6 Harmful Chemicals in Your Commercial All-Purpose Cleaner

All-Purpose Cleaner Chemicals

When we grab for our all-purpose cleaner to clean up a mess, most of us never consider that the chemicals in the spray may be causing more harm than good. Conventional all-purpose cleaners may get rid of the mess, but they leave behind toxic chemicals that are harmful to your health and the environment.

Conventional cleaners fail to get the job done without harm

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) routinely evaluates and rates cleaning products. Its analysis of hundreds of all-purpose cleaners found that more than 60 percent of them earn a D or F rating—yikes!

Cleaning product companies are not required to disclose the chemicals in their products because the government considers chemical compounds trade secrets. Some companies disclose a limited list of ingredients, while others make it impossible to find data on their products.

Six of the worst offenders

The EWG’s latest analysis found 75 percent of cleaning products contained chemicals that cause respiratory irritation and distress. All-purpose sprays were the major offenders of this group. Other products contained chemicals linked to cancer.

Here’s a list of the most common harmful chemicals in your conventional cleaning products.

Benzene Exposure to benzene can cause dizziness, irregular heartbeat, eye and skin irritation, and a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia.
Disinfectants Ethanolamine and quaternary ammonium compounds are common disinfectants and can trigger and even cause new cases of asthma.
Formaldehyde A common chemical in cleaners and detergents, formaldehyde is linked to cancer, irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin, asthma, and COPD.
Fragrance Chemically, the word “fragrance” in an ingredient list can mean anything. Studies have linked fragrances to allergies, immune system effects, and respiratory irritation.
Solvents The solvent 2-butoxyethanol is an ingredient found in all-purpose sprays, including some “green” sprays, and can cause damage to red blood cells and eye irritation.
Surfactants Alcohol ethoxylate surfactants are banned in the EU for their poor health effects, but not in the United States.

 

A better choice for a greener clean

Fortunately, you have better options for an all-purpose cleaner. Environmentally friendly, all-natural sprays powerfully clean up your worst messes without hazardous chemicals. My Earth’s Natural All-Purpose Cleaner uses thymol and citric acid, two plant-derived, all-natural ingredients that will wipe out your mess without making you and your employees sick.

To learn more about the hazardous chemicals in your commercial cleaner or to switch to a greener clean, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Sources:

EWG All-Purpose Cleaners

EWG Spring 2016 Update

Organic Authority

Green Clean Your Coffee Maker!

greek-coffee-1328798-639x511Coffee scum. We’ve all seen it. It’s the brown stuff left behind in your coffee mug and the filter basket and carafe in your coffee maker. Coffee scum comes from the fatty acids in your coffee and is exacerbated by the quality of your water and your coffee beans. Here are my tips for how to green clean your coffee maker and prevent coffee scum from forming.

What causes coffee scum?

Coffee’s fatty acids are to blame, but scum can get worse if you have hard water or purchase low-quality beans. The minerals in hard water bond with the acids in the coffee and adhere as scum on your mugs and coffee maker. Poor-quality coffee beans are more acidic than other beans and may leave behind more scum.

How can I get rid of coffee scum naturally?

You need to be careful about the cleaning products you use in and on your coffee maker, since you eventually consume the coffee you brew. Cream and sugar? Yes. Hazardous chemicals? Not so much.

A diluted degreaser with natural ingredients can cut through scum without causing you harm. Look for one with limonene, derived from citrus fruits. After degreasing the surfaces of your coffee maker’s filter basket and carafe, rinse them thoroughly with water.

To clean the interior of your coffee maker, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Pour the mixture into the reservoir of your coffee maker, add a filter to the filter basket, and brew. The vinegar will help clear out the reservoir and lines. Repeat with just water to rinse the maker.

Can I reduce or prevent coffee scum?

Absolutely! If you have hard water, use filtered water to brew your coffee (or take the plunge and install a water softener). Buy high-quality coffee with low acidity and avoid flame-roasted beans, which can increase acidity.

You don’t have to start your morning with coffee scum. Use all-natural cleaners to remove scum and keep your coffee maker in good running order. I can help you find a product that works well and won’t harm you or your environment. Contact me today!

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

The Essential Spring Cleaning Checklist for Restaurants

44584762_sIn Minnesota, our restaurants are inundated with salt, mud, and other wintry mess five or six months out of the year. Spring cleaning lets us purge winter and get our establishments ready for the warmer spring and summer months. Here’s your essential spring cleaning checklist to make even the grimiest greasy spoon shine.

Dining Room Checklist

Cleanliness is important throughout your restaurant, but you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck in areas where diners frequent. That’s why you should start with the dining room.

  • Repair chairs, barstools, and booths. Mend leather, vinyl, and fabric tears and scrub the grime and grease from legs, backs, and armrests.
  • Repair and refresh dining tables. Fill in nicks and scrapes, and resand and refinish wooden tables.
  • Professionally clean linens, curtains, and carpets. Replace any stained and torn table linens, professionally steam-clean the carpet, and consider refreshing the décor with new curtains.
  • Wipe down décor and light fixtures. Picture frames, vases, and other décor get dusty, greasy, and grimy. Scrub them down with an all-purpose cleaner to get them squeaky clean and shiny.
  • Replace staff uniforms. Worn-out uniforms make your restaurant look dingy, so give your staff new shirts and aprons to welcome in the warmer months.

