How to rid your home of toxins
Believe it or not, we are surrounded by an alarming amount of toxins on a daily basis. Think the glass cleaner you use to clean your windows and the liquid detergent on the sink are safe? There are a lot of synthetic chemicals in those pretty purple air fresheners as well as the lovely scented candles you bought last week, not to mention the washing powder you scoop into the machine every other day.
We inhale and absorb everything in our homes, so that is a lot of harmful stuff going into our bodies. Though the ideal thing to do would be to toss all chemical cleaners and find healthier alternatives, it’s easier said than done. The next best thing to do would be finding alternatives for the household cleaners and other items you use and making easy swaps and changes in your lifestyle. From getting rid of sweater-destroying moths to making your home smell amazing, you don’t always have to resort to the chemical stuff. Do a little research, and you may be surprised to discover all kinds of natural solutions to your household needs. To get you started though, here we share some great tips on detoxifying your home.
Make your own cleaning supplies
Don’t buy chemical-filled cleaners, which may make your house seem clean but really make it more toxic. You can clean just as effectively with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Or you can actually buy various organic, green cleaning products online these days. However, most surfaces, except wood, can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water. For wood, you can use olive oil. Simply rub it on the surface you want to polish with a soft cloth to make it shine.
Buy used or organic clothes
That new clothes smell is actually toxic residue left over from the manufacturing process. So buy organic fabrics whenever possible, avoid certain production methods such as ‘distressed’ jeans that rely on exorbitant quantities of chemicals, and, if you can, stick with used clothing as much as possible.
Keep the air clean
According to various studies, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air even in the most industrialized cities. So keep your windows and doors open as much as possible to ventilate your home. Use green plants as natural air detoxifiers. Remove odors with baking soda. Use fresh flowers or bowls of herbs like rosemary and sage to add a pleasant fragrance to your rooms. Have your air ducts and vents cleaned with nontoxic cleaners. Get a portable air cleaner/purifier, especially for the bedrooms.
Most plastic products that you use in your home probably contain the synthetic chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) which can be absorbed or ingested and can disrupt your endocrine system. So replace plastic bottles with glass containers and cling wrap with beeswax wrap. And whatever you do, don’t microwave food in plastic containers. The good thing is you can find a viable substitute for every plastic item in your home. Also, BPA passes out of the body quickly, so it doesn’t take long to reduce your exposure.
Take your shoes off
No matter how vigorously you wipe your shoes before entering your house, they will still track in all kinds of toxic stuff. Shoes bring pesticides and herbicides into the house. Apparently, shoes are responsible for 98 percent of the lead dust found in most homes. So make it a point to open your shoes outside the main door. Go barefoot or wear house slippers.
Stop using non-stick cookware
The chemicals used to create a non-stick or water-repellent surface have been linked to a wide range of health problems including infertility, thyroid disease, organ damage, and developmental problems. It’s a steep price to pay for a little bit of convenience in the kitchen. Instead, opt for non-coated pans such as those made from cast iron and steel.
Toss the pesticides
Many pesticides may lead to nerve, skin and eye damage, headaches and nausea. They are designed to kill rats and bugs, after all. So when you have a pest issue, ask yourself whether it’s a nuisance or a health concern. If you’ve got ants, plug holes in your walls and keep counters cleaner. For agents that cause disease – such as rodents or cockroaches – call a professional who knows how to properly fumigate and air out your home.
What to buy?
It might not always be feasible to make your own cleaners, as hard as you might try. In those instances, we recommend you read the labels and only buy those products that are human safe, meaning it doesn’t case eye, skin, and lung irritations. Most products have warnings clearly labeled. Stay away from those and get those that are milder in their effects. Also, buy products that are fragrance and preservatives free. Don’t buy products that have words like caution, warning or danger, bleach, petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, phthalates, SLS, and synthetic fragrances written on the label.