While it may be quick and convenient to reach for chemical cleaning products, many cleaning professionals are realizing that this is not the best approach. Society has become focused on the health of the environment and its occupants and cleaning models must adapt in order to be socially acceptable. In the search for the least harmful cleaning model, experts explore many technologies.
Microfiber may seem like a basic material but when used to make a mop or cleaning cloth, it becomes a powerful tool in the battle against dirt and grime. Microfiber cloths are made from microscopic fibers configured to trap dirt more easily than either a traditional cleaning cloth or a paper towel will. They are washable, reusable, and best of all, free of toxins and chemicals. Melamine sponges are other chemical-free cleaning tools that make effective scrubbers due to their mildly abrasive texture.
Steam cleaning is becoming a popular chemical-free way to address dirty tile and grout. Steam vapor breaks up molecular bonds that enable dirt particles to attach to each other. Through a process called rehydration, the vapor infuses dirt with water so it floats in a liquid and can be wiped away. Ultraviolet light is an excellent complementary chemical-free disinfectant and sanitizer that can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, and other common areas where germs tend to lurk.
Vacuums featuring HEPA filters remove dirt and debris from carpets without emitting these impurities into the air. High-efficiency HEPA filters are up to 99.995 percent efficient, emitting just one particle for every 20,000 captured. Building occupants suffering from asthma or allergies will breathe easy after facility carpets and upholstery have been cleaned with this type of vacuum.
Orbital scrubbing machines keep hard floors clean and sparkling without the use of chemicals or toxins. Diamond-impregnated pads prepare hard floors to be refinished and recoated. Also permeating the market are water-based floor cleaning machines called autoscrubbers. They represent one of several water-only cleaning strategies that commercial cleaning services are embracing in their attempt to go chemical and toxin-free.
Some facility managers are taking bold steps to remove pollutants from their properties by installing plantscapes. Through a process called photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen into it. Several types of plants can remove volatile organic compounds introduced by carpets, electronic equipment, and building materials. These pollutants are dissolved in the water used to hydrate the plants, which then metabolize and render them harmless.