Green Cleaning in 2019

by Lawton Brothers | Feb 20, 2019

green cleaning
Green cleaning has been becoming more and more popular among commercial facilities and 2019 may be the year when green cleaning completely takes over in the janitorial world. But, what makes green cleaning so important? One critical factor is the potential harm that may result from the use of traditional cleaning chemicals. It is important for public facilities, such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes to understand the science behind cleaning and how the chemicals in many products may affect human health.

Properly selecting and using green cleaning products may help to safeguard the safety and health of your building occupants as well as the planet. Science has made it quite clear that the products used for cleaning can have a significant impact on building occupants. Many traditional products have been shown to contribute to health problems such as skin, eye and respiratory irritation as well as allergic and asthma reactions; all of which may lead to complaints and hurt attendance and productivity. To ensure your facility is putting their best foot forward when it comes to green cleaning in 2019, here are a few suggestions for replacing cleaning products with those that reduce potential harm.

Third-Party Certified Labeling

The biggest change in your facility could be represented by what chemicals are used. One of the most important factors to consider is that a green cleaning program in 2019 will shift the focus away from the appearance of the space in favor of the health of the space and its occupants. So, a clean facility is also a healthy facility and one that looks good as well. Green cleaning products should include carpet cleaners, hard floor cleaners, general purpose cleaners, disinfectants, odor control, hand soaps and janitorial paper products. It is essential that each product meets one or more of the proper third-party certified labeling standards, which include:

  • Green Seal Certified

  • GREENGUARD certified

  • CRI Green Label Certified

  • EPA DFE Certified

  • FSC Certified

  • ECOLOGO Certified

Train Your Staff

It is important that you train your staff on the green cleaning practices you want to put in place. Although the custodial staff should be trained at their time of hire, it is essential that regular training sessions and reviews occur even after their initial hiring period. Educating your staff about the need for the change, the benefits of green cleaning and the differences between using traditional cleaners and green cleaners will help to implement the program. Make sure everyone is trained, not just those who will be using the new products and equipment. This will help to ensure that everyone understands that you are transitioning to a green cleaning program and how the processes and products will be different when going forward.

Green Cleaning Equipment

One of the components of a comprehensive green cleaning program is the cleaning equipment used. When replacing the cleaning equipment to greener products, there are three characteristics that each new piece of cleaning equipment should have:

  • Ergonomic design, which is necessary to minimize the vibration and noise as well as user fatigue

  • Safeguards, which are necessary to ensure that the building surfaces do not experience any damages during cleaning

  • When possible, look for equipment that has been made with recycled materials and/or materials that can be reused, repurposed and/or recycled at the end of its lifespan.

One of the most important parts of switching to a green cleaning program includes considering where your cleaning supplies will be stored. It is recommended that a locked janitorial closet be in an easily accessible location and that it includes proper hot and cold water supplies as well as a drain system. It is also important to implement the use of a cleaning log, preferably in or near the janitorial closet. The log should include when cleaning was done, the areas that were cleaned and what cleaning products were used in each area. Keep in mind that it is common for employees and janitorial staff to “slip” back into non-green cleaning habits, so it is essential that routine training classes and set cleaning standards be enforced.

 
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