ICS Magazine

Proper Cleaning is Green Cleaning

April 11, 2011

All cleaning is green cleaning, or at least, it should be.  By definition, cleaning is the removal of unwanted matter including macro soils (those we can see) and micro soils (those we can’t see). 



All cleaning is green cleaning, or at least, it should be.  By definition, cleaning is the removal of unwanted matter including macro soils (those we can see) and micro soils (those we can’t see). This includes removing or eliminating harmful chemicals and other matter, and transforming people and processes that pollute into those that don’t.  Cleaning, by its very nature and definition, is, or should be, green.  

  Still, the rallying cry and focus of “Green Cleaning” has been an important wake-up call to remind us that too often we haven’t been cleaning, but polluting (e.g., spreading dust or germs rather than removing them, adding toxic substances to the air and the environment rather than ridding it of those). Thankfully, ‘Green Cleaning’ has prompted examination of products and processes to determine how they affect both built and other environments. “Green Cleaning” has moved our industry in a very positive direction indeed.

  As we now know, solving the “cleaning” pollution problem is not as simple as buying green certified chemicals, or painting trucks and tools green. It means redesigning and deploying cleaning within systems that reflect an accurate understanding of - and respect for - how the measures employed impact the building environment and people, as well as the global environment and sustainability.

  The cleaning industry should advance to maturity in this regard and work hardest at changing systems of cleaning to becoming increasingly effective at preventing or removing contaminants (infectious, toxic, or otherwise) – the ultimate realization of proper (aka, green) cleaning.