Are you looking for ways to rid your home of toxins but don’t know where to start?
Synthetic chemicals are in so many different products we have in our homes, from cleaning products and cosmetics, to furniture, clothes and toys. In fact, there are around 100,000 synthetic chemicals on the market today, and many of them haven’t been tested for human and environmental toxicity.
And of those that have been, there are many chemicals that contain known and suspected allergens, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens.
These toxins can wreak havoc on your body, your cellular health, your biochemistry and the environment. Limiting your exposure to household toxins can help reduce threats to your hormones, boost your metabolism and make you feel better all around.
Here are some simple ways you can give your home a bit of a detox.
1. Take your shoes off.
If you take your shoes off before you enter the house, you can reduce the load of dust, residue and other nasties you trail in from the outside world.
2. Ditch toxic plastics.
Potential carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals are leached by most plastics. The worst ones to look out for are polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC), polystyrene (PS, a.k.a. Styrofoam, when extruded), and polycarbonate (PC). You should always avoid the following products made from these materials: cooking oil bottles, styrofoam containers, plastic liners in food and soft drink cans, hard plastic drinking bottles, microwave oven cookware and cling wrap. Instead, opt for cardboard or glass packaging, storing food in ceramic or glass packaging, rinsing all canned food thoroughly and using non-plastic microwave containers and stainless steel drinking bottles.
3. Keep houseplants in every room.
By doing this, the soil bacteria will help to reduce volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde in the air.
4. Air your home.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to detox your home naturally is to open up the doors and windows and get a cross breeze going as often as possible. Healthy homes are filled with fresh air and light.
5. Stop the use of bleached products.
Chlorine byproducts have been found to be 300,000 times more carcinogenic than the pesticide DDT. You can find it in bleached products like paper towels, bleached coffee filters and toilet paper. When shopping, look for chlorine-free paper products.
6. Ditch spray cans.
Sprays like air fresheners, artificial fragrances and insect sprays contain lung irritants and phthalates, one of the worst endocrine disrupters. Endocrine disrupters mess with hormones and affect body functions such as growth, metabolism and fertility. They can also influence the immune system’s function.
7. Stop using antibacterial soaps.
Triclosan, the antibacterial component found in antibacterial hand and dish soaps can be quite problematic. It kills all bacteria, even the good ones, and can create an antibiotic resistance that means some bacteria will grow immune to it over time.
8. Use non-toxic cleaning products.
There are lots of ways you can incorporate everyday ingredients like lemon peel, soap, vinegar, orange, clove oils and baking soda in your cleaning routine instead of using harsh chemicals, and clean using microfibre cloths. There are also a range of commercial organic non-toxic cleaning products available on the market too.
9. Use a water filter.
Invest in a good quality water filter for your home to filter out chlorine and fluoride in drinking water. Store your water in stainless steel or glass.
10. Avoid Teflon pots and pans.
The chemicals used by manufacturers to create non-stick cookware can cause damage to your thyroid, your liver or your immune system. Get rid of Teflon and other cookware that’s made from fluoropolymers and fluorinated telomers, and instead opt for pots and pans made from iron, stainless steel or are glass or porcelain-coated instead.
11. Use essential oils as disinfectant.
Essential oils such as lime, tea tree and cinnamon have disinfectant properties and are better than commercial disinfectants that contain chemicals like chlorine, triclosan and formaldehyde.
12. Avoid stain-resistant furniture and clothing.
Fabrics that are stain-resistant usually contain a compound that has been linked to cancer and birth defects. When purchasing new furniture and clothing, make sure it hasn’t been treated with stain-resistant chemicals and avoid using spray-on fabric protectors on your upholstery, fabrics and clothing.
13. Read the labels on all processed foods.
Try to avoid artificial flavours, colours and flavour enhancers. Food additives are believed to affect around 60 to 70 per cent of people, most of whom don’t even know they are affected.
14. Get a good vacuum cleaner.
You might shell out a little more for it, but a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter and motorised head will cut down your exposure to allergens like mould and dust mites.
15. Pay attention to labels on skincare and cosmetics.
You should avoid using products that contain coal tar, formaldehyde, lead acetate, DEA, MEW or TEA compounds, petroleum (including mineral oil), phenylenediamine, alpha hydroxy acids and silica. Opt for natural ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter and almond oil.
How do you detox your home?