Floor Care: It Can Be Green Too

Floor care can be performed using Green products and procedures.  In fact, there are actually several ways to help make floor care Green, from changing the chemicals and products used to simply implementing programs to minimize floor refinishing cycles. However, for our purposes here, let’s focus mainly on chemicals – strippers, finishes, glosses, etc. – used in floor care. Here are some ways to make the process Greener:

  • Use Green-certified products. Many are now available. Cleaning professionals are advised to try a variety of different products. As with all cleaning chemicals, some work more effectively in certain situations than others.
  • If using a conventional floor care product, make sure the manufacturer lists all the ingredients in the product. At the very least, you want to know what you are working with and this is the best way to find out.
  • Look for products that have a pH no higher than 11.5 and VOC concentration under 7 percent at use dilution. This may require some close reading of product labels; an astute janitorial distributor can also help in this area.
  • Look for products that do not contain any of the ingredients listed above as well as alkylphenol ethoxylates (APES), both of which can also be potentially damaging to health and the environment.1

Another approach to Greener floor care is to minimize refinishing cycles. This not only helps protect the user and the environment but also reduce floor care costs. As mentioned before and as cleaning professionals know, this is one of the most labor intensive and costly cleaning tasks preformed in any facility. As a result, several systems and procedures have been developed to stretch out refinishing frequencies.

In general, increasing daily and interim floor care tasks can extend the life of the finish so that refinishing can be done less often. Daily dust mopping, or better yet, vacuuming helps remove grit and soil from the floor. This is what can cut into the floor with foot traffic, damaging the floor’s shine.

Further, automatic scrubbers are now available in more sizes and many are now more cost effective. Because of this, cleaning professionals and facility managers should consider selecting a scrubber. These machines deep clean floors and can re-coat them all in one step. If performed regularly and effectively, they can help keep a floor looking its best for months, if not years.