Five Ways to Detox Your Home

5 Ways to Detox Your Home

Embracing a non-toxic lifestyle is a great way to make sure your family is healthy and thriving. From choosing clean, organic, whole foods to detoxing our personal care and makeup, it’s important to seek out clean options that are chemical free to support your health and teach our kids about healthy choices.

As you begin to make swaps for more non-toxic products, don’t forget about your home! Between the chemicals in our cleaning products, the stale air we breathe, and the hidden toxins in our furniture and bedding, our homes can benefit from a non-toxic makeover too.

The good news is that with a few simple swaps and habits, we can detox our homes and create healthier spaces for our families. These five affordable tips will help you reduce toxins at home starting today.

What is a Home Detox?

A home detox is a way to clean up our home of unwanted chemicals and toxins. Just like when we choose non-toxic personal care products, this detox is a way to reduce our exposure to harmful substances in our living spaces.

Why is it important to detox your home? The American Lung Association reports that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. This can lead to asthma, allergies, headaches, nausea, and other issues. These toxic chemicals in our home also build up in our bodies over time, wreaking havoc on our hormones, sleep, and health. Detoxing our home helps minimize these hazardous substances so we can breathe, sleep, and live healthier lives.

5 Ways to Detox Your Home

1. Ditch Toxic Air Fresheners and Candles

Don't get us wrong — we love the nice scent of a candle or air freshener as much as anyone else. But many come with nasty side effects. These products contain synthetic fragrances made from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can irritate our lungs or make asthma worse. 

Steer clear of anything labeled with “fragrance” or “parfum.” These items include chemicals like: 

  • Formaldehyde: Known human carcinogen
  • Acetaldehyde: Probable human carcinogen
  • Benzene and ethylbenzene: Linked to cancer and organ damage
  • Phthalates: Linked to cancer

Luckily, there are lots of non-toxic alternatives to these products. Here are some ideas you can use to detox from harmful fragrances in your home.

Use Natural Scents

Try some of these ideas next time you want to create a nice scent in your home. 

  • Diffuse pure essential oils. We love Plant Therapy’s oils because they are high quality and also offer many organic oils. Try a few drops of lemon, lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil to purify the air. 
  • Make a reed diffuser. You just need a jar, some essential oils, a carrier oil or distilled water mixed with a little bit of alcohol, and some bamboo skewers. It smells great and looks nice too!
  • Burn clean candles. Fontana Candles Company offers clean-burning beeswax and coconut oil with essential oils. Not only do they smell great and not add unwanted chemicals to your home, but the beeswax helps clean the air!
  • Create a simmer pot. Take items you might already have in your kitchen like vanilla beans, cloves, cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, and ginger. Put them in a saucepan on the stove with some water and turn it down to low to simmer. Your house will be filled with a beautiful smell! Just make sure you don’t leave it unattended or where little hands can reach it.

Open the Windows

Often, a home can feel stale because the air inside is not fresh due to a lack of circulation. The solution to this is easy — open a window! This helps ventilate any suspended chemicals and brings in fresh air in the place of the stagnant air. If you can, do this daily to create a fresh circulation of air. 

Use Baking Soda to Absorb Odors

If you find that none of these ideas are helping, leave small bowls of baking soda around the house to soak up lingering pesky smells. Its chemical composition allows it to absorb and trap odor molecules. Replace the baking soda after a month or so. It's an easy, inexpensive, toxin-free way to tackle foul odors!

2. Choose an Organic Mattress and Bedding

Did you know that we spend a third of our lives sleeping? And when we do, we’re surrounded by furniture and bedding that can often threaten our health. Conventional mattresses contain flame-retardant chemicals linked to thyroid disease, decreased fertility, and developmental problems in babies.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame-retardant chemicals added to children's pajamas, mattresses, and other household items to meet flammability standards. However, PBDE dust accumulates in the body over time, leading to health problems.

