Green cleaning is cleaning using environmentally preferred products containing ingredients that are less toxic to your health. In this article, you’ll learn how green cleaning practices and products are not only better for the environment but MORE importantly, safer for the health of you, your employees and your facility’s patrons.
Our goal is to show you how to make your workplace safer, protect your health and clean effectively while using safer green products and practices in your everyday routine. You can even save money by using green cleaning methods.
Why Choose Green Cleaning?
Let’s look at the issues with regular or non-green cleaning products. Non-green cleaning products depend heavily on harsh chemicals to do the work of breaking down dirt and killing germs.
They generally contain these qualities:
- Artificial fragrances
- Artificial colors
Many non-green cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can cause:
- Respiratory Irritation
In fact, some of the highest rates of asthma are found in janitorial/custodial personnel.
What’s the problem with synthetic fragrances?
Although this doesn’t seem like that big of a problem, it actually is. Synthetic fragrances can actually cause damage to health.
According to the Committee on Science & Technology, approximately 95 percent of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. According to Richard Pressinger and Wayne Sinclair, MD, petroleum-based chemicals have been shown to alter hormones and cause issues such as cancers, neurological disorders, weakening of the immune system, learning disabilities, allergies, infertility and more.
Using green products that are free of synthetic fragrances, you can reduce allergies in your workplace, not to mention the potential risks of cancer, neurological disorders and more.
What Makes Green Cleaning Products Different?
Green cleaning products will usually have these qualities:
- No phosphates
- No chlorine
- No artificial fragrances
- No artificial colors
- Biodegradable or recyclable packaging
- Organically grown ingredients using sustainable farming practices
Here’s some facts about green cleaning products that debunk many misconceptions:
- They work just as effectively regular products (however, for tougher stains, they should sit for at least 2 minutes to work effectively)
- Green cleaning products do not contain added scents, colors or bubbles when applied to a surface. This does not mean that they’re not working. Fragrances and colors are created by additional chemicals that can cause throat irritation along with respiratory harm. It’s important to choose products that are color and fragrance free.
- Some Green Products work best with cold water. Read product labels and follow directions carefully
- Many cleaning products create tremendous amounts of waste. Switching to concentrated and closed loop dispensers reduces waste and water usage, lowers your exposure to chemicals, reduces the chance of inaccurately mixing chemicals and prevents accidents.
- Even though green products are safer than regular products, it’s still important to use PPE such as rubber gloves, long sleeves, dust masks, closed toe shoes and eye protection.
So Which Products Are Green?
One way to source green products is by using the EPA’s standard of measurement. You will find the “Safer Choice” label created by the EPA on the product if it meets the green cleaning standards.
On their website they state, “Before a product can carry the Safer Choice label, EPA reviews all chemical ingredients, regardless of their percentage in the product. Every ingredient must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive/developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment.”
Which means Safer Choice labeled products are safer for:
- Fish and the environment
- Your employees and staff
- Families and pets
If you’d like to browse the products designated for business/commercial cleaning use that have the Safer choice label, here’s the EPA’s list of cleaning products that have the Safer Choice Label on them.
What about sanitizing and disinfecting?
It’s true that most sanitizers and disinfectants depend on toxic chemicals to kill bacteria and viruses, however there are green alternatives for this.
- Lactic acid
- Citric acid
The EPA has a list of green sanitizers as well. You can find that EPA list here.
In summary, implementing green cleaning effectively:
- Reduces pollution in our water
- Maintains better air quality
- Reduces exposure to allergy-causing substances
- Reduces exposure to pollutants that have been found to cause cancer, neurological disorders, learning disabilities, infertility, hormonal imbalances and more
Green Cleaning Services
The beauty of working with Advantage Cleaning LLC is that we’re 100% committed to using green cleaning practices in all of our cleaning services for no extra charge because we believe that strongly that green cleaning is the best way to do business.