Green Products for Green Janitorial Closets

When it comes to converting from conventional cleaning programs to new-age green cleaning, the green products and equipment that enter the building have a lot to do with the quality of the conversion.  The first thing facility maintenance managers need to do is develop the appropriate green cleaning protocol for the LEED certified new or existing building.Part of that protocol will identify the scope of the work and the composition of the materials to be cleaned.  The facility maintenance manager should only authorize use of specific products.  Whether the manager is directing building employees or janitorial cleaning service subcontractors, the managers must be aware of all products, equipment and personnel that enter the building.Green cleaning products and equipment should be certified.  The two leading independent commercial cleaning product certification authorities are Green Seal and Environmental Choice.  Both these authorities are recognized by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.Janitorial cleaning products have reduced toxicity and have been successfully used in LEED certified buildings for years.  These products reduce worker complaints, eliminate health and safety issues and are environmentally cost effective.  However, the practical effectiveness of the green products is directly related to the degree of training the cleaning staff has received.  There are right and wrong ways to use green products.A typical inventory of green cleaning supplies would include general purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, bathroom cleaners, specific carpet cleaning solutions, hard surface floor cleaners, upholstery cleaners, sanitizers, degreasers and liquid hand soaps.  All these products are available in Green Seal or Environmental Choice certified products.Cleaning personnel should receive training in the hazards connected to each product, proper dilutions and use of products, disposal techniques, proper dispenser practices and additional training in the basics of building system functions.There are good, safe locations for janitorial closets.  Facility maintenance managers should locate janitorial closets in isolated areas and should secure these rooms when they are not in use.  These closets should be organized and materials stored in the closets should be stored according to an organized system.  All products should be labeled.  Facility maintenance managers should inspect these closets regularly.  In truth, the cleanliness of the janitorial closet says a lot about the health of the building.

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