Note that mattresses purchased before 2005 are more likely to contain PBDEs, making them a potential health hazard. If you're unsure about your mattress's composition, it's best to replace it with a safer option.

Ideas to Detox Your Bedding

Thankfully, we can sleep easier by making better choices for our beds. Try these ideas to detox your sleeping space and get a better night’s sleep.

Choose Natural Materials Instead

When mattress shopping, prioritize those made from natural materials. Look for items made from organic cotton, wool, natural latex, and plant-based foams. These minimize off-gassing and provide flame retardancy without PBDEs.

For extra protection, use a mattress cover as an extra shield. This blocks dust mites, bed bugs, and allergens from taking up residence in your bed. For optimal airflow, make sure the cover is breathable.

Use Organic Bedding

While a non-toxic mattress is step one, don't stop there! Bedding, sheets, blankets, comforters, and pillows can harbor chemicals too. Conventional cotton bedding often contains pesticide residue, wrinkle/stain-resistant coatings, flame retardants, dyes, and formaldehyde. Over time, these can evaporate into indoor air or make direct contact with skin.

That's why we love organic cotton sheets and bedding. They're grown without toxic pesticides and made without other harmful chemicals. Organic bedding creates a cleaner sleeping environment and healthier indoor air as well. If you can’t afford organic materials, look for products with the Oeko-Tex certification, which means the product’s been tested against a list of 350 chemicals and is free of them. 

Let Mattresses Off-Gas

After buying a new natural mattress, let it air out before using it by standing it upright outside or in a garage for 72+ hours. This allows any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present from packaging and production to fully off-gas. Breathing in these fumes can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, and letting them dissipate helps prevent indoor air contamination. 

3. Filter Your Water

Our body is made up of 60% water, and it’s vital for us to drink water. But unfortunately, unfiltered tap water can be a source of contaminants. Shockingly, tap water contains a host of hidden toxins. Here are a few of the leading contaminants:

  • Lead - This can enter the water through old pipe corrosion. It causes developmental delays and kidney damage.
  • Arsenic - A natural groundwater deposit, arsenic causes decreased red and white blood cell production, irregular heartbeat, nerve system damage, and cancer.
  • Nitrates - This is a result of agricultural runoff and can decrease the ability of blood to carry oxygen to the body. 
  • Pesticides - From farm runoff, these chemicals are linked to hormone disruption, development issues, and cancer.

In addition to these possible contaminants, less toxic minerals in water contribute to water hardness. Minerals like calcium and magnesium leave limescale residue on everything hard water touches. Hard water dries out the skin, fades vibrant hair color, and necessitates extra soap usage over time. Plus it makes it really hard to clean your shower doors!

Even "soft" water with excess minerals leaves sticky soap scum, creates mineral build-up in appliances, and damages hair and skin over time. Providing your family with clean, contaminant-free water to drink and bathe in is one key to detoxing your home. 

Ideas to Detox Your Drinking Water

Here are some ideas to make sure your family gets purified water for drinking and bathing. Choosing these options will not only give you better water but also help the environment!

Skip Bottled Water

Although it seems like a great solution for providing filtered water, single-use plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment and your health. They burden landfills and oceans. 

Bottled water falls under different safety regulations than tap water, so contamination can easily sneak through. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, there’s no guarantee that bottled water is any cleaner than tap water. Plus, it costs significantly more than simply filtering tap water and creates more waste.

Install Filtration Systems

There are lots of different filtration systems that provide fresh, filtered water at home all with different price points. Countertop pitchers effectively filter lead, chlorine, microplastics, and other contaminants in smaller quantities. Under-counter filters provide clean water at your sink. Don’t forget about shower water! Shower head filters give a clean water shower experience. Lastly, whole house systems filter all water sources at once by removing impurities in the main line.

Reverse osmosis goes a step further to remove fluoride, sodium, nitrates, bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals. Using a 7-stage filtration process, it gives you water that’s clean and non-toxic.

