None of us want to expose our families to toxins, especially when we are at home. When you take steps to detoxify your home environment, you can improve the health of everyone who lives there. Simple home detoxification steps can also help you become a more environmentally friendly person.
Many of the things that are harmful to your health or fill your home with toxins are also bad for the environment.
The following are ways to have a healthier, less toxic and greener home.
Don’t wear shoes indoors
The easiest and least expensive way to reduce toxic exposure in the home is to have everyone leave their shoes at the door. Most of the dirt, germs and pesticides that find their way into your home come from everyone’s shoes.
Filter your water
Water filters are available for almost every budget. You can use a simple pitcher that sits on the counter and is manually refilled, or you can invest in a whole-house system.
Regardless of how you filter your water, just make sure you do it.
Filtering your water will make it cleaner and purer . When you filter your own water instead of getting bottled water, you are reducing the amount of plastic you are exposed to and how much ends up in landfills or polluting waterways.
Using a water filter can also be significantly less expensive than buying bottles of water on a regular basis.
Filtering your water can remove residual chlorine that comes from the treatment process, so you may notice benefits not only in how you feel, but your hair and skin may feel less dry or brittle.
Get an air purifier
In many cases, surprisingly, the air inside your home can be dirtier and more toxic than the air outside. An air purifier can help clean the air and also remove odors and allergens.
If you have respiratory symptoms or someone in your home does, choose an air purifier with a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for special high-efficiency air, and they can receive 99.7% of particles larger than 0.3 micrometers.
There are other ways to improve your home’s air quality besides getting a purifier.
Cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and wiping surfaces will help. Even an air purifier cannot remove particles once they settle on surfaces, so periodic deep cleaning is important.
In your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room, odors, moisture and gas are more likely to accumulate. Use outdoor fans or vents to keep the air moving.
Open windows in good weather, unless outdoor air quality is poor where you live.
Regularly wash your towels and bedding, and avoid lighting candles or scented products because they adversely affect air quality.
Using a dehumidifier can help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, which live in damp places.
Adding live houseplants will naturally detoxify your air. Houseplants can remove pollutants such as carbon monoxide and benzene.
Make your own cleaning supplies
It sounds counterintuitive, but the cleaning products you use can be the biggest source of toxins and harmful chemicals in your home. Don’t buy chemicals at the store.
Instead, mix your own.
You can make simple, effective, non-toxic cleaning products that are also more environmentally friendly and economical by using ingredients such as lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar.
When you wash clothes, the same principles apply. Detergents and fabric softeners can be irritating and even toxic. Instead, you can wash clothes with things like vinegar. Vinegar has antimicrobial effects and also softens clothes naturally. The same goes for baking soda.
Instead of chlorine bleach, use oxygen bleach and lemon juice on your linens.
Take out your carpet
If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your home and have the opportunity to remove it, do so. Carpets are made from petroleum derivatives and are often treated with dyes and stain replants. All of these things mean you are constantly breathing in toxins.
In addition, the padding that is often placed under carpet often contains urethane or PVC, and carpets tend to accumulate dirt, dust and allergens.
Hardwood or tile is a better choice, and you can add washable rugs on top.
Rethink your cookware.
Finally, for years, nonstick cookware was the preferred choice in kitchens across America.
We now know that nonstick cookware is often coated with toxic and harmful PFAs. Instead, try using cookware made of cast iron, stainless steel or enameled cookware. If you can’t change all your pans at this time, keep heat exposure low and open windows while cooking.
If you have a nonstick pan with a coating that chips or scratches, stop using it.