Many janitorial services providers have made unfounded claims regarding the efficacy of certain types of green cleaning products.
Debunking the Myths of Janitorial Services and Green Cleaning
Unscrupulous behavior aside; many janitorial services providers may not know that certain green-labeled cleaners are not as effective as they claim to be.
As the concept of green cleaning continues to gain popularity with businesses and in homes, big corporations have unleashed the might of their marketing departments to convince consumers that their products are:
- A safer and healthier alternative to traditional cleaners, and;
- Just as effective as conventional cleaning products.
While those statements are true, the problem comes from the misleading labeling of a product as ‘green’.
Minimal regulation as to what constitutes a genuinely green cleaning product.
Green Cleaning Standards
Even the EPA’s Designed for the Environment label standards have been called into question, in comparison to private testing and certification organizations.
A much more comprehensive and trusted source for green cleaning product certification within the United States is Green Seal.
For a comparison of the EPA’s and Green Seal’s standards, please review:
While misleading labeling is an unfortunate, but common, form of marketing, certain myths remain regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of green cleaning products, and services in general.
Chief among them:
- Green cleaning is a fad.
- It is more expensive than conventional methods.
- Cleaning with green products takes more time than traditional cleaners.
Calling the mass migration of government and businesses toward green solutions a fad may have been a rallying cry for large commercial cleaner manufacturers in the past, but it now falls on deaf ears.
On March 19th, 2015, President Obama signed into law Executive Order 13693 which requires government offices to adhere to the following:
[sic]…promote building energy conservation, efficiency, and management by reducing agency building energy intensity measured in British thermal units per gross square foot by 2.5 percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2025…[sic]
[sic]…the following percentage of the total amount of building electric energy and thermal energy shall be clean energy, accounted for by renewable electric energy and alternative energy:
- not less than 10 percent in fiscal years 2016 and 2017;
- not less than 13 percent in fiscal years 2018 and 2019;
- not less than 16 percent in fiscal years 2020 and 2021;
- not less than 20 percent in fiscal years 2022 and 2023; and
- not less than 25 percent by fiscal year 2025 and each year thereafter.
[sic]…improve agency water use efficiency and management, including stormwater management by:
- reducing agency potable water consumption intensity measured in gallons per gross square foot by 36 percent by fiscal year 2025 through reductions of 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2025 relative to a baseline of the agency’s water consumption in fiscal year 2007
- installing water meters and collecting and utilizing building and facility water balance data to improve water conservation and management;
- reducing agency industrial, landscaping, and agricultural (ILA) water consumption measured in gallons by 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2025 relative to a baseline of the agency’s ILA water consumption in fiscal year 2010; and
- installing appropriate green infrastructure features on federally owned property to help with stormwater and wastewater management.
For More Information:
Cost is Relative
By volume per use, green cleaning products have been shown to be LESS expensive than competitive, non-green products.
FACT: Making your own green cleaners cost pennies compared to their equivalent in purchased products.
For example, Leslie Reichart a green cleaning expert for thedailygreen.com did the following simple calculation.
A gallon of white vinegar costing about $3, and a gallon of distilled water costing $1 (or use tap water instead and save a dollar) combined makes two gallons of a multipurpose cleaner.
A bottle of your favorite essential oil, to give your cleaner a scent of your choice, costs around $4 and will last a year or more since only a few drops are required for each batch of cleaner. So together, it costs less than $4 to make two gallons of cleaner.
Now compare that to a name brand pine cleaner costing around $3 for a 12-ounce bottle.
With 128 ounces in a gallon, multiply the cost ($3) by 10 to get the cost of one gallon.
Total cost of one gallon of name brand pine cleaner equals $30. Cost of one gallon homemade cleaner equals $2– a savings of about $28 on just one product.
FACT: Purchasing name brand green cleaning products may appear more expensive, however, most of the green cleaning products on the market actually require less product per application to effectively get the job done.
In addition, many green cleaners serve more than one purpose, requiring only one cleaner for multiple uses, rather than a separate product for each job.
Also, many green cleaning products have lowered their prices and offer other coupons and incentives to get consumers to try their product.
-Florida Department of Environment Protection – Common Misconceptions of Green Cleaning
How do you Measure Time?
Depending on the type and age of a stain, it may take slightly more effort to remove with green, as opposed to conventional, cleaning chemicals.
However, the U.C. Davis Medical Center was able to reduce their workers hours 638 hours per year by switching to microfiber mops.
Additional statistics have shown a reduction in:
- Time off workers take due to illness.
- Time off cleaning staff take due to injury, resulting in workers compensation claims.
- Reduced shipping time due to green cleaning products ability to ship commercially in a concentrated form.
What we can conclude from these very basic statistics is that, while it may take a fraction of time longer to clean up certain stains, that exchange pales in comparison to the amount of time, relevant to cost, green cleaning services will save a business per year.
Green cleaning is not a fad, and janitorial services that focus on their use are growing yearly due to increased interest in healthy living environments and environmental conservation.
Unfortunately, green cleaning is still a newer (by comparison) trend, and many of the claims, labels, and standards are poorly regulated.
Many myths still abound, voiced by competitors trying to maintain market share, but have not stood up to the test in side-by-side comparisons and studies.
That fact remains that green cleaning will save your business time and money, up front, and throughout the year, directly and indirectly.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional janitorial services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790