(Originally Published December 02, 2018)

When many people think about non-toxic or green cleaning products, they often think that these products are not as effective as “real” cleaning products. Though this myth is pervasive, it is simply not true! Non-toxic and green cleaning products are “real” and effective cleaners - in fact, high quality green products are just as effective as their conventional counterparts. In this article, we’ll take a look at other myths and facts about both green cleaning products and chemical cleaners. To learn more about non-toxic cleaning, contact the experts at Kitchener Clean today!

Green Cleaning Products: Myths and Facts

As green products and environmental sustainability continue to be a hot topic in both the workplace and households, it’s important to know the facts - and be able to recognize the myths! We’ll start this off with a more in-depth explanation for the myth we mentioned above.

MYTH: Green cleaning products are not as effective as traditional cleaners.

FACT: Green cleaning products are, in most cases, just as effective as traditional cleaners that use harsh chemicals. Of course, non-toxic and green cleaning products simply do not contain some of the fast-acting chemicals found in traditional cleaners. Because of this, you may need to use a bit more, or leave the product to soak a bit longer.

However, most people are willing to spend a few extra minutes cleaning if it means reduced exposure to chemicals! If you are worried about the effectiveness of green cleaners, you can also check to see if the product has the EcoLogo or Green Seal certifications. These certifications help ensure the effectiveness of cleaners. At Kitchener Clean, we use always use the highest quality EcoLogo or Green Seal certified products when possible!

MYTH: Green cleaning products are not really safer to use.


FACT: The truth is, some “green” cleaning products do contain chemicals and are not truly non-toxic. There has been a trend called “greenwashing” - marketing items to appear eco-friendly or chemical-free, when that is just not the case. However, true green cleaning products are much safer to use, and pose less of a risk or no risk to humans, animals, and the environment.

So, how can you tell if a product has been “greenwashed” or if it is truly a green product? Once again, the best way to determine which products are actually safe and green is by checking labels. In order to obtain the EcoLogo and Green Seal label, products must be carcinogen and toxin free. Ensuring you buy certified green products will help ensure the products you use are safer for you, your workplace, or your family.

It is still important to remember that ‘safer to use’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘safe to ingest!’ Green products can still cause side effects if used incorrectly. You should still take precautions when storing and using products, especially around children and pets.

MYTH: green cleaning products can’t kill germs and bacteria.

FACT: When you think of a ‘disinfectant,’ it’s likely the first thing that comes to mind is a chemical cleaner, such as bleach. However, many different types of substances can act as disinfectants. For example, acetic acid (white vinegar) can kill a wide variety of dangerous bacteria, including E. Coli, salmonella, and other “gram-negative” bacteria.

Of course, vinegar alone is generally not enough to clean every inch of your home or office, but it is one simple example of a green cleaning product that can disinfect and keep you safe from harmful bacteria without the use of any harsh chemicals.

Note: Not all green cleaning products work as disinfectants - just like not all conventional cleaners work well as disinfectants. When looking for an effective disinfectant, check the label for ingredients such as citric acid, peroxide, and lactic acid, as they are all known as efficient sanitizers.

MYTH: green cleaning is just a fad - and an expensive one at that!


FACT: Although green and non-toxic cleaning products are becoming mainstream, that does not discredit their practicality and effectiveness. At one point, many people thought that green cleaning was just a fad for the overly cautious. However, we have seen over and over again that traditional cleaners do pose some serious health risks.

Many conventional cleaners have been found to release VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These VOCs can cause chronic respiratory problems, allergic reactions, headaches, and more. Other products  even contain chemicals known to cause cancer. As more people become aware of the risks associated with many chemical cleaners, we will continue to see that green cleaning is not a fad - but a way for everyone to stay safer.

Another reason why some people assume green cleaning is a fad is because of the pervasive myth that green cleaning products are more expensive - and therefore just a money grab. In reality, green cleaning products cost around the same amount as other cleaners.

In some cases, green cleaning products do come with a higher price tag, but the difference is often negligible. On top of that, if you work with a professional cleaning company that offers non-toxic cleaning services, you will likely not pay any more than for services that don’t provide non-toxic cleaning.

Chemical Cleaners: Facts and Myths

There are many myths about green cleaning products - but there are also myths about conventional chemical cleaners as well. It’s important to address both so you can be informed about all of your choices before you make a decision about your own home or office cleaning.

