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Limehouse: How AEG Cleaning Services aims to fill carbon neutral niche

Managing director George Mills says his business uses eco-friendly alternatives to minimise pollution

Managing director of AEG Cleaning Services George Mills

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Sit with George Mills for any length of time and you’ll be left in no doubt that there are two things he’s especially passionate about – cleaning and the environment.

I confess, when I arrived to interview him as the managing director of east London-based AEG Cleaning Services, I was expecting to hear the story of the business, perhaps a bit about him growing up in Limehouse where he still lives and then a rundown of the kinds of things his organisation offers. 

Instead I found a man driven to improve the world around him by demonstrating a different way of doing things.

“Traditional cleaning services are among the worst polluters – they typically use so many chemicals, it’s so harmful,” he said.

“I saw a gap in the market for an eco-friendly, carbon neutral cleaning company and thought that would be a good place to be.

“My dad and my aunt had run a cleaning business, so I had some knowledge of the sector.

“When I was a young teenager I’d go with my dad at weekends to clean banks and offices and that was a valuable experience although my approach to the industry is different.”

“For me, it’s about where the next generation is going to be.

“We have to do something about climate change and the way we’re treating the planet and AEG is doing that.”

Launched in 2021, George’s business has expanded across the capital in response to demand – but the company’s core ethos remains the same.

“We’re really going back in time – before all these chemicals were around, people made their own cleaning products,” he said.

“We started off doing that, although we now have a supplier of eco-friendly products because of the quantities we need to use.

“However, for every single job that needs to be done, there is a natural or non-polluting alternative to chemicals.

“And the results are the same. It might take a little longer to achieve, but there is no difference in quality at all.

“We also try to educate our customers on the kinds of products they can use or even make themselves – it’s so easy to do.

AEG offers a range of services including carpet cleaning

“That goes for businesses too. They have a real problem because they need to be cleaned all the time – just imagine a deep clean of a restaurant and kitchen.

“With a traditional firm the amount of chemicals used is crazy.

“We did one the other day – completely carbon neutral – and the result was the same.

“It’s vital we take this approach now, so that future generations can benefit.

“We even have a calculator on our website so people and businesses can see what they are saving in CO2 emissions by using our services.

“When I started the company, I wanted to do something that meant something to me and that would help people on Earth in the future.”

AEG offers home cleaning from £20 per hour while commercial premises start at £25 per hour.

The company offers fixed fees from £180 for end-of-tenancy and Airbnb cleans, while carpet cleaning starts at £5 per sq m. 

The latter is a good example of George’s other passion – the cleaning itself.

Having cracked the problem of cleaning limescale without harsh chemicals, his focus now is very much on carpets with a complement of trusted, trained contractors handling much of the company’s core workload.

“My background is in customer service and the way I run AEG is always – for me and the people I work with – to look round and put themselves in the customer’s shoes to ask whether they are happy with the job,” said George.

“If the answer’s no, then we need to fix whatever isn’t right. If that means staying extra time, then that’s what we do.

“We always start by asking people what kind of clean they are looking for and then we check on the job to make sure the level they have picked will achieve what they want. 

“We do a basic clean, a seasonal clean and a deep clean as well as bio-hazard levels. Our prices include all the products we use.

“We really like the deep cleans, which is when we get into every nook and cranny and people come in and go: ‘Wow’.

“That gives me a real sense of achievement – people call me ‘Magic George’ quite a lot, for some reason.

“When I started the business I began small, often making my own products because I wanted to learn exactly what worked.

“It’s been the same with the carpet cleaning. I did training to ensure the hot water cleaning we offer delivers the best results.

George advocates using eco-friendly ingredients in cleaning products such as lemons

“Attention to detail is very important – you need to know what the carpet and backing are made from.

“Then we pre-spray and aggregate it with a special tool before using the machine to rinse it. We use hot water because it dries much more quickly and that means you can get the furniture back in faster.

“You can see the change in the carpet right away – it’s very satisfying because it comes up like new and we don’t use any harmful chemicals. 

“I had one customer who had a carpet that was 10 years old and thought they would need to get a new one fitted.

“But after one clean they decided to keep it because it had come up so well. Cleaning is hard work.

“I take my hat off to anyone working in the industry because to do it properly, it’s a lot of effort and long hours. 

“But both me and the people AEG works with get real pleasure from the job, especially when you see the difference it can make in people’s lives.

“We’ve won some awards and to get that recognition for the company is great – but it’s important people understand why we do things the way we do.

“Cleaning the planet – one job at a time.”

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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