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Gym hygiene: A clean start to the new year

Since the Corona pandemic, our health awareness has increased. We pay more attention to our diet and we do more sport. In Germany alone, the fitness industry, with its approximately 9 million members, is one of the forms of exercise with the largest number of members. For studio operators, this is good news. But comprehensive training support is not enough. Compliance with hygiene standards is the guarantee that gym members feel good. We show here which aspects can be particularly taken into account per area. 

Plexiglas protective panes require suitable cleaning to prevent damage, e.g. Apesin multi is suitable for this purpose. © Tana-Chemie

First impression counts

The entrance area is the business card of the gym. It is important to leave a lasting and positive first impression. Since Corona, every visitor should have the opportunity to disinfect his hands here. Attention should be taken to ensure that the floor covering is insensitive to alcohol splashes or protected by means of a protection mat. The meanwhile widely used Plexiglas panes require special care, as not every cleaner is suitable for this material. Therefore, a cleaner with the appropriate material compatibility should be selected. For the counter area, the use of a ready-to-use cleaner is recommended. Direct application without intermediate steps leads to optimal results in just a few seconds – saving time and money. This way, cleaning can also be done during opening hours to maintain the highest hygiene standards. Some systems, such as Quick and Easy from Tana-Chemie, allow foam application of the cleaners. The resulting reduced aerosol formation contributes to maintaining good air quality and thus also to a feel-good atmosphere for the gym members.

Safe odor control for humans and the environment

Pleasant smells can have a positive influence on the environment. Especially in highly frequented areas of gym, people sweat a lot. Sweat odor accumulates and becomes a challenge for odor control. Regular airing is important for air exchange, but cannot eliminate all odors. Air fresheners use a lot of perfume to mask bad odors, they only work for a short time and quickly reach their limits. Therefore, the use of a biotechnological cleaner is recommended as they eliminate bad odors in the long term. Natural microorganisms penetrate deep into the dirt layers and effectively decompose malodorous, organic residues. After application, they continue to work thanks to microbial dirt dissolvers and prevent new organic dirt formation. They are safe to use for humans and the environment and have a high material compatibility.

Harmless microorganisms help in the everyday life of a gym. They simply “eat up” unpleasant odors. © Tana-Chemie

Sustainably clean and hygienic changing rooms and sanitary facilities

According to a study by the German Employers’ Association of Fitness and Health Facilities (DSSV), more than half of the gym members in 2021 stated that hygiene standards were relevant when choosing a gym. This is especially true for the changing room and sanitary facilities with their different materials and barefoot areas. The often insufficient ventilation, heat and high humidity provide excellent breeding grounds for germs.

It is therefore a stated goal to remove visible contamination and to reduce the (non-visible) number of germs to a harmless level. This state is called sanitation. Sanitation is achieved by acids typically used in cleaning, such as lactic acid, citric acid, amidosulfonic acid or methanesulfonic acid. The acidity ensures a sufficient reduction in germs, which is necessary for the required hygiene level in maintenance cleaning. This is supported by special surfactant combinations that are used in typical sanitary maintenance cleaners. Volatile acids such as acetic or hydrochloric acid are not recommended, as these can damage many materials.

Which detergents are best suited for this area depends, on the one hand, on the type of soiling. These include organic soiling such as soap residues, dander and lime soap. In addition, there is a variety of mineral soiling such as lime, rust, urine scale or even brownstone. Secondly, the type of surface plays an important role. Therefore, during sanitary maintenance cleaning, it is important that the method used, with the acids and other ingredients it contains and the associated mechanics, is suitable for the surface to be cleaned. Application concentration and duration must be chosen correctly according to the soiling. This prevents damage to the existing surfaces and increases value retention. This in turn maintains the pleasant appearance of a modern sanitary room. 

The material determines the detergent. The appropriate maintenance cleaning ensures an hygienic and gentle cleaning. © Tana-Chemie

Most maintenance cleaners are acidic and therefore only suitable for acid-resistant surfaces such as intact chromium-plated metal and plastic elements, stainless steel, some plastics, ceramic products, glass, porcelain, acid-resistant natural and artificial stone, etc. Typically only acids that are not too aggressive are used for maintenance cleaning. This protects surfaces but also the users. To achieve effectiveness, Sanet daily is a good example. The foam adheres to the surface and effectively counteracts lime soap and supports the cleaning performance. 

