Granny's recipes help cleaning woes
Grandma's traditional cleaning methods are being put to commercial use by an eco-friendly Oakura couple.
Irishman and former horse trainer Marcus Holliday and his New Zealand wife, Trina, moved to Oakura in November last year to start a 100 per cent chemical- free cleaning company, FF Eco Cleaning Services.
Mr Holliday said FF stands for Family Friendly because that was the main value underlying their cleaning service.
The pair tackle dirty homes with homemade cleaning concoctions using such ingredients as baking soda, vinegar, lavender oil and eucalyptus oil.
Some recipes were picked up off the internet, others from Mr Holliday's grandmother.
"I talk to my nan now so she can give us advice. I think every day we look into it we're finding different things," Mr Holliday said.
Eliminating toxic ingredients from cleaning products reduced such health conditions as asthma and skin allergies, especially for the young and old, he said.
Cleaning was in Mr Holliday's blood, with his grandma formerly working in a London cleaning company.
He also worked in the horse racing industry for 25 years where cleanliness was paramount.
"I've always been told that I'm very tidy anyway.
"When you've got a horse worth $20 million you've got to make sure that horse is kept spotless."
The couple said they had received great support from Venture Taranaki who provided an adviser to help business development.
FF Eco Cleaning Services had been relatively quiet since it started just before Christmas holidays but they were now hoping things would pick up.
"There's nothing stopping us, really. We just want the phone to start ringing."
Contracts and pricing were agreed on a case by case basis, Mrs Holliday said. "If they want us at two in the morning we could possibly do that," she said.
They mostly focused on residential jobs at this stage but would look to expand if needed.
Chemicals were not always required in home cleaning, Mr Holliday said.
"We want to tell people that using chemicals is bad," he said.
While natural cleaning products cleaned most grime it could not work miracles such as removing deep-set stains.
"We're not going in there shaking a magic wand."
The pair wanted to grow the business and start a campervan cleaning operation at the vacant section beside their Oakura home.
Taranaki Daily News