Toxic Cleaning Chemicals to Watch Out For

Due to rising awareness of the all of the toxic (and potentially carcinogenic) chemicals that are in household cleaning products, green cleaning has become increasingly more popular over the last several years. Many have adopted green cleaning practices at home to protect the health and wellbeing of their kids and pets, which has caused an explosion in the residential green cleaning industry. Nowadays, you can buy eco-friendly cleaning products right off the shelf at your local supermarket, or easily hire a home cleaning service that only uses natural cleaning solutions. Our homes are becoming safer and greener, which is a positive trend that we are very proud of.

But what about the cleaning products and practices that are used at your office building, workplace, or place of business? It’s just as important to go green at work as it is to go green at home. The health and wellbeing of employees is something everyone should value, not to mention engaging in sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices.

The list below includes some of the most common toxic chemicals that are found in both household and commercial cleaning products:

– Phenol/Carbolic Acid (most commonly found in disinfectants): Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, is a hazardous air pollutant. It can also severely irritate the eyes and burn skin upon contact. When inhaled, phenol is highly corrosive and attacks the central nervous system, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

– Formaldehyde (most commonly found in mold and mildew cleaners): Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic chemical, air pollutant, and irritant to the skin, eyes, and mucus membranes. Household cleaners that contain formaldehyde contaminate our “ambient air” and cause symptoms such as severe nausea and headaches, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, and memory loss. Inhaling formaldehyde can also increase your risk for nasopharyngeal and lung cancers. 

– Ammonia (most commonly found in glass cleaning products): Ammonia can cause severe irritation to the eyes and skin upon contact and can also cause damage to the respiratory and digestive tracts upon inhalation. Ammonia is especially poisonous to aquatic animals (including fish, marine mammals, and amphibians), and has fatal consequences when it is released into our waters and ecosystem.

– Phosphates (found in most general cleaning products): One of the largest culprits behind ocean pollution is phosphates, which are responsible for algae overgrowth and the subsequent depletion of oxygen in our oceans, rivers, and streams. Ultimately, high phosphate levels are fatal and create an unlivable environment for both aquatic wildlife and plant life. When it comes to human exposure to phosphates in cleaning products, symptoms such as nasal and throat irritation as well as skin rashes are not unusual.

We know it is intense and a bit frightening to learn of what’s really in that smelly cleaning solution that is used to wipe down your desk each week, or what dangerous VOCs you are breathing in at the office all day… Yikes! But knowing these facts about toxic chemical exposure is necessary in order to protect our health, reduce our overall environmental impact, and make our facilities and professional workplaces healthier, safer, and better places for all!

For more information on how to integrate green cleaning practices into your office’s, business’, or facility’s professional cleaning routine, contact GBS today!





Infographic: Give Your Office a Healthy Makeover

We love this infographic from University of Utah Health Care.

Making your workspace comfortable and ergonomic (and also keeping it green and clean!) is a wonderful way to improve productivity and maximize wellbeing.

A healthy working environment is a happy one!


5 Ways to Make the Workplace More Eco-Friendly

Besides cleaning green and sticking to sustainable janitorial practices (which not only is better for the air and environment, but also better for the health of employees and the overall success of a business), there are many other ways you can create an eco-friendly workplace. Whether it’s bringing in plants to green up the office or choosing to ride your bike to work, even small changes can make a huge impact.

Check out the tips below from The Economic Times and find out what you can do to help make your business greener.





Five ways to make the workplace eco-friendly

From: The Economic Times

With environmental consciousness on the rise, companies are going the extra mile to reduce their collective carbon footprint — by installing solar panels, using eco-friendly appliances and organizing tree-planting initiatives. They are also encouraging employees to take individual steps towards a better environment. ET tells you how to move towards a cleaner and greener workplace.

1. Go Digital

Going paperless is the first step towards making a workplace environmentally friendly, says Mohan VC, general manager of corporate occupational health, safety and environmental protection at Bosch India. “Use electronic forms whenever possible, and email letters and documents rather than sending printed copies,” he says. “Compact flash drives can also be used to efficiently transport and share documents.”

2. Encourage Sustainability

Measures should be taken to make office campuses cleaner and greener. Recycling waste paper, using shared transportation and having a no-smoking work environment can make a huge difference, says Vikas Goswami, head of Good & Green, GILAC. Sensitising and involving employees in environmental activities is also a requisite.

