ready to help you keep things mess free, so don't forget to give the gift of time this holiday season, even if it's to yourself.

12 December 2014

The Gift of Time

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” ― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

You may have heard us use the phrase “Give the gift of time” on a number of occasions, either here on our website or on our social media, usually in regards to our gift certificates. But what does time really mean to us, especially with the holiday season now upon us?

Regardless of what specific holiday you may celebrate and of your reason for celebrating it, be it faith or what have you, for nearly every single one of us the holiday season is about spending time with our families, friends and loved ones.

Sometimes the holidays are the only time we get to see some of those loved ones. They may live far away or everyone’s schedules may simply be too crazy. So many of us get so busy living our lives and following our paths, wherever they make take us, that we end up sacrificing the ability to spend time with others. As they say: Life happens.

That’s what makes finding or making the time to reconnect to those loved ones so important. And not just making the time, but making the most of it. Quality over quantity.

But this isn’t something that only happens around the holidays. All through the year, people struggle to find the time to spend with the important people in their lives, even in their own homes. How many would give anything to have even a few extra minutes, let alone an hour, to spend playing with their children? True quality time. No outside distractions like cooking or cleaning. What about spouses? Siblings? Friends? The same could undoubtedly be said for any of them.

On the other side of the coin, many of us have difficulties taking time for ourselves. Jobs, school, taking care of our homes, family responsibilities, they pile up on us quickly. It is important for all of us to take a little “me time”. For some, it’s enjoying a hobby. For some, it’s exercise. For others, it’s some nice, quiet rest. This helps us let go of some of our stress and tension and helps keep us healthy.

Recently AspenClean gave the gift of time to Theresa Albert, a Nutritionist and Lifestyle Blogger in Toronto. Here what she had to say about AspenClean's amazing products and bringing the service to Toronto. As Theresa points out, the benefit of a cleaner that uses natural products isn't just time, it's peace of mind. This season, why not do what you can to give yourself or others the gift of time, and peace of mind."

Time is a precious commodity in life and it is up to us to use it wisely. Do what you can to give yourself or others the gift of time.

“Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life. ” ― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

(If you would like to read Theresa Albert's full Huffington post article, you can find it right here.)

21 November 2014

The Importance of Employment Ethics and Service Values

AspenClean team members pose for a family photograph...
AspenClean makes environmentally friendly, chemical-free, and vegan-friendly cleaning supplies, but we are also a premiere cleaning service with locations in Vancouver, Calgary, and now Toronto. Cleaning a client's home is a huge responsibility, and is one that we take seriously. Our clients trust us in their personal space with their pets and their most prized possessions, which is why customer service is so essential at AspenClean. But as crucial as proper service is, there's also no understating the importance of effective hiring and maintaining a stable workplace.

Recently, several companies have been in the news for class action suits alleging abuse of employees and violations of labour laws. In the interest of transparency, AspenClean competes directly with at least one company facing lawsuits and labour law violations, and we regularly compete with other companies that use contractors instead of registered employees. That being said, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at this issue and how it has become an increasingly common problem in the United States and here in Canada.

The Growing Problem

Imagine you are a young, doe-eyed high school or college graduate, looking for a career. You go out into the world looking for work and find the job market is a bit different than the one your parents faced. Many employers want you to work for an unpaid internship without the guarantee of employment, while others can only offer you part time work. Meanwhile, the full time positions you do find are so competitive that you end up feeling as if you need to have an inside connection just to get an interview.

Even if you do find a position with enough hours, starting wages are lower than ever when you adjust for inflation. This makes it difficult to pay the regular monthly bills, and says nothing to the difficulties surrounding things like student loans or car loans.

On the employer side, it's not any easier. Small employers face increasing competition from other startups and large corporations undercutting the market. Web services like Groupon help companies get noticed, but they also undercut the market further, forcing companies to offer lower and lower prices to stay competitive. The result is customers who expect lower prices and employers with unreliable and unsustainable profit margins. Many companies, big and small, pass on the strain to the employee. The result is a labour force that is less reliable, under-trained and, most importantly, uninterested in advancement.

