Infection prevention is one of the most important tasks when cleaning/sanitizing or disinfecting any shower, restroom or washroom. There are basic principles which apply in any Green program, regardless of the facility you may be working in. Attributes of the use of these procedures significantly reduce the levels of contaminates as shown by adenosine triphosphate, (ATP) testing. An intricate part of any professional EHS operation is to routinely evaluate the performance of their cleaning procedures and results using this system of testing. 

Green programs focus on some very important factors that are often missed in traditional practices. 

• The first focus is to limit the Technician’s immediate exposures to chemicals and contaminates affecting their health. In spite of the proper use of personal protection equipment, traditional cleaning methods often leave Technicians exposed to pathogenic bacteria and toxic cleaning chemicals. By using ‘limited touch’ technologies, the chances of immediate exposures are greatly reduced. 

• The second focus is to go beyond cleaning for appearance. Because many contaminates, including pathogenic bacteria, are not able to be seen and are found in hidden areas such as behind fixtures and in grout lines, they are often left unaddressed. This leads to foul odors and facility damage caused by improper procedures. Because of the controlled application of cleaning and bacteria killing solutions are utilized, these areas are addressed on a regular basis and provide consistent results. 

• Limiting product use is the third focus of these cleaning methods. Due to the controlled application of cleaning solutions, the need for mop buckets, filled with gallons of ‘ready to use’ product, is eliminated. 

These programs consist of utilizing gallon pump up sprayers, mop buckets of rinse water instead of cleaning solution and a microfiber tools instead of rotting natural fiber. No touch cleaning units with dilution controlled chemical dispensers and powerful vacuums, embrace the two most basic of all Green cleaning principals; pH and physical removal.


David Thompson is a 40-year veteran of the cleaning industry and author of “The New Generation of Cleaning”, a best Practices Guide for Environmental Health Services. Thompson is also president of the Green Clean Institute. His book can be found at while the GCI coursework and certification courses have a home at