3. Keep Plants

Having small potted plants inside the office helps to improve the quality of air, feels Mohan VC. “What’s more, plants always brighten up a place.” Added benefits? Having plants around your work-area can also significantly reduce stress and boost your productivity.

4. Save Energy

“Put computers on ‘standby’ or on ‘hibernation mode’ when they haven’t been accessed for more than 10 minutes; turn them off when you’re done for the day,” says Mohan VC.

5. Build Awareness

Company measures to go green will be half-hearted without employee participation and proactiveness. Awareness is important, says Goswami. Sensitize employees towards a greener workplace, and generate interest towards a cleaner and greener office environment.


Source: The Economic Times

How to Start Spring Cleaning Your Office

Spring Cleaning doesn’t have to be so scary. Get started on revitalizing your work space by following these easy steps!

1) Pick a date. It is easy to keep putting off dealing with the piles of clutter on your desk, but procrastinating what you need to get done will just cause you more stress. Plan ahead and schedule your Spring Cleaning day into your week so that you can stay on top of it! You will feel much better knowing that a date is set, and it will empower and inspire you to feel ready to tackle your office chores.

2) Start sorting! A large stack of papers and things can be really quite daunting; our desks and drawers collect lots of items throughout the years and it may feel impossible to get through at first. But the key to organizing is first sorting. Grab some boxes or containers, assign labels (such as, “trinkets,” “papers,” “supplies,” “photos,” etc.), and just start picking things up and dropping them into the correct box. Once everything is sorted by type, it will be much easier to go through your stuff and decide what needs to be kept and what needs to be tossed!

3) Take your time. No matter how badly you want to get your Spring Cleaning over with, don’t rush. The last thing you want to happen is to move to quickly and end up throwing something out that you actually needed to keep! Be sure to stay present and as you go through your things, ask yourself, “Do I need this? Have I used this in the last 30 days? Will I really miss this if it’s gone? Is this replaceable?” If you are unsure about something, create a miscellaneous file folder and stow it there. For office supplies like pens and scissors, you only need a couple working pens and one pair of scissors, so do not be afraid to get rid of the rest.

4) Recycle and clean green. ALWAYS recycle whatever you can and donate working office supplies, and don’t bring in toxic chemicals to tackle any messes– they will only pollute your indoor air. Need help with keeping it clean and green this spring? Contact GBS!

5) Whistle while you work! Don’t make Spring Cleaning such an awful drag. Put on some good music and get in the zone! It also helps to get a friend or colleague to join you so you can have a buddy while you work (it’s always nice to have a teammate on your side!). Happy Spring Cleaning!

Spring is Almost Here! Why Hire a Commercial Cleaning Company?

Sustainable Lafayette

Sustainable Lafayette

Winter is on its way out and it’s time to start thinking about preparing for spring!

The dawn of the new season not only brings us nicer weather, but it also brings us the opportunity for a fresh start, giving its name to the well-known annual tradition of “spring cleaning.” If you own a business, or maintain an office, building, or any other type of facility or workspace, then the thought of “spring cleaning” may seem very, very intimidating… and that is normal! To get things organized and clean in time for spring (and to maintain this all year long), there is truly so much to do. Cleaning up the winter muck from all of the windows, carpets, and floors alone is enough to make your spring to-do list feel daunting and endless.

But don’t panic just yet— help is out there! Outsourcing these chores to a commercial cleaning company can really help make “spring cleaning” a breeze and can cut your daily, weekly, and even monthly maintenance to-do lists down to zero moving forward.


Here are the top three reasons why hiring a professional commercial cleaning company to maintain your facility is smart (and a lifesaver!):


– It improves the appearance and quality of your office, business, and/or facility. When your space is clean and well kept, it is more inviting and comfortable; people (customers, visitors, and employees alike) will greatly appreciate and enjoy its new, clean look and sparkling atmosphere! And even after the whirlwind of “spring cleaning” is over, it’s still important to follow a cleaning regimen so that your space and working environment can stay tidy, organized, and look and function its very best. If your space is not kept clean, then you will not keep customers or employees.


