If you are like most Americans, you probably use conventional cleaning products in your home and are not aware of toxins and pollutants in your home. Most of us spend an exorbitant amount in our homes. This is where we sleep and take rest so it’s more important than ever to make sure we take steps to not only be aware of the toxins and pollutants in our homes but also to take steps to detoxify our homes. In this blog, I’ll show you simple and cost-effective steps you can take to detoxify your home from utilizing plants, fresh air, and sunshine in the home to changing the cleaning products in your home to safer, cleaner cost-effective alternatives.
Best Plants for Your Home
If you’ve ever been to my home, I have a ton of plants! Not only do I love to watch them grow and admire their beauty, but they clean the air in my home and are SO much cheaper than most air purifiers you are going to find. It doesn’t take a whole lot of research to care for plants in the home and the price of these plants are so much more economical so without ado here are some houseplants I highly recommend in having in your home:
- PEACE LILY – This plant is amazing and removes all three of most common air pollutants — formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene along with toluene and xylene. These chemicals are often found in the off-gassing of new carpet, furniture, and cleaning products among other sources. These plants also top NASA’s list for one of the most powerful detoxifying plants you can have in your home! I have two of these beautiful plants in my home. They are super easy to take care of too! When the leaves start to droop, that’s when you need to water it. They love sunny spots and they don’t like to be repotted after being firmly established so make sure you put in a nice size pot as they can get pretty big. Flowers are toxic to children so make sure to keep away from small kids.
- BAMBOO PALM – This plant is really good for filtering out formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. As stated above with the peace lily, a lot of new furniture and carpet “off-gas” these chemicals into the air. This plant doesn’t prefer much sun so indirect light is best. It really likes water, but dislikes having too much water so making sure the soil is completely dry before watering is best! HoldAll sells a moisture meter that you can buy that you just stick into the soil and it’ll tell you how wet it is.
- ALOE VERA – This plant is one of my favorites. I have a huge aloe vera plant in my home and it’s taken approximately 10 years to triple in size, but what an amazing plant. Not only that, but it has healing properties. Cutting off a leaf and slicing it open with a knife can be applied to wounds, burns, and bruises to help with the healing process. This plant also helps to detoxify your home by removing the chemical benzene which is commonly found in paint and certain chemical household cleaners. This plant is toxic to cats and dogs so keep away from your household pets.
- ORCHIDS – One of the most beautiful plants for the home! Orchids have been a houseplant favorite for many. These plants help to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde commonly off-gassed from paints, solvents and other synthetic materials. They love humidity and are very particular about where you put them. Once you’ve placed them in a location of your home, beware not to move them, as they will fail to do so well once moved. They prefer the evening sun and the blooms start in spring and last forever. Place in orchid mix if you decide to re-pot and make sure to water via ice cubes only. This allows for slow dilution of water to the plant which does not like being overwatered.
- HAWAIIAN GOOD LUCK PLANT – This plant is also known as the Hawaiian Ti Plant. A Ti plant cleans the air of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. I also have one of these in my home which is growing a baby right next to it. Mine is green leafed, but they can come in many different colors. This plant likes well-draining soil and loves water, but also be careful not to overwater the plant. It also doesn’t do well with fluoride in the water so if you know your tap water contains this, you may want to buy spring water that doesn’t contain fluoride to water the plant with. You’ll notice if you do water with fluoride water, the leaves may start to turn brown. What you find online will tell you this plant prefers indirect sun, but I can tell you I have it in a sunny window of my home and it loves it. This plant is toxic to cats and dogs so keep away from pets!
There are a ton of other plants out there you can google that can also help to detoxify your home, but I just listed my favorites! Almost every houseplant out there has some beneficial properties to detoxifying your home so don’t be afraid to go buy some plants to brighten up your home and clean the air you breathe! If you can, try to have a houseplant in each bedroom of your home and the living room where your family and pets spend the most time.
BENEFITS OF FRESH AIR AND SUNSHINE IN THE HOME
We all know how being in the outdoors and in nature seems to renew and uplift our spirits, especially being barefoot and absorbing the frequencies and energy from mother earth, so why not bring this indoors?
