One of the best ways to start clean living is at home. We spend a lot of time indoors so it’s important that our space nourishes our health. It should be easy to go green, but let’s be honest, it can feel so darn hard. Where to start? Do I have to toss everything? The good news is that a few little changes can make a big difference in the air quality of your home. You don’t have to spend lots of money or get a feng shui home detox. These 9 simple changes will get you started.
Home detox: 9 ways to get started right now
1. Deep clean your bedding
We spend a third of our lives sleeping so start your home detox with your mattress and bedding. Give your mattress a deep clean and protect it with a mattress cover. Invest in 100% organic cotton sheets and protect pillows with covers. To keep bedding dust mite-free, wash sheets weekly in hot water. Don’t forget to wash blankets, duvet covers and pillows monthly in hot water.
2. Make your own cleaners
The fewer toxins you bring into your house the fewer you need to filter out. Those super-strength cleaners actually do more harm than good for you, your kids and the environment, and many have even been proven as endocrine disruptors. Vinegar, baking soda and soap are gentle but effective cleaners on just about every household surface.
3. Stop storing food in plastic
It can sometimes feel impossible to avoid plastic so take note of what plastic you use over the course of a couple of days then tackle the areas where you use the most. I switched to glass containers for leftovers and reusable baggies for lunches. Use bowls in the fridge instead of storing fruit in plastic bags. If you have a microwave, please, please don’t heat up food in plastic containers. Harmful endocrine disruptors in plastic can leach into food.
4. Open windows and circulate the air
Won’t that just bring in more pollution? No, in fact, the EPA estimates that indoor pollution level are 2 to 5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoors. I’m a die-hard ceiling fan lover, and getting the air moving, especially if your windows are open, is a great way to remove indoor toxins.
5. Get an air filter
HEPA filters do an awesome job of removing dust, pollen, pet dander. I use this Honeywell filter, which captures 99% of airborne allergens. It’s definitely an investment if buying for everyone’s bedrooms, but you can also vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter to eliminate fine dust particles.
6. Grow houseplants
The natural air purifiers that get the NASA stamp of approval. Try a pothos plant, a palm or an aloe plant for the bedroom. Here’s our 10 favorite fuss-free plants that clean the air.
7. Detox your room sprays and candles
Cheap candles send a lot of junk into the air and when you’ve got your windows closed during winter you’re just polluting the air. And don’t get me started on air fresheners – they don’t even smell good! Instead, make your home feel cozy with soy candles or a homemade room spray using essential oils.
8. Green your laundry routine
When we use chemicals to clean our clothes, it often leaves behind harmful residues in the fabric and toxins in the air which then wreak havoc on our bodies (not to mention the environment). Get the kids involved by making wool dryer balls, and for everyday laundry and stains, consult our guide to natural DIY laundry products.
9. Reduce pesticides
Nothing scares me more than spraying a nasty bug spray indoors. I can’t help but think, if it’s killing a bug, what is it doing to me?? There a lots of natural bug solutions for home and gardens – none of which have scary ingredients. Try to buy organic fruits and veggies whenever possible (or at least these ones, which rank highest in pesticide levels) and use an all-natural fruit and veggie wash for fresh produce when you prep meals.14