For the cleaning of acid-sensitives surfaces such as ones made of polyacrylic or lime-bound materials, use acid-free sanitary maintenance cleaners. These are very similar to a classic all-purpose cleaner and the application concentration is around the neutral point (pH 7). Regular maintenance cleaning of such materials is important to avoid the formation of limescale deposits, wihich cannot be removed by acid-free products. Limescale deposits can nevertheless be effectively prevented in combination with e.g. scratch-free pads.

Customized disinfection protects athletes, sports equipment and the environment

Sports equipment and items are used by many people, leaving behind sweat, endogenous germs and dirt. But there is good news here: Detergents containing surfactants effectively reduce the germ load. Especially in the course of Covid 19 virus prevention, the use of such cleaners is an alternative, because the virus belongs to the enveloped viruses. The viral envelope consists of fat and is torn apart by the use of surfactants with their fat-dissolving properties. This makes it easy to inactivate the virus. A normal maintenance cleaning routine to clean the surfaces, for example with an all-purpose cleaner, is therefore sufficient. Instead of biocide products, sustainable cleaning agents can thus be used. The more material-friendly cleaning has a positive effect on the environment and keeps the surfaces intact for a long time.

All-purpose cleaners ensure the right level of hygiene. © pixabay

Disinfection is only necessary in case of a proven infection. For this purpose, disinfectants that only have a minor effect on the surfaces are suitable. In principle, a material compatibility test should be carried out at an inconspicuous area. Especially cleaners with quaternary ammonium compounds disinfect reliably with a broad spectrum of activity and short exposure times. This active ingredient is surface-active and impairs the function of the cell membranes of germs. Apesin multi for example uses this active ingredient and is suitable for use on both non-porous and porous surfaces, such as wood or leather, as there is no degreasing effect. Apesin multi is registered in the German VAH List of Disinfectants. 

Hand cleaning, regular air exchange and careful maintenance cleaning pave the way for a safe and healthy workout. Proper maintenance cleaning is thus a clear success factor for gyms. In addition to economic processes, it also provides the necessary feel-good atmosphere to keep members coming back.

Clean down textiles to feel good

Down textiles – light as a feather, providing cozy warmth – like duvets, pillows as well as jackets, e.g., of residents in retirement and nursing homes are a real challenge for professional laundry. How can cozy natural products made of real feathers and down stay fresh, clean, and fluffy in the cold season?

“With a few tricks and the right detergent, you will keep feathers and down fresh for a long time and also ensure the necessary hygiene,” explains Angelika Büttner, expert for professional detergents at Tana-Chemie.

Cleaning even sensitive materials in a safe way for people and the environment requires compliance with certain properties. Besides a high material compatibility, the absence of bleaching agents and optical brighteners, as well as EU Ecolabel certification, other sustainability aspects should also be taken into account.

Thus, the sustainable ACTIV delicat fine and wool detergent by Green Care Professional fulfils these properties and is mainly based on renewable raw materials. The mild detergent protects textiles and cares for fine and sensitive fibres with almond oil, thus ensuring clean down textiles. Its formulation is biodegradable and harmless to the health of the users of the textiles. ACTIV delicat is dermatologically tested and as it contains neither dyes nor phosphates, it is also ideal for hand washing.  

The appropriate washing method increases the effectiveness and durability of the materials. Always read the washing instructions before washing. © Tana-Chemie GmbH.

Green and Clean: Sustainable washing powders by Green Care Professional

In in-house laundries with only few wash cycles per day, the question arises as to whether washing powders can meet laundry hygiene requirements. Can this be done without sacrificing optimized energy, water and chemical efficiency? Is the use of washing powders with manual dosing sustainable?

The answer is provided by Tana-Chemie’s Green Care Professional brand washing powder range. Sustainable solutions for all types of soiling and textiles guarantee outstanding washing results. And with the freshly revised formulations for even more sustainability! The concentrated powders are characterized by high performance, which not only saves transport energy. The reduced dosage also minimizes costs per wash load. The smaller packaging is user-friendly and saves storage capacity. A key part of the revision is, of course, the biodegradable ingredients and EU Ecolabel certification. The formulations are free of microplastics and complexing agents such as EDTA, NDA, phosphates and chlorine-containing compounds.

