How Green Is Your Cleaner?

November 6, 2009

The poor economy may be hampering sales, but green offerings continue to blossom in the industrial and institutional cleaning category.

How Green Is Your Cleaner?

The poor economy may be hampering sales, but green offerings continue to blossom in the industrial and institutional cleaning category.

Tom Branna
Editorial Director

Banks may fail and budget deficits may soar, but all the economic turmoil isn’t keeping marketers of industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaners from rolling out an array of novel formulas that get their start in green chemistry. Today’s floor strippers, hard surface cleaners and disinfectants use less caustic materials, less water and less packaging—all in an effort to improve the environmental profile of their products and customers.

Of course, the recession has forced businesses to cut back travel budgets and families to eat out less. On the flip side, demand for health care continues to soar, and with H1N1 now considered a “national emergency” by the White House, keeping public spaces and places clean is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

According to Kline & Co. estimates, the U.S. I&I market is currently worth $11 billion. Bruce Boynick, a senior associate with Kline and president of Boynick Consulting, noted that prior to the recession, the I&I industry was growing at a slow, but steady 2.5-3% clip. Unfortunately, 2009 is shaping up to be a no-growth year for the industry.

“On balance, 2009 has been a flat year, but things are improving,” Mr. Boynick told Happi. “The market will make a gradual recovery that is tied to macroeconomic development.”

Macrotrends, too, play a pivotal role in the success of individual companies and green cleaning has become a driving force in the I&I market.

I&I marketers that have embraced the green movement and developed efficacious products with a reduced impact on the environment continue to thrive. At the same time, formulators with innovative solutions to problems that have nagged at the industry for years are reporting phenomenal growth. All of them were on display last month in Chicago at ISSA/Interclean, the annual tradeshow put on by the International Sanitary Supply Association.

Spartan Chemical, for example, has launched SparClean, aline of warewash products that do not contain phosphates, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) or EDTA, making them more environmentally preferable than most traditional warewash products.According to Spartan, each product has unique benefits, and all were formulated and tested to superbly clean even the toughest food residues with efficient and economical results.

Not to be outdone, Earth Friendly Products, Garden Grove, CA, has expanded its green offerings at a rapid rate. At ISSA, the company rolled out Wave Autodish Free & Clear under its Proline brand. The phosphate-free product works as good as Cascade, said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, vice president, Earth Friendly Products.

“Our business has quadrupled in the past five years because customers are looking for three things—value, efficacy and green. We have all three.”

And now, with manufacturing facilities in Illinois, California, New Jersey, Florida and, beginning Jan. 1 in Seattle, the company has the facilities to keep production costs lower than ever, said Ms. Vlahakis-Hanks.

Spartan Chemical’s new SparClean warewashing line is said to be more environmentally-preferable than traditional warewashing products.
Other new products include an orange oil-based stainless steel cleaner and polish and a soy-based stainless steel cleaner and polish. Both formulas have Environmental Protection Agency Design for the Environment (DfE) recognition pending.

“Green is unlimited. Eventually, everyone will have to go green,” said Ms. Vlahakis-Hanks.

But most executives who spoke to Happi at ISSA insisted that their companies have been green for years.

One of them, Eco-Concepts, Las Vegas, is rolling out Green Concept 300 Service System products for the health care and hospitality sectors. These concentrated cleaners are five to 10 times more concentrated than other products on the market. According to Jim Decker, technical director, Eco-Concepts, a successful I&I product has four components:
• Safe for the environment;
• Safe for human contact;
• Superior performance; and
• Superior cost.

The patent-pending Green Concept formulas don’t have any magic ingredients, Mr. Decker insisted.

“It’s not special chemistry,” he told Happi. “But chemistry that is used in a special way.

“I’ve been in this industry since 1971. There are no magic ingredients. It’s formulating knowledge. (Still) there are lots of things I wouldn’t use and only a handful of ingredients I would use,” he concluded.

Figuring what ingredients to formulate with, or even what I&I products are truly green, is an increasingly complex issue. In the rush to capture the attention of a customer base that was clamoring for green, many companies quickly developed products or re-designed labels that make eco-friendly, and natural or organic claims, explained Brent Crawford, president, Core Products.

Core Products offers a range of green cleaning solutions, including Green Logic floor finish.
He explained that third party certification is now a primary distinguishing factor for truly green products. Agencies such as Green Seal, EcoLogo and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) program ensure that products have been tested according to their certification/program standards and can honestly make a “green” claim.

