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How to Detox Your Home for a Healthier Living Environment

non toxic and sustainable cleaning supplies to detox your home

We all want a healthy and safe living environment, especially if we have young kids and pets. However, many sneaky chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) surround us everywhere, including our homes. So, can our homes make us sick? Unfortunately, that is likely to happen sooner or later. We should pay attention to the health of our living environment, especially if we suffer from unexplained frequent headaches, allergies, congested noses and so on. To reduce health risks, home detox should be a high priority. 

What are the offenders? 

VOCs or volatile organic compounds. 

They evaporate into the air from various cleaning products, paint, varnishes, adhesives, carpets and furniture. 

Mould

Mould grows in damp environments and can become a health hazard, causing various respiratory issues and allergic reactions. It can also worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

House Dust

The house dust might seem harmless, but it can pose serious health risks like aggravation of asthma, respiratory irritation and allergic reactions. It might also contain toxic substances like flame retardants, pesticides, and lead that we do not want to inhale or ingest. 

So, where do we start if we want to detox our home?

Examine what is causing the most air pollution in your home. Then, begin by addressing the most significant culprits first. In some cases, it is advisable to measure air quality. Your local hardware store might have a device for that.

Easy first steps to detox your home

  • Ditch all toxic cleaning products and opt for natural detergents and cleaning products. There are many options available. They are considerably easy to DIY as well. 
  • The same goes for personal care and hygiene. Most commercial products contain toxic ingredients, such as parabens, phthalates, SLS, formaldehyde, triclosan, PEGs, etc. It is best to opt for clean beauty products that are good for your health, living environment, and the planet.
  • Let go of all synthetic fragrances and candles as they pollute the air in your home. If you cannot live without a scent, look for clean and natural products. Or DIY. Essential oil diffusers work just great. 
  • The same goes for your clothing and accessories. Look for natural fibres, better if organic, and take proper care of your clothes, so no harsh chemical cleaners. Avoid dry cleaners whenever possible, or look for natural ones. Replace regular dryer balls with wool dryer balls. Swap fabric softeners with white vinegar and baking soda.
  • Wet dust, vacuum, and clean regularly to capture as many pollutants and allergens as possible. 
  • Control the number of indoor plants. Too many can become counterproductive as they will attract dust and might contribute to excessive moisture. Monitor the health of your plants and signs of mould.
  • Your home should be a non-smoking zone. Smoking inside contributes to significant air pollution. 

Kitchen detox

plastic-free kitchen essentials, wood utensils and cutting boards
  • Avoid plastic at all costs, as it leads to chemical pollutants in the air and food. Recycle glass jars, buy glass Tupperware, buy bulk or refillable products, buy water in a glass or invest in a decent tap water filtering system, take your bags when shopping, etc.
  • Ditch plastic wraps or opt for beeswax wraps if necessary. By the way, you can easily DYI those as well. 
  • Use non-toxic cookware (all Teflon has got to go). Invest in a good quality cast iron, stainless steel or ceramic cookware. You will considerably diminish hormone-disrupting substances leaching into your food. And they are likely to last you a lifetime. 

Bedroom detox

  • Look for organic natural mattresses, mattress toppers, pillows and bed linen to avoid sleeping on toxic chemicals.
  • Wash all bedding weekly. And make sure to vacuum the surface of your mattress and the area under your bed. 

Bathroom detox

detox your home with plastic-free and sustainable bathroom essentials: solid soap, bamboo toothbrush and natural loofah
  • Replace foul-smelling plastic shower curtains with high-quality fabric ones. 
  • Do not ignore mould. It is best to prevent it by proper air circulation and dampness control. Open windows as much as possible to let in fresh air, and use exhaust fans. Any mouldy spots should be treated immediately. 

What else can I do to detox my home?

  • When decorating, opt for natural materials and fabrics as much as possible. Steer clear from stain-resistant, fire-retardant materials as they are often toxic and contribute to poor air quality in your home. Choose non-toxic (zero-VOCs) paint for your walls.
  • When buying new furniture or decor items that might release VOCs, consider letting them off-gas outside or in a well-ventilated area before bringing them to your living spaces. 
  • Consider an air purifier with an activated carbon or HEPA filter to help lower airborne pollutants in your home. Mind that they will need proper maintenance and filter changes.
  • Do your best to keep indoor humidity levels below 50%, and consider using a dehumidifier if that seems too challenging. 
  • Fix any leaks and keep surfaces dry as much as possible.
areca palm plant for better indoor air quality
  • Make your home cosier by introducing air-purifying plants such as the Snake Plant, Calathea, and Bamboo Palm. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also help improve your home’s air quality. Consider adding Spider Plant, Areca Palm, Boston Ferns, or Rubber Plants to absorb the moisture in the air. Additionally, these plants are pet-friendly.

Final Thoughts on Home Detox

Your home is your sanctuary. It should be relaxing, clean and organised. And more importantly, safe for you, your loved ones, kids and pets. Detox your living spaces and introduce healthier living practices to improve your overall health, avoid unnecessary health risks and manage existing health conditions better.

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