The Top 15 Plants (That You May Have Never Heard of!) for Removing Indoor Air Toxins


Numerous scientific studies (including the Clean Air Study by NASA) have proven that certain plants act as air filters and can absorb up to 85% of harmful toxins and gases in indoor spaces and office buildings. From benzene (a carcinogen found in common cleaning products, cigarette smoke, paint and varnishes, and rubber) to ammonia (also found in cleaning products, cigarette smoke, and even in computer parts), to formaldehyde (furniture, carpets, natural gas, plastics…) and trichloroethylene (printer ink, carpet cleaners, paint and varnishes…), our indoor air contains a ton of compounds that can cause illness and serious health issues.

With summertime finally here, indoor plants aren’t just a great way to decorate your desk and brighten up your workplace – plants make the air cleaner, enhancing productivity and protecting the health of your employees. Here are 15 beautiful plants (so you may have never heard of before!) that have advanced air-cleaning powers:

  1. Flamingo Flower
  2. Barberton Daisy
  3. Lady Palm
  4. Chinese Evergreen
  5. Spider Plant
  6. Golden Pothos (or Money Plant)
  7. Ficus
  8. Aloe Vera
  9. Snake Plant
  10. Philodendron
  11. Boston Fern
  12. Peace Lily
  13. Bamboo Palm
  14. Dendrobium Orchids
  15. Chrysanthemum

For more information on air-purifying plants, check out our articles The Power of Plants in the Workplace, The Health Benefits of Indoor Office Plants, and Indoor Plants: A Breath of Fresh Air!

What If All Offices Went GREEN? [Infographic]

Just imagine if we added biking to work AND green commercial cleaning to this infographic! If all offices adopted greener practices like these ones, we’d have a cleaner earth and environment, healthier employees, more successful businesses, and a lot more money and resources saved at the end of the day. To learn more about going green at your place of business, contact us for a free estimate and consultation.


Sick Building Syndrome: Why Cleaning Green is the Best Remedy

DSCN8867Work itself has its tolls, but did you know your office can actually make you physically sick? Whether it’s a stuffy nose, dry eyes, or even an itchy sore throat, your symptoms (no matter how mild they might be at first) can be indicative of deeper problems with your building’s indoor air.

The culprit? Sick Building Syndrome (yep – it’s a real thing). From mold to dust to VOCs and neurotoxins from cleaning products, your building’s cleaning regimen is directly linked to the quality of your workplace’s indoor air and the health of your employees.

How do you prevent Sick Building Syndrome? In addition to better ventilation, cleaning green is at the top of the list. Ultimately, the key to a healthy building (and healthy employees) is reducing exposure to toxic chemicals that poison indoor air quality.

At GBS, our goal is to make your building safe, sanitary, and sustainable. Here are our top tips for maintaining an indoor environment that is clean, green, and free of public health woes.

Magical Microfiber

Do you know what type of dusting cloths your cleaning company uses? Or how often the surfaces, air ducts, and windowsills are dusted? First of all, feather dusters are always a no-no, as they are more likely to kick up dust and recirculate it around the room than actually trap it. Using a rag, even if it is clean, is also not the best method as rags usually just push dirt and dust around instead of removing it. Our go-to? Microfiber. High-quality, hypoallergenic, antibacterial microfiber is truly the best remedy for eradicating dust and germs. Microfiber is so effective at sanitizing surfaces, it’s almost magical! If your cleaning company doesn’t already use microfiber cleaning cloths, have them turn in their feather dusters ASAP.

The Right Products

If the cleaning products used in your building are giving off fumes that you can smell as soon as you walk in the door, then that’s a big red flag. In reality, despite the “fresh” fragrance, your building may be making you really sick. Toxic chemicals like phosphates, VOCs, formaldehyde, and phenol acid (just to name off a few) are all found in household cleaning products, and their effects on public health are seriously scary. At GBS, our cleaning solutions are all non-toxic and fragrance-free, and do not contain any harsh chemicals, allergens, or carcinogens. What’s in your cleaning products matters – make sure you commercial cleaners have chosen wisely.

Backpack Vacs

When we plug in a vacuum cleaner, we assume they will do their job: suck up all the dirt and dust so that our floors look clean. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Ordinary bulky, commercial vacuum cleaners have poor suction and very low-quality filters. They kick up tornadoes of dust into the air, and just like rags, they do a better job redistributing dirt than removing it. Energy efficient backpack vacuums with HEPA filtration technology are the only way to go, and are the only vacuums we use at GBS. They are specially engineered to actually get rid of dirt and dust while cleansing the air of germs, allergens, and other illness-causing pathogens. When it comes to cleaning, HEPA vacuums are truly a breath of fresh air.

