We spend so much time indoors that we seem to accept that feelings of sinus discomfort, decreased happiness or productivity, and general laziness are the result of not getting enough sunshine. The fact is that these ailments and other issues are less the result of simply being indoors, and are instead a problem of air quality. This is why you need a home detox!
The air in the home can be many times more polluted than outdoor air. People talk a lot about emissions from automobiles, factories, and the destruction of forests, but not much about how our poor habits around the home can leave the air that we depend on in bad shape. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Thankfully, a home detox is not only doable, but it is also downright easy.
Grow Some Plants
It is always nice to bring life into the home, and plants make great companions that can help add color to any space. There are many great plant options for the home, even if you do not have the elusive green thumb. Look for one of the following easy to care for plants at your local home and garden store, then read our plant care guide.
- Bamboo palm
- Chinese evergreen
- English ivy
- Gerbera daisy
- Janet Craig
- Mass cane/Corn cane
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
- Peace lily
- Pot mum
These plants will help to capture benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde that may be found in the air, including a few other airborne contaminants. They also look great and might be appropriate to place on your desk at work.
Learn How To Vacuum The Right Way
One of the chores you probably do not like to do is vacuuming. If your vacuum is loud, there is a weird burning plastic smell, or the dog or tries to attack it, you are less likely to bother sweeping the floors.
Still, it is crucial that you vacuum, because carpets are one of the dirtiest surfaces in the home. If you are vacuuming, that is great, but you may also be doing it wrong. You see, pushing the vacuuming forward and back in random directions isn’t getting your carpet clean enough for a true home detox.
There are a few steps you need to follow to get carpets clean. First, you need to prep the area by dusting fixtures, decorations, and furniture. Then, you need to get a vacuum with a True HEPA filter, set the height adjustment, and learn how to work left-to-right and front-to-back starting from one corner of the room to the other. If you really want to clean your floors like a champ, check out our guide to vacuuming smarter.
Know Your Floor Type And Clean It Up
Carpets are one challenge, but other types of flooring can give you a headache if you don’t know the right way to clean them. You should never tackle cleaning up laminate, wax finished hardwood, stone, bamboo, or the other types of flooring in exactly the same way.
The good news you really should never be on your hands and knees scrubbing with an abrasive cleaner. In fact, sometimes all you need is a duster and a damp mop. If you are looking to clean up the home, keeping every type of flooring in the home clean will have a significant impact on air quality.
To learn more, check out our guide to cleaning 9 types of floors.
Eliminate Dust And Allergens
Dust is made of a lot of different particles: skin, plant pollen, insect waste, mold spores, and the list goes on. Besides being ugly to look at, dust can also make our allergies go crazy. The reason dust triggers our allergies is the result of proteins found in skin cells that comprise up to 80% of all indoor dust. Mites eat these skin cells, but first must release an enzyme to help with digestion. When these enzymes enter our airways, it can lead to all sorts of respiratory problems.
Besides skin, dust can enter the home when you open windows, it can fall off pets when they come back inside, and it can be created when cooking, smoking indoors, or engaging in almost any number of other activities.
To control dust, set the thermostat “Fan” setting to “On,” and let air circulate through the air filter. You can also set up an air purifier in one or more rooms of the home to take your home detox to the next level.
Ditch Harmful Household Chemicals
Why we adopted the wide-spread use of cleaning products into the home is a question for the sociologists, but what we know for sure is that many products that are found on the shelves of local retail stores have chemicals that can be potentially harmful to our health.
To avoid exposure to these chemicals, start by replacing every product in your home with a natural alternative. Not only do many of these products provide the same level of cleanliness that you want in the home, but they also limit their use of synthetic ingredients in favor of compounds made by nature.
Rid The Air Of Pet Hair
Pets naturally shed; this is a fact of life. Despite the mess, it is totally worth letting them live rent free. Since they are here to stay, it will take a little more work on your part to keep that home detox going month after month.
To keep the home clean, you will need to rid the air of pet hair. This means you need to vacuum more often, use a lint roller or rubber gloves to wick away hair found on furniture and window seals, wash bedding frequently, and regularly groom and brush each pet.
Open The Windows For Some Fresh Air
One of the best ways to detox your home is to simply open the windows. You do not need to leave them open for very long, especially if the weather is uncomfortably hot or cold.
Opening the windows helps to replace the stale indoor air that could be carrying chemicals and other contaminants with fresher outdoor air. Keep in mind, of course, that opening the windows may let some particles like pollen inside, which is why it is a good idea to switch on the heating and cooling system fan, and run an air purifier.
Stick With Your Home Detox Plan
Once you complete your home detox, you will want to set a schedule and keep following the above steps throughout the year. When the home is free of contaminants and other potentially harmful substances, you will breathe easier and feel better when you spend time indoors!