Not long ago, a floor tech would strip a hard floor utilizing harsh chemicals that required substantial ventilation. They would then apply cross metal interlocked floor finishes that were super durable but came with a price when the stripper slurry was poured down the drain. Use of many of these products has proven to be potentially hazardous to not only the floor tech’s own health but also others in the building. 

Cleaning professionals did not understand the full effect of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and the impact they can have on a person’s health. Many of the “old timers” rejected the green friendly chemicals since they do not feel they worked as well as the ones being replaced. The newer products were slower acting due to their lower toxicity.     

The other side of the argument is to understand the serious damage done to not only the environment but also an individual’s health as they experienced prolonged exposure to certain products that have been identified as potential poisons. This amounted to slow poisoning with effects only showing up years later. The long term price of utilizing these poisons is too great when compared to the short term benefits of stripping a floor quickly or having a floor that lasts longer.

As the commercial cleaning world embraces green friendly products, one must test and evaluate each chemical to determine how it will accomplish the projected goals. Not all “green” products are actually green; nor are they necessarily effective. Implementation of more scrubbing/recoating instead of stripping/recoating can save not only valuable resources and labor but also have a positive impact on the environment.  


To validate green friendly products, one should compare the benefits and liabilities of each one. Question the products claiming to be green and make wise choices for long term benefits. 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