Bio-Based Cleaning Chemicals: Myths and Realities
Like any new product, there are some misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding bio-based cleaning chemicals. And because bio-based cleaners continue to gather greater attention from both the public and private businesses, clarifications are necessary.
Although U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack may have been overly optimistic when he predicted a "50 percent increase in the number of newly designated bio-based products" a few years ago, more manufacturers are indeed developing bio-based cleaning products.
Experts believe that increasing numbers of these products will become available to the industry in coming years. But like any new product, there are some misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding bio-based cleaning chemicals.
Below are some of the most common myths about bio-based products, with clarifications provided by Jennifer Meek, director of marketing for Charlotte Products/Enviro-Solutions.
Myth: Bio-based cleaners are new.
Reality: While some are new, bio-based cleaning products actually date back to the 1930s. With more research, manufacturers and distributors discovered that some of these products are ideal for use in schools and other settings frequented by individuals with compromised immune systems, those who are chemically sensitive, and those who suffer from multiple or life-threatening allergies.
Myth: Bio-based cleaners don't work for serious applications.
Reality: While bio-based cleaners cannot replace acid-type cleaners, many bio-based cleaners are as effective as many traditional cleaners.
Myth: Because all bio-based cleaners are made from agricultural byproducts, they are pretty much all the same.
Reality: In fact, these products are not actually all the same. For instance, they are not all proven-Green, and there is no "one-size-fits-all" bio-based cleaning product. Users are encouraged to try different products to find the ones that are most cost and performance effective for specific cleaning tasks.
Myth: Bio-based cleaning products are cost prohibitive.
Reality: While many cleaning professionals now know that bio-based cleaning products are safer cleaning options that work effectively without a performance tradeoff, some still believe they are cost prohibitive. However, this assumption no longer holds true in most situations. The actual costs for these products can be about the same as comparable green or conventional cleaning products.
Myth: All bio-based products are proven-Green
Reality: Not all bio-based products have been green certified.