Category Archives: Green Office Cleaning

What Does LEED Mean?

The US Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, professional credentials and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.

What does LEED Mean?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is redefining the way we think about the places where we live, work and learn. As an internationally recognized mark of excellence, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

With nearly 9 billion square feet of building space participating in the suite of rating systems and 1.6 million feet certifying per day around the world, LEED is transforming the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated — from individual buildings and homes, to entire neighborhoods and communities. LEED is comprehensive and flexible, LEED works throughout a building’s life cycle.

LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. (US Green Building web site)

Learn more about LEED accredited house cleaning at


Why Green Your Cleaning Products

The following article was found on the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) web site. The article effectively explores why it is important to be concerned with the cleaners that are used in cleaning office space. Please consider this information as it applies to your work space.


Why Green Your Cleaning Products?

Environmental and Health Concerns

NOTE: The following discussion primarily addresses hazards associated with cleaning product ingredients. The actual risks from these chemicals at typical exposure levels are often uncertain, and in many cases are probably low. Regardless of the expected risk levels, however, reducing the intrinsic hazard of a product is a desirable pollution prevention objective as part of decisions that also take into account other important product attributes.

  • Cleaning products are released to the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, sponges, etc.      Janitorial staff and others who perform cleaning can be exposed to concentrated cleaning products. However, proper training and use of a Chemical Management System (a set of formal procedures to ensure proper storage, handling, and use) can greatly minimize or prevent exposure to concentrated cleaning product during handling and use.
  • Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in      workers) or toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes (note that standard sewage treatment effectively reduces or removes most cleaning product constituents). For example, alkylphenol ethoxylates, a common surfactant ingredient in cleaners, have been shown in laboratory studies to function as an “endocrine disrupter,” causing adverse reproductive effects of the types seen in wildlife exposed to polluted waters.
  • Ingredients containing phosphorus or nitrogen can contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, leading to adverse effects on water quality. These contributions, however, are typically small      compared to other point and non-point sources.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in cleaning products can affect indoor air quality and also contribute to smog formation in      outdoor air.

(Sources: Choose Green Report on General Purpose Cleaners, Green Seal, March 1998; Green Seal Standard and Environmental Evaluation for General-Purpose, Bathroom, and Glass Cleaners Used for Industrial and Institutional Purposes, October 2000; Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1999)

Magnitude of Potential Exposure

  • The cleaning industry employs about 2.8 million potentially exposed janitors. In addition to these professional janitorial staff, who can be assumed to use cleaning products daily, many other building occupants perform light cleaning on a routine or occasional basis, e.g. dusting, wiping off desks and counters, etc. All building      occupants are potentially exposed to the volatile components of cleaning products.
  • Data from Washington State show that about 6 percent of janitors experience a job-related injury from chemical exposure to      cleaning products every year.

(Sources: Green Seal Standard and Environmental Evaluation for General-Purpose, Bathroom, and Glass Cleaners Used for Industrial and Institutional Purposes, October 2000; Greening the Janitorial Business- How to Select and Use Safe Janitorial Chemicals, Workshop for NISH, US Dept. of Interior, November 2001)

Benefits of Buying Green

  • Choosing less hazardous products that have positive      environmental attributes (e.g., biodegradability, low toxicity, low      volatile organic compound (VOC) content, reduced packaging, low life cycle energy use) and taking steps to reduce exposure can minimize harmful impacts to custodial workers and building occupants, improve indoor air quality, and reduce water and ambient air pollution while also ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning in removing biological and other contaminants from the building’s interior.
  • Buying cleaners in concentrates with appropriate handling safeguards, and reusable, reduced, or recyclable packaging,      reduces packaging waste and transportation energy.
  • Buying less hazardous cleaners may reduce costs when it comes time to properly dispose of any leftover cleaners.

Green Cleaning With Microfiber

One of the major components of effective green cleaning is the use of microfiber cloths in cleaning. Made simple, microfiber cloth captures dust more effectively than cotton. Microfiber is made from recycled material and the life of the cloth is significantly longer than standard cotton dusting cloths. This article offers more details if you are interested. Remember that microfiber cloths are available in many local stores and clean stainless steal very well with only vinegar water, so read on…

Understanding Microfiber Technology

What is Microfiber?

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber made up of a blend of polyester and polyamide or nylon. Microfiber is made from recycled products, hence, reducing the dependence on oil-based products. The polyester and nylon are bundled together to form a strand that is split into ultra-fine single fibers, approximately one-sixteenth the diameter of a human hair.

