Casa Latina recently teamed up with King County, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (Ecoss) and the University of Washington to offer its domestic workers a class on green cleaning.
The Cleaning with Caution series taught members of the newly formed Domestic Workers Program how to clean safely with a special focus on environmentally friendly cleaning methods.
Workers were instructed how to effectively use more traditional, non-toxic items such as vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice to clean houses.
The program also covered proper use of common household chemicals and cleaners. Instructors helped domestic workers learn to identify potentially dangerous products and to use them safely by not mixing certain products together, and properly diluting others as needed.
Because many of Casa Latina's domestic workers are native Spanish speakers, they may be more likely to misinterpret the labels on cleaning supplies in English-speaking households, putting them at risk of injury.
Araceli Hernandez, program director for Casa Latina, explained that the class focused on educating the workers about the health and safety risks that some common cleaning products pose. Hernandez said she hopes through the program they can educate employers about those risks as well and promote green cleaning methods in the process.
"We want to provide information about the risks of chemicals to domestic workers but also to educate employers about products that are safer for their own homes and families."
Those who completed the class received their own green cleaning products and green clean certification cards to show employers proof of their specialized training.
Team green domestic workers can be hired through Casa Latina at a rate of $15 an hour. The green clean certified workers are able to provide their own safe cleaning supplies or use those provided by employers.