Green cleaning


Some traditional cleaning products contain ingredients that have been linked to occupational asthma. It is possible for hospitals to maintain optimal infection prevention and control while also reducing staff, patient, and visitor exposure to harmful chemicals present in many traditional hospital cleaners.

Green cleaning goal

Inventory cleaning products and purchase 90% Green Seal or UL ECOLOGO certified cleaning products in the following categories: carpet, window, all purpose, bathroom, and general floor care

For the most commonly used cleaning products, “greener” cleaners can be identified, preferably certified by a third party such as Green Seal or UL ECOLOGO, including:

  • General purpose cleaners
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • General floor care and carpet cleaners
  • Upholstery cleaners
  • Window and glass cleaners
  • Floor strippers and finishes
  • Laundry and dish soap

There are a number of technologies that can assist in the reduction of harmful exposures from traditional cleaning products, including:

  • High-filtration vacuum cleaners
  • Automatic scrubbing machines that use only water
  • Microfiber technology
  • Ultraviolet light disinfection, where appropriate

Hospitals that have most successfully reduced the impacts of harmful cleaning products throughout their facilities look at the full spectrum of cleaning procedures and design comprehensive cleaning policies that align with hospital goals and address every part of keeping the hospital clean and safe for all, such as:  

  • Revised standard operating procedures
  • Guidelines for safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals
  • Specific training for environmental services personnel
  • An achievable plan for phasing-in environmentally preferable products, materials, and equipment
  • Annual reevaluation for both cleaning thoroughness and processes and equipment
  • A feedback mechanism for patients and staff to provide input

Practice Greenhealth has developed many tools and resources that inspire and guide our member hospitals to set baselines, identify goals, and implement strategies to reduce the impact of harmful chemicals found in cleaning products.

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