Restrooms Checklist

Restrooms are a close second to dining rooms when making a good, clean first impression on your diners. Don’t forget to give your restaurant’s restrooms a deep clean this spring.

  • Make needed repairs. Leaky faucet? Get your wrench. Constantly running toilet? Call in your plumber. Keep everything in good working order.
  • Deep clean EVERYTHING. All surfaces—fixtures, doors, walls, and floors—need a good wipe down. Deep clean porcelain, tile, and grout to get rid of persistent grime.
  • Consider some upgrades. If your restroom fixtures are from a different century, consider upgrading to more efficient models. Automatic toilets, faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers help keep your restroom fresh and clean.

Kitchen Checklist

Diners care about cleanliness, but the MDH takes it seriously. You already know a dirty kitchen will get you into trouble. But even a kitchen that’s scrubbed every day needs a deep clean every now and then.

  • Maintain your drains. Clean out your grease trap and floor drains, which can become blocked with scum and harbor bacteria, bugs, and other bothers.
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Wipe down every surface with a disinfectant. Don’t neglect prep, bar, and food storage areas.
  • Steam clean your floors. Tiled kitchen floors get really grimy really fast. Steam clean the tiles with high-pressure steam, then put some elbow grease into cleaning your grout lines.

Take advantage of the warmer weather to get your restaurant ready for the summer dining season. For all-natural commercial cleaning products that won’t harm you, your staff, or your guests, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

It’s Easy Bein’ Green with These Healthy and Delicious Green Smoothies!

There may still be white snow on the ground, but it’s never too cold to bring some green into your diet. Green smoothies make fast, easy, and nutritious snacks or meals. People who regularly drink green smoothies report having more energy and even weight loss. Here are some of my favorite green smoothie recipes. Keep these in mind for St. Patrick’s Day treats, too!

The Simple Green Smoothie Formula

Simple Green Smoothies has got the green smoothie down to just a three-step formula. Remember 2+2+3: 2 cups of leafy greens, 2 cups of liquid base, and 3 cups of ripe fruit.

Simple Green Smoothie

The Kick Booty Kale Smoothie

Well-Plated by Erin came up with this butt-kicking recipe that takes just five minutes to make. The pineapple, banana, and honey add sweetness to the kale and tart Greek yogurt.

Kick Booty Kale Smoothie

Not Enough? Here are 50 More Recipes!

Can’t get enough green smoothies? Here are 50 more recipes to try from Skinny Mom. Make a new one each week, and these will last you until next February.

50 Green Smoothies

You’ve gone green at home and the workplace with Life’s Pure Balance, now green up your diet with these delicious green smoothies. For more green tips, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance

Why You Need to Add a Degreaser to Your Arsenal of Commercial Cleaning Products

Earth's Natural Sewer DegreaserWhat can a degreaser do for you? What can’t it do! A degreaser’s uses are as varied as your workplace cleaning needs. Here’s why adding a degreaser to your closet of cleaning supplies is a great idea.

A degreaser is a cleaning product that dissolves substances, such as oil and grease, that can’t be removed with water. Most conventional cleaners contain harsh chemicals and come with a long list of warnings, but some, including Earth’s Natural Sewer Degreaser, are powerful without the health and environmental hazards.

Degreasers don’t just keep the plumbing in working order, though. They can be used to cut through grease on floors, walls, grease traps, and even tools and heavy machinery. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use degreasers at the workplace.

  1. On Heavy-Duty Equipment

Machine parts, tools, and other heavy-duty equipment get grimy fast. This is especially true when industrial lubricants are involved. Use a degreaser to remove lubricant build-up and other grease, grime, and oil. A highly concentrated degreaser allows you to adjust the potency of the degreaser to fit your needs, whether you’re an auto body shop or parts manufacturer.

  1. In Restaurants

A degreaser banishes grime from grease traps, commercial kitchens, and bathrooms that get heavy use. It keeps your grease trap plumbing clear and in working order, reducing clogs. Use a degreaser to remove oil and grime from kitchen walls, floors, shelves, vent hoods, and garbage cans. It’s also handy for removing grime from the walls, floors, and garbage cans in your restaurant’s bathrooms.

  1. At Dog Kennels

Whether you run a doggie day care, shelter, or boarding facility, your kennels get a lot of heavy use, and it’s important to get kennels as clean as possible before a new dog moves in. Degreaser can remove the most persistent grime from kennel walls, floors, and doors. My environmentally friendly one won’t harm your furry lodgers, either.

If you’ve got grime, you need a degreaser to help you keep your commercial space squeaky clean. Choose an all-natural degreaser to avoid harsh chemicals without losing cleaning power. To try Earth’s Natural Sewer Degreaser or learn more about degreasers, contact me today.

Here’s to breathing easy and living life to the fullest!

Gene Wood, Life’s Pure Balance