The link below is an article in this months issue of Contracting Profits, one of the several commercial cleaning industry trade journals.
It describes in detail :
– Oxygen based cleaners including :
– Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based cleaners
– Cavitation based “bubble” technology like Tenant’s and Activeion’s
– Ozone in water solution.
– Plant derived cleaners including :
– Citrus (D-limolene included)
– Other plant based – primarily soy oil as a substitute for petroleum bases.
The article says it better than I could – but a couple of observations.
Cavitation has been around in specialized applications for 20 years. Electrosonic blind cleaning tubs are the application we in the janitorial industry are most familiar with. However you can’t run your ceramic tile floor thru one of these tubs. A few years ago Tennant corporation came up with a chemical free auto scrubber that uses cavitation. In the last 2 years a startup called Activeion has further reduced the size of the bubble chamber to something larger than a Windex sized spray bottle – and it is now portable enough to use to clean a mirror or fixture in a bathroom or an entry door.
We are using the technology – the start up cost is a little higher (about $300 per spray bottle vs $ .60 or so) – but the $ 0 chemical costs can make you whole pretty quickly in a large building with a 4 hour bathroom run.
We’re also standardizing our start up janitorial franchisees on H2O2 products – our tests indicate comparable cleaning capability vs regular detergents, and the safety and OSHA MSDS compliance advantages of having one chemical that is so safe as to be almost drinkable are persuasive in our type of operation.
Citrus has been around in specialty products for years also – in particular mastic removers and carpet gum removers. It works. Was never really preferred for general floor cleaning etc as was unnecessary – existing (but less green products) worked fine. We haven’t costed it out vs detergent based cleaners for daily commercial cleaning applications like floors and bathrooms, but I’m guessing costs are not so different as to preclude us from using citrus based cleaners.