Before we begin using a cleaning product in our home or workplace, it’s essential to know what chemicals it contains. Not all chemicals are harmful, but some can put your health at risk, along with anyone else who lives or works in that space. If you don’t know what ingredients your products contain, you could be using cleaners that are harmful to you, the environment, and the surfaces you use them on.
Not sure how to distinguish potentially dangerous products from eco-friendly cleaning products? We’d be happy to help you. This information will help you make confident decisions about your cleaners going forward.
Cleaning safely means using proper cleaning products and taking care to follow the instructions provided. It also means storing and disposing of cleaners and disinfectants in a way that’s safe and eco-friendly. These are responsibilities that should be taken seriously, whether you’re cleaning a residential, industrial, or medical space.
It’s also crucial to highlight the importance of using cleaners correctly. Reading and following the instructions provided on each individual product is key to using them safely. Assuming that two products require the same level of caution could lead to an avoidable accident. So, take care to read and adhere to the different safety precautions advised on each product.
Why Active Ingredients Matter
The term “active ingredients” is commonly used when discussing the ingredients in cleaning products, along with pesticides and pharmaceutical drugs. Active ingredients are biologically active ingredients, meaning they can interact with living matter in positive or negative ways. These are the ingredients capable of harming us through touch, inhalation, or ingestion. That’s why it’s essential to know what active ingredients are present in your cleaners.
A notable example of an active ingredient used in cleaning products is ammonia. Though ammonia effectively breaks down grease and grime, it can be very harmful. Pure chemical ammonia can cause respiratory issues and severe burns. Even when diluted with water, ammonia can still be dangerous and is best avoided.
Some active ingredients in cleaners can even harm the environment. Volatile organic compounds, for example, are found in many cleaning products. They can affect indoor air quality and contribute to outdoor smog. Chemicals from certain cleaners can also contribute to water pollution if they’re disposed of incorrectly.
Thankfully, not all active ingredients put your health at risk. There are several groups of ingredients that make cleaning products more effective without harming you or the environment. A great example of this is hypochlorous acid (HOCI). This naturally occurring acid is a highly effective alternative to bleach, which can irritate your skin and produce harmful gasses. Both HOCI and sodium hydroxide are gentler than most active ingredients used in cleaning products, making them a reliable choice for your cleaning needs.
Health and Safety
Employers have a responsibility to their workers and customers to maintain a clean and sanitized workplace. Keeping the premises clean is critical to meeting health and safety obligations, as an unhygienic workplace can lead to people getting sick.
This is especially true in the food industry, as food contact surfaces can be rife with bacteria. It’s the nutrients in food that allow bacteria to grow, making regular sanitization essential. It’s also important to sanitize equipment and other surfaces in the workplace. If a business fails to maintain a hygienic workplace, it could potentially be shut down by a health inspector.
Proper Storage and Disposal
Properly storing and disposing of your cleaning products are two major aspects of safe cleaning practices. Your disinfectants should be stored in a clean, dry, and cool space that’s well-ventilated and away from HVAC intake vents. This prevents any fumes they may give off from spreading elsewhere in your home or workplace. Cleaning products should also be kept in their original containers and never mixed with each other.
When disposing of these products, you’ll ideally have used them up. You can then recycle or discard the empty packages or bottles with other waste. If you have unused amounts of product from certain disinfectants, you can dispose of them down the drain or in the trash. For harsh cleaners, you will need to rely on the instructions provided on the bottle or packaging.
Choosing an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Product
When searching for an eco-friendly cleaning product, you should be concerned primarily with the active ingredients. Ideally, you want cleaners that contain natural acids like hypochlorous acid rather than highly corrosive compounds like ammonia. Other ingredients you should avoid include colorants, phosphates, surfactants, alcohol, foaming agents, perfumes, and peroxide bleach.
Protect Yourself and the Environment
Why use harmful chemical-laden cleaning products when there are options that are just as effective? With the right products and proper storage and disposal practices, you can do your part to protect the environment and everyone around you.
Browse the Cleaning Products at PathoSans Solutions
At PathoSans Solutions, we’re committed to providing cleaning products that are safe for you, your employees, and the planet. Our cleaners use active ingredients like hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide that are naturally occurring and eco-friendly. If you have any questions, please contact us or consult our informative resources page.