International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

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IJCSA Member Blog

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  • 26 Apr 2018 10:39 AM | Harry Springer

    With so many negatives that come along with traditional cleaning methods, going green seems like a no thought choice. So many positives can come by just making this simple choice to be more aware of what is in the products we are cleaning with.

    Harmful chemicals are everywhere and we come in contact with them no matter where we are or what we are doing. The choice to switch and provide a natural clean vs using something that can leave harsh residues on surfaces and leave lingering particles in the air that we are then forced to breathe in can be very hard on our respiratory system causing irritation in our lungs, causing wheezing and shortness in breath.

    Harsh chemicals can also affect our eyes causing itchiness, redness and just be plain out irritating. These are just a few of the adverse side effects and that doesn’t account for the fact that these chemicals can also be absorbed through our skin which can be even more damaging. Since there is no filter to dilute these out, they can have direct effects on our liver and kidney functions.

     Every time we make a conscious choice to use a green product we are not only working to make it a healthier and safer location for those cleaning, but also any person working in these areas. We are also doing our part to help protect the environment by reducing our carbon footprint and we are able to help reduce any additional effects to our ozone layer.

    Green products are natural which makes them safer to use since there are no chemicals and can be found in nature. There are no adverse effects when going back into the environment and requires no additional forms of processing to make water ways safe or having to worry about what toxic gas could be made if they end up mixing together in water processing plants.

    Saying that you are a green cleaner isn’t enough, you need to make sure you are working with someone that is certified in this manner. Thanks to IJCSA you can be sure that the cleaning company you are using has been through the training and is aware of the processes involved in being green. View the Green IJCSA Cleaning Service Directory to see that we are in fact certified.


  • 24 Apr 2018 11:04 AM | Alberto Atallah

    After going over the green cleaning certification material, reading posts from my peers and researching on the side, I feel confident I'll be able to implement green cleaning practices into my own business. Although I feel most people will understand and appreciate my business' efforts into going green, it may not necessarily be their first choice. Some facilities may require extensive time into cleaning up, which would call for conventional cleaning tools to satisfy the client in a timely manner.

    However, to implement green cleaning programs I'd first start with training of staff, most importantly. They're the integral part of my team and should know procedures and tools to offer green cleaning. I'd hand out simple material to go over with them, such as hazards of conventional cleaning products, natural green substitutions, and how to use them to offer a good service. We'd research other ways we can benefit the environment and provide fantastic cleaning, the end goal is to boost their morale, while helping both the client and the environment.

    The IJCSA Green-Cleaning certification is crucial to implementing these steps into my business. It's important to have a fundamental base on why green cleaning is important, effective, and how to use it in your company. My customers will be safer knowing my business is IJCSA Green-certified, which is certainly a boost from the competition in my area. The bottom line would be: train my staff and explain to my customers about why green cleaning is important and effective, and provide healthier facilities for the people they care about. Find out a green-certified company here in this directory: http://www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services

  • 24 Apr 2018 10:17 AM | Roderick Dunaway

    Like most families going Green was a foreign concept but over the last 20 plus years we have seen the effects to the environment. With cleaning products that are not only harmful to the Environment but also to mankind. But with today`s environment friendly cleaners there is no reason to use such products.

    There are over 10 thousand Green products that are now available and the cost of these products are at or near the cost of the other more harsh cleaners used today I want to make a difference in the safety of my family employees and coworkers and switching to Green products is a great start!

    Find A Green Cleaning Service Here


  • 23 Apr 2018 9:58 AM | Alberto Atallah

    It should be noted that there's no way to not be exposed to harmful toxins or bacteria in real life, but there certainly are ways to minimize it. Our bodies are suited to combat these harmful substances and help us heal and grow more immune to them, but repeated exposure and improper care can wear down even the hardiest of people. You could be a healthy individual who exercises, eats right, and takes care of their overall well-being; and still be prone to disease or other complications due to exposure to things you often don't give a second thought...such as common cleaning products that are already in your home. You'll notice many products contain the label "hazardous to humans and animals", and might think, "why would I use this all over my house or office?"