When woven together to form microfiber, these strand create a surface area covered with millions of spaces between the fibers to trap moisture, dirt, and bacteria. The millions of fibers rubbing together produce a static charge that attracts dirt, pulling it in and trapping it until the cloth is washed.

Green Clean uses microfiber cloths for surface cleaning – countertops, furniture and hardwood and tiled floors. When dampened with a cleaning solution such as vinegar water, microfibers are even more effective in lifting spills and smudges from surfaces.

Benefits of Microfiber Use

Because of the efficiency of microfiber in attracting and trapping dirt and bacteria, many healthcare facilities have embraced this technology. Microfiber cloths clean better than their cotton counterparts. The result is a cleaner environment. Cotton cloths tend to fray and shed cotton particles, potentially causing respiratory problems in young children and compromised elderly.

Care and Life Expectancy

If cared for properly, microfiber can be laundered anywhere from 100 to 500 times. According to some manufacturers, the microfiber cloth itself will fall apart long before the microfiber becomes ineffective. Because of its technology, microfiber will clean more effectively when used dry than traditional products do when using cleaning solutions. When the use of cleaning solutions is required, the microfiber cloth should be dampened, not wet. Too much water or solution will fill the spaces that are designed to attract and hold the dirt.

Laundering microfiber is not much different that washing other cleaning cloths. While washing, steer clear of harsh bleaches which will break down the fibers and hinder the microfiber’s effectiveness. Microfiber should be washed in temperatures that do not exceed 200° F. Microfiber should be dried between 130 and 140°, max. Avoid washing microfiber cloths with cloths that are prone to lint. The microfiber will continue to ‘work’ in the laundry and will collect that lint, making the cloth less effective. Fabric softener has a similar effect. Softeners also reduce the static charge that makes microfiber effective.

Cost of Microfiber

The actual cost of the cloths may be slightly more than traditional cotton cloths. However, microfiber cloths are less expensive when the cost over time (life-cycle savings), the reduction in the use of cleaning solutions and water, and savings in laundering are considered. The benefits of a cleaner and greener home can offset the initial cost of acquiring microfiber cloths and products for home cleaning.

Green Clean uses microfiber cloths in its effort to reuse-reduce-recycle. Learn more about Green Cleaning services


Todays article was published in “Small Biz Trends .com in there October 9th edition. It takes a look at the business reasons for using a green cleaning program. This is directed toward small business owners. Check it out and print … Continue reading

Why Green?

Why Green?

Green house cleaning promotes health, safety and social consciousness. Green products and techniques focus on improving indoor air quality, recycling, and minimizing the use of raw materials and toxic products that require disposal. Green cleaning can help decrease air pollution, water pollution, ozone depletion and global climate change.

Residential green cleaning reduces potential allergens and toxic cleaning products that have been linked to childhood wheezing. Wheezing is a primary symptom of asthma in children. Asthma affects 6.5 million children in the U.S., a rate of 97.2 per 1000 (American Lung Association, 2007). Asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, animal dander, paint fumes and other odors, duct mites, cockroaches, molds, and pollens. Green cleaning can greatly reduce many of these triggers in the home.

Green cleaning does not use chemical irritants such as bleach, carpet cleaners, aerosols, air fresheners, or ammonia. These chemicals irritate the bronchial passageways of children, pets and adults with respiratory conditions. Green cleaning products include common kitchen ingredients – water, white vinegar, baking soda and castile soap – and are safe to use on household surfaces. These ingredients are safe to use in the home and would not harm an individual if ingested – though the castile soap would not taste good!

Commercial green cleaning increases workplace safety, health, productivity, and return on investment (ROI) of facilities. The cleaning solutions used by Green Cleanare Green Seal certified and are equally effective as cleaning agents as tradition cleaning solutions. Green cleaning practices do not expose workers to harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fluorocarbons that decrease indoor air quality (IAQ). Green cleaning can help reduce the costs to building management including costs associated with sick leave, health care, and productivity loss. Green Cleanuses energy-efficient equipment and focuses on preventative maintenance to reduce expenses.

A further advantage to commercial green cleaning is the enhancement of the organization’s reputation and brand equity because being socially conscious has become a desirable business trait. Green cleaning with Green Clean can earn LEED credits. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a series of building ratings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a standard for what constitutes a “green building” or “high performance” building. There is an effort underway to develop LEED for homes.

There are many reasons for cleaning green today. Idaho and the Boise area are known for their natural beauty and deserve to be protected for the enjoyment of generations to come.