Go ‘green’ and buy products that are environmentally-friendly, kind to the skin, non-harmful to our children. Avoid toxins and chemicals. Use this product; use that product. We are constantly bombarded with information about going ‘green’ and its benefits. But do the cleaning products sitting on the shelves in our supermarkets actually clean?
Whether it’s your office, warehouse, property to sell or let, or your own home, you want to know that when you use a cleaning product, it will really remove dirt and grime, leaving worktops, appliances, floors, carpets, curtains, windows, doors, frames and other surfaces clean and fresh. But you also want to use products that are free from chemicals, safe to use and environmentally-friendly.
So, let’s break a long-held myth – eco-friendly products are just as effective as traditional cleaners! Before chemicals made their way into cleaning solutions, and before our shelves were stacked with easy-to-use, time-saving bottled cleaners, we used baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, water and good, old-fashioned elbow-grease! And not forgetting that when more natural products are used, such as citric acid and lactic acid (safer antimicrobials), there is no strong, chemical smell associated with ‘green’ cleaning products.
But you need to have your wits about you when choosing a green cleaning product. Whilst some manufacturers/brands are putting a lot of research and work into ensuring their products are truly green – ECOS, Clorox Green Works and SC Johnson’s Nature’s Source – replacing chemical surfactants with biodegradable, environmentally-friendly versions – others aren’t. Whilst they may be using reduced levels of phthalates, i.e. fragrances, these are still harmful to you, your children and the environment; and it is still legal to sell these products.
At the moment, manufacturers of cleaning products are not required to list all the ingredients on the packaging but that doesn’t stop you from becoming a ‘label geek’. The list of harmful chemicals used isn’t pretty reading: sodium hypochlorite, xylene, phosphates, trisodium nitrilotriacetate, silica, 2-butoxyethanol and methylene chloride are amongst the preferred types of additives. Not only do they cause immense damage to the environment when flushed down our plug holes, the residue they leave behind after use also affects us when we come into contact with them on a daily basis.
So, let’s take a look at the main benefits of green cleaning.
- Products are safer to use – green cleaners are not corrosive and certified products have to meet strict guidelines and standards in respect of skin absorption, inhalation toxicity and combustibility. No risk of chemical burns to skin, no strong odours and toxic fragrances, no watering eyes; just a clean environment.
- Reduced antibacterials – green, environmentally-friendly cleaners don’t contain antibacterial agents. No impact on your health and no build-up of resistance to antibiotics (the American Medical Association says that frequent use of antibacterial agents can promote resistance).
- A healthy home – studies have demonstrated that using a standard household cleaning spray just once a week can increase the risk of asthma. Without chemicals in the air that can be absorbed in to the skin through touch or breathed in, everyone is healthier.
- A better environment – if enough people stopped using harmful chemicals to avoid them being dispersed into the environment polluting water systems and the air around us, we will be living in a better, friendlier environment.
Experts from the three major green certifying organisations – EcoLogo, DfE and Green Seal – agree that, yes, they do clean effectively and you will find that some green cleaners also have disinfecting ingredients, too. There are a set of performance standards that a green cleaning product has to meet, and hopefully exceed, in order to become certified. For example, they have to be free of carcinogens and toxins linked to gene mutations, and biodegradable.
At Eco Sheen, you can rest assured that all the products we use are environmentally-friendly, do not have any harmful chemicals and carry the EU Ecolabel; if they don’t, we don’t use them. All the cleaning products we use carry the EU Ecologo but we don’t stop there. Our buckets, mops, cloths, packaging, computer equipment and our vehicles are all eco-friendly, biodegradable and energy-efficient. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint so that our whole business is truly environmentally-friendly, and green. All our cleaning solutions are long-term and sustainable – no harmful chemicals here.
Want to go green? Become a label geek; look out for the ‘green’ certification logo; make the move to the use of natural products, and contact us at Eco Sheen! Need office cleaning, window cleaning, a carpet and curtain shampoo, a clean up after builders and end of tenancy cleaning; or how about a spring clean? Whatever your eco-friendly, green cleaning needs, our team is the perfect choice.