Recently an article was published that stated, “Green Cleaning is Mainstream.” This might be true if you are only talking with a select group of followers who have changed their mindset, however, in the real world of cleaning, Green Cleaning is anything but mainstream.
If Green Cleaning was mainstream, then why does customer after customer still purchase single hole mop buckets and vacuums with no filters? Chemicals which have high pH factors, fragrances and color fly off the shelves daily of JanSan distributors. Look at any online catalog and try and find Green or Healthy products for the consumer to purchase.
Daily, customers purchase mop handles that are non-adjustable and use cotton mops by the case. If Green Cleaning were really mainstream, then these items would not be even manufactured as there would be no call for them.
There needs to be a reality check here about what Green Cleaning really is and what it is not. Green Cleaning is not about purchasing these items, but it is the mentality of those still mandating their use.
Green Cleaning is about health and the continued purchase of these age-old tools that still show that the general consumer still hasn’t gotten the message that the conventional ways of cleaning are not healthy, nor are they productive anymore.
Take for example Luxury Vinyl flooring. Consumers are completely in the dark as to how to maintain this type of flooring, and customers continue to use the same processes on this flooring as they did with VCT. The tools, chemicals and equipment, such as low speed floor machines and black pads, are damaging the flooring surfaces.
Metal interlocking floor finishes should not be used on LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) flooring. This type of flooring is purchased and installed to minimize maintenance. If Green Cleaning were being recognized, then facility maintenance would know the proper use and maintenance of matting, HEPA filtered vacuuming, neutral cleaners used with cylindrical brush auto-scrubbers and chair protectors. There are Green methodologies that can be used to protect the factory installed, protective layers on the LVP.
If in fact Green Cleaning was mainstream, then the idea of “Green Cleaning” itself would no longer exist, for it would simply be called “cleaning.” We wouldn’t be talking about the fact that 80% of workers comp issues are still coming from back and shoulder injuries. We would not see 60” wood and fiberglass mop handles with 5# mop heads on them being put into buckets of turbid water as dark as the pavement outside, then used to mop the LVP and wonder why the flooring is turning black.
It’s time that we start really looking at the issue—it’s not the tools, equipment and products which some believe indicate that Green Cleaning is mainstream. It’s the fact that the mindset still exists that: if the old tools are still there, I don’t need to spend any energy or time changing what I’m doing.
It is important that we each enact the program focused around the healthy agenda in which the future is won by those creating a better future, and not by those trying to maintain the status quo.
By Dave Thompson, the Director of the Academy of Cleaning Excellence.
Mr. Thompson is also the host of an internet broadcast show, “Beyond Clean with Dave”, which focuses on healthy, positive and proactive living. In 2007, Mr. Thompson published his first book for the cleaning industry, “The New Generation of Cleaning”. He is the past President of the Green Clean Institute and has held senior consulting positions for New System, O.K. Vacuum & Janitor Supply and Maintenance Plus, the latter of which he owned and operated in Tulsa, Oklahoma.