Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
August 2013 Feature 5
cleaning walls pink gloves

A New Generation Of Green Cleaners

Vegetable-based chemicals encourage microorganisms to digest troublesome organics and odors.

August 12, 2013

Increased environmental and health awareness has led to a greater array of “greener” and “safer” cleaners, deodorizers and degreasers in today’s marketplace.

Many of these products, unfortunately, do not offer truly safe and green alternatives.

Enter a newly-developed category of non-active biocatalyst-based products.

These products don’t contain bacteria or hazardous chemicals and don’t work or behave like enzymatic products.

Vegetable-derived Cleaning

Instead of mixing less harmful chemicals together, these all-purpose cleaners, deodorizers and degreasers are based on vegetable-derived non-active biocatalysts (NABCs).

NABCs have the ability to promote the prompt digestion of organic matter, including fats, oils and grease, and they eliminate all kinds of odors safely with no harmful by-products or side effects.

Many currently available chemical-based “greener” and “safer” products contain what are essentially dispersants or surfactants.

They merely loosen soil and grease particles, allowing the grime and grease to be removed by mopping or other mechanical means and transferred someplace else.

They don’t really get rid of the contaminants, and no matter how diluted, they still can be toxic and harmful to the environment and living organisms.

The same can be said about biocides, which kill beneficial as well as harmful microorganisms.

Metabolism And Microorganisms

NABCs promote the safe, rapid digestion of the organics that are converted into water and carbon dioxide, plus various innocuous salts. 

NABCs do this by enhancing the existing metabolic processes of the microorganisms present in all live matter so that they quickly digest the organics.

That is why NABCs find it unnecessary to add more bacteria or enzymes to the mix; they become not only redundant but add minimal value.

Also, the quantities that it is practical to add are minute in comparison to those already present in the medium.

Naturally existing bacteria produce enzymes that facilitate the absorption of organics through their cellular membranes.

Fighting Odors

Through their normal digestive process, these bacteria are nature’s cleaning crew, getting rid of mankind’s contaminants.

Instead of increasing the amount of available enzymes or the number of microorganisms themselves, NABCs stimulate the existing bacteria to work faster and better, thus accomplishing a green and safe cleaning, deodorizing and degreasing process, in a natural, harmless and efficient fashion.

No less importantly, besides the NABCs, many available products have difficulty when it comes to deodorizing, since they basically contain different fragrances that attempt to cover up unpleasant odors.

Many people find such fragrances irritating and allergenic, and they can wind up causing respiratory distress.

Luminometer and other tests, as well as field applications, have shown NABCs to be effective when it comes to cleaning, deodorizing and degreasing.

Cleaning Floors

When it comes to cleaning floor surfaces, for instance, a single application with mops or mechanical appliances is sufficient in the case of NABCs.

Sometimes products require two to three applications: The first application loosens the grime and old waxes; the second application mops up the residue; and the third application includes the new wax.

With NABCs, a single application will result in clean, shiny floors and potential savings in labor costs.

The first thing cleaning staffs notice when using NABCs is that the floors and also their cleaning implements ­­— such as mops and mechanical equipment’s discs and tanks — remain clean.

Advantages And Uses

From the practical standpoint, utilizing NABCs is not only beneficial to the environment, cleaning staff and general population; it also offers savings and cleaner surfaces with no unpleasant odors.

The advantage of NABCs can be summarized as follows:

  • Savings in materials and labor costs
  • Safe for humans, animals and plants
  • Truly green
  • Biodegradable
  • Clear and non-streaking
  • Non-irritant
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Non-toxic, non-hazardous and non-corrosive
  • Do not contain microorganisms
  • Simple to apply
  • Eliminates unpleasant odors
  • Efficiently degrade fats, oils and grease.

NABC-based cleaning products may be used in any situation where water can be applied and can be used for cleaning, deodorizing and degreasing.

They can clean:

  • Floors (tile, terrazo, marble, granite, concrete, etc.)
  • Carpets
  • Windows, mirrors and glass partitions
  • Surfaces made of stainless steel, aluminum, Formica, vinyl, rubber, etc.
  • Bathrooms and kitchens
  • TV, computer and cellphone screens
  • Other smooth surfaces.

NABCs can deodorize:

  • Trash bins, containers and compactors
  • Air conditioner equipment and filters
  • Food, tobacco and pet odors
  • Carpets, drapes and upholstery
  • Drains and grease traps.

Areas to degrease include:

  • Drains and grease traps
  • Floors, parking areas and other surfaces.

NABCs are a new solution to satisfy cleaning, deodorizing or degreasing requirements or circumstances efficiently, economically and safely for the environment and maintenance staff.


For the past 10 years, Tony Gisbert and Walter Dittel have been pioneering the use of non-active biocatalysts, initially in industrial and agricultural applications for emissions, solid waste and wastewater situations requiring remediation, cleaning, degreasing and odor control, as well as biofilm and scale control, In the recent past, they have developed applications for effective cleaning, degreasing and odor control for institutional and consumer maintenance,