Green Cleaning and creating an effective Green Cleaning Program is about more than just what product you use, although we (of course) have strong opinions about that too. Part of a great green cleaning program is making sure you use the correct PPE (or Personal Protective Equipment).
We pride ourselves on making products that are so safe to use that they don’t require a lot of PPE. But, especially when many disinfectants are being used, PPE isn't something you want to overlook. If you're working with a variety of products, you want to make sure you know what the PPE requirements or suggestions are for each product. You can find this info on the SDS sheet if it's not on the product's label.
We're going to look at some standard PPE. Not all of these are required for every product, but it's good to have a working knowledge of them. First up, let's look at one of the most common forms of PPE.
Gloves can either be disposable or non-disposable and come in a wide variety of colors and materials. What gloves you use are dependent on a few different things:
- What cleaning products are you using, and what (if any) gloves does it suggest you use?
- What are you cleaning up? Are you dealing with a viral outbreak?
- Are you trying to make your cleaning program environmentally friendly?
Disposable Vs. Non-Disposable
For a Green Cleaning Program, non-disposable gloves would undoubtedly seem preferable. They have less of an environmental impact through re-use. There are some caveats to this, which we'll cover in the next section. In any case, this isn't the only factor to consider when choosing disposable or non-disposable gloves. Your number one priority should always be to make sure the gloves are doing the job they need to. The advantage of disposable gloves is that you can quickly change them out in situations where contamination is likely.
Contamination can come from blood-borne pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and more. Depending on what you're cleaning up, disposable gloves might be the ideal type to use. No matter which you use, be sure—at a minimum—to never use the same gloves for bathrooms and other areas.
Materials: Latex vs. Vinyl vs. Nitrile
Now, it’s time to think about what material you need. Each of these types has advantages when it comes to flexibility, protection against chemicals, and durability. The chart below reflects the typical attributes, but always check each product's documentation.
How to Remove Gloves Properly