-It improves your employees’ health and overall work productivity— a clean workspace is an efficient and successful one. Keeping your space clean does not just have aesthetic implications; sanitization is absolutely necessary in order for employees, customers, and visitors to also feel as safe as possible. Clutter can cause accidents, believe it or not, and dirty floors can cause falls (cleaning your facility is truly a liability). From bathrooms to desktops, to carpets to windows, germs and dirt also hide every where; the amount of germs and pathogens that exist in an average work or business environment is staggering, and we cannot begin stress more how vital it is to protect the health and wellbeing of those who work for you. If your space is clean and sanitary, you can count on employee attendance and feel confident that they are coming to a safe, healthy, and happy place to work each day. Furthermore, it’s also important to prioritize the efficiency your work environment— it’s been proven that a clean workspace  maximizes employee morale, productivity, and is an integral benchmark for your business’ success. Hiring a professional janitorial service to ensure your space is routinely disinfected and cleaned is a practical (and necessary) business decision.

Feel free to check out the following infographics to find out how clean your office really is and why a clean and green office is a healthy office!


You can use a commercial cleaning company as often or as much as you need. At GBS, we customize our janitorial and facilities services to fit your exact needs. We assess your space in person and work closely with you to design a service proposal that is the perfect, personalized plan. Whether its daily, weekly, or monthly, we are here to listen to your janitorial and maintenance needs and make sure that your space is well taken care of at all times. Interested in learning more about how we can help you keep it clean and keep it green? Click here!


Ranker Lawn

Ranker Lawn

The Power of Plants in the Workplace [Infographic]

Adding a little “green” to your workspace is truly a game-changer! Not only do plants help to clean and filter out the toxins, chemical residues, and pollutants that are commonly found in indoor air, but they also have many functional benefits. Having plants around your workspace inspires productivity and efficiency, boosts morale and attendance, and even soothes stress while lowering blood pressure.

We love this infographic from Ambius below illustrating the power of plants in the workplace. From offices and schools to hospitals and hotels, plants really do help to keep it clean and keep it green!

Questions about greening your business, office, or facility? Call GBS303.443.3366




Top 10 States for LEED [Infographic]

The results are in, and Colorado has been ranked #2 for the Top 10 States for LEED in 2014! Last year in the U.S., there were over 1,600 certified Green Building projects (4,500 worldwide), which is something to be extremely proud of.

Interested in going greener in 2015? We can help. Give us a call at 303.443.3366 or visit our website to learn more about how cleaning green can transform your building, office space, and the success of your business.

3 Tips For Keeping The Office Clean Throughout The Winter

Snow may be white, but we all know it can create quite the mess. No matter what, slush on the ground and wet weather conditions significantly increase the amount of moisture that is (accidentally) brought indoors, which inevitably affects your building’s entire cleaning routine. Wintertime can really dirty the office quickly, so here’s a few tips to help keep things clean and dry when it’s cold outside!


1) Windows are often neglected in the winter months, but clean windows are essential to maintaining a clean and dry office. Make sure your building’s windows are washed regularly so that sunlight can shine through bright and clear– this will not only fill your office with natural light, which has many work productivity benefits, but having sunlight in the office also greatly helps to absorb excess moisture (especially on carpets). Clean windows in the winter helps the indoor air stay clean and dry, helps the floors stay dryer and safer (wet floors = an accident waiting to happen!), and can help prevent molds from growing (a warm and damp office can quickly become a cesspool of germs!).

2) Floors are probably the most obvious areas of the office that need regular maintenance and frequent cleaning throughout the winter. Despite high quality floor mats and/or requiring employees to vigorously wipe their feet upon entering the building, both carpets and hard floors will still get wet and lots mud, snow, and even salt and sand from the sidewalks will find a way indoors. Often, carpets and floors will need to be vacuumed every day to get rid of the dirt and grime that’s tracked in, and the hard floors will most likely need to be mopped daily so that they do not stay wet (again, wet floors are a huge liability and are very dangerous). To prevent scratching and damage, your hard floors will also need to be buffed or sanded regularly, or even stripped and then resealed so that the winter moisture does not destroy them.




3) Last but not least, disinfect your office consistently and prevent the flu and other germs and pathogens from spreading! Just make sure that the disinfectant products used in your office are environmentally friendly and safe/non-toxic (at GBS, we only use non-toxic cleaning products and disinfectants!). Things like doorhandles, office supplies, computer keyboards, and work surfaces are huge hotspots for germs and will require a daily wipe down to ensure nobody gets sick! Encouraging employees to wash their hands is also a great way to reduce germs from spreading in the office.





