Here are three common green cleaning myths: Image of a bucket full of cleaning equipment outdoors. Myth 1: All cleaning products labeled “green” are non-toxic. Reality: Words like “green,” “natural,” and  even “biodegradable” are marketing tactics used to put an eco-spin on a particular cleaning product.  Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t regulate the use of these terms, which makes it easy for niche marketers to perpetuate false or misleading claims.

Myth 2: Green cleaning equals higher costs.  Reality: Many business owners feel pressure to “go green,” but worry that green cleaning products will end up increasing costs. In actuality, going green can be good for a company’s bottom line in more ways than one. Most industrial cleaning products contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals that can easily compromise the health and well-being of employees, especially cleaning staff. According to a recent review of workers’ compensation by Washington State, six out of every 100 custodians must take time off from work each year to recover from job-related injuries. Eighty-eight percent of custodial injuries involve skinor eye irritation, skin burns or chemical inhalation.

Myth 3: Non-toxic cleaning isn’t as effective. Reality: There is some truth to the above statement because not all green cleaning is created equal. The relative effectiveness will ultimately depend on the type of cleaning being performed, how much product is being used and the type of surface being cleaned. These same rules exist for most cleaning products (green or commercial).

Green Cleaners Not Disinfectants Green cleaning products are highly effective in a variety of home, work and lodging settings, but it’s important to note that green cleaning products do not serve as disinfectants. As a result, certain environments such as healthcare settings, cannot be 100 percent green. However, these environments shouldn’t completely eliminate green cleaning. Many cleaning products can still be made “greener” by reducing harmful chemicals without compromising safety in sterile environments.

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