Services & Fees
What exactly will you clean?

Probably anything. We currently clean homes, offices, studios, a school,  construction sites, a museum, a church and a factory. For a list of what we clean inside homes, see “Services” in the main menu.

How long does the cleaning take?

Depending on the size of the job, and the size of our team, it varies from  45 minutes to 8 hours. For regular cleanings of average midtown houses, we are often finished in 2 hours.

Do I need to be there?

No, you are not required to be present while we clean. Call or text us to work out the details.

What are your special COVID protocols?

 For information about our special Covid-19 cleaning protocols, choose that from the menu above.

Are last minute bookings OK?

Call us and we will see what is available.

Is there a cancellation fee?

Please don’t cancel less than 30 hours in advance. Longstanding clients are forgiven for an emergency, but generally if you cancel last minute we ask that you pay 75% of the cost, unless we find someone else to take your appointment time.

Do you have gift certificates?

Thanks for asking! Yes! People love receiving the gift of a clean home or office

What about tips?

Some clients very much want to tip, and we do accept tips. However, every cleaner is an owner, and we do everything in our power to pay ourselves well, so you don’t have to tip. Please consider contracting us for extra services, and recommending us to your friends, family, and neighbors–those are the best tips you can give us.

How can I pay?

We accept credit and debit cards, checks, cash, automatic bank pay, ACH, and Venmo. We ask that you pay ahead of time or by the end of our cleaning time.

If you will not be home and will leave a check or cash for us to pick up in your home, please let us know in advance

Choosing to delay your payment will cause late fees of 2% weekly after 15 days.  Commercial clients can negotiate a later payment prior to service, but late fees will commence after the agreed date.

Green Cleaning & Product
Can I have the same team every time? Why do you work in teams?

Yes, normally the same team will come every time. However that may change due to illness.

We work in teams to so we can finish quickly, conserve resources, alleviate loneliness, and to be able to train new cleaners and maintain even standards in the company.   Most of us feel safer working in a group, and some of us cannot yet work on their own, due to language and cultural barriers.

Isn’t it wrong for me not to do my own housework?

There are economic and spiritual benefits to doing your own housework, changing your own brake pads, pruning your own trees, rebuilding your own roof, and so forth.

There are also economic and spiritual benefits to employing other humans to do those things, and paying them well. It’s all good.

What products do you use?

Can you eat it? Can you rub it on your skin? Is it safe to smell? That’s what we ask.

We use simple, plain ingredients.  They are all low or zero “VOC.”  If your drains go to greywater, we can easily accommodate you by not using baking soda–everything else is greywater safe. You may request fragrance-free cleaning, or products with natural fragrances, from essential oils.

Baking soda, vinegar, Oasis detergent, hot water,  pumice stone, and old-fashioned “elbow grease” are our most-used cleaning agents.  There is one product that we very rarely use on toilets, called “CLR,” that is safe for the environment but requires much caution, as a spill could injure a human. If we are asked to disinfect an area we can either use a home-made, clinically-proven recipe that is based in vodka, or an EPA-approved commercial tea-tree oil based product.

For a specific and complete list click here, and scroll down.

What’s wrong with regular cleaning products?

We ​ us​e the terms “super-green”  and “truly nontoxic” to indicate that we use products composed of common substances, most of which are edible.  Of course a product isn’t safe by itself–it needs to be handled safely and used in moderation to stay safe.  So for us “super-green” also means we pay attention to what we are doing.

Housecleaning can be a dangerous occupation. Thousands of American cleaners suffer from skin, lung or neurological disorders caused by the compounds in some cleaning products.  Some common commercial cleaning products are scientifically proven to promote disease and birth defects. Read more about specific problems with commercial cleaning products by choosing “Green Cleaning” from the main menu…

What is super green cleaning?

There are many products that call themselves “green” or “natural,”  but they don’t list their ingredients, so it is impossible to know what they mean by those labels. We use the term, “super green” and “truly nontoxic” to explain that we go beyond simple “green,” and towards sustainable, “open source” substances like vinegar and olive oil.

We also try to buy our cleaning products from sources that are fair to employees and use minimal packaging and employ other sustainable business practices.  We are currently looking into how we can produce or use our own locally produced vinegar, perhaps in collaboration with Ishakashiita Refugee Network.

We avoid volatile organics compounds (VOCs) and we also try to limit our use of products containing high levels of sodium (like baking soda) that in large amounts kill the soil. If your house is plumbed for greywater, tell us and we can use only no-sodium products.

We are continually learning about healthier ways to clean and new ways to walk more gently onthe earth.

For a list of the cleaners we use go to  “Green Cleaning” in the main menu.

About Us
How did we start our company?

Three of us met each other because our children played together. As mothers and householders, we knew a little about housecleaning. Amy (who has since moved on to other things) had been working professionally as a housecleaner, using non-toxic cleaning products for 6 years. She and Minami are knowledgeable about the use of natural essential oils to promote health. Minami and Shay ha​d experience running nonprofit organizations, are educated in International Relations and have an interest in working with refugees. We pooled our interests and time, and our company was born at the end of 2017.  

What do you mean by financial transparency?

Everyone in the network, including worker owners and clients, may look at our balance sheets and cash flow statements. Everyone within each affiliate knows exactly how much money each co-owner is taking home, and each affiliate knows how much every other affiliate has earned each month. In this way we ensure financial fairness.

Are you nonprofit? What is your mission?

No. we are not a non-profit organization. We are a socially responsible enterprise, worker-owned, and cooperatively managed.

Safi Home Works, LLC was established with the goal of expanding and raising the standards for “green” cleaning to include truly non-toxic cleaning agents, fair trade employment practices, and transparency in accounting.  We work with the spirit of service to the entire community, by hiring people who may need some special training, for example local refugees.

In short, we provide non-toxic, green cleaning for homes and offices, but we also provide the security of knowing that the employees who clean your home are fairly paid, and all local laws have been followed.

Like a non-profit, some people believe so much in our mission that they donated their volunteer labor to help us start out.  Also, we have partnered with non-profits in many ways. Additionally, we use 1% of our hours for training and charity– each month we give a few cleanings away to people who need it and cannot afford it.

But we aren’t a non-profit. The non-profit classification was developed to allow organizations that even when working well, have no fair profit margin–such as services for the poor or sick, or for children. Housecleaning services should be able to fund themselves without donations, grants or tax money.  In 2019 we had less than 3% profit. In the years of COVID, it our profit was negative. Things are starting to look better now , but a thorough analysis of this industry shows that it is almost impossible to pay a living wage and really be financially “profitable,”  but it is possible to be financially sustainable through worker-ownership and cooperation. These two choices have become the key to our sustainability