Beyond the Products

Sustainable cleaners: Cleaning with eco-friendly products

If environmentally friendly cleaning products aren’t part of your standard cleaning regimen, they absolutely should be. These products—also referred to as sustainable cleaners—help protect the environment. And they help protect your health.

They even increase the life span of your facility and can lead to increased clientele and a rich employee base who share your concern for the environment. When you select the best eco-friendly products for your facility, you can look forward to a long and healthy business life.

Benefits of using sustainable cleaning products

Safe environments are essential to everyday living, and cleaning products are essential to safe environments. By using environmentally friendly cleaning products, you can help ensure the health and safety of everyone within your building. Every small step that you take has a positive impact on the environment as well as your organization. By pivoting to use the best sustainable cleaning products, you can start making positive change today.

What are the differences between organic, sustainable, and environmentally friendly cleaning products?

“Organic cleaning” is generally for household use. For instance, you might use vinegar and herbs to freshen up your home, but these natural ingredients really aren’t strong enough to completely sanitize surfaces. Additionally, there are no mandated standards for organic cleaners.

By contrast, sustainable and environmentally friendly products do not contain harmful substances but are strong enough to truly sanitize and disinfect. These terms are regulated, so products labeled “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” are required to uphold certain health and environmental safety standards.

What are green cleaning products?

Similar to the term “organic,” the terms “green” and “green cleaning” really don’t mean anything. They’re also quite outdated, and many businesses in the world of commercial cleaning don’t use them. Unfortunately, cleaning product manufacturers can use these terms without consequence, resulting in misleading information and labels.

Why should you use environmentally friendly cleaning products?

Lessening your carbon footprint and making a positive environmental impact are hot topics these days. And they should be!

It’s everyone’s responsibility to ease the man-made burden on our planet. A big way that your organization can help is by using eco-friendly cleaning products. These products not only help the environment but also keep everyone in the building healthier.

Healthy employees are happy employees. When your team members know that you care enough about them and the environment to use eco-friendly cleaning products, they know that you’re invested in them.

The younger generations who will soon take over the workforce have a strong sense of social and environmental responsibility. Even small steps like switching from harsh cleaning chemicals to sustainable cleaning products will keep their morale high.

Clients and patrons will also see your dedication to saving the environment. This can lead to more business from morally rich clientele who have prioritized the same Earth-saving goals as you have.

How exactly do sustainable cleaning products help the environment?

Less landfill waste equals a cleaner planet. With current technology, recycled materials can become long-lasting sustainable cleaning products.

Recycled plastic bottles can become mops. Recycled plastic bottles and tires become floor pads and mats. Biodegradable trash can liners are now widely available. There are even new technologies that change the structure of water to make plain H2O a better cleaner.

Additionally, environmentally friendly cleaning products can stem the decrease of air quality, and even help to reduce greenhouse gases. By reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals that can hang around for centuries, your organization contributes to a healthier Earth every single day.

How can cleaning supplies affect your health?

Eco-friendly cleaning products aren’t just about helping the environment. They can also benefit your health. Chemicals used in making normal cleaning products can have a negative impact on indoor air quality, leading to all sorts of health issues like asthma and even cancer. In addition to the negative effects of inhaling toxic cleaning chemicals, harsh synthetic products can worsen allergies.

Keep in mind that cleaning and disinfecting are very different processes. Just because you have wiped a surface down doesn’t mean that it’s pathogen-free. When choosing a cleaning product, check the label to make sure that it disinfects. Just a regular cleaning product might not protect your staff and visitors from harmful germs. Additionally, you will need to wipe down disinfected surfaces less frequently, thus reducing your overall cost.

How do sustainable cleaners contribute to an environmentally friendly cleaning strategy?

Businesses, schools, and municipal buildings can make a huge environmental impact with the cleaning products they use. Choosing sustainable and eco-friendly products over chemical-based ones not only protect the environment but also protect everyone in your facility. It’s time to protect yourself and your staff by using eco-friendly cleaning products.

Why is using sustainable cleaners important for your business?

What if you were unknowingly putting yourself and others at risk? Depending on the cleaning products you use, you might be doing just that. Some standard cleaners can be corrosive and harmful to both people and surfaces. Not only can harsh chemicals eat away at the surfaces they’re used to clean, they can also do irreparable harm to the human respiratory system.

Your facility has to be a safe place to spend time. The first step toward safety is establishing an eco-friendly cleaning program. If people feel safe when visiting your business, they are more likely to keep coming back. That goes for employees and clients alike.

How does environmental sustainability combine with a cleaning strategy?

A strong cleaning program is vital to every organization. An environmentally friendly cleaning program has a positive domino effect on your business. Indoor air quality improves, which keeps your people safe and healthy.

Your carbon footprint decreases, which helps solidify your position as an eco-friendly business. Environmental responsibility becomes a selling point for your customers as well as potential new hires with a social conscience.

With an environmentally sustainable cleaning strategy, you’re cleaning with a purpose. You’re no longer cleaning just to sanitize—you’re cleaning to protect everyone in your facility, as well as the facility itself.