For its part, Core Products offers two brands with either Green Seal or DfE designations. Green Logic Glass & Surface Cleaner, Green Logic Degreaser, Green Logic Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner, Hydroxi Pro Crystal Spot and Hydroxi Pro Carpet Cleaning Crystal are all part of the DfE program, while Green Logic Metal-Free Floor Finish, Green Logic Low Odor Floor Stripper, Hydroxi Pro Concen- trate, Hydroxi Pro Grout Smart and Hydroxi Pro StoneLogix have Green Seal certification.

Clean and Green

Six months ago, Gojo launched its Green Hygiene Solutions line to help facility managers meet the hand hygiene requirement that was recently added to the LEED-EB building rating system certification and re-certification process. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED-EB green cleaning prerequisite requires development of strategies for promoting and improving hand hygiene, including both hand washing and the use of alcohol-based waterless hand sanitizers.

To help companies meet LEED-EB certification requirements, Green Hy- giene Solutions includes a hand hygiene strategy for green cleaning policy; effective, environmentally responsible hand hygiene products; educational tools that promote and encourage hand hygiene; and an implementation guide and tools to launch a successful program. The Gojo Green Certified Foam Hand Cleaner and Green Certified Lotion Hand Cleaner formulas have Green Seal and Ecologo certification.

“In the past several years, sustainability and the green movement have moved to the forefront, but Gojo has always been there,” insisted Angela Watkins, a Gojo spokesperson.

Green isn’t the only news at Gojo. With growing concerns about the H1N1 virus, demand for Purell hand sanitizers is stronger than ever.

“H1NI creates interest in Purell. Everybody refers to the Centers of Disease Control’s recommendation to use hand sanitizer,” explained Ms. Watkins. “That’s increased the popularity of hand sanitizers and created unprecedented demand.”

The CDC’s message that “hand washing is a simple thing and it’s the best way to prevent infection and illness,” has been taken to heart by health care facilities, building managers and just about everywhere where people meet and can spread germs.

CSPA Annual Meeting: A Decade of Excellence

For years, marketers and suppliers of chemical specialties have ended their year on an upbeat note by heading south for the Consumer Specialty Products Association’s annual meeting. This year’s event will be held Dec. 6-10 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The meeting’s theme, “A Decade of Excellence” will showcase the consumer specialty products industry’s achievements through the first decade of this century, such as new ways of doing business, managing issues and embracing electronic communications. Attendees will have many opportunities to become involved, gain an insider’s knowledge about how CSPA works and become conversant with the issues that have a significant impact on the industry and a company’s bottom line.

Award-winning historian and author Douglas Brinkley will keynote the general session on Dec. 7. Dr. Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. Five of his recent publications have become New York Times’ best-sellers.

More info: CSPA, Tel: (202) 872-8110; Website: www.cspa.org

Rochester Midland Corp. (RMC) has rolled out Enviro Care Foaming Soap, which it bills as “a sustainable choice” because it uses less packaging, waste and transportation compared to bag or cartridge systems. For example, one case of Enviro Care Foaming Hand Soap equals 15 bags of 1000ml soap. This quarter, RMC is rolling out a green pot and pan cleaner, degreaser, and grill and oven cleaner. All formulas are bio-based and use new surfactant technology.

“We’ve been doing green for so long, it’s just part of what we do,” explained Jim Bruno, marketing manager, RMC. “Now, we’re looking beyond green to sustainability.”

To improve a customer’ sustainability level, RMC audits their business to better understand the client’s needs.

“A college is different than a supermarket,” he explained. “We custom-build a program (to suit their needs).”

Other new RMC products featured at ISSA included HandsFree AutoSanor, a full service restroom odor control program. According to RMC, when units are filled and serviced on a regular basis, maintenance professionals can sell up to 60% more fills.

Eureka! A Better Way to Clean Stains

At ISSA some booths were more crowded than others, but no space was busier than Bio-Pro Research, which markets Urine Off cleaners. This bio-enzymatic technology remediates urine, body fluids and growth media for microorganisms. The company, formed in 2003, originally sold products to veterinarians. Since then, Urine Off has expanded into the hospitality sector, following several media reports of poor cleaning practices in hotels and motels.

“Eighteen months ago, we went into the Jan/San category and the response has been fantastic,” insisted Bill Hadley, chief executive officer of Bio-Pro Research, Hickory, NC. “We’re solving problems that people never thought could be solved, including getting 20 year-old urine out of carpets.”

To back up its claim, Bio-Pro sells LED light kits to detect urine and other body fluids within the near-UV range. There’s even an organization, BlackLightClean.org, which certifies effective cleaning products. This month, Bio-Pro Research is rolling out Wine Off and Coffee Off in retail stores. In fact, interest in Urine Off and its sister products is so strong, that Mr. Hadley predicted that corporate sales will surge from less than $10 million to $200 million within five years. Products are already available in 36 countries and slated to enter nine more in the near future.