MYTH: Bleach is a perfect, safe, all-purpose cleaner


FACT: Bleach has been used time and time again in households and office spaces all around the world. It’s likely you’ve used bleach at some point, or at least come into contact with it and know its distinctive smell! Because it is so commonly used, many people think that bleach can be used to clean anything and is safer than other options.

Although bleach is an effective cleaner for some purposes, it is not necessarily safe or best used as an all-purpose cleaner. Bleach actually isn’t as effective at cleaning as you may think. It is also a harsh chemical cleaner and can be dangerous if used around children or pets who may accidentally ingest it. Bleach also releases dangerous fumes that can cause damage to your lungs and respiratory system.

Bleach can cause problems on its own - but it can be even more dangerous when mixed with other chemicals. For example, when bleach comes into contact with ammonia, it creates the deadly chlorine gas. Unfortunately, people have died from this accidental combination. If you choose to use bleach, it’s important to remember the risks and to never mix two different cleaning chemicals or use them together.

MYTH: fragrant cleaners work the best

FACT: Many traditional cleaning products smell “clean” to us - a detergent with lemon fresh scent or floor cleaner with floral undertones. However, these fragrances don’t mean anything at all aside from the fact that they’ve been added to make you think that your home or office is cleaner!

If you see a cleaning product labelled with “Clean, fresh scent!” that does not necessarily mean that cleaning product is efficient at cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or items from germs and bacteria! Scented products like air freshener sprays may make your home or office space smell better, but they really just cover bad smells. Unfortunately, they don’t actually disinfect your floors, counters, or items. They don’t get rid of germs, remove stains, or effectively clean dirt. A product does not have to smell “clean” - like citrus or flowers - to be an effective cleaner!

MYTH: Ammonia is a natural cleaner


FACT: Ammonia is a common workplace and household cleaner. It is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen, and technically, ammonia is natural. It is natural in the sense that it is a chemical found in nature. But ammonia is a good reminder that natural does not always equal “chemical free!” And in the case of ammonia, “natural” is not always better.

Ammonia may be natural, but it is not green in the same sense that other green cleaning products are. Ammonia is a harsh chemical that is known for its strong, pungent smell. Often, the smell alone can cause problems for sensitive people. Exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause symptoms such as burning sensation in eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system. High levels of exposure can cause even cause blindness, lung damage, or death.

Ammonia is a common cleaner and is often passed off as ‘green cleaning’ because it is a naturally occurring chemical. Keep in mind that green cleaning does not necessary mean ‘natural’ - and natural doesn’t necessarily mean ‘green!’ Many substances and chemicals found in nature are harmful to both humans and the environment!

Non-Toxic Cleaning by Kitchener Clean!

At Kitchener Clean, we use green, non-toxic cleaning products and methods. We know that every workplace is different, with unique requirements and challenges. Many employees and customers or clients have skin sensitivities, asthma, or allergies, that may be triggered by toxic cleaning chemicals. At Kitchener Clean, we care about everyone in your office!

Let us introduce you to the non-toxic way to clean. Remember that non-toxic doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality or cleanliness. We always use highest quality EcoLogo or Green Seal certified products when possible in your office. Non-toxic cleaning provides just as thorough a clean and sanitization as cleaning with harsh chemicals - except you can breathe a lot easier at the end!

Looking For Green Commercial Cleaners In Kitchener?

Kitchener Clean is a locally owned and operated family business, so we treat our customers like we would treat our own family - with respect. We value integrity, consistency, and thoroughness with all of our clients. We also use non-toxic cleaning methods to keep you, your staff, and your clients breathing cleaner!

Did you know that Kitchener Clean started out as a home cleaning company? Today we are still firmly committed to cleaning your office as thoroughly as we would our own home. We are also dedicated to great customer service, honesty, and integrity.

At Kitchener Clean, we believe that our Office Care Technicians are a key reason we are so successful. We strive to hire the best Office Care Professionals in the business. We take security seriously so all of our staff are bonded and have undergone police checks.

Our reputation is important to us, so we guarantee all of our services. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply contact us and we will return within 24 hours to address your concern at no additional cost.

We even guarantee our response time. If we haven’t responded to any client communication within 24 hours of receiving it, we will offer you a free week of Office Care. That is how strongly we feel about the importance of communication and customer satisfaction. We will always stand behind our work. We guarantee it.

"They do a great job, for over 5 years now. Professional, trusted, and affordable... exactly what you need in a commercial cleaner."

-- Robert, A Kitchener Clean Customer!