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business plan

Cleaning up with ‘eco-lovin’ home scrubbin’

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

After dropping out of high school, Midge Lyon worked as a chambermaid for inns in Rockport, her hometown. She eventually went out on her own cleaning houses. At 19, she moved to Salem and got more clients.

Meanwhile, because of health issues, Lyon began looking into different foods and products.

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“I changed my diet and it put me in natural food stores,” Lyon said. “I was reading labels and books and realized that’s what I wanted to do with cleaning.”

Ten years ago, when she was just 22, Lyon founded Green Clean — which she describes on her website as “eco-lovin’ home scrubbin.”

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“People flipped,” Lyon said. “ It was 10 years ago and no one was doing it.”

We talked with Lyon, 32, of Salem.

Q. Cleaning products?

A. Everything is derived from plants, all natural, and no fragrance. One comment I always get is that it smells so clean, but not like anything else.

Q. Other environmental concerns?

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A. We use recyclable vacuum attachments, micro-fiber cleaning cloths, and mops. Water usage is minimal. And, we buy supplies from companies that are like-minded, such as factories that are wind-powered.

Q. Clients?

A. It’s all over the place from bachelor pads to lots of families. My passion is the families who have kids and pets and want to know what products are on their floors. Most people have us every two weeks and some every four weeks.

Q. Cost?

A. We are careful not to give estimates, as each job is different. After an initial cleaning [hourly rate of $45 per cleaner, usually a team of two)], we will set a price for scheduled cleanings.

Q. Employees?

A. It’s a small company. Me, running the company, doing field training, and taking up shifts, and two or three others. We also pay employees above the local average.

Q. Future?

A.Green Clean is ready to grow [it now serves the Greater Salem area and Cape Ann] and is discussing the possibility of taking on a business partner and expanding service. We hope to open a few new locations and hire from within those communities to reduce driving and create green jobs.

WENDY KILLEEN

Wendy Killeen can be reached at wdkilleen@gmail.com.
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