    The average household has over 60 toxic chemicals, a claim by environmental experts. These are often found in fragrances or their furniture/counter top cleaners, making people prone to asthma, cancer, and other chemical imbalances in the body. These exposures are more hidden than more direct hazards, like heavy fumes or direct contact with other chemicals. A common harmful substance found in air fresheners an dish soaps, are phthalates. These are considered endocrine disruptors, so men who are exposed to these on a constant basis suffer from reduced sperm counts and other hormonal complications. Since the skin has no protective layer like our organs do, direct contact is much less safe. You can reduce exposure to these by choosing more green options to cleanse the air; such as having plants or lighting a scented candle.

    Another harmful substance known as 2-butoxyethanol, is readily available in most window, kitchen, and all-purpose cleaners. The convenience of these items and the fresh, clean feeling they provide after use can be misleading. When you constantly inhale these scents, the body is more prone to lung, liver, and kidney damages. The riskier part is, US Law does not require this chemical to be listed on a product's label. A way to dilute or reduce this chemical's presence, is once again to employ a greener option to clean your windows and kitchen. A mixture of vinegar, oil, and water is an effective, non-threatening solution to leave your glass surfaces sparkling. Washed with a microfiber cloth or even a newspaper, you can rest assured knowing your windows are clean and your organs unharmed.

    Ammonia is another one of several common chemicals found in our cleaners. Usually they're found in products that clean bathrooms, sinks, jewelry, as well as glass. Since ammonia evaporates and leaves your glass feeling sparkly and clean, people often don't give it a second thought. Ammonia is a powerful irritant, especially bad for those who suffer from asthma or other lung issues. House cleaners who must do their work can spend hours exposed to this, and even if they suffered no health issues before, they can suddenly spring up in the form of bronchitis or asthma. A viable choice would be to use vodka on any metal surface, as it will produce that shine without the added health risk.

    Chlorine, which is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant can be misleading in thinking it is safe. Even when you're in the pool and open your eyes underwater, you can feel the irritation it gives and the distinct red coloring your eyes get after. It's also commonly found in toilet cleaners, laundry whiteners, and mildew removers. The fumes it gives off go to your skin due to proximity, but it's also running in the tap water you brush your teeth with or shower with. The effects can be mild, or chronic, but it's certain that it causes irritation in our breathing. To scrub in an effective and safer manner, try using baking soda and vinegar. A mixture of vinegar and borax powder work well for whitening clothes. To reduce the exposure you get from tap water, consider installing filters on your sinks and showers.

    Aside from the few chemicals mentioned earlier, customers really need to be aware of greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to companies or products that label themselves as "green" or "natural" mistakenly leading to believe they are nontoxic. The environmental consulting firm known as TerraChoice Group made up a report called "The Sins of Greenwashing" in which it found more than 95% of "green" consumer products contain at least one or few harmful toxins. Being certified as a green cleaner by the IJCSA is a great step for you as a cleaning business owner, to show your customers you know proper and safe procedures to provide an effective, natural cleaning solution. Check out a green-certified company in this directory:

    http://www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services


    Source from: https://experiencelife.com/article/8-hidden-toxins-whats-lurking-in-your-cleaning-products/


  • 23 Apr 2018 7:12 AM | Chanae Baker

    Let us think for a minute when we go out and purchase cleaning supplies, and or household cleaners we have the same thing in mind and that is to get everything cleaned from corner to corner ledge to seal and so forth not realizing at times its impossible to get everything cleaned, while using sanitizers or chemicals to make things smell good or freshen the air, at the same time not realizing it those same chemicals contribute to air pollution and can be poisonous if ingested and can also be harmful to the skin if it comes in contact with it. 

    Some examples of the harmful effects are common sense like you would not drink bleach out the bottle just for what ifs though when using it if to close and inhalation of the chemical could cause major or minor damages to the lungs and worsen in the long run down the years. Which is why one should take precautions and wear protective gear like a face mask when dealing with intense fumes or strong chemicals or any for that matter. Lets say you are a janitor or custodian at an elementary your about to sanitize a restroom while schools in session, your senses would tell you not to apply a lot because of the people. With that being said lets now say they're children present they are more prone to getting sick easier with all of the touch everything in there playing and whatever else you might say they do, it would do harm to there skin and forbid they have asthma that could really be a problem, and as adults we have to consider the same because we are not immune. 

