A reader asks: "I use a well known powdered cleanser with bleach every day in servicing restrooms. My customer has stated that this product is not "green" and that it will damage the new sinks and counters. Is this true?"

As we discussed in a prior article, use of powdered cleaners containing bleach and other compounds that have been found to be hazardous and environmentally poor choices, I want to reaffirm some key points:

1. Such products are not appropriate for day-to-day use due to the potential damage to the surfaces of counters and sinks. Old-fashioned porcelain toilets and urinals are becoming a thing of the past and care should be taken to verify what is the manufacturer's recommendations before proceeding.

2. A mild (with some suds) detergent/disinfectant is much more effective in day-to-day cleaning since it is designed to remove the soils without scratching the surface.

3. Although the damage may not be apparent at first, your workers can create fine scratches in the surface that eventually become visible.

4. In addition, the scratches can harbor germs and encourage bacterial growth that will make it even more difficult to clean and disinfect effectively.

5. Check with your distributor who may be able to recommend a seal/finish designed to restore and protect synthetic surfaces.

6. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to inventory all of the cleaning products that your staff uses and convert to greener, safer products.

7. Limit powdered cleansers, most acids and high pH (over 10.5) to specially trained workers who know how to use them safely as well as having the judgment as to when to use these products.

Once that sink or counter is damaged, it will be difficult if not impossible to restore. Look for safer alternatives. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.