Our homes breathe. The appliances, carpeting, and furniture add VOCs and other harmful chemicals to the air. Proper natural ventilation helps reduce unhealthy airborne contaminants and mold promoting humidity and I’m not talking about putting on your air conditioner in the summer. Rethink this. Recycling outside air is not the same as opening your windows.
The sun and air can be very healing, especially to the sick. Consider the following…
Why open windows?
- Let humidity out. We shower, cook, have pets, grow plants and the list goes on. All these things add humidity to the air. An open window vents this excess humidity, lowering the chance for mold.
- Vent away airborne chemicals that come from electronics, furniture, and carpets.
- Flush out nasty odors.
- Increase in oxygen. When breathing air from a closed environment, we lower oxygen concentrations. Another good reason to have plants in the home during winter months when opening a window is just not reasonable. Plants increase oxygen concentrations in the home.
Natural light – the sun is amazing. The sun is healing, it is good for us. The sun makes us feel good and promotes good health.
- Give your spirits a boost. Research has shown the sun helps us be happier, more productive and healthier. It also reduces depression and suffering from disorders such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Promote eye health. The sun reduces eye strain making it easier to see. In fact, wearing sunglasses is not so good for our eyes contrary to popular belief. It trains our eyes not to take in the sun when this is actually beneficial to us. “Photosensitive cells in the eye also directly affect the brain’s hypothalamus region, which controls our biological clock. This influences our circadian rhythm, not just important for jet lag but for normal sleep patterns, hormone regulation, increased reaction time, and behavior. Most cells in the body have an important cyclic pattern when working optimally, so potentially, just about any area of the body can falter without adequate sun stimulation. Turner and Mainster state that, “ensuing circadian disturbances can have significant physiological and psychological consequences.” This also includes “increasing risk of disease” as the authors state, and as numerous other studies show, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The hypothalamus also regulates the combined actions of the nervous and hormonal systems.” – Dr. Phil Maffetone
- Promote brain health. “Seeing the natural light of the sun helps the brain work better. No, not staring into the sun, but allowing the eyes to be exposed to natural outdoor light—contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses, and windows block the helpful sun rays.” “Vitamin D allows one to more effectively use calcium, improves the immune system, helps prevents cancer, and is important for brain function. Yet, millions of people have insufficient levels of vitamin D, and rickets—a once common condition of brittle bones in children caused by vitamin D deficiency that was very rare—has made a big comeback. The brain’s pineal gland benefits directly from the sun stimulation. The pineal produces melatonin, an important hormone made during dark hours that protects our skin. In addition, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant for body-wide use, is important for proper sleep and intestinal function, and can help prevent depression. ” – Dr. Phil Maffetone
- Up Your vitamin D. The sun is a source of vitamin D. It is an essential vitamin for healthy immune systems, weight maintenance, and brain functionality. For those suffering from asthma, it helps reduce symptoms. – innovativeskylights.com
- Save some money. Natural light reduces your electric costs as you’re not spending money on utilities, but using what God has given us (the sun) for our benefit.
SAFE, NON-TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS
A healthy home is a clean home, but the conventional products sold in stores today have scores of harmful chemical residues that remain on our home surfaces. These chemical residues have been shown to be highly toxic to humans. We use a wide variety of cleaning products that fill our home with toxic chemical residue, fumes, and even off-gas while they are stored. Some cleaners are the most toxic chemicals you can have in the home. It’s really scary if you think about it. Many also contribute to indoor air pollution (another reason to have plants in the home!), are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. Some of these conventional household cleaners can cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer. Consider the following by the Organic Consumers Associations:
“Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, and should not be used by people with asthma or lung or heart problems. These two chemicals pose an added threat in that they can react with each other or other chemicals to form lung-damaging gases. Combining products that contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye (in some oven cleaners) produces chloramine gases, while chlorine combined with acids (commonly used in toilet bowl cleaners) forms toxic chlorine gas.
Fragrances added to many cleaners, most notably laundry detergents and fabric softeners, may cause acute effects such as respiratory irritation, headache, sneezing, and watery eyes in sensitive individuals or allergy and asthma sufferers. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic. But because the chemical formulas of fragrances are considered trade secrets, companies aren’t required to list their ingredients but merely label them as containing “fragrance.”
