You’ve vacuumed the floor, wiped down every surface and scattered the cushions. But, does clean and tidy equal healthy? Not necessarily. Toxins in the home can come from carpet, furniture, walls, air fresheners, and other sources. Natural causes that are out of our control like bushfire smoke, dust, and air pollution can also compromise the air quality not just outside, but inside our home. While avoiding air pollution completely is impossible, these health-boosting tips for your home will help to minimize toxins and improve air quality tenfold.
Keeping the windows open is an easy way to ensure your home is well ventilated, however, if the air outside isn’t the best (read bushfire smoke), an air purifier could be the answer. Ceiling fans can also help to up the airflow, which is key to avoiding excess moisture, and in turn, mold and mildew.
Re-think floor furnishings.
While freshly cleaned carpet looks great, the chemicals used are often heavily toxic and can leave harmful fumes and residue. Look to natural alternatives – this is particularly important if you have children who will be playing and crawling on the carpet. Implementing a ‘no shoes inside’ policy can be useful for avoiding external toxins being walked in from outside.
Add an air-purifying plant.
A few carefully selected plants dotted around your living area will not only improve air quality, it can also reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. A NASA study named the most efficient plants for purifying the air and removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – include aloe, peace lily, spider plant, chrysanthemum and bamboo palm in your decorating for a healthier home.
Pick your cushions carefully.
Natural is best when it comes to cushions. Look for organic cotton or wool, or natural latex, remembering to wash them occasionally to minimize indoor allergens such as dust mites. To help kill mould and give your lounge cushions a freshen up, make the most of a sunny day by airing them outside while you throw the covers in the washing machine.
Use non-toxic water-based paint.
Synthetic paints, particularly oil-based paints, contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other harmful chemicals that are linked to negative effects on health. If you’re thinking about updating your living room with a fresh coat, be sure to check that your chosen paint is VOC-free – as well as natural and biodegradable if possible – before purchasing.
Keep clutter at bay.
Keeping your home tidy and fuss-free will make light work of vacuuming, not to mention do wonders for your headspace. Focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to furnishings and keep smaller items packed away into drawers or baskets where they won’t attract dust.
Opt for natural cleaning products.
Carpet cleaners, stain removers, air fresheners… these commonly found items can mistakenly give the impression of a clean home, however most of doing the exact opposite. Replace these nasty, chemical-laden products with DIY natural cleaners to take a big step towards a toxin-free household.
This article was featured on our sister site, Homes to Love.