The air inside your home is 2-5 times more polluted with toxins than the air outside -Â EPA studies show.Â And sometimes even more than 100 times as bad. (Source)
Indoor air pollutants are ranked among the top five environmental health risks causing a variety of short and long term health issues.
You or your kids might experience short term health issues like asthma, allergies, headaches, eye and skin irritations, sore throat, colds, flu, memory loss, dizziness, fatigue and even depression. While long-term effects can negatively impact your heart, respiratory health, fertility, and can even lead to cancer. (Source)
There are some obvious things we can do to eliminate toxic overload in our homes. Like – don’t smoke inside, don’t leave your car running in the garage, clean the filters in your furnace and air conditioner and vacuum your floors regularly.
But there are even more things we can do to naturally purify the air indoors to help ward off these common health problems.
Here are six great ways to eliminate toxins in your home naturally…
1. Open The Windows
There’s nothing like getting some fresh air in the house.
Although the outdoor air can also be polluted with toxins, it’s still much cleaner air than inside your home. When the weather is right, open up those windows. A fresh breeze feels delightful. Plus, your house will smell naturally fresh and clean.
Time to let those toxins out!
2. Take Off Your Shoes
I never realized how many potentially harmful contaminants get tracked inside our homes!
That includes things like pesticides, fungal spores, animal dander, lead dust, pollen, human skin flakes, cigarette ash, coal tar, wood smoke, industrial toxins, mutagens, dust mites, heavy metals and who knows what else!
But guess what? These contaminants are often tracked inside our homes by our shoes! A recent study shows that cockroach poop and exoskeletons found in household dust can trigger asthma. But that’s just one of the health issues that can come from these “tracked-in” exposures.
Carpets are a toxic sponge. Clean them often. Especially the part of the carpeting near the entryway. These contaminants can be very unsafe for kids and pets. But an EPA study says when we use a doormat and take off our shoes at the door these common toxins are reduced by about 60%. (Source)
3. Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Now that you’re ready to clean your house, I’ll warn you about typical cleaning products!
Often people think they are doing well by cleaning and killing germs in their homes, but most conventional store bought cleaning products contain lung-harming ingredients and carcinogens like formaldehyde and chloroform.
So, are you really cleaning up the yuck or just making it even more toxic? The EWG has made a Cleaners Hall of Shame list.
- Like Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families on Facebook for more helpful tips
Check out their list and ditch the bad stuff! I shamefully enjoy the smell of Spic & Span. I’ve used it to scrub my floors. I even let my 2 and 4 year old boys help! Now, the first thing I want to do is throw it out when I get home!
It’s banned in the European Union (EU). It contains nonylphenol ethoxylate – a chemical that disrupts the hormone system, is toxic to aquatic life and stays in the air for some time.
Another popular product is Scrubbing Bubbles. It contains up to 10% DEGBE or butoxydiglycol – also banned in the EU. It can irritate and inflame your lungs. Target’s UP & UP brand toilet bowl cleaner, glass and surface wipes don’t even list the ingredients on the packaging. In fact, just 7% of cleaning products adequately disclose their ingredients.
Whatever you do, don’t use air fresheners or things like Lysol spray or Febreze in your home! Febreze Air Effects alone, releases 89 contaminants in the air when you spray it.
Be careful about some products claiming to be “green” or “eco-friendly”. Many times marketing is misleading. Always read the label and know what the ingredients are. Use your smart phone to be smart and look it up if you’re unsure what it is or what it’s capable of.
Natural Healthy Concepts has a nice selection of natural household cleaning supplies that you can trust, and that are on the EWG good list. You can also get it there with free shipping. Here’s two of the most popular brands.
- Ecover Household Products
- Dr. Bronner’s Castile Magic SoapsÂ for bathing, cleaning and laundry
I’m pretty sure you can find Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brand at Target which is also a better alternative.
But if you feel like getting creative, natural things like lemon, vinegar and baking soda make a stellar homemade natural cleaner.