Not all green cleaning companies are equal

Thinking of switching to a greener janitorial service? Going green is a great idea! But make sure to do the research and ask the right questions when choosing a new service— not all green cleaning companies are equal, and finding the right one for your business or facility can require a little detective work. Below are some great tips on what to look for when it comes to finding and hiring a more eco-friendly cleaning company. For more information on green cleaning and building services, please feel free to get in touch with us at GBS Commercial Cleaning! We’d be happy provide you with an estimate and customized janitorial plan that meets your facility’s needs. Give us a call today at 303-443-3366 



How to Evaluate a Green Cleaning Company 


Many companies, which outsource their janitorial service, are not taking advantage of the benefits of green cleaning. Unlike many capital and resource intensive green initiatives, such as installing solar panels, green cleaning can be implemented quickly and easily. In addition, green cleaning can have a net positive impact on your bottom line by making employees more productive and healthy while reducing water and energy usage.

What should you know when evaluating a green cleaning company?

Not all green janitorial companies are created equal. You want to make sure the company you choose uses the tools and techniques necessary to effectively clean your facility. You also want to avoid firms that greenwash (pun intended) by painting a false picture of being environmentally friendly.

How? Discuss the following 10 questions with your prospective or existing janitorial service provider:

  1. Green cleaning is about cleaning for health. Ask your provider to define “clean.” If appearances are the only element discussed, this is your first warning sign.
  2. Green cleaning is not just about using green cleaning chemicals or substances. Cleaning substances represent only a small percentage (5 percent on average) of the total effort required to clean your building. Ask your provider what tools its teams use to get the job done. They should be using microfiber mops, dual chamber buckets and microfiber cleaning cloths, just to name a few.
  3. Diseases can be spread by cross-contamination. This often happens when mops and cleaning cloths are used in restrooms and then re-used in other parts of your building. Ask how your service provider to describe what its teams do to avoid cross-contamination.
  4. Janitors are historically the fifth most injured workforce in the United States and your company could be liable for heavy fines if a janitor is injured while cleaning your building. Ask your cleaning firm what it specifically does to comply with OSHA regulations so your risk will be minimized, provided you maintain a safe environment for workers. OSHA requires a written Hazard Communication Plan, an inventory of all chemicals, a log of training and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which detail the risks, precautions, and first aid associated with a chemical or substance. Furthermore, each janitor must be able to articulate his or her company’s safety program, and the physical documents about emergency procedures must be accessible to the janitor within 10 minutes in the event of an accident.
  5. Many janitorial workers are prone to excessive use of water and electricity. Ask what sustainability practices are used to reduce the use of these natural resources, without compromising the cleanliness of the places the firm serves.
  6. Janitors who work in teams and specialize on focused roles are able to achieve a higher level of cleanliness with less time and effort. Find out if your provider uses area, zone or team cleaning methods.
  7. Consistency in tools and processes translates to a consistently clean building. Ask your provider if the same types of chemicals or substances, tools, equipment and processes are used for all clients. Inconsistencies can be a sign of challenges in quality control on a regular basis, and can pose greater problems when staffing shortages occur.
  8. Tools and equipment quickly lose their effectiveness as they are used during the shift. Ask how often vacuum filters are emptied, how often mopping solution is replaced and if these filter and solution changes are tracked and logged.
  9. Each chemical, solution or substance used dramatically increases the chance of improper mixing and improper application. This can result in injury to the janitor or damage to your building materials. Ask how many substances each janitor uses on a daily basis.
  10. Properly fitted backpack vacuums are ergonomically correct, remove more dust from the environment and enable the janitor work faster than traditional push vacuums. This equipment protects the cleaning worker and collects dust instead of redistributing in your environment. Ask your provider what type of vacuum the company uses.

If your current or prospective janitorial service provider is able to answer all of these questions clearly and confidently — and you feel comfortable with their answers — then you will likely reap the benefits of having a healthy indoor environment.


Green Cleaning: Fad or Necessity? [Infographic]

Green cleaning is one hundred percent necessary! Go green!