Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2015 Contents 20 INCLEAN September/October 2015
By Matthew Francis*
Sustainable cleaning is being increasingly cast into the spotlight,
with more businesses exploring the benefts of sustainable
and green cleaning practices. With terms like microfbre,
and chemical-free environments now starting to emerge, it's
important to understand what's driving these trends, why
businesses would consider them and what the future looks like
for the cleaning industry.
Chemical-free cleaning, sometimes referred to as 'green'
or 'sustainable cleaning', is the use of cleaning methods and
products with environmentally-friendly ingredients. There are a
number of ways cleaning professionals can implement green cleaning; from their choice
of detergents to the implementation of a system that removes chemicals altogether.
In Australia, this trend has been largely driven by the healthcare sector where the use
of sustainable cleaning through microfbre is quickly becoming best practice. This is now
expanding into new sectors such as aged care, hospitality and property management.
Microfbre has fast gained attention because of its ability to remove fne particles,
bacteria, microbes, and oils hidden in surface crevices that cotton sponges or cloths
typically cannot reach. Microfbre products completely remove microbes, with less water,
and without the need to use harsh chemicals that kill but don't remove bacteria.
Microfbre, when used in conjunction with chemicals or steam, is a ‘fail-safe’ option
because the chemical or steam kills the microbe and the microfbre removes it from the
surface. This ensures the bacteria does not spread and at the same time, eliminates the food
source for other bacteria.
Cost savings and infection control
Through removing chemicals from the cleaning process, healthcare providers are also able
to save money, better control infections and help reduce the risk of outbreaks. Unfortunately,
despite increasing education and advancements in cleaning technology, the perception still
exists that the best way to ensure a sterile environment is to soak cleaning products or the
area in chemicals. This simply isn't the case and too often there is a reliance on chemicals
to guarantee a hygienic environment, without realising that outbreaks often occur because
microbes become resistant to certain chemicals and stop working.
Through moving towards green cleaning environments and introducing microfbre
products, healthcare providers are now starting to take proactive steps to protect against the
risk of potential outbreaks.
What are the benefits of sustainable cleaning?
For many of our clients, the most immediate beneft is a reduction in water and chemical
consumption. While infection control and prevention is the main driver, a secondary and
often instant beneft is a cost saving in these areas, resulting from sustainable cleaning.
Implementing a sustainable system can also result in increased productivity and greater
effciency, as removing the need for chemicals takes away previously required steps of the
Workplace health and safety continues to be a focus for many Australian organisations.
This includes providing a safe and clean environment for all stakeholders -- from staff
and clients to patients and customers. Regardless of sector, whether it's healthcare,
hospitality or manufacturing, businesses have a duty of care to ensure a safe and
This goes beyond just providing a 'germ free zone'. With 34 percent of workplace
injuries in 2014 (ABS) a result of lifting, pushing, pulling or bending in the workplace, it's
not surprising businesses are looking for cleaning solutions that mean staff do less lifting
and straining. In fact, this has led many businesses to critically review products like the
traditional cleaning mop, which requires transporting a heavy bucket, which can actually
be a very labour intensive process.
This is another driver of microfbre adoption, as managers are drawn to the fact it
Business benefits from adapting
a sustainable cleaning system
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