There is a lot of confusion over disinfectants and how they can work into healthier cleaning goals. Regardless of third-party green certifications, disinfectants are important and serious chemical compounds specifically formulated to kill living organisms. Thus, to improve health and promote green, use disinfectants only where and when needed.

For example, a hospital-grade disinfectant is essential in maintaining critical areas within a hospital including operating rooms, morgues and patient rooms, but in many areas of a hospital such as mail rooms, shops, maintenance areas and public hallways a low-grade disinfectant, sanitizer or even a simple detergent may be sufficient — and be a safer, greener alternative. Not only will this approach reduce some of the risks associated with disinfectants, but in many cases it can also save money.

Also, make sure the disinfectant is appropriate for the organisms being targeted and don’t forget the importance of training. It is best to purchase your green cleaning chemicals from a manufacturer or distributor that can train your cleaning personnel on proper procedures, application, dwell times and other techniques to ensure that the products are being used correctly to protect both health and the environment.