VERNON — A Sussex County family is showing residents how to get green and clean. Traci Smith and her family are passionate about the Kleen Green products they've been using in their residential and commercial cleaning business since 2009.
The products: Glass & Hard Surface, Janitorial Cleaning Solution, All Purpose Cleaner and Heavy Duty Cleaner.
"Those four products can eliminate everything under the kitchen sink," Smith says.
For example, she says the Glass & Hard Surface cleaner can eliminate your Windex, stainless steel, wood cleaner and counter-top cleaners.
"It works insane," she adds, "it eats the fat of dirt and literally lifts it up."
Smith's children are equally excited about the products.
"You should see my son Darius," Smith gushes. "We don't even need to say a word because he is so excited to tell customers about the products."
And Smith's family isn't alone in their excitement — residents who have tried out the Kleen Green line have posted on the Kleen Green Facebook page their before and after pictures.
It wasn't always easy to convince people to go green though. Smith says sometimes it's still a challenge because people will say, "Oh, but it doesn't smell clean." But she says these products are meant for people with allergies. They are animal- and kid-friendly so they can crawl on the floor and not worry about bleach.
Getting startedSmith and her husband, Mehdi Ziabakhsh first opened their business T&M Cleaning Pro's LLC in 2005 and it has grown ever since, mostly by word of mouth. The company cleans residential and commercial properties around the Sussex County area including hotels and timeshares. Traci Smith says the couple had always planned to go green since it's something that they're passionate about and four years ago, the Smiths saw an opportunity. After meeting a chemist at Earthfest in Vernon, they were able to bring their vision to fruition. Together they created the environmentally friendly Kleen Green cleaning solutions and the rest is history.
The couple's dream of opening a neighborhood green cleaning supply store came true on Nov. 2 — with the grand opening of a new Kleen Green storefront in Vernon located at 294 Route 94 North. The couple will continue to market their four different cleaning solutions from their new storefront and on the company's website, kleengreenproducts.com. A four bottle combo package of the cleaners is available online for $15 for the smaller bottles and $36 for the four-gallon combo. The bottles are also available for individual sale.
"We sell vacuums with HEPA filters in them, a lot of paper products, recyclable, biodegradable garbage bags. A lot of different products that are green in some way. It's basically just a better option rather than your regular paper towels," Smith said.
The next goal for the Kleen Green team is to get their paper products out to hotels and restaurants. The advantages are numerous for local businesses according to Smith.
"We're also local," she explains. "They can buy it from us and they'll have it the next day."
She also adds that customers will get a better price and stay green.
Giving backGiving back to the community is also pretty important to the Kleen Green team. Smith has a background in the restaurant industry and in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, she was rolling up her sleeves and making 30 pies for 300-people.
Smith explains that her son Darius was born with a lot of medical problems at Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. After he was born, they decided to do something to give back. They began by doing Thanksgiving dinners at the Ronald McDonald House in New Brunswick for 25 people and then decided to do something more challenging.
In 2009, Smith prepared the dinner for the New York City Ronald McDonald House and they did such an amazing job that they were called back to do it again the following year. Now it has become a tradition. This year, Smith says she cooked a meal for at least 300 people including patients and their families.
"It's a party," she says. "It's stressful, but we love it."