Structuring Your Green Cleaning Program – Part Two

July 29, 2009  /  office cleaning

New, green cleaning programs are filled with product awareness. Along with product awareness come new application techniques and new standards for equipment. Facility maintenance managers and green janitorial services should be prepared for change. Green cleaning is a far cry from business as usual.As an example, compare traditional glass cleaning with green glass cleaning. Traditional glass cleaner consists of alcohol and ammonia, which is applied using a trigger mechanism to spray the surface. The surface is then wiped clean. Several applications may be necessary to eliminate streaks.The green cleaner sees holes in this process. The spray application process creates a fine mist or vapor. These vapors have residual effects.• The vapor enters the respiratory system of the cleaning personnel.• The respiratory system becomes irritated and ignites breathing disorders.• Vapors stay in the applied area and can create the same effect on building occupants.• The vapors filtrate into the ventilating system and affect more building occupants, including personnel that have not used the vaporized area.• When the vapors are finally exhausted to the outdoors, they contribute to atmospheric smog and air pollution.These consequences are rarely considered by traditional cleaning services. The traditional method is quick, easy and provides a clean, streak-less end result.A green alternative to the traditional glass cleaning might include:• Replacing the traditional glass cleaner with a product that does not contain solvents with a detergent or soap based cleaner that produces few vapors.• In efforts to further reduce the risk of a vapor, green cleaners would apply the glass cleaner in a stream rather than in a mist.• The green cleaner applies the detergent to the cloth rather than to the glass.Green cleaning is practiced. It requires thoughtful preparation and awareness that every act impacts the building’s health. Green cleaning is a concept, a collection of new cleaning tools and practices that replace traditional approaches. This conversion can be challenging form the cleaning staff, the janitorial service and the facility maintenance manager.Successful and effective green cleaning occurs when the products and processes are targeted to the specific risks that each building presents. This puts pressure on the facility maintenance manager to involve the building managers, the janitorial staff and the building occupants in the process.

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