5 Steps for Taking Toxins Out of Your Home

5 Steps for Taking Toxins Out of Your Home

By Charlotte Meier

Looking at the home above, you probably see a nice, cozy loft. But what you cannot see in this photo, or in your own home, are the common household toxins that could be making you sick. Pollutants and allergens can quickly spread through your home, causing serious health issues. So take some basic steps to control what is in your home and the air you breathe.

What Toxins Are in Your Home?

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you know how good fresh air can be. But what you may not know is that the air in your home is not always as fresh as it seems. Research shows that our homes can be much dirtier than the outdoors, no matter how clean they appear. If you have a fireplace or gas appliances, you may already know you are polluting your home. You may be surprised, however, to know that even seemingly harmless items can give off toxins. Your dog, your cleaning products, and even your furniture could be polluting the air in your home. Leather furniture can be especially toxic, depending on the chemicals used in the tanning and stretching process.

Some Obvious Solutions

So now you know there are toxins and pollutants in your home that can make you sick. But what can you do about it? Some of the more obvious options to improve indoor air quality are ones you probably already do every day. If the weather permits, open a few windows to let some fresh air circulate around your home. When you have friends over who smoke, do not allow them to smoke in your home. Ask your friends to go outside and step far enough away from your home so that the smoke cannot get back inside. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes can be just as toxic as smoke inhaled by smokers, so take steps to protect yourself from these known carcinogens.

Things You May Not Think About

Cracking some windows and taking cigarettes outside are fairly simple solutions to keeping your home toxin-free. But, you can also try some less obvious ways to rid your home of pollutants and enhance indoor air quality. Fur and dander are the most common culprits for triggering allergic reactions in pet owners. To keep problems minimal, try bathing and brushing your pet routinely. And make a point to regularly change your air filters, preferably with a MERV rating of 8 or higher to ensure removal of airborne particles. Wash any blankets or beds your pets sleep on in hot water to get rid of dander build up and hair, and don’t forget to vacuum regularly. If you need to, keep a handheld vacuum at the ready so you can keep up with daily fur removal. Finally, if you go on any outdoor adventures with your pup, be sure to give them a good scrub afterwards, so they do not track in dust or pollen.

Make Your Home More Green

Keeping your home de-cluttered and clean is a good way to reduce allergens. If you are using traditional mass-marketed cleaning products, however, you could be leaving even more harmful toxins behind. Use green cleaning tips for solutions that keep your home and air tidy, and keep the environment healthy as well. If you have hazardous chemicals, avoid storing them in your home and do not use artificially scented candles and air fresheners to mask odors in your home. You can also try adding some air-purifying plants, but choose ones that are not toxic to animals if you do have pets in your home.

Rid Your Home of Odors and Gas

Gases and odors are another common source of indoor pollution in homes. If you are concerned about gases and toxic odors in your home, you can use a high-quality purifier to purge toxins from the air. Not all purifiers are created equal, however, so you will need one made to remove gas and odors from the air. There are even air purifiers that specialize in removing indoor smoke. You should also pay close attention to the ventilation in your home, especially around combustible appliances. Have a contractor inspect your air and heating system and make sure your duct work is clean. Also open windows when using chemicals or solvents.

Keeping yourself healthy starts at home. By reducing toxins in your home, you can avoid serious health problems and spend more times doing the things you love. So get some fresh air, remove chemicals out of your home, and start living your healthiest life ever.

Photo Credit: Unsplash