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Bridget Gardner – Professional Green and Safe Cleaner PDF Print E-mail

Bridget Gardner Even her dreams are clean!

When Bridget Gardner was looking for a career change five years ago, it was actually a dream she had that inspired her to look at cleaning as an option.  So she did investigate cleaning as a career and hasn’t looked back since.  The difficulty however, lay in the fact that at that time there was very little information available about chemical free cleaning, and green cleaning was perceived as being “Grandma’s recipes.”

Not to be deterred, Bridget began testing every safe product and recipe she could find while on her quest to find the most effective, sustainable, and safe cleaning methods.  To ensure her low chemical methods were hygienic enough, she also conducted extensive research into disinfecting and infection control.

Finally, to provide an incentive for future employees to commit to these methods, Bridget gathered evidence of the health and environmental risks posed by conventional cleaning products.  Fresh Green Clean, Bridget’s company, is now a leader in safe and sustainable cleaning practices.

Sustainable cleaning benefits

A lot of Bridget’s work is training professional cleaners in sustainable cleaning practices for domestic and commercial clients.

“Companies are beginning to recognise the health benefits of introducing safer cleaning solutions.  A cleaning company I work with had staff going off sick due to problems such as dermatitis and asthma; with the introduction of safer cleaning there has been a reduction in staff absenteeism, and ultimately the company saves money.”

While most companies have not totally eliminated the use of chemicals, they have been quick to adopt the microfibre cloth that Bridget claims has changed the view of safe, green cleaning.

Magic microfibre cloth 

“With the rise of the microfibre cloth people began to realise that water could clean as well as chemicals.

“Most hospitals have a low harm, high hygiene policy, where they use diluted detergent in warm water and minimize solvent cleaners like surface and window sprays. Hospitals that have introduced microfibre technology have reduced their cleaning costs by up to 30%,” said Bridget.

However, before changes can occur Bridget has identified three main hurdles that need to be overcome: price, the availability of product, and the myth that the green or safer options don’t work as well.

“One of the strategies we employ is to demonstrate how with good practices you actually use a lot less and ultimately save money, as well as contributing to a better environment and protecting your health.

“It is about changing the way you clean – taking a very holistic approach.  I can teach people a completely new approach to cleaning in an hour and they are amazed by the fact they don’t have to use all the products they are currently working with.”

Sustainability Victoria

In Bridget’s home state of Victoria, she is directing the SASI (Safe and Sustainable Indoor) Cleaning project, which is funded by the Victorian Government’s Sustainability Fund and managed by Sustainability Victoria.

One of the key features of the Project is the development of criteria to identify products that are safe and sustainable.  The aim is to provide much needed guidelines for selecting safer products. In addition, Swinburne University’s Science Department will conduct efficacy tests on different safe cleaning methods in order to provide quantifiable proof of how well products such as microfibre cloths, plant based detergents, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar really work.

One of the real benefits of switching to safer cleaning practices is in passing these methods onto our children.

“Cleaning is the most fundamental thing that we all do.  Therefore, teaching sound sustainable practices especially to our children creates a long term environmental reach to other areas like water saving, and the reduction of toxins in the environment,” commented Bridget.

Keeping our homes clean is something we all undertake way one or another.  It is one area that we do have control over and our decisions on what practices we adopt, and the type of products we use can help to keep our homes and our families healthy and safe.

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