“People like Urine Off because they’ve found something that finally works,” he explained. “It isn’t the cheapest one out there, but Urine Off solves urine problems.”

Unfortunately, at this point in time, not all problems can be solved with green solutions. For example, Mr. Crawford of Core Products noted that the EPA has a team working to give green designations to disinfectants.

“As of today, any Green Seal or EcoLogo certification mutually excludes any type of virus or germ kill claim for a product—in other words, a product may have either a Green Seal or EPA designation but not both,” he explained. “Disinfectants by their very design kill germs and viruses, so in general are usually some harsh chemicals. Registering disinfectants can be time consuming and costly, so streamlining this process with green designations will be a boon to the industry. There are ‘shades’ of green for every product and application.”

But whatever the shade of green, I&I marketers have struck gold with environmentally-friendly cleaners.

New Ingredients for I&I

Here’s a list of new ingredients for the industrial and institutional market introduced by suppliers during the past 12 months. To find out more about any of the products listed here, contact the supplier directly at the number provided.

AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry LLC

Bridgewater, NJ
Tel: 800-906-9977, 312-544-7000
Email: Linda.Terwilliger@akzonobel.com
Website: www.akzonobel.com/sc
Berol CLF
Description: Nonionic surfactant/cationic hydrotrope blend
Applications: Low-foam/defoaming cleaning, cleaning in place, metal parts washing, machine floor scrubbing, metalworking fluids
Use levels: 0.1-10% depending on type and loading level of soil or heaviness of grease to be cleaned
Comments: Berol CLF blends the low-foaming capability of a nonionic surfactant with a novel cationic hydrotrope in patent-protected formulations that deliver high-performance, solvent-free de-greasing power to applications requiring low or no foam. Berol CLF is designed to be used as the sole surfactant, together with chelating agents and/or builders in aqueous systems. Ideal for high-shear environments, it is especially suitable for heavy-duty I&I applications where low or zero foam is critical. In addition, Berol CLF is biodegradable and can be used in alkaline, neutral and acidic formulations.

Chemrez Technologies Inc.

Quezon City, Philippines
Tel: (632) 6350680
Email: atan@chemrez.com
Website: www.chemrez.com
BioSolve Spill Rx
Description: Concentrated 100% plant-based type II oil spill dispersant.
Applications: May be used neat or diluted with sea water at various ratios depending on the thickness of the oil slick.
Use levels: It is recommended that a 1:5 ratio be used after skimming activity and 1:10 for eliminating very light slick on water.
BioSol Dispersant Cleaner
Description: Concentrated plant-based, water-emulsifiable degreaser.
Applications: Spray area with BioSol Dispersant Cleaner and allow it to stand for a few minutes to cut into the grease. Rinse the area with water with pressurized spray.
Use levels: May be diluted on 1:1 ratio with water
Comments: It contains an organic degreaser that has superb strength to loosen and release the stickiness of heavy hydrocarbons.
BioSolve Clean 'n' Purge
Description: A new generation oil system cleaner that is essential for flushing used motor oil before every oil change.
Applications: Oil system cleaner.
Use levels: Is dosed at a mere 5% of engine oil capacity to ensure effective and flushing of the lubrication system
Comments: Provides boundary lubrication on cylinder walls, superb solvency dilutes used oil, concetrated and highly efficient, biodegradable and non-toxic.

Cognis Corporation

Ambler, PA
Tel: 215-628-1437
Email: virginia.lazarowitz@cognis.com
Website: www.cognis.com
Dehyquart L-80
Description: Dicocoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium metosulfate and propylene glycol
Applications: Anti-static agent, cheater wax, dust mop treatment
Use levels: 1-5% active
Comments: Readily biodegradable cationic that is less toxic to fish and other aquatic life than other cationic surfactants. Dehyquart L-80 is an 80% active material that uses propylene glycol to reduce viscosity.
Aethoxal TTA or Aethoxal TTN
Description: Acrylic copolymer dispersed in water
Applications: Rheological additive that gives thickening, stabilizing and suspending properties in surfactant systems. Ideal for transparent gel compositions, the product has the ability to produce very clear formulations containing high levelsof surfactants. Requires neutralization with alkaline.
Use levels: 0.5-5.0% as is
Comments: Product can be used to make no drip cleaners that are dispensed through a regular trigger spray in an excellent spray pattern. The no drip allows for increased dwell time for improved cleaning. When used in a glass cleaner the product does not cause streaking.
Dehypon GRA
Description: Modified fatty alcohol polyglycol -ether
Applications: Phosphate-free warewash
Use levels: 2-10% as is
Comments: Dehypon GRA is a granular low foaming nonionic surfactant. It provides excellent foam control for challenging soils over a broad temperature range.

