Think Green for Floor Cleaning Products – Part II

The trend is obvious when you view the manufacturer links in Part I to this blog. Manufacturers are “greening” their manufacturing processes and their business cultures. Each touts the strides they have made towards environmental stewardship using words like “reducing VOCs, sustainable resources, recycling, improving indoor air quality.” These are all great steps towards a better environment that are measured by organizations that award approvals and certifications as a way for consumers to interpret the progress.

Let’s continue our look at greener cleaners for different types of floor coverings with hardwood & laminate cleaners as our next stop …

As part of the “all natural” Mohawk Floorcare Essentials line, approved by DfE, Mohawk has included a non-toxic Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner made from natural, renewable ingredients. When a product, like this one, is given the DfE Approved label, it indicates that the product, not only, contributes to a lesser impact on both human and environmental health, it also works as well or better than other cleaners in its class.

Bona, a company focused on wood floor care, continually strives to launch effective products with lesser impact on the environment. They do this by using recyclable materials in production and by developing non-toxic formulas, minimizing the harmful effects on people and downstream water pollution. Bona, a leader in the industry, offers a waterborne hardwood floor cleaner that is non-toxic, GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified, GREENGUARD Certified for Children & Schools, fulfills LEED points and meets CHPS and CA 01350 criteria for indoor air quality. The Bona cleaner is safe for the floor, family and environment and is effective in keeping your wood floor clean. In my home I use the Bona Spray Mop and Cleaner Refill Cartridges and my experience with this product has been great.

Moving on to Tile & Grout Cleaners…

Mohawk Floorcare Essentials has a Tile & Grout Cleaner. This, like the rest of the product line, is DfE Approved, made with natural ingredients and non-toxic.

Host Dry Extraction Carpet Cleaning System, which we took a look at in Part I for carpet cleaning, has also been used successfully to deep clean grouted tile floors. The Host website has a good illustration of this. A test area is recommended before full use. Typical use is commercial or institutional. Host products are Green Seal Certified, EPP Approved and LEED Qualified.

Several new acronyms and organizations have been introduced in the sections above. Here is what they mean to you…

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute focuses on indoor air quality. GREENGUARD is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that establishes standards and testing for indoor products. Their goal is to improve public health by helping manufacturers build safer products that will not pollute the air with harmful levels of dangerous chemicals or particulates. GREENGUARD awards several types of certification. GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified indicates that a product performs well in testing for low chemical emissions. GREENGUARD Certified for Children & Schools maintains an even higher standard for low-emitting interior use products and materials adhering to the performance guidelines in California Code Section 01350 (CA 01350) pertaining to indoor air quality. A product that meets CA 01350 is also LEED qualified and CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) approved.

CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools) helps to facilitate high performance learning environments that are not only energy and resource efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities for a quality education. CHPS and CA 01350 are considered to be leaders in improving indoor air quality standards.

I hope this blog leaves you more informed than you were before and gives you resources to use in determining what products are safest or most environmentally friendly. There is not one clear-cut answer because there are many approvals and certifications by various organizations and government agencies. Consumers need to use their best judgment in deterring which manufacturers or products are really doing something responsible for our environment and which are just blowing a lot of hot air (pardon the non-ecological idiom). There are many good products out there, several are mentioned in this blog and in Part I to this blog. My advice is to read labels, check websites and ask questions to draw conclusions about what is most effective in helping you to meet your “Green” goals.

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