The race to stay competitive is never ending...
Recently, the problem has gotten worse with many startups turning to contractors to save money. Contractors remain an important part of doing business, but a number of companies are using loopholes in the law to replace full time employees. Some of the lawsuits south of the border have occurred as a result of hiring contractors at lower and lower wages, with some employers even finding ways to circumvent minimum wage laws. They've been able to attract these temporary workers because of an increasingly desperate pool of applicants

This situation presents an ethical dilemma and highlights a larger concern about the value we place on work in service industries. From an employee's perspective, it ensures insufficient training and breeds an environment of carelessness.

But how does this practice of contractors affect you, the customer?

See another cleaning service make the case for full time, properly paid employees.

The Poor Results

If you are in the market for a home cleaning service like we offer at AspenClean, you will find a lot of options if you're in Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto. Some will start as low as $50 for a cleaning, with other services costing much more.

But what are you actually getting for that service? The old adage of 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is' can serve you well in this instance. If you find yourself saving money on a low cost service, chances are a corner was cut somewhere.

For instance, a local competitor might provide a competent contract cleaner for 2 hours at a lower cost, but that contractor isn't being paid a livable wage and they might not be insured. They may not have been formally trained by the company because the budget can't afford the expense.

That allows the possibility of cutting corners, missing important details, and it means mistakes that could lead to damage to your home. It might necessitate greater flexibility in your schedule to accommodate uncertain booking times, and it might even result in the cleaner cancelling at the last minute. Even in the best case scenario, hiring a contractor is rolling the dice.

The AspenClean Difference

In contrast with these examples, AspenClean employees are full time employees with various benefits, including anniversary and quarterly bonuses, work rideshares, yoga classes, parties, and performance bonuses paid out for wowing clients.

Our staff are hired carefully for their personalities, interests, and skills, and are fully insured. They also go through 1-2 weeks of training to focus their cleaning in the places that matter most to our clients. They use non-toxic chemicals and have transportation needs taken care of when on the job. AspenClean vehicles are equipped with GPS to make sure employees always arrive promptly, and we schedule each job with ample time for travel between locations.

AspenClean team members, owners and families volunteer to clean up a beach...
To us, our employees are our most important asset, and they represent the brand of AspenClean each and every day. We believe in providing opportunities for continuing education and advancement, and many of our employees have been with the company, happily, for 5 or more years as a result.

We believe in rewarding good results, which encourages our employees to do their best work in each cleaning. If that wasn't enough, AspenClean cleaners work in teams of three to ensure a FULL home cleaning in just a couple of hours in most cases.  Our teams bring 10 years of experience and we clean over 100 homes daily with some of the best cleaning products on the market. Our customers notice the difference that a satisfied employee can make.

Our employees are a part of our family, and they feel important and valued, which in turn makes them more reliable and better at what they do. It's important to note that AspenClean is a premium service. Our prices are higher than some of our competitors, but we are also less expensive than other services and offer a reliable, green and detailed service with discounts for regular cleanings. Comparatively, our clients know AspenClean will deliver and they feel safe trusting us in their homes every week.

Interested in joining the AspenClean team? Apply here.

The Choice We Make

AspenClean has been committed to livable wages and opportunities for our employees since we began offering service in Vancouver in 2004. That does mean that our services are a little bit higher than some low cost alternatives, but the value of AspenClean's service and the results remain self-evident. If you are looking for home cleaning service that is reliable, ethical, and offers a level of detail the competition does not, book your next cleaning with us.

AspenClean team members participate in Yoga Exercises...
Beyond our own industry, we believe that employers have a responsibility set a more positive trend for hiring employees. Without ethical hiring practices, we risk a slippery slope that undervalues work in other industries, one that could have dire effects on our economy. We would like to encourage all our partners and competitors to place more value in their teams. The result is better service, better reviews, and a better bottom line in the long run. It is up to us to set the standard and raise the bar for service and results, which is what AspenClean is all about.
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