    Aside from that the benefits and advantages of using or going green eliminates the lingering of polluting air in so helping to keep the ozone clean. One thing about green cleaners is for one they aren't corrosive and they meet standardized regulations regarding inhalation toxicity and skin absorption. They also have a quote on quote knowledge of ingredients for you so that you yourself know whats in your cleaning recipe. Big companies do a lot of investing in green products why you say, its less expensive for one  I mean why go out and buy it when you have the basics in your pantry not even knowing it. Most green or environmental friendly cleaning products dont contain antibacterial agents. I can name about 7 reasons to go clean myself maybe there is more but mine are healthier homes with the avoidance of becoming sick, purer environment helping to keep the air clean as well as minimizing problems or issues for the ozone safer products mean fresher and safe air for you and others cost effective and ways less expensive. 

    Find A Green Cleaning Service Here

  • 21 Apr 2018 10:26 AM | estrada

    Having a certification allows my company to bring security to our customers about our process and our expertise.

    The knowledge we got from this certification process will help us to better serve our clients and attack each problem that we face with their carpets with the best solution possible. 

    Find A IJCSA Certified Carpet Cleaning Company Here  

  • 20 Apr 2018 10:35 AM | Alberto Atallah

    I've spoken before about the benefits of green cleaning for people around you. Your customer, the people around them, their overall environment enjoys cleaner air, not burdened by chemicals from conventional cleaning tools. The environment gets a little more breathing room, your employees enjoy a good working morale, and better health as well. It's easy to see how these benefits would add to me as an individual, as well as my business.

    I've mentioned how offering green cleaning adds a selling point to your brand, because of the benefits I mentioned earlier. The satisfaction of knowing you're helping conserve the ecosystem, being responsible and practically adept, helps me find more pride in the work. Natural, green cleaning components are a cost-effective way of providing cleaning solutions in several cases. Did you know an effective furniture cleaner can be made up of a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice? These are common household items you can use, that have no effect on the environment you apply them to.

    As a company, the community that I service has the satisfaction that I'm providing an effective, elegant, but also eco-friendly solution to their problems. Green cleaning is not meant to lower service quality, but rather improve it. The title of a previous post was "There's no excuse to not hire green cleaning services", which I wholeheartedly believe. If companies are going out of their way to provide healthier, cost effective, and quality solutions for their clients, all the more reason to consider them. 

    Becoming IJCSA Green certified is a major advantage for your cleaning company. The standards set in this program make sure anyone running a cleaning service offers an eco-friendly, quality solution for their customers. As an individual, I feel better knowing I can do my trade without condemning the environment, while still helping the community. Look out for a green-certified company in this directory: http://www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services

  • 19 Apr 2018 2:36 PM | Alberto Atallah

    In a world where the consumer is only increasing their awareness and business-savvy, it should be standard to grow and adopt environmentally-friendly practices. These can range in effort and impact, but something as simple as reducing your water usage (faucets and showers) can help in being green. When it comes to cleaning businesses, hiring a good "green" cleaning company can only bring benefits to you and everyone around you. You're actively working towards providing a healthier environment for your families, your friends, and your customers when you employ eco-friendly cleaning services.

    IJCSA members have set solid standards on providing green cleaning for their customers. You can be sure you're getting the maximum value by having an IJCSA Green-certified company handling your business or home. Not only do they ensure top-shape cleaning, you're also comfortable knowing your facilities are polished using natural, effective tools to do it. This saves costs for both parties, actively helps our environment, and improves the health and morale of everyone using these facilities. Who knew an effective, natural window washer can be fashioned using half a cup of vinegar and water?

    To better help you in your search for the right cleaning firm, the IJCSA provides a green cleaning directory for you to instantly look up the best one for you. It's as simple as going to the URL provided below, and looking up by name or using filters in the advanced search link. What you get when one of these firms meets your requirements:

    -IJCSA Green-Cleaning certified
    crew comes to tidy up your facilities.
    -Your employees and customers enjoy fresher air and less exposure to harmful chemicals.
    -Actively supporting our environment.
    -A safer, cleaner, eco-friendly service at your doorstep.

