Green Cleaning

The three elements of sustainability, being ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable, are easily applied when a green cleaning program is implemented. It is not just about simply switching out products for something better.

  • Ecologically Sound-
    • Installing low-maintenance flooring to reduce cleaning needs
    • Utilizing machines that require no chemical product at all, but rather ionize a water molecule to pick up dirt
    • Cleaning with biodegradable products, with little off gassing
    • Using equipment that uses less water, to do the same job, or better
  • Socially Just-
    • Eliminating custodians’ exposure to toxic chemicals
    • Using less water or chemical, means less lifting and trips to the water closet to have to refill
    • Keeping public waterways free of unnecessary chemicals
  • Economically Viable-
    • Using concentrated cleaners reduces packaging and over-purchasing
    • Green Seal Certified cleaners have shown to be no more expensive than regular cleaners



Green Seal Certified Cleaners

Over the past two years, UWM’s custodial staff under Physical Plant Services, has been testing and  purchasing Green Seal Certified cleaners. This certification is the standard for green cleaning,  especially for an institution or business. It is important that staff have the ability to try out these new  products, since some have not performed as expected. If a product takes more to do the same job, the  labor has increased, and no sustainable goal has been reached.

Gojo dispenser

GOJO Hand Cleaner

Notice the new hand soap dispensers? These new UWM logo dispensers contain GOJO hand    cleaner. This foam soap is biodegradable, does not gather in plumbing pipes as traditional soap   does, and tends not to drip, leaving less of a mess to clean up.

 Echo Floor scrubber

Chemical Free Floor Scrubbers

As needed, all floor scrubbers are being replaced with the Echo machine. No chemical is needed at all,  and less water is used by these machines to do the task. By ionizing the water molecule, the positive  and negative charge attracts dirt and even ground in salt during the winter. There are currently four  machines like this on campus.

Kaivac Cleaning System

Utilizing the Kaivac-No Touch Cleaning System

Several bathrooms on campus are cleaned with the Kaivac-No Touch Cleaning System. This system is   more efficient and effective than traditional cleaning, while utilizing less labor and less cleaning agent  to get the full job done.

 Xlerator hand dryer

Adding energy efficient hand dryers

To eliminate paper towel waste and expense, all bathroom remodeling under Physical Plant Services is  implementing the Xlerator or similar hand dryers. These hand dryers are 80% more efficient than  traditional hand dryers, and dry hands in seconds. These will reduce or eliminate the need for paper  towels, which can pile up and make a clean bathroom look dirty in just one break between classes.  Paper towels vs. hand dryers, is an age-old debate for the environment, and with the newest energy  efficient technology, UWM will be moving toward hand dryers.

 Green Cleaning Audit

Green Cleaning Audit

UWM has recently gone through a green cleaning audit. This audit examined many different areas around  campus buildings. Moving to a full green cleaning system will mean examining what old product we have to get  through or rid of, what areas have specific needs, what alternative equipment is available and necessary, and  most importantly, making sure our staff has the training they need to do their best job with a new approach.