Conventional cleaning products pose a whole host of health and environmental hazards. Fortunately, there are many non-toxic, environmentally-friendly, and effective alternatives to traditional cleaners both in stores and nestled away among the ingredients in your office kitchen.

The Dangers of Traditional Products

The cleaning products you use could be putting the health of your employees at risk. Chemicals found in many cleaning products, such as hydrochloric acid, perchloroethylene, and chlorine have been linked to chronic headaches, incessant nausea, and eye and throat irritation. Using nontoxic alternatives was found in most cases to relieve symptoms by an average of 41 percent. The fumes from these products can also exacerbate the symptoms of already-existing health conditions, like allergies or asthma. These health risks can cost you money in the long run by decreasing the morale and productivity of your workers.

Non-Toxic Brands

It pays to invest in the health of your employees. Whether you handle the office cleaning in-house or you contract out to an office cleaning service, there are many alternatives available to companies who want to eliminate cleaners containing chemical irritants from the workplace. Brands like Norwex, Method, Nature Clean, Pink Solution, and Orange TKO are among the non-toxic cleaners available right now on store shelves. If you outsource, find out what your service uses. There are many “green” office cleaning companies who only use products like these, so if yours doesn’t, you may want to request that they switch. Alternatively, you can find one that specializes in non-toxic cleaning. Not looking to spring for non-toxic products? There are plenty of homemade alternatives that can do the job just as well and offer you more bang for your buck.

Homemade Cleaners

You may not know it, but the very ingredients in the food you eat often have a lot to offer as part of your home or office cleaning regimen. Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, for example, are all excellent alternatives to traditional cleaners. Here are some applications for things you may find on the baking aisle or in your office pantry:

  • Clogged drains: Dump a generous quantity of baking soda into the drain opening, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Repeat as many times as necessary, before flushing with hot water.

  • Dirty oven or toaster oven: Make a paste of water and baking soda and apply to inside of oven. Let it sit overnight, and then scour the surface with a plastic pad. Wipe out with a damp paper towel when done

  • Dirty tile or linoleum flooring: Pour 3 gallons of warm water in a bucket with 12 teaspoons of dishwashing liquid, and mop the floor with it. Following this, rinse with 3 gallons of cold water mixed with 1 cup of white kitchen vinegar.

  • Dirty wood flooring: Mop with a solution of 3 gallons of warm water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Afterwards, wipe the floor down with a dry towel.

  • Dull or dusty wood office furniture: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 3 cups of olive oil and a dash of natural lemon oil. Apply to the furniture and rub down with a rag.

  • Dirty glass: Use club soda as a great alternative to ammonia-containing chemical cleaners.

  • Dirty stainless steel office furniture: Use undiluted apple cider or white vinegar, applied with a soft cloth. Wipe clean. Alternatively, use club soda to remove streaks.

  • Dirty sink: Mix up a solution of non-toxic dishwashing soap and warm water. For messes requiring more elbow grease, a rag dipped in vinegar can be used to scrub baking soda into those stubborn areas.

  • Rust: Normal rust removers are extremely toxic. Try soaking the rusted area using salt and lime juice for several hours, then scrub off that rust.

  • Odours: Baking soda can remove most odours, whether they emanate from the office fridge or from musty old carpet. Sprinkle baking soda on the offending object, let it sit, and then wipe or vacuum it up.

Believe it or not, there are tons of other applications for simple household ingredients like this. Instead of using harsh chemicals that take a toll on the health of you and your employees, encourage the use of some of these safe, non-toxic alternatives. Your employees will thank you!


Published by Steffen Ploeger