Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What is Green Cleaning?

Originally “green” meant the ingredients in cleaners were derived from plants and biodegraded easily after joining our waste streams (e.g. water treatment plants). To the everyday person cleaning their home, “Green” simply means something better for the environment.

So what is “Green Cleaning?” It is taking all the “yellow” and “blue” nuances of the chemistry, processing, packaging and disposal that go into creating and using a cleaning product and balancing them for environmentally safe and efficient cleaning. Green Cleaning is the commitment to make, use and dispose of cleaners with People, the Environment and Sustainability in mind.

Is Green More Clean?  A cleaning product that does not clean well is not good for the environment. Producing and packaging a useless cleaning product is a waste of time and energy, which is very “un-green.” The good news is that environmental groups, state legislators, the EPA, and the cleaning products industry are all working together to improve the products that you use every day.   Although Green Cleaning has only been fashionable for the last decade or so, we have been working on developing more environmentally-sound cleaning products for more than 50 years.

The cleaning products industry has understood the importance of biodegradable cleaning products since the 1950s.  In the 1970s, the industry removed all CFCs from aerosols.  In the 1990s, products became more concentrated (“ultras”) which reduced packaging.  Cleaning products have been getting “greener” through innovation and continuous improvement – long before the “green” movement was even around!

Courtesy of:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Keep Your Workplace and Home Allergy Free

1.) Increase carpet cleaning frequency: If the facility has carpet, ensure all vacuums are equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are most effective in the removal of the common contaminants that trigger asthma and allergies. In a commercial facility, deep clean carpets at least once a year. In facilities with high levels of foot traffic, consider deep cleanings on a more frequent basis.

2.) Maintain A/C and heating units: Each month, change air conditioning and heating unit filters to ensure dust mites don’t recirculate into the building. Consider using filter enhancers which can be sprayed on units to help trap more debris and allergens.

3.) Empty vacuums frequently: To ensure dust mites stay at a minimum, empty vacuum bags before they are full. When bags are roughly 1/3 to 1/2 full, empty them so vacuums can stay fully effective in the removal of dust mites and other debris.

Don’t rely on disinfectants: Often, facility managers believe that using a disinfectant will reduce asthma and allergy triggers. However, more intensive methods such as carpet cleanings, dusting and extraction are required to remove dust mites and other contaminants that prompt asthma attacks.

Asthma Triggers and how to Control them in the home:

1.) Dust Mites:

What You Can Do: Wash bedding in hot water once a week. Dry completely. Use dust proof covers on pillows and mattresses. Vacuum carpets and furniture every week. Choose stuffed toys that you can wash. Wash stuffed toys in hot water. Dry completely before your child plays with the toy.

2.) Cockroaches:
What You Can Do: Keep counters, sinks, tables, and floors clean and free of clutter. Clean dishes, crumbs, and spills right away. Store food in airtight containers. Seal cracks or openings around or inside cabinets. Use roach baits or traps instead of sprays. Cover trash cans.

3.) Mold:

What You Can Do: If you see mold on hard surfaces, clean it up with soap and water. Let the area dry completely. Use exhaust fans or open a window in the bathroom and kitchen when showering, cooking, or washing dishes. Fix water leaks as soon as possible to keep mold from growing. Dry damp or wet things completely within one to two days.

Chemical Irritants:

4.) Chemical Irritants:

What you Can Do: Chemical irritants found in some products in your house may make your child’s asthma worse. Your child’s asthma may be worse around scented or unscented products, including cleaners, paints, adhesives, pesticides, cosmetics, or air fresheners.

By following this advice, you will be able to create an environment that is free of asthma triggers in your home and at work.

Courtesy of:
                                                             The Carpet and Rug Institute