- Check out this awesome article from theÂ Keeper of the HomeÂ Blog on 67+ Homemade All-Natural Cleaning Recipes.
4. Get Some House Plants
Once again – weÂ can find amazing health benefits in nature!
All plants are helpful for purifying the air. But, NASAÂ studies show there are certain plants that can get rid of 89% of harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like xylene, acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene, toulene, chloroform and formaldehyde. Did you catch all of those?
Here’s a list of plants that help purify the air naturally…
- Peace Lily – Rids the air ofÂ formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammoniaÂ methyl alcohol, ethyl acetate and acetone. Like shade. Like cooler temps below 55 degrees. Dust foliage to maximize purifying potential.
- Bamboo Palm – Gets ride ofÂ formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, chloroform and more. Also a spider mite repellent. Easy to care for.Â Different fromÂ Bambuseae Bamboo.
- Rubber Plant – EliminatesÂ carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and more. But especially efficient at removing formaldehyde. Easy to care for. Like bright indirect light.
- Orchids – Rids the air of formaldehyde, chloroform andÂ xylene. Easy to take care of. Gives off oxygen at night so they make a great plant for bedrooms.
- Ferns – Help eliminateÂ toulene and xylene with their large fonds. Easy to care for. Like shade.
- Song of India – Dark green, lime and yellow leaves. Easy to care fore. AbsorbÂ formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
- Palms -Popular, easy to grow and hardy. Very good for removingÂ formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide.
- Anthuriums – Exotic looking blooms. EliminateÂ ammonia, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene so great around copiers and printing devices.
- Chrysanthemums – EliminatesÂ formaldehyde, xylene, benzene and ammonia. A seasonal beauty – but one of the best natural purifiers for the 6 weeks you get blooms.
NASA along withÂ Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) conducted this study of indoor plant benefits. They recommend having between 15-18 good sized houseplants for an 1800 square feet home.
That’s a lot of plants! But wouldn’t you rather be overloaded with plants than with harmful toxins?
5. Get a Salt Lamp
Himalayan natural Rock Salt Lamps from the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan contain dozens of trace minerals and are traditionally considered to emit negative ions that help clean and neutralize the air.
Salt lamps are also used to create an uplifting charge resulting in a peaceful, relaxing environment.
The bazillion electronic devices that we use constantly, give off positive ions that reduce our energy.
We are way over-stimulated in our digital world.Â The Himalayan salt lamps ability to generate negative ions helps to refresh the body so you feel naturally happy and energized.
6. Diffuse Essential Oils
Viruses, fungi, bacteria and even mold cannot live in the presence of many essential oils like cinnamon, oregano, grapefruit lemon, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, clove, etc.
Studies from Weber State University indicate Thieves Oil has a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria.Â Thieves oil is a common aromatherapy recipe used for keeping your home free from germs and the air pure and healthier to breathe.
- Click here to read more on Aromatherapy Benefits + 16 Recipes as well as how to best use them.
Now start cleaning – naturally! And share this with anyone you care about.
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Hi, it really is a useful article about importance of cleaning for asthma patients. I have been suffering from asthma since I was a child. I am living in Brighton at the moment and I use to suffer a lot when I moved in my new house here. Then I discovered a company called Why-Bother. In terms of deep cleaning, they are doing a great job. Just after one service I started to be ok. I am not sneezing every day for hours anymore. I am having all my house get deeply cleaned every two months. I strongly suggest them anyone who lives in Brighton and Hove.
Thanks for sharing that info with others, Emilian! I’m glad you are having better luck with your sneezing attacks ; ) Thanks for reading!
These are all great, I actually use salt lamps and find them pretty effective. Additionally, I use odor eliminating candles and I think they’re amazing. No harmful ingredients, made from natural soy wax blend. This is one of my favorite ones- the wide wick helps it last longer!
Thanks for sharing, Robert. We really like the natural, handmade candles from Good Earth: http://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/good-earth.html. Once fall comes around, everyone around here just has to have the pumpkin spice one!