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products

Wilmington, DE
Tel: 866-404-7933
Email: Orders@tateandlyle.com
Website: www.duponttateandlyle.com
Zemea Propanediol
Description: 1,3-Propanediol
Applications: Solvent for home and industrial cleaning products; enzyme stabilizer for liquid laundry detergents
Use levels: 3-12%
Comments: Approved by EPA’s Design for Environment/NSF CleanGredients. Skin-friendly performance attributes such as no skin irritation/sensitization and increased humectancy—ideal for wipes applications and other cleaning products that touch the skin.

Lonza Inc.

Allendale, NJ
Tel: 201-316-9200, 800-365-8324
Email: contact.allendale@lonza.com
Website: www.lonza.com
Carboquat H
Description: Didecyldimethyl ammonium carbonate/bicarbonate
Applications: Active ingredient for disinfectant/sanitizer formulations
Use levels: 150-850 ppm
Comments: The next generation in quat technology, this multi-functional, non-chloride quat delivers micro-efficacy, improved formulating characteristics (e.g. solubilization of fragrances and chelants) as well as unique corrosion inhibiting properties.
Lonzabac 12
Description: Bis(3-aminopropyl)-dodecyl-amine
Applications: Active ingredient for disinfectant
Use levels: 250-1000 ppm
Comments: Quat-like efficacy in a non-quat, amine based active ingredient.Lonzabac 12 leaves very little residue and is easy to defoam. Additionally, Lonzabac 12 is compatible with certain anionic surfactants, increasing the options for the formulator.

Lubrizol Advanced Materials,
Noveon Consumer Specialties

Cleveland, OH
Tel: 800-379-5389
Email: pcp.csr@lubrizol.com
Website: www.homecare.noveon.com
Novethix L-10 polymer
Description: Hydrophobically modified alkali-swellable acrylate copolymer
Applications: Hard surface cleaners, laundry detergents, laundry pretreatments systems, car care polishes
Use levels: 0.3-1.5 wt% TS
Comments: Novethix L-10 polymer is an easy-to-use liquid thickener designed to thicken and improve the flow properties in a broad range of product types for HI&I applications.It is a liquid emulsion, high efficiency thickener with shear-thinning rheology. In surfactant systems it provides vertical cling, controlled misting, smooth flow and very low turbidity.

Rhodia Inc.

Cranbury, NJ
Tel: 609-860-4000 or 888-776-7337
Email: RHD-NAMCustomerConcierge@ us.rhodia.com
Website: www.rhodia.com
Mirapol Surf-S 300
Description: Proprietary polymer solution
Applications: Car wash/glass cleaner
Use levels: <1%
Comments: Easy rinse; fast and spot-less drying; shine.
Rhodiasolv IRIS
Description: Branched dibasic ester
Applications: Paint stripper, ink remover, graffiti remover, floor cleaner, hard surface cleaner
Use levels: 5-25%
Comments: Ketone-like solvency, eco-friendly profile, easily emulsified into waterborne systems.

Spectra Colors Corp.

Kearny, NJ
Tel: (800) 527-8588
Email: caputo@spectracolors.com
Website: www.spectracolors.com
Spectra WD EC Brite Yel Liq(1.WD.T070B0)
Description: Azo dye mixture
Applications: Tempera paints, poster paints, finger paints, watercolors and markers
Use levels: 1-10% depending upon type of application and desired color strength
Comments: odorless, water-soluble colorants developed especially for the children’s washable art market, made using the purest colorants and additives available. May be used in many different media. They wash easily from skin and most children’s fabrics.
Spectra WD EC DK Pink X Liq (4.WD.T075M0)
Description: Azo dye mixture
Applications: Tempera paints, poster paints, finger paints, watercolors, and markers
Use levels: 1-10% depending upon type of application and desired color strength
Comments: Odorless, water-soluble colorants developed especially for the children's washable art market, made using the purest colorants and additives available. May be used in many different media. They wash easily from skin and most children’s fabrics.
Spectra WD MBX Blue Liq (5.WD.T501M0)
Description: Azo dye mixture
Applications: Tempera paints, poster paints, finger paints, watercolors, and markers
Use levels: 1-10% depending upon type of application and desired color strength
Comments: Odorless, water-soluble colorants developed especially for the children’s washable art market, made using the purest colorants and additives available. May be used in many different media. They wash easily from skin and most children's fabrics.