What makes a cleaning product environmentally friendly?

Be careful of products labeled “organic” or “green.” Unfortunately, there aren’t any mandated standards for these terms, so manufacturers are free to use them very loosely.

These words don’t carry any reliability or environmental responsibility. They can be intentionally misleading because manufacturers want to sell eco-friendly products without actually making eco-friendly products.

Some products do keep their eco-sustainable promise, so read every label to ensure that your products are truly good for the environment. Anything containing bleach, ammonia, chlorine, or other well-known harmful chemicals are definitely not eco-friendly.

What are the most affordable sustainable cleaning products?

Making the switch from well-known chemical cleaners to environmentally friendly alternatives has the stigma of being cost prohibitive. The world is about a decade into eco-friendly cleaning products, though, and the products have become much more affordable. Bigger manufacturers have begun to produce sustainable cleaning products, making them more widely available to the public.

What are the best budget-friendly sustainable cleaning products?

In the ten-year history of sustainable products, three main third-party certifications have emerged: Green Seal®, ECOLOGO®, and the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE). Each of these certifications requires testing for safety, sustainability, and functionality.

Large, trusted companies like 3M and EcoSoft have achieved such certifications for many of their cleaning products. When in doubt, start with a large manufacturer whose information is widely and publicly available. Those companies tend to have better prices because of the lower costs they incur due to mass production.

And don’t be afraid to buy in bulk! The more you buy, the lower the price per unit tends to be. Purchasing large quantities also cuts down on the cost and carbon footprint of shipping.

What are the healthiest cleaning products to use?

The safest approach to finding healthy cleaning products is the elimination method. Anything in an aerosol can is an automatic no-no. Check the label for carcinogens like formaldehyde and harmful chemicals like chlorine. Stay away from products containing bleach and ammonia. Once those are eliminated, you’re on the road to using healthier products.

Many people try to stick with natural ingredients such as baking soda and water, or a spray bottle full of vinegar and warm water. Mixed with some herbs or essential oils, these can make your facility smell great.

However, they’re not the most effective cleaners. They’re too gentle. Despite their effervescence, they’ll still leave harmful germs and pathogens on your surfaces.

The label on the eco-friendly products that you choose should include words like “sanitize” or “disinfect” so you can rest assured that you’re getting a full clean.

How much do the best sustainable cleaners typically cost?

At first glance, it might seem like standard cleaning products cost a little less than their eco-friendly counterparts. Don’t be fooled! The packages are not usually apples-to-apples.

A lot of eco-friendly products are actually concentrated, so you’ll get more product for your money once you dilute the product with water. Since they’re not as corrosive as supplies containing harmful chemicals, you’ll get more years out of your carpets, floors, and walls.

Think of eco-friendly cleaning as an investment. You’re investing in your facility by cleaning its surfaces with gentler products.

You’re investing in your employees by keeping them healthier. And you’re investing in our planet by avoiding harsh, caustic chemicals that cause damage for years after they’ve served their purpose.

Where do you find the best sustainable cleaners?

Scouring the internet for sustainable cleaners is like trekking through the jungle with a dull machete. There’s just so much information, and not all of it is reliable.

Paid advertisements instead of actually helpful information pop up, intentionally diverting you from your original topic. So how do you find truly eco-friendly cleaners that are also affordable and effective?

Where can you find the best sustainable cleaners online?

Knowledge is the key to success, and finding the right eco-friendly cleaning products for your organization will take some work. When beginning your internet search, keep in mind that keywords like “organic” and “green” can be misleading.

For years, companies have slapped those words onto their labels without any foundation or certification. There’s even a term for this intentional misleading: greenwashing.

First, focus your online search with terms like “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” instead of “organic” or “green.” This will weed out some of the falsely labeled products. While the national certifications have helped establish guidelines for what products to use, they don’t provide a list of specific products to avoid.

Second, do your research. Educate yourself by reading blogs dedicated to the proper way to sanitize your workspace. Talk to fellow facility managers and contract cleaners. Expand your horizons so that you can make a well-rounded decision.

Where can you find a guide to retailers selling sustainable commercial cleaning products?

Each year, the US Environmental Protection Agency identifies products that meet the government’s eco-friendly standards. These products are listed under the Safer Choice website. They list everything from all-purpose cleaners to window and glass solutions.

Green Seal® and ECOLOGO® also have search functions available that can help you choose the best products. These third-party certification experts test each product for the effects on the environment and human health, as well as on the functionality of the product. They pride themselves on their vigorous standards, so you can feel confident that by choosing a product with one of these certifications, you’ve done your due diligence.

Where can you find affordable sustainable cleaning products?

Once you’ve equipped yourself with knowledge about eco-friendly cleaning products, it might be time to partner with an expert to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck. Every organization has unique needs, and you need someone to listen to your full story.

Partners prioritize each other’s needs. They build relationships through customized cleaning programs. By collaborating with a team who is also dedicated to saving the environment, you can sleep well knowing that you’ve done your part, and your organization will be strong and healthy for years to come.

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