I know, I know, no matter what we talk about when it comes to cleaning there is one phrase which keeps popping up. The Environment! Over 25 years ago, ” green”, “environmentally safe”, “biodegradable”, “eco-friendly”, and “energy efficient” all became common, everyday words when referring to the cleaning industry. Offices, hospitals, large retail space, and schools have become extremely conscious of the cleanliness and health of their facilities, both at the “bacteria free” and the “green” level. They have also become aware of the relationship between “clean” and the health of their employees. Think about it, how safe and healthy can it be to use cleaning products which have the dreaded skull and cross bone symbol, the words “hazardous”, wear gloves, call a doctor immediately if product gets into your eyes or if swallowed! Many of the more effective “green” cleaning products have their warnings, but are not as severe nor are they telling you to seek immediate medical attention if the product is swallowed or comes in contact with your skin or eyes! Commercial cleaning services have had to find a way to incorporate the use of environmentally safe cleaning products, as well as energy efficient, environmentally friendly equipment without forfeiting their high standards of “clean” and without a big impact on their bottom line. Many mid-size to larger cleaning companies have been successful in doing this. It’s easy to say, ‘we use ‘environmentally safe ‘ products, ‘ it’s quite something else to actually be doing so.
One of the biggest challenges commercial cleaning services have had was the evaluation of the vast
amount of cleaning products and equipment claiming to be safe for the environment. Putting the word “green” into the product name or description does not make it so. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Green Seal, a non-profit organization dedicated to a clean and healthy environment, have developed guidelines and standards which can assist them in making the tough decisions on which environmentally safe products to use. “Green” products are not only more beneficial for the environment they are safer for one’s health. Many of the “green” cleaning products not only “clean” as their less environmentally friendly counter parts do, but they most often clean better and are less harsh and abrasive on the surfaces being cleaned. Regular use of “green” cleaning products will protect your floors and surfaces thereby helping to prolong their life.
Cleaning equipment which had been found to be toxic and unsafe to the environment has been replaced by more eco-friendly models. For example, auto-scrubbers from years past have required a lot of chemicals and water to perform the job right. Now more than ever, there is a vast selection of eco-friendly auto-scrubbers which use less chemical and less water. Some even have built in chemical monitors, reducing errors on chemical use and measuring. Less use of chemicals and water not only helps the environment, but increases productivity, and therefore increases profits.
Hand in hand with cleaning and the environment has come an increased awareness of how much unseen bacteria still exists after the “clean”. Everyone in the commercial cleaning industry believed if the floor gleamed, the windows sparkling, surfaces were dust free, it was clean. How could there possibly be any level of bacteria left? What a shock to find, with the use of an ATP tester, there were in many cases a large quantity of tiny, live micro-organisms left behind. These micro-organisms don’t necessarily have to carry disease borne illnesses, but I don’t know anyone who if seeing a live organism believes it can be healthy! The use of micro-fiber cleaning cloths, effective, environmentally safe cleaning products and equipment, decreased the levels of bacteria tremendously. Using the ATP tester before and after cleaning proves the results. The use of the tester measures the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within seconds giving clear results in real-time. Cleaning services who have incorporated the use of ATP testing in the cleaning process know the importance of not only having it “look clean” but actually “be clean”. It also assists them in the evaluation and success of their cleaning program, the products and equipments used, and their employee’s performance. This is even more important in medical offices and labs, hospitals and our schools.
Successful commercial cleaning services have not only adopted environmentally safe, effective cleaning practices but have also successfully implemented them. They have proven with the use of the eco-friendly products and equipment available today they do a better “clean” and still have a profitable company. When selecting a commercial cleaning service do your homework! Ask the questions on which cleaning products and equipment they use and why? Let them prove it to you, using an ATP tester, by performing a demonstration. A reputable commercial cleaning service claiming they use environmentally safe products and eco-friendly equipment will not hesitate to show you the proof!