The emerging science is saying that there is a material and impactful difference between green and extreme green cleaning.
The more important question is, what is the real difference and why does it matter?
Throughout the evolution of cleaning products, from lye soap to electrolyzed water, the common connection has been the desire to protect our families and improve the appearance of our homes and workplaces.
While the post-cleaning residuals are dramatically different, both green and extreme green cleaning share a common connection for solving particular cleaning problems.
For example, both respond to the need for a general purpose cleaner to improve appearance and sanitize building surfaces.
Over time, we have explored, created and invented a continuing stream of products to meet our cleaning needs.
While there is a common connecting purpose, the physiology and consequences of use are so different that they must be seen as two separate ideas.
The Chemical Cleaning Cycle
By now, most everyone has heard about green products and green product certification, or they have gone on to adopt these products as beneficial cleaning chemical strategies.
And, at one-fifth to one-fifteenth the chemical and toxic levels of traditional chemicals, who can fault using green cleaning products?
They are clearly better in so many ways than many traditional alternatives.
Traditional and even green chemicals have a predictable closet-to-dump cleaning cycle.
Liquid-based general purpose cleaning chemicals begin as a chemical before cleaning, they are the same chemical during cleaning and they remain the same chemical after the cleaning activity.
What you get after the cleaning activity is the residual chemical being dumped into the environment to be absorbed, inhaled or ingested in some way that affects worker safety, occupant health and the ecosystem.
The Extreme Green Cleaning Cycle
Extreme green cleaning broadly encompasses a variety of traditional and emerging products, equipment, strategies and technologies.
Yet, all meet the fundamental requirement that they leave no toxic residual in the air or on any surface after the cleaning activity.
Extreme green cleaning also has a predictable closet-to-dump cleaning cycle.
Liquid-based general purpose chemical-free cleaning begins as plain tap water before cleaning, is electrolyzed, ionized or steamed during cleaning and reverts back to tap water after the cleaning activity.
This cycle creates no chemical residual dumped into the environment to be absorbed, inhaled or ingested in any way that affects worker safety, occupant health and the ecosystem.
The final stage of the non-toxic, chemical-free cleaning cycle produces plain tap water.
The Greenest Of Green
If using green cleaning could reduce the residual chemical contamination level, wouldn''t that be a good thing?
Yet, as we see, even green cleaning chemicals can carry a toxic, although reduced, level of risk; extreme green cleaning carries no residual toxic risk.
And, this is the extraordinary difference between green cleaning and extreme green cleaning: Zero contamination to our environment, zero residual health risk and zero residual safety risk.
In short, extreme green cleaning is toxin-free, chemical-free cleaning.
Ultimately, this means no residual toxins, carcinogens or harmful chemical residues; it means there is nothing to harm worker safety, occupant health or our environment after the cleaning activity.
It is this remarkable difference that creates a whole new model for cleaning our homes and workplaces.
Vincent F. Elliott is the founder, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Elliott Affiliates Ltd. of Hunt Valley, Maryland. For more information, visit www.ealtd.com. He is widely recognized as the leading authority in the design and utilization of best practice, performance-driven techniques for janitorial outsourcing and ongoing management.