Green Disinfectants

As you may recall a number of years ago the EPA Design for the Environment launched a pilot program to review disinfectants that could be classified as “green”.  A hand-full of products were authorized as such under the Dfe label and you an find that list here.

Since we have had a few requests lately we tried to follow-up to see where the program has gone.  In speaking with a couple of the manufacturers of the chemical lines that we represent, they offered that they have not seen much movement to add more products to the list.

Technically there is no such thing as a “safe” or “green” disinfectant.  These products are meant to kill or to prevent living things from reproducing and therefore toxic by nature.  The concern is the overuse of disinfectants which in extreme situations can contribute to the creation of more-resistant bacteria.  So before trying to select the greenest disinfectant, make sure you are only using where necessary.  Many times using a good cleaner to remove the soils will do the job.

Resources:  What does the Dfe logo mean for on Biopesticide Product Labels

Active ingredients approved for use in products for Dfe Pesticide Pilot

Here is a suggested strategy to use for disinfecting to reduce your impact on health and the environment:

  • Use disinfectants (and sanitizers) only where appropriate: touch points like door or any kind of handles, table or desk tops, faucet handles are all good examples. Have a disinfecting plan and written procedures to have as training materials for employees.


  • Use the right disinfectant or sanitizer for the job – in other words making sure the kill claims are appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish. Only use disinfectants that are registered with the EPA.
  • Choose the right product with the least impact on health and the environment, and most of us are not chemists, so ask for help.
  • Use the correct dilution and use the product in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, especially as it applies to dwell time. Products with the least amount of dwell ti