Office cleaning is an essential task that helps maintain a clean and hygienic working environment. However, it’s important to recognise that office cleaning carries inherent risks that can potentially jeopardise the health and safety of individuals involved. One significant risk arises from exposure to cleaning chemicals, which can have detrimental effects even if they are deemed natural or eco-friendly.
Cleaning chemicals, whether they are conventional or environmentally friendly, can pose health hazards if not used correctly. They may contain toxic, flammable, or caustic ingredients that can cause harm when inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with the skin or eyes. Therefore, it is crucial to handle and store cleaning chemicals properly, following safety guidelines and using appropriate personal protective equipment. In this article, we’ll shed light on the major pitfalls in commercial cleaning and emphasise the imperative need to address these risks.
Understanding the Composition of Your Office Cleaning Chemicals
When it comes to office cleaning, there is one crucial rule that should never be overlooked: never mix bleach with any other substance. Bleach is highly reactive and has the potential to create deadly chemicals when combined with incompatible ingredients. It’s imperative to be aware of the dangers associated with using the wrong cleaning products, as the consequences can range from a subpar cleaning outcome to irreversible damage to surfaces and fabrics.
While the negative impact on property is concerning, the most significant risk lies in the potential harm to human life and well-being. Despite efforts towards gentler and more environmentally friendly solutions, many cleaning products still contain toxic, flammable, or caustic ingredients. While the most hazardous chemicals come with clear warnings, the true danger arises when different chemicals are unknowingly combined.
These risky combinations can occur accidentally, such as using bleach for disinfection and subsequently applying a glass cleaner for a polished finish. In some cases, inexperienced cleaners may even attempt to boost cleaning effectiveness by mixing multiple products together. However, this practice is exceptionally dangerous and should be strictly avoided.
To emphasise the importance of adhering to these guidelines, here are some examples of chemical combinations that may appear harmless when used individually but can become highly perilous when mixed together. By understanding the risks associated with mixing cleaning chemicals, we can prioritise safety, protect our well-being, and maintain a healthy working environment.
Bleach and vinegar
Two widely used cleaning staples, bleach and vinegar, should never be mixed together. When combined, they create chlorine gas, which can be extremely hazardous. In high concentrations and poorly ventilated areas, chlorine gas can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, and a burning sensation. Additionally, when chlorine gas reacts with water, it forms hydrochloric acid, a potent corrosive that can inflict severe damage on the body.
Bleach and glass cleaner
The reaction between the hypochlorites in bleach and the ammonia present in glass cleaning products produces chloramines, which are powerful and highly toxic gases. Exposure to chloramines can result in chest pain, vomiting, breathing difficulties, and even pneumonia. It is crucial to avoid mixing bleach with glass cleaners to prevent the formation of these dangerous chemical compounds.
Bleach and alcohol
Surprisingly, combining bleach with cleaning alcohol, including the one found in hand sanitisers, creates chloroform—a powerful sedative that can be deadly. This reaction also produces hydrochloric acid and other harmful byproducts. It is essential to refrain from using bleach to clean up alcohol spills and to never combine bleach and alcohol in an attempt to enhance disinfecting power.
Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
When hydrogen peroxide and vinegar are mixed, they generate peracetic or peroxyacetic acid, which is highly corrosive. This acid can cause damage to surfaces and irritate the throat, lungs, eyes, and skin. It is crucial to handle these chemicals with caution and avoid their combination to minimise potential harm.
Preserving Property: Avoiding Costly Damage
Even at light concentrations, these chemical mixtures can ruin carpets, fabrics, furniture and office equipment.
Using single cleansers on their own can pose a threat to your property if not handled properly. Take, for example, the case of marble floors. Cleaning them with acidic agents can result in irreversible damage. The acid in these cleaners reacts with the carbon and calcium compounds in the natural stone, causing it to fizz away into CO2 gas. Unfortunately, this damage cannot be repaired. It is crucial to avoid using any cleaners or vinegar-containing acids in an attempt to achieve a streak-free finish.
Leave It To The Professional Commercial and Office Cleaner
To mitigate the risks associated with dangerous and damaging cleaning chemicals, it is highly recommended to enlist the services of professional and experienced commercial cleaning service. These experts possess the knowledge and expertise accumulated over decades of experience. By entrusting your cleaning needs to a reliable team, you can rest assured that your property will be in safe hands.
When hiring a professional office cleaning service, it’s important to research their reputation, pricing, services offered, and reviews. Additionally, it’s important to compare different professional office cleaning services, as this will help you to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
If you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy professional office cleaning service in Dandenong, Lyndhurst, Pakenham, Braeside, etc, then look no further than SM&MN Clean. We offer a range of professional office cleaning services, including carpet cleaning, window washing, floor scrubbing, and dusting. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to get a free quote.