Other ingredients in cleaners may have low acute toxicity but contribute to long-term health effects, such as cancer or hormone disruption. Some all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When these substances come into contact with nitrites, often present as undisclosed preservatives or contaminants, they react to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin. 1,4-dioxane, another suspected carcinogen, may be present in cleaners made with ethoxylated alcohols. Butyl cellosolve (also known as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether), which may be neurotoxic (or cause damage to the brain and nervous system), is also present in some cleaners.”
And it’s not just cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals, but also your bedding that can contain some harmful chemicals. Check out my blog Why You Should Care What’s In Your Bedding to learn more.
So, is there an alternative to these conventional toxic cleaning products? Yes! It took me awhile to find an honest company with a whole collection of cleaning products, but I did find one and I’ve not only been amazed by the quality of the products, but the non-toxicity of these cleaning products from fabric softeners to floor cleaner to glass cleaner. Not only that, but it’s entirely affordable. I think you’ll be highly impressed. I know I was! The company is called Melaleuca. Now I DO NOT recommend buying any of their other products as I’ve got some concerns with some of the questionable ingredients in these. Some of their food products contain artificial sweeteners and their vitamins (with the exception of the omegas) are synthetically derived. I also don’t know how well these have been tested of heavy metals and I know that a lot of supplements are heavily laden in heavy metal contaminants.
But I DO highly recommend their cleaning products! The cleaning products are by far the best I’ve seen on the market. Now, you can also use essential oils to clean your home, but that can become very expensive over time. I would suggest considering Melaleuca cleaning products for your home. These have been tested to be free of chlorine bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde, phosphates, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals found in most conventional cleaning products. And while you can find ‘some’ cleaning products at your nearby Target and Wal-Mart that don’t contain harmful ingredients, I’m guessing like myself, you haven’t been able to find everything. Here’s an overview of the company:
Click Here> https://www.melaleuca.com/catherineveerhusen if you’d like to learn more about Melaleuca and become a member! It’s less than $20 a year and you can quit at any time if you are unhappy. In fact, your membership fee will be refunded back to you if you decide to quit the membership in 3 months. I guarantee you the cleaning products will really impress you!
In closing, there are a lot of other things we can do to improve our home quality, but the above is a start and are some of the best things you can do for your home in a fairly quick amount of time. Now there are some other things you can do and I’ll list them here as these are also essential to a non-toxic home:
- Reduce EMFs and dirty electricity – This has been shown to be a huge problem and getting worse. Please consider buying ADR mats for your box-spring mattresses (as these attract EMFs), or invest in Nest Bedding products that do not contain harmful chemicals or a metal box-spring, and buying EMF shielding for your body, outlets, and electronic devices. Earthcalm came recommended to me by my holistic doctor. This is a good company selling quantum products for your devices and EMF shielding for you and your family. Electrahealth.com sells ADR mats for beds along with other EMF detectors, shielding, and products.
- Reduce Chlorine and Fluoride in your bathing and drinking water – Almost every water utility company cleans the water with chlorine and therefore the water contains high amounts of this along with lead, heavy metals, pesticides, fluoride, along with other harmful contaminants. I highly recommend Berkey Filters for your drinking water. They have the only proven filtration system to eliminate more than its competitors. The Health Ranger did an extensive study on it and you can find out more Here and also buy the Big Berkey water filtration from this site as well. The Big Berkey® Water Filters system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. Big Berkey also sells filters to remove harmful fluoride from your drinking water, which is a known neurotoxin. When it comes to bathing, Dr. Mercola’s site sells some really good chlorine filters. He discusses his shower filters in the below video. I recommend listening:
Our health is of the most important investment we can make. This information can be overwhelming for most so take baby steps to transition your home to a non-toxic environment. You’ll get there. Best of luck and blessings to you and your family. Please comment below if you want to know more on anything I’ve put in this blog or if you have any questions! Knowledge is power and while this information may be overwhelming, knowing can help you to control what happens next. Rise and shine my friends. Good health be unto you.
- Sunlight: Good For the Eyes as well as the Brain
- How Toxic Are Your Household Cleaning Supplies?
- Benefits of Fresh Air & Natural Light in Your Home