For decades, we have been working hard to develop stronger cleaners. Often, these cleaners became more and more toxic and difficult to work with. As a result, we convinced ourselves that in order to be effective, cleaners had to be toxic to us and to the environment.
However, the truth is that long before we started working on cleaners, nature had already developed an effective way to remove oil and other organic stains. Certain microorganisms can produce enzymes that break down oil so that the organism can eat it. This breaks down toxic oil in an eco-friendly way.
Are eco-friendly concrete cleaners effective? Yes – the science is well established. In fact, under some circumstances, eco-friendly cleaners work better than other types. Here’s why.
Eco-friendly concrete cleaners work using enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts produced by living organisms. A catalyst stimulates a certain reaction. Often, enzymes are used to digest food. In this case, enzymes break down oils and other petroleum compounds. Organisms develop enzymes to eat these substances, taking what they want from them a combination of matter and energy, then the organisms excrete oxygen and carbon dioxide.
There are two different ways that eco-friendly concrete cleaners use biological enzymes. One approach is to produce the enzymes under laboratory conditions. Microbes are raised under ideal farming conditions, and the enzymes they produce are collected. These collected enzymes are then marketed as the cleaner. They contain a high potential for quick results, but they aren’t very shelf-stable, and begin to lose effectiveness almost immediately. Over time, they continue to degrade, until a year or two after manufacture, when they are not nearly as effective.
Another possibility is to package the bacteria that produce the enzymes. Dormant bacteria are capable of remaining dormant for a very long time. In fact, people are concerned that bacteria frozen in the permafrost could awaken today, after more than 10,000 years. Once bacteria experience the proper conditions, they will begin producing the enzyme to break down the oil. This type of cleaner might be slow to start, but it can be the most effective form because over time the living bacteria can produce as much enzyme as necessary.
There are many reasons to choose eco-friendly cleaners. With eco-friendly cleaners, you’ll typically enjoy:
Because these eco-friendly cleaners aren’t toxic and don’t produce toxic byproducts, they don’t harm you or your local environment. You don’t have to worry about yourself, your neighbors, or their dogs. You can use the cleaners with no special protective gear. And you generally don’t need any special permits to use these cleaners. For other cleaners, you might need to get permission to use them, and might need to receive special permits.
Eco-friendly concrete cleaners have the potential to work better than other cleaners because they’re alive. Other cleaners have a set stock of cleaning material, and when that’s used up, the cleaner can’t do anymore. However, with an eco-friendly concrete cleaner like Terminator-HSD, the living bacteria can keep producing enzymes as long as the conditions are right. In terms of our bacteria, that means having enough water, a temperature between 40° F and 110° F, and having a supply of oil to eat.
It might take Terminator-HSD a little longer to get started, but once it does get going, it can keep going until it has completely broken down all the stains on your concrete. Proper use of the cleaner can lead to better cleaning than either power washing or harsh chemical cleaners.
Want to see for yourself if eco-friendly concrete cleaners work? Start by purchasing a small container and giving it a try.