Proper use of detergents and disinfectants

photo Proper use of detergents and disinfectants


Even though environmentally friendly cleaning products are now on the market, consumption should still be controlled and the products used to good purpose. The way(s) each product is used should be examined, and procedures reviewed to introduce so-called natural products and improve cleaning practices. Suppliers can assist you in modifying practices and offer training on these techniques.


1- A range of measures help optimise use of ecocertified cleaning products: follow recommended dosage, prefer concentrated products, packaging in bulk and refills. This type of information can be obtained from product suppliers.
2- Some suppliers also propose package deals: with the purchase of their products they give establishments automatic dispensers (free of charge) for all-purpose cleaners, textile detergents and dishwashing products, which help users economise on quantities used.
3- It can also be useful to get information on using products such as:
- white vinegar (full strength or mixed with essential oils) as disinfectant and scale remover for surfaces, toilets and bathroom fixtures
- baking soda mixed with white vinegar as a gentle scouring powder for tiles, grouting, taps
- soda crystals (soda ash) with white vinegar to unclog drains and pipes
- laundry soap (savon de Marseille) or black soap as floor cleaner and all-purpose cleaner
- potpourri mixtures or essential oils as deodorisers
4- Take water hardness into account. Water hardness is a significant factor in cleaning efficacy. Hardness – i.e. the amount of dissolved mineral salts in the water – affects the use of cleaning products. In France water hardness is
measured on the TH (hydrotimetric) scale:

-0 soft water
- 7 medium water hardness
-14 hard water
- 21 and higher very hard water
Water hardness varies depending on the water source. Water hardness information is available from your water utility, or can be tested on your tap water.
- For scale removal: calcium in water causes scale to form. The harder the water, the more scale, and the more frequently it must be removed. The frequency determines the volume of products used for scale removal.
TH 0-14, 14-21, 21+
Scale removal once a month, twice a month, once a week
- For cleaning: the calcium in water inhibits the action of cleaning agents. To allow active ingredients to work, cleaning products contain an additive that captures the dissolved calcium. This factor must be taken into account when choosing products.


1- Review all cleaning practices: identify specific needs, study market offers and trends, list the spaces that are treated, the surfaces to be cleaned and the types of products needed
2- Ask your suppliers if they have products in bulk packaging, refills or automatic dispensers, and compare with the offers of competitors
3- Ask your supplier(s) for training on products, or train employees in-house
4- Test period for products


Whether for purchase of "natural" products, or changing cleaning practices, the financial investment is close to zero. The time investment, however, is significant, for product testing, staff training and adjustment of routines.


1- Savings on the amounts of cleaning product used and on the number of different products used
2- Less waste and less time spent on separating
3- Lower health risk for staff
4- Reduced environmental impact


1- Staff training and motivation
2- Oversee the start-up of the process
3- Obstacle of employees who are unwilling to change their working methods
4- Employees preconceptions about the efficacy of ecocertified products