Less Powder. More Performance. Complete green.

ACTIV intense: High performing laundry detergent with long-lasting fragrance, perfectly suitable for old people’s and nursing homes

ACTIV performa: High performing laundry detergent for bleaching and degreasing, perfectly suitable for use in hotels, restaurants and cafés

ACTIV bicompact, Ultra concentrated laundry detergent for short washing cycles and particularly energy-saving, can be used from 20°C

Green Transformation: The “Go Green” Year at Werner & Mertz Professional

Our Green Care Professional family is still growing

For the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz, 2022 promises to be a thoroughly green year. In the “Go Green“ project, the Mainz specialists for professional cleaning are hard at work, enlarging the product portfolio of their sustainable Green Care Professional brand. In the process, the formulas and packaging of several Tana Professional brand products are being reworked and optimized for a sustainable circular economy and their inclusion in the Green Care Professional portfolio. Thus, the recyclable solutions for professional building cleaning will be significantly expanded again.   

“With our choice of ingredients for Green Care Professional, we are setting standards today for ecological products that often deliver better cleaning performance,” said Dr. Paula Barreleiro, Head of Formula Development at Tana-Chemie GmbH. “We are steadfastly following this path with “Go Green”. In pursuit of our goals, we are tapping the experience and technology of our closed loop sustainability concept for the Green Care Professional brand.”

In the future many of the reworked products will bear the respected eco credentials such as the Cradle-to-Cradle certificate, EU Ecolabel and the Austrian Ecolabel. “These certifications are a visible sign that we are raising the sustainability of our customers to a new level with our product conversions. We see this as the most promising way to a circular future,“ says Xiaoming Bai, Head of International Product Management and Marketing.

The next big step

The ecological products for cleaning professionals developed by Tana-Chemie GmbH since 1987 were brought together under the eco brand Green Care Professional in 2011. In recent years the company has been steadily modifying its Tana Professional products for the circular economy. The next big step is coming up in 2022. “This will definitely be our ‘Go Green’ year,” says Bai. “By the end of the year, we will have incorporated the major share of the planned Tana products into our Green Care portfolio.”   

The large-scale transformation involves many products from the areas of Building Cleaning, Kitchen, Laundry and Personal Hygiene. Their formulas and packaging adhere even more closely to the principles of the holistic circular economy. In addition, formulas contain a greater share of plant-based raw materials which are biologically degradable and thus suitable for a return to the biological cycle. After usage, the packaging made of high-quality recycled plastic and based on Design for Recycling specifications is held in a closed technical cycle.

“You can see in the example of our sanitary cleaner SANET lavocid,“ says Barreleiro, “how we are reworking our Tana Professional products for their integration in the Green-Care portfolio. Since its transformation, the product has been EU Ecolabel certified. Now free of preservatives, the formula contains surfactants based on renewable plants and natural citric acid. Furthermore, the packaging is made of 100 percent recyclate and is kept in a closed loop with proper recycling.”

More information about the “Go Green” project can be found at

Werner & Mertz Professional at Interclean 2022: Crowds rush toward the circular economy

Tana-Chemie GmbH auf der Interclean 2022. Copyright: Tana-Chemie GmbH

Interest in sustainability and the circular economy is growing by leaps and bounds in the professional building cleaning sector. That’s the take-away for Tana-Chemie, the Professional Divison of Werner & Mertz, from this year’s Interclean trade show in Amsterdam. Several hundred companies presented their latest solutions and concepts for professional cleaning from 10 to 13 May in the Netherlands capital.

At the Werner & Mertz Professional booth at Interclean, visitors from all over the world got a good look at the newest products, services and digital tools from the eco pioneer. As usual, the company’s fair presence revolved around the key concept of a sustainable circular economy. “It was fantastic that after a purely digital interlude in 2020, we could finally talk face-to-face with customers,“ says Thomas Ulbricht, CEO of Werner & Mertz Professional. “The atmosphere among the fair visitors was very positive and the interest in our products and topics was enormous.” 

