While we are all looking after our offices, businesses, workplaces and homes to be clean and tidy, it is not simply how it looks that is important. Any surface that is frequently touched or shared, needs to be disinfected in order to stop the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses. This can include high traffic spots such as door handles and bathrooms, or kitchen and desk surfaces. There are two main types of cleaning products that can do this – traditional cleaning products and green cleaning products.

It has been widely documented that traditional cleaning products, while effective as disinfecting, can harm the environment, humans, and animals. Therefore, more and more cleaning companies and individuals are turning to green cleaning products. Not all green cleaning products are created equally, however. It is important to make sure that any green cleaners used are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Traditional Chemical-Based Products

Chemical cleaners usually use many different ingredients and come with a number of risks. The chemicals often used include nitrogen, ammonia, phosphorous and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals can be extremely hazardous to the environment and can cause skin irritation and other health issues. While these chemicals come with warnings, accidents do happen, and this can lead to some serious damage. There is, however, no denying that many of these products are extremely effective at disinfecting surfaces- leading to a cleaner workplace.

Eco-Friendly Products

Eco-friendly products claim to be as effective in deep-cleaning spaces without leaving harmful chemical residue or emitting harmful odours into the atmosphere. Some green cleaners are even more sensitive when cleaning surfaces & furniture, and can therefore preserve the materials for longer. Eco-friendly products often come with a natural scent such as citrus, derived from natural ingredients, rather than artificial chemical scents. Not only is this more pleasant for workers or those who live in the home, but it is also known to be less harmful to those with issues such as asthma, and can make people feel calmer while boosting their productivity levels.

Are Green Cleaning Products As Effective?

It is a common myth that green cleaning products are not as effective as traditional cleaners. When it comes to disinfectant properties, chemical disinfectants do work quicker, however, natural disinfectants will work just as well if given slightly more time.

Spending a few extra minutes cleaning surfaces with green products can mean reduced exposure to chemicals. In order to verify their effectiveness, green cleaners can look for the EcoLogo or Green Seal Certification, which guarantees the effectiveness of the cleaner, giving you peace of mind. If you are looking for a commercial cleaning company, ensure that they use green products that have one of these certifications.

It is, however, important to note that cleaning sprays and wipes, no matter if they are natural or chemical-based, will not be able to properly disinfect surfaces unless they are already clean. Therefore, make sure that the surfaces are cleaned with soap and water before disinfectants are used in order to kill around 99.999% of germs.
It is another common myth that, as well as supposedly not cleaning as well, green cleaning products do not kill as many germs and bacteria. This is due to the fact that traditionally, when thinking of disinfecting surfaces, most think of harmful, strong chemical cleaners such as bleach. There are, however, other, greener cleaners such as products that include acetic acid that can kill a range of bacteria such as E. Coli, gram-negative bacteria and salmonella. It is important to note that all green cleaning products are not effective when used as disinfectants, just like not all traditional cleaners can do the same job. Green cleaners need to use more efficient, sanitizing ingredients such as lactic or citric acids, which work to effectively sanitize surfaces.

Cleaning experts will be able to give you the rundown of the ingredients that they use for commercial cleaning and chose the best cleaning products with active ingredients to ensure that your business or home is left clean, disinfected, and sanitized.

Health Implications of Traditional vs Green Cleaning Products

Most traditional cleaning products are a mixture of harsh chemicals that can negatively impact the health of both humans and animals, as well as damaging the environment. These cleaners are especially bad for children’s health if they are exposed- as they are unaware of the dangers, and it can affect development. If the room being cleaned is not well-ventilated, harsh chemical cleaning products can impact health, leading to lung or skin issues.

Even smaller household cleaning sprays rather than commercial products can increase the risk of developing asthma, even when used as little as once per week. The harsh chemicals in them can also lead to chemical burns if they come into contact with the skin, or even blindness if they get in a person’s eyes. Skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis also can be made worse when using everyday traditional cleaning products.

Natural cleaning products, however, have a more natural smell and are less harsh. When they come into contact with the skin, they will not cause chemical burns, and they will not release odors that damage the lungs or exacerbate asthma. Natural ingredients do not have chemicals that will leave a residue on surfaces that can harm animals or children and are as effective in reducing bacteria and viruses.


While green cleaning products take a little while longer to be effective, they will work as well as traditional chemical cleaners in killing bacteria and disinfecting surfaces. They also do not include harmful chemicals that can damage human skin, eyes and lungs, as well as impacting the smell of offices and workplaces. Professional cleaning services that use green cleaners can give you more information on the ingredients in their products and whether they are certified as being effective.

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