    Check out an IJCSA green-cleaning certified company in the directory below:

    http://www.ijcsa.org/Green-Cleaning-Services


  • 19 Apr 2018 8:04 AM | Akia Booker

    Using natural green cleaning product is an effective way of saving the environment and ourselves. When you select natural green cleaning products, you are in one way or the other protecting the environment. Most ideal green cleaning products are manufactured using sustainable manufacturing practices and naturally derived, safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that have no adverse effect on the environment. On the other side, some conventional cleaning products include ingredients that are hazardous, toxic, non-biodegradable, and are derived from non-renewable resources like petroleum, so they have a negative impact on the earth's eco-systems.

    Even though this conventional cleaning product makes our house dirt free and sparkling clean, they in turn release hazardous solvents and compounds into the atmosphere in the home, and therefore, they have harmful effects on our health. Generally, every household uses different types of cleaning product containing harmful toxic chemicals, such as air fresheners, furniture cleaners and polishes, glass and tile cleaners, detergents, toilet cleaners, carpet cleaners, dishwashers, soap and others.

    There is an adverse effect on the environment as a result of these conventional everyday cleaning chemicals. For instance, “Cleaning liquids go down the drains and thereby threatening water quality, fish and other wildlife”. More so, petroleum-based products also contribute to the unnecessary consume of oil, a non-renewable resource. And let’s also remember the negative impact of plastic containers used in packaging cleaning products; recently some bottles are being recycled, but not in huge amounts.

    Aside the fact that chemical cleaning products are harmful to the environment, some other household cleaning products can affect the throat or the eyes or even cause headaches or other health issues. Some of these products release life threatening chemicals, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Other dangerous ingredients include bleach and ammonia.

    Volatile Organic Compounds and other harmful chemicals released when we make use of chemical cleaning product contribute to chronic respiratory problems, headaches and allergic reactions. Researchers are still trying to figure out how these chemicals affect individuals with asthma and other respiratory problems. However, previous research has shown that exposure to chemicals from cleaning products can cause occupational asthma and other respiratory problems.

    The best way to have a green cleaning and chemical free atmosphere is to switch from products that includes hazardous chemicals such as Perchloroethylene/PERC, Phthalates, Chlorine, Ammonia, and any other cleaning products that state “Warning Danger Caution, or Poison” on them to products that is made from natural ingredients such as Beeswax, Baking soda, Olive Oil, Vinegar, and other products labeled “no solvents or phosphates.” You can always choose from a wide variety of green cleaning products available in the market today labeled eco-friendly.

    Find Certified Green Cleaning Services Here

    References

    http://azchemistry.com/harmful-cleaning-chemicals

    http://www.shareguide.com/hazard.html

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/consumers-should-know-what-harmful-chemicals-are-hiding-in-cleaning-products/

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/01/health/everyday-chemicals-we-need-to-reduce-exposure-to/index.html


  • 18 Apr 2018 11:35 AM | Alberto Atallah

    Adopting a "green" model for your cleaning business has financial, practical, and moral benefits; for the customer, for their customers, your employees, and for you. As the increasing concern for the environment develops, customers are looking out for "green brands" and other ways to help conserve their spaces and decrease the negative impact on the environment. Adopting eco-friendly practices into your business adds a selling point for your brand, can boost employee morale, save costs, and gain you recognition for efforts in conserving the ecosystem. Here's a simple rundown on how you can make your cleaning business "green".

    Start by using more natural cleaning solutions, instead of the conventional tools that are usually releasing harmful chemicals. Baking soda, lemon, vinegar, are just three examples of components used in green cleaning. When these are mixed with water or oil, they provide effective solutions to a few areas, such as window and furniture cleaning, as well as deep polishing of counter tops, sinks, ovens, and other surfaces. Light some candles or burn some incense for an organic, green way to cleanse the air around you. Consider installing low-flush toilets and showers for your home or any venture, save costs on water and help save water as well. Most importantly, train your employees to adopt these green practices as habit, make it a company standard, and you'll be running a green cleaning program in no time.

    Find IJCSA Certified Green Cleaning Services Here

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