Compared to the last live fair in 2018, it was easy to see that sustainability has become the focus of all companies at Interclean, according to Mr. Ulbricht. “As a long-time pioneer of the circular economy and ecological product design, we obviously benefit from this new eco awareness. Which, not least of all, could be seen in the large crowds at our booth.” 

The transition to the circular economy

A highlight at the Werner & Mertz Professional booth was a three-dimensional installation that demonstrated the two recycling loops for Green Care Professional brand cleaning products. In one, plant-based raw materials that go into the cleaning products from Green Care are biologically degraded in nature and returned to the biological cycle. The packaging made of high-quality recycled plastic and designed for recycling is kept in a closed technical cycle.

“In this eye-catching model, our customers can see how our products support them in speeding up their transition to the circular economy,“ Mr. Ulbricht says. “It was quickly clear to many visitors that our cleaning solutions also raise customers‘ sustainable use to a whole new level. And that’s made possible without any extra effort from the user. Our Green Care portfolio is a sure way for our customers to become heroes of the circular economy.”

One of the products and digital tools available to users pushing the green transformation in their own companies is the Green Care Academy, an innovative continuing education program for cleaning professionals. On this newly developed eLearning platform, professional cleaning staff have access to practical instructional videos with easily understood information about daily work routines.

Using the free online tool Green Care Performance Calculator, visitors at the booth could find out how many tons of plastic waste, crude oil and greenhouse gases they could avoid by switching to sustainable cleaning products from Green Care Professional. With KLIKS – Pouch, the company introduced a sustainable innovation for its KLIKS dosing system. Now Green Care concentrated cleaners are available in space-saving plastic pouches whose design purposely eliminates all unnecessary packaging material.

Guest speaker at INPACS GmbH

Werner & Mertz Professional went outside its own booth to share the message of the innovative power of a sustainable circular economy. Xiaoming Bai, International Marketing Director at Werner & Mertz Professional, was invited to speak at the INPACS GmbH booth. In his keynote address, Bai led the audience step by step through the transitional process to a successful circular economy and spoke about what the European Green Deal means for the professional cleaning sector.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Werner & Mertz is leading the world in the use of post-consumer recyclate!

Global progress report highlights the success of German medium-sized enterprise

The current progress report issued by the internationally known Ellen MacArthur Foundation clearly shows that the medium-sized company Werner & Mertz not only set lofty goals for recycling use, but also has taken a worldwide lead in implementation.

Those goals – by 2025 all packaging will be 100% recyclable and made of 100% post-consumer recyclate and no new plastic will be used – were first announced by Werner & Mertz at the Our Oceans Conference on Malta in 2017. One year later, the Mainz cleaning products company officially pledged to meet those goals as part of the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment. Within the framework of the initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than 500 signatories around the world have committed to achieving ambitious targets for the sake of a functioning circular plastics economy. Among them are companies that account for 20 percent of the world’s total plastic packaging, governments, investors and other organizations. All signatories have committed to achieving a common vision:

  • Elimination of all problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging
  • Advancement of innovations so the plastic we need is reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Keeping plastic in a closed cycle so that it cannot land in the environment and cause damage there

Implementation of the goals is documented annually in a progress report.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation released the third progress report in November 2021.

More than 570 million plastic bottles of 100% Post-Consumer Recyclate to date

While many of the signatories strive to convert their plastic packaging to PCR for only some of their products or brands, Werner & Mertz is one of the few pursuing the goal of converting all packaging to 100% recyclate. The Mainz-based company has shown that it is equal to the challenge. Thus far, 53.9% of all plastic packaging throughout the entire portfolio is now made of 100% used plastic. That’s a world record in comparison to all signatories of the Global Commitment!

In its progress report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation repeatedly singles out Werner & Mertz as a highlight. Werner & Mertz is the only signatory in its sector that will do without virgin plastic completely by 2025. The medium-sized company has already distinguished itself from others in the industry by using the highest share of Post-Consumer Recyclate (PCR) in its packaging.

Steadily increasing recyclate share clearly shows pioneer role

Werner & Mertz has converted all the transparent PET bottles for the Frosch brand to 100% used plastic. For the company’s entire brand assortment, which includes Frosch and Green Care Professional, the brand for professional cleaning, the rPET rate stands at 99.2%. In addition to post-consumer material from the European deposit bottle collection (Bottle to Bottle), since 2014 the company – as a major exception in the market – has used a high share of recycled material from European household waste collection systems like the Yellow Bag (now at 50%). To date, more than 570 million such bottles have been put in the retail market – a world record!

The company already produces a large share of its HDPE bottles from 100% post-consumer recyclate. All bottles and five-liter canisters for the brand Green Care Professional are made from 100% Post-Consumer HDPE Recyclate. The cartridges for the Quick & Easy product rage also consist of 100% recyclate that comes from the household waste collection.

“The recyclability of packaging makes sense only when recyclate can be put to high-quality use. In recent years the use of recyclate in packaging has increased too little, as shown by the data in the current progress report. Unfortunately, fresh crude oil, which enjoys tax exemptions, is still less expensive than Post-Consumer Recyclate and that’s why many companies continue to use virgin plastic in their packaging. Voluntary commitments by a few companies cannot achieve climate protection goals. Governmental action is called for here,” says Reinhard Schneider, owner of Werner & Mertz.

Working together for sustainable tourism: Green Care Professional and Green Key continue their partnership

The eco label Green Key and the Green Care Professional brand of Tana-Chemie GmbH have extended their partnership to 2024. The non-profit run eco-certification for environmentally friendly accommodations and the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz, the Mainz-based cleaning products manufacturer, joined forces in 2019 to promote sustainable solutions for washing and cleaning in the tourism industry.

Green Key is a voluntary eco certificate for hotels, hostels, campgrounds, attractions, conference centers and restaurants. Green Key certification is based on strict criteria for sustainability management and sustainability training of personnel and suppliers. Compliance with the criteria is checked in annual audits. Currently, more than 3,000 facilities in more than 60 countries bear the Green Key seal. The program is administered by the international charitable organization Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Green Care Professional is one of the world’s leading sustainability brands for commercial building cleaning. The hygiene solutions of Tana-Chemie GmbH are distinguished by their environmentally compatible ingredients and innovative recycled packaging made from used plastic. For its unwavering focus on sustainability in all business areas, the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz was awarded the sought-after platinum medal by the CSR rating agency EcoVadis. That officially puts Tana-Chemie among the most sustainable companies in the world.

Performance Calculator: Online calculation of ecological benefits

Collaboration with Green Care Professional delivers real support to Green Key member companies as they work to achieve their sustainability goals. Since 2019 Green Key has made available its stand-alone version of the Green Care Performance Calculator from Werner & Mertz Professional. With the online tool, companies can figure out how much the conversion to sustainable cleaning products reduces their own ecological footprint.

The Performance Calculator yields concrete data on how many tons of plastic waste, crude oil and greenhouse gases a user can spare the environment by using environmentally friendly products. The tool is available to certified members on the Green Key Website under the heading “Washing and Cleaning”.

“We are very happy that we can continue our successful collaboration with Green Key in the coming years,” says Thomas Ulbricht, Head of the Professional Division of Werner & Mertz. “Wherever Nature is destroyed by climate change and pollution, the tourism industry loses one of the most important basics for its business. Therefore, together with Green Key, we will continue our work of explaining to owners and guests the environmental benefits of a functioning circular economy.”

About Green Key Green Key is a voluntary ecolabel for hotels, hostels, campsites, holiday parks, small accommodations as well as conference centres, attractions and restaurants. The Green Key award is based on compliance with strict criteria in the areas of environmental management (water, energy, waste, cleaning, etc.) and sustainability education (staff, guests, suppliers, etc.). Compliance with the criteria is confirmed through a rigorous application process and verified at on-site audits. The award is valid for one year at a time. Currently (May 2021), more than 3,000 establishments in 60 countries are Green Key awarded. The programme is managed by the international charity, the Foundation for Environmental Education. Green Key is endorsed by the World Tourism Organization and its hotel criteria are recognised by Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

FEE International Head Office Green Key International
Scandiagade 13
2450 Copenhagen SV
Denmark
info@fee.global
www.greenkey.global