Cleaning products touch every surface of your restaurant, including the plates, glasses, and flatware you serve food on. It’s important that the products you use don’t pose health hazards to you, your guests, and your employees.
We’ve been trained by the cleaning product industry that effective cleaning is only possible with harsh chemicals. It simply isn’t true. Many powerful commercial cleaning products on the market today are derived from natural ingredients. They’re also cost-effective. Here are four of your favorite restaurant cleaners and four healthier, greener alternatives to consider.
- All-Purpose Cleaner
Crumbs, spills, grime, dirt: Your all-purpose cleaner handles it all. But if there’s bleach in your cleaner, it could be doing more harm than good. Sodium hypochlorite is a popular form of bleach. It gets an F rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for its effects on human health and the environment. Sodium hypochlorite can trigger asthma in sensitive people and is highly irritating to the skin and eyes. It’s found in many products, including Lysol Professional All-Purpose Cleaner with Bleach.
The active ingredients in natural all-purpose cleaners are derived from plants. Citric acid, for example, is derived from citrus fruits. Thymol, another disinfectant, comes from the thyme plant. Earth’s Natural All-Purpose Cleaner’s active ingredients are citric acid and thymol.
- Dishwashing Detergent
When you serve food, you get dirty dishes. Lots of them. They’re handled by your chefs, servers, guests, and dishwashers. With dishes passing through so many hands, it’s vitally important that your dishwashing detergent be effective and non-hazardous.
Antibacterial properties and a pleasing odor may be at the top of your list when shopping for dishwashing detergent. The popular antibacterial chemical, triclosan, is a known health and environmental hazard. It’s found in many dishwashing detergents, including Joy Ultra, which gets a D rating from EWG. Companies are not required to disclose the chemicals in their fragrances, many of which are harmful.
Not all effective detergents contain triclosan and other harmful chemicals, though. BioKleen Dish Liquid receives an A rating from EWG. Its all-natural ingredients pose a low health risk to humans and are easy on the environment, too.
- Floor & Surface Cleaner
Often, restaurants use separate, tough-acting cleaners to disinfect and sanitize floors and surfaces. Tough-acting is often marketing code for hazardous. Clorox Disinfecting Floor & Surface Cleaner’s known ingredients, for example, are both D-rated with EWG, giving the product a D rating overall. Both known ingredients cause respiratory irritation.
Healthy floor and surface cleaners contain natural—often plant-derived—ingredients to powerfully clean your floors and surfaces. Instead of Clorox, try Earth’s Natural All-Clean.
Let’s face it—when you cook, things get greasy. Degreasers clean grill hoods, grease traps, and slimy, greasy areas around the stove and griddle with powerful solvents.
Conventional degreasers contain one or more hazardous chemicals. Despite its name, Simple Green Heavy Duty Cleaner and Degreaser isn’t so green. It gets an F rating from EWG, mostly due to the didecyldimethylammonium chloride, which causes moderate to severe skin irritation.
Fortunately, safe, natural ingredients can also powerfully dissolve grease and grime. Earth’s Natural Sewer Degreaser contains limonene, which naturally occurs in the rinds of citrus fruits.
You don’t need to bring out the haz-mat suits to effectively clean your restaurant. To learn more about your all-natural, healthy, and environmentally friendly options, contact me today.
Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!
Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance