One of the ways that custodial staff at schools can have a significant effect on the health and safety of students and faculty is to carefully examine the cleaning products they use. As you and your team know, not all cleaning products are created equal. The mix and quality of ingredients are critical in deciding whether it's effective or not. The ingredients used are also essential in another way: how safe the product is to both custodians and the students and staff of a school.
The EPA suggests green cleaning practices for the following reasons.1 For each one, we’ll talk about how choosing a safer cleaning product helps.
Protect the health of students, teachers and custodial staff who use the chemicals frequently
The adverse health effects of some traditional cleaning products that include harsh components such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can include asthma, upper respiratory irritation, fatigue, nausea, congestion, and dizziness. Choose products that are certified by third parties such as EcoLogo or Green Seal. You can read more about the different kinds of green certifications in another post here.
Prevent student and faculty absences
If your cleaning products are less harsh, then there can be less resistance to its use by staff, which means they can do a better job of cleaning. Cleaning regularly helps combat the spread of disease. The statistics bear this out, with a school in Syracuse, NY seeing attendance gains of 11.7% after instituting a healthier cleaning regimen.
Increase cost savings by using fewer products
Part of green cleaning is reducing the amount of waste generated by cleaning. With a product like H2Orange2, you can leave behind a lot of your old cleaning supplies. It can be diluted in two different ways (Light Duty and Heavy Duty) that cover 95% of your cleaning needs. Because it comes concentrated, it reduces the footprint environmentally as well as in the janitor's closet. The best news about all of this is using a concentrate can mean significant savings over using RTU (ready to use) product.
Increase the lifespan of facilities
Harsh cleaning chemicals take a toll on the surfaces they clean as much as they do the humans who come into contact with it. They can wear away protective coatings over time. Some traditional cleaning chemicals can cause yellowing or browning or make floors, and other surfaces look dirty.
The EPA suggests the following practices to help make sure your cleaning program is as safe as possible:
- Schedule routine cleaning when the building is unoccupied
- Maintain a product inventory
- Keep copies of safety data sheets
- Use the proper equipment to clean, including high-efficiency vacuums and filters
- Store garbage properly and dispose of it each day