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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Question

I am looking for a good "Green" dusting spray but, everywhere I look, there is nothing that specifies an eco-friendly "dusting spray." The only results are for traditional products. 1) What determines a product can be called a "dusting spray" and can you recommend a green one? 2) I have seen that the majority of green solutions are concentrated and have different dilution levels for different purposes and thought of purchasing one to use for just dusting. How reliable are these all-in-one green solutions, and if they are as good as they say they are, which one(s) would you recommend which would also be great for dusting? 3) Which green product would you recommend that is strong enough to remove hard baked-on gunk on ovens and stove tops that works as well as the traditional products? I have already used two different green solutions that did not work as well as the product description specified.


Answer

Product recommendations are tough to make because we do not run a testing facility and may not be aware of the “best” in any category. Also, we run the risk of someone answering who has limited product knowledge or a special interest in promoting something. If the question is not widely seen, you cannot be sure of objectiveness and so we usually recommend you post it on an industry comment board on the Internet, such as http://www.cmmonline.com/board.asp. You are likely to get a better response there.
Be that as it may, my first comment on questions 1 and 2 would be to ask why you have this strong attraction to what is basically a household product, dust spray. Cleaning professionals generally avoid the use of products that leave residues on surfaces and, by use of aerosols, in the air. Dusting products fall into that category.
Here, from the National Institutes of Health website, is part of the MSDS for Endust, a common household spray.

Inhalation: Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling vapors can be harmful or fatal. High vapor concentrations (greater than 1000 ppm) are irritating to the respiratory tract. Overexposure symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, anesthetic, and other central nervous system effects, including death.
Eye Contact: Slightly irritating.
Skin Contact: Skin contact may aggravate an existing dermatitis condition. Frequent or prolonged skin contact may irritate and cause dermatitis.
Ingestion: May be harmful if swallowed. This product may be aspirated into the lungs during swallowing or vomiting and cause lung damage or possibly death.

Obviously, the risk to health of using this properly and occasionally in a home is minimal, but what about prolonged use in an office setting with 127 desk tops and 275 file cabinets and 78 credenzas and… well, you get the picture. You have residue on all sorts of surfaces and atomized particles to be inhaled constantly. Not the best usage for even a green product.
With the widely available selection of pretreated dust cloths and untreated micro-fiber cloths out there, I see little justification for using household dust sprays and other residue leaving products in commercial settings.
Question 3 is tricky as well. You might just as well ask how to drive a nail without a hammer or nail gun since those devices make so much noise. My recommendation will not be to use a feather pillow because it is quiet. Instead, wear ear protection if the noise is of that much concern.
Same here. If you want to remove baked on materials hardened by oven heat, you must use something that will work and clove scented glass cleaner probably isn’t the product of choice.
Select an oven cleaner, use according to instructions for personal safety, discard the waste properly, and you will be as green as you can be doing this unpleasant task.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com