With sick building syndrome on the horizon, now is the time to make sure your commercial cleaning company uses products and practices that keep your workplace as healthy and high-functioning as possible. For more information, contact us at GBS!

Winter is Coming! Why is it Important to Keep a Clean Facility?

We’ve always said that a clean (and green) workplace is a healthy one. With the cold weather coming our way – and with it lots of moisture, freezing temperatures, and flu season – maintaining a clean facility this time of year is more important than ever. Hiring a commercial cleaning service not only prevents illness for your employees, but it also promotes productivity while ensuring your facility is both safe and welcoming to visitors and customers alike. Check out the blog post below from Maintenance One and learn more about why hiring a commercial cleaning service this winter is such a beneficial business move.


Get In Front of Employee Illness This Winter


Productivity takes a massive hit when winter hits. There’s the decreased amount of daylight – that definitely doesn’t help, nor does the colder weather, both of which together lowers morale and generally makes your employees more sluggish. It’s natural, and there are plenty of documented ways to combat this kind of seasonal behavior. One thing you can’t fight through positive thinking, however, are the germs and flus that become more quite common during winter. For that, you need a professional cleaning service.

Winter illness is a huge problem for companies seeking to maintain productivity throughout the season. The CDC estimates that approximately 17 million workdays are lost every year to influenza-related illnesses, many of which could have been prevented. Vaccination is the usual countermeasure, and definitely one you should encourage among your employees. However, you can take additional steps to prevent illness by keeping your work environment clean during the colder months.


What Winter Cleaning Looks Like

Professional cleaning companies offer a number of services based on the type of office and your particular cleaning needs. At a bare minimum, basic janitorial services are something you should have for your office on a monthly basis, if not weekly or even daily. Your janitorial services should include restroom sanitation, carpet care, floor care, waste removal, and recycling services – the basics of cleaning, in other words, all of which can contribute to prevent the spread of illness among your staff.

More comprehensive commercial cleaning services can include upholstery cleaning, hard floor surface care, window cleaning, computer room cleaning, and carpet cleaning. This is the kind of cleaning that can do a lot to prevent the spread of influenza, as germs have a tendency to build up in chairs, on windows, and in carpets, making them dangerous repositories of disease that are best cared for often.

Professional office cleaning services can be engaged for additional cleaning services, such as cubicle and workstation cleaning, dusting and wood furniture polishing, and the cleaning of your lobby or reception area. This thorough attention to the details of an office, and where germs are most likely to build up in that office (i.e., wherever employees spend most of their time), is vital to ensuring that your employees’ health is safeguarded, along with your company’s productivity and therefore its bottom line.


Healthy Habits Make Healthy Employees

Your employees can do a lot to make sure that they are preventing the spread of disease themselves. First and foremost, it’s important that they wash their hands in the restroom. Sometimes people forget, or are in a rush, or who knows what; but this where many illnesses end up getting passed on to others, and so your employees can do a lot of good just by washing their hands. Putting up a sign as a reminder can, in itself, do a lot of good; the occasional intra-office PSA may help as well.

Your employees should also not be afraid to call off if they are sick. Yes, you don’t want to lose productivity, but your employees will hardly be productive while they are in the grip of the flu. You stand to lose very little if an ill employee stays home, but if they come to work, they are very likely going to spread their illness to your other employees. This either means they will have to call off as well, or they will come in ill, get next to no work done, and then call off themselves.


Look Out For Your Employees and They’ll Look Out For You

It pays to be reasonable about illness among your employees and take precautionary measures whenever possible. Cleaning services are a great way to do take such measures, and they are surprisingly affordable as well. When you consider how much productivity, and therefore profit, you are likely to lose if you are not cautious regarding employee illness this winter, it is obvious that the economic choice is to invest in cleaning services, and therefore in your employees’ continued health and wellbeing.

Consider also that your employees will work more efficiently and generally be more satisfied when they are working in a cleaner, more organized environment. It’s a proven fact that people are just more productive when their workspace is clean! Between their improved attitudes and their reduced number of sick days, this winter could be the best quarter yet for your business.



For more information about how GBS Commercial Cleaning can serve your facility’s maintenance needs, contact us today!

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!





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

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.

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.