It's Easy being Green

GREEN. It's not just a color anymore. It's a buzz word for “environmentally friendly”, “sustainable”, or tagged to products and activities that have less of an impact on humans and/or the environment. Being eco-friendly is everywhere, and the janitorial industry is no exception. Green cleaning has exploded over the last few years and is only becoming more popular.

What exactly are “green” cleaning products?

The term “green” is a generic word with varying definitions. For example, a cleaning product is often considered “green” if it is one of the following:

  • Non-toxic
  • Biodegradable
  • Made from sustainable resources
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Uses less energy
  • Uses fewer resources

Because of the ambiguity of the term “green,” it is often overused by companies wanting to seem more environmentally friendly. This is known as “greenwashing.”

To combat this misuse, certifications have been established to recognize those products that meet certain criteria to help set a standard for public trust, such as the Green Seal CertificationDFE (Designed for the Environment) , or EcoLogo. Any product on CleanFreak with the Green Seal Certification logos meet these qualifications.

Are there any other products for “green” cleaning?

Yes, a lot! Microfiber cloths are a great example of a cleaning product that is good for the environment. A dry microfiber cleaning cloth will remove up to 98% of contaminants from surfaces. When used with the proper amount of cleaning chemicals (which will be less than what would be used with ordinary rags), they work even better! Microfiber cloths are also known for their long-lasting properties, withstanding hundreds of washes.

Products made from recycled materials also help the environment by reducing land-fill waste. Wet mops made from recycled materials are a perfect example of a recycled cleaning product. They often match or out-perform the traditional cotton mop. The 24 Pound Green 100% Recycled Wet Mop is made from 100% post-consumer materials. It holds 200% more liquid and releases 23% more liquid when rung out, saving time when cleaning up those wet messes. This makes them not only an eco-friendly choice, but a smart choice.


What about “green” cleaning equipment?

The use of eco-friendly equipment can have many benefits, such as reducing water consumption, chemical consumption and reduced labor time. The Green Eco-Friendly Auto Scrubber can reduce water consumption by up to 12,000 gallons annually and needs less chemicals (meaning fewer empty plastic containers) to do the job. Using less water and reducing landfill waste is definitely good for the environment! The ROI (Return on Investment) of a “green” machine will be greater when used properly* due to less resources being used all-around. Some “green” equipment is even being designed to not use any chemicals at all!

There are also accessories for this cleaning equipment that are environmentally friendly, such as this floor scrubbing bonnet. Its use conserves water and chemicals, while also being reusable after washing. Eco-friendly pads are not just for these “green” machines. The 15 inch Blue Floor Clean/Scrub Pad is made from 100% post-consumer products (primarily recycled soda and water bottles) and fits a standard 15 inch Floor Buffer. If you’ve ever wondered what happens to those plastic bottles you put in the recycling bin, now you know!


Where do I use these “green” products?

The answer: just about everywhere! Since so many traditional cleaning products now have a "green" counterpart, it's easy to find them for almost any area. Hand soapall-purpose cleaner, and even toilet bowl cleaner have an eco-friendly alternative. This Door Pod is considered eco-friendly because it uses no batteries and it's air-freshener is activated simply by the opening of the door. Even the use of green paper products, such as paper towel and tissue, are good for the environment because of their use of recycled content. These are only a few examples of all the "green" products available on the market today.


Is anything NOT “green”?

There are two notable exceptions missing from the “green” cleaning products counterparts list: disinfectants and sanitizers. Disinfectants are registered with the EPA as a pesticide, basically meaning it “kills things” and are not considered a “green” product. Sanitizers, like disinfectants, also cannot be a “green” product because they generally have the same ingredients as disinfectants, just at lower concentrations. However, advancements are being made everyday so I wouldn’t be surprised if they find a “green” alternative to these too.I’ve only touched the surface of all there is to know about eco-friendly cleaning products. For more information about our “green” products or to learn more about the Green Seal Certification, visit CleanFreak’s Green Seal page.


* Over the lifetime of the machine.