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What Do You Need to Know About Green Cleaning?

Male cleaners mopping in office atrium
Cleaning does not have to include harsh chemicals. Yes, you want a spotless space that is free from the gunk and grime that builds up through everyday use, but if you're worried about the environment, green cleaning can be a great option.
Even though most commercially available cleaners are considered safe when used exactly as the manufacturer directs, green cleaning products offer less toxic solutions to almost any messy situation.
Not only will “green cleaning” reduce the toxicity in your home or office, but it can also help the planet as a whole. How can you green your cleaning routine? Take a look at what you need to know about cleaning without chemicals, fumes and toxins.

Read the Labels

The label claims the cleaner is "green." Maybe it says something else such as "natural," "non-toxic" or "made from organic ingredients." What does that mean? Is the cleaner completely safe and chemical-free? Not necessarily.
Green cleaning products aren't regulated and aren't required to include an ingredient list (like you would see on a food label). Some so-called green products may actually include chemicals, making them not-so-natural and possibly toxic.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) SaferChoice labeling program helps consumers to know which cleaning products are safer for people and the environment.
Keep in mind, the name of the program is "Safer" Choice, and not safe choice. While products with this label are better for you, the people around you and the planet, they aren't 100% safe. Many of these products do contain chemicals. But, these chemicals are considered safer than their more caustic relatives.

Natural Options

If you're nervous about trusting a commercially available "green" product, you have some other options.
Obviously, you could just not clean. But, that's not a realistic option. You can mix your own cleaning products from items you have in your kitchen. With this option, you know exactly what is in the cleaner – after all, you created it.
Some popular, well-used homemade cleaners include diluted white vinegar (in a spray bottle), baking soda, rubbing alcohol and vinegar or a baking soda and water paste.
Another natural option is steam. It's just water, under high heat. Using a water vapor-only cleaner that you don't add a chemical solution to heats surfaces, getting them clean in a non-toxic way.
Steam isn't just safer than using chemicals, but it may get your surfaces cleaner than simply wiping or mopping over them. The heated vapors can penetrate porous surfaces, cleaning them thoroughly. Chemical products may not get into those pores and won't give you as deep of a clean.

Scents and Cleaning

Mmm. It smells clean in here! That fake lemon scent you've come to associate with a clean space isn't natural at all. It's a chemically created smell and can cause health problems if it's absorbed through the skin, swallowed or directly inhaled. People with asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues are often sensitive to chemical scents, which can make their symptoms worse, making it difficult to breathe.
When choosing a green or "safer" cleaning product, make sure that it is completely fragrance-free. Even though that fresh meadow scent may make a home or office smell nice, the fragrance in it isn't doing anything to clean the area.
Instead of cleaning the actual problem, it's covering it up and masking it with chemicals. Either skip the scents completely or (if you absolutely need that lemon-fresh smell) use a squirt of fresh lemon.
Whether you're a small home or office cleaning contractor or you're a larger business, Wick Floor Machine Co., Inc. can help you with your janitorial equipment supply needs.