In commercial cleaning, when looking to transition towards a sustainable business model, start with replacing the hazardous cleaning chemicals used by your employees with alternative eco-friendly commercial cleaning products. Cleaning products are essential to your business operations, but are simultaneously the most problematic.

Why It’s Critical We Use Eco-Friendly Commercial Cleaning Products

Primarily, the chemicals in typical cleaning products are undesirable because they are petrochemicals, and thusly, VOCs – or volatile organic compounds.  VOCs have a variety of adverse environmental and health effects. They have been well documented in causing respiratory and eye damage to those experiencing long-term exposure, along with less serious side effects such as dizziness, headaches, and nausea. These adverse health impacts affect not only your employees, but also customers.

Environmentally, VOCs have long been established in worsening, if not causing, a wide variety of environmental issues, including but not limited to: ozone depletion, groundwater pollution, ecosystem disruption, and even extinctions. These are largely because, when washed down the drain, the threat posed by VOCs cannot be entirely eliminated by sewage filtration systems – leading to seepage, and eventually evaporation.

How to Purchase the Right Eco-Friendly Commercial Cleaning Products

Thankfully, as opposed to the bad old days, the market of today is full of environmentally friendly, cost effective alternatives. As always, one of the best ways to ensure you are getting what you want is to always check labels. Always avoid products containing lye, ammonia, chlorine bleach, or any other VOCs. Always feel free to make liberal use of Google to research and vet eco-friendly commercial cleaning products – “greenwashing” is real, and you want to steer clear of it wherever possible.

In the age of e-Commerce, it has never been easier for small businesses to browse and buy green cleaning products. With all of this great technology at our fingertips, we might as well get some good use out of it! There exist several websites, such as, which offer the ease of Amazon but with a greater degree of specialization in eco-friendly products.

There exist a number of independent green product directories that are easy to use and helpful for checking eco-friendly commercial cleaning products. One of the most popular is the Environmental Working Group (or EWG), who do the work of verifying eco-friendly products and filtering out the greenwashed products, so you don’t have to. Small business owners’ time is valuable, and no one wants to spend long evenings in supermarkets, trying to find where they carry green commercial cleaning products, scanning labels.

For more tips on running a sustainable commercial cleaning business, check out our Sustainability Guide for Commercial Cleaning: Getting Started.

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