Don't Forget Ice

Don't forget about your ice! Ice cube trays need filtered water to prevent the concentration of chemicals or heavy metals. Choose silicone trays to avoid plastic.

4. Improve Indoor Air Quality

Given that the average person inhales over 2,000 gallons of air daily, managing home air quality is crucial. Indoor air can host things like dust, pet dander, mold, radon, degrading building materials, and chemicals from off-gassing. Poor ventilation allows these toxins to accumulate easily. This can create increased problems with asthma, lung/heart conditions, headaches, nausea, and worse from breathing these impurities.

Because we spend so much time indoors, it’s important to make sure the air we breathe is clean. And even though we can’t see it doesn't mean it isn’t there. Improving air quality helps create healthier homes for our family and keep breathing problems at a minimum.

Ideas to Detox Your Air Quality

Air quality is extremely important to a non-toxic home. Here are several ideas you can use to create cleaner air in your home.

Let Fresh Air in

As we mentioned in the first detox ideas for air fresheners, opening windows regularly to circulate the air in your home is an inexpensive and important detox step. This no-cost swap will take out any unwanted toxins and bring in fresh air for you to breathe. However, if you suffer from allergies, this isn’t something you want to do during allergy season. 

Use Air Purifiers

Indoor air purifier systems are a great way to get clean air inside your home. Our favorite Air Doctor filters contain HEPA filters that capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.003 microns. That includes allergens, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and dust hovering in the air.

To maintain cleaner air, replace filters as recommended, not only for air purifiers but also furnaces, ACs, and even vacuum filters. After a few months, the filters can get full and won’t be able to filter as much dust and particles out of the air. Make a note on your calendar to change filters often so you won’t forget. 

Monitor Humidity

Monitoring indoor humidity deters pesky mold issues. Mold is one of the most toxic things we can have in our air. Inhaling mold spores can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems, even in people without allergies.

Use a hygrometer to measure humidity and aim to keep your home between 30-50% humidity. Humidity levels below 30% dry out skin and nasal passages while increasing virus transmission. Anything over 50% gives the mold the moist environment it needs to multiply.

5. Use Non-Toxic Laundry Supplies

Conventional laundry products contain synthetic fragrances, optical brighteners, and harsh detergents that leave residues lingering on fabric fibers even after washing. These laundry detergents contain ethoxylated alcohols, ammonia, chlorine, and fragrances all classify as asthma triggers. And it's shocking how many persistent foaming agents, whiteners, and synthetic dyes survive the wash. Even after rinsing, remnants of these chemicals remain embedded in fabric fibers.

These chemicals can then transfer from our clothing onto our bodies, possibly causing rashes or irritation. And when inhaled, they enter the lungs and bloodstream. When creating a non-toxic home, laundry is a great place to detox.

Ideas to Detox Your Laundry Products

Thankfully there are lots of high-quality, non-toxic options on the market to swap for conventional laundry products. There are affordable plant-based options without toxins in conventional detergents. Brands like Truly Free or Branch Basics clean safely with natural ingredients instead of chemicals that are harmful to our health.

These products use biodegrading plant oils to lift dirt without the use of sulfates and optical brighteners. And no synthetic dyes and fragrances means no harmful chemicals. Plus they’re better for the environment because they’re made from plant-based ingredients that don’t harm our water supply.

Use Dryer Balls

Conventional dryer sheets contain chemicals and fragrance that aren’t good for your skin or lungs. Instead, use wool dryer balls to soften fabrics. These reusable products help you ditch single-use products to support the environment as well. And they’ll save on drying time.

Taking Steps to Detox Your Home

As you make the switch to a more natural, non-toxic home, remember to do what you can as you can do it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you have to do it all at once. But any small step you can take toward detoxing your home is a step in the right direction.

And when you’re ready to detox your personal care products, Wellnesse offers thoughtfully formulated non-toxic products that really work. Our formulas for our shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and our other products only use pure, ethically sourced essential oils and organic extracts. Try them today to make self-care and home care safer for yourself and your family!

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