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The essentials of effective green cleaning

Written by: Alexa Stone

Some of the largest nationwide and franchised cleaning services, including Jan-Pro, Majestic, and Vanguard now offer green cleaning. The benefits of effectiveness, improved indoor air quality, reduced-pollution, and workplace wellness make green cleaning a compelling service.

A service may limit their definition of green cleaning to their preferred natural or environmentally friendly cleaning products. That’s a good start. Use of those products, if accurately labeled, has the potential to reduce environmental impact which fully accomplishing the cleaning or sanitizing task. But products alone do not clean. Without people, trained and proficient in green cleaning practices, the value of the products can be lost.

If you seek the benefits of green cleaning, consider these four criteria as you select the best cleaning service for your building.

Effective cleaning of building surfaces and equipment

Green cleaning can and should meet or exceed cleaning and sanitization standards. Hospitals and food service facilities have accomplished that, so it should be achievable for almost any application.

Success will depend on the quality rather than the quantity of training. Cleaning crews who have worked with caustic chemicals must approach cleaning differently when using greener products. For example, a green cleaning solution may require more time on the surface to clean or disinfect. If the worker applies that solution to more of a surface in one application, the results can be as good or better.

Clear the air

Cleaning removes rather than redistributes dust and contaminants. In the hands of unknowing personnel, microfiber cloths can disperse as many dust particles and allergens as a classic feather duster. A skillfully-done green cleaning will not launch particulates airborne.

Prevent water pollution

Care, training, plus strategic supply and equipment purchases can keep harmful chemicals away from water supplies. Among the best available equipment, high-efficiency water buckets can remove more dirt with fewer water changes. This reduces both labor and the amount of wastewater produced.

Promote workplace wellness

Use of microfiber mops and HEPA filtered vacuums reduces contaminants. That decreases the chance of allergies and spread of illness, resulting in fewer sick days. Savings in labor costs can offset many new equipment expenses.

Green cleaning products and processes in a workplace have a significant effect on human health as well as the environment. They protect those who clean the facility and those who work there. People who transact business in those buildings share in the benefits.

To learn more about the green cleaning resources you now have or are considering, two databases are searchable online. A non-profit organization, Green Seal, certifies chemicals and equipment with the Green Seal standard. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides similar information on what to consider and where to purchase several categories of green products and services. Visit EPA’s Sustainable Marketplace for more information.