5 Easy Ways to Detox your Home

With the arrival of spring, you may feel an urge to detox. This may be the time to try out a juice cleanse, up your exercise game or try out those infrared saunas that every celebrity seems to rave about, but what about your home?

Our homes are our sanctuary, where we spend a lot of time with, often with our loved ones. Did you know that indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top 5 environmental risks to humans? As helpful as detox can be on our bodies, a detox to our home is equally as important! Here are 5 easy, and effective ways to detox your home right now.

Eliminate harmful air fresheners

Commercial air fresheners often contain an array of harmful chemicals such as phthalates which have been linked to early puberty, autism, obesity, and birth defects. Phthalates may be listed as “fragrance” or parfum” on the ingredient list.

Opt for:

Natural air fresheners that use charcoal to absorb smells and odours from the home.

An essential oil diffuser or try mixing water and an essential oil in a spray bottle and spritzing rooms or furniture when necessary.

Make a “stove top air freshener”. In a small pot, add water and your favourite smelling spices and fruit and simmer over medium heat. The ingredients will emit a pleasant and non toxic aroma. This is a great way to use up and fruit (such as oranges, lemons, apples) that may be starting to go bad.

Ingredients:

3 cups water

2 sticks of cinnamon

4 star anise

2 thick slices of oranges

Open the window! Why buy air fresheners that are supposed to mimic the smell of outdoors when you can simply let the outdoors in?!

Green up your space

Have a plant in each room. Not only will this add to the decor of your house, but it will also help to clean the air, naturally! Just as plants take in carbon dioxide, they also absorb many air particles. Potting soil contains microorganisms that can be responsible for cleansing the air of such chemicals as benzene and formaldehyde.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, it is has also been observed that having living plants in the home can improve your mood. 🙂

Swap scented candles for pure beeswax

As tempting as scented candles are (they smell sooooo good), they can be very harmful to your health! These candles are mostly made of paraffin (petroleum derived) which, when burned, can emit carcinogens such as benzene and toluene.

Pure, natural beeswax on the other hand burns clean and can have positive effects on the air in your home. When burned, beeswax releases negative ions which bind to toxins in the air and help remove them. Little to no smoke is produced when burning beeswax candles. They can help reduce common allergens in the air such as dust and dander. Although more costly, beeswax burns much slower than other candles, saving you money in the long run!

DIY Cleaning Products

With this step you will not only reduce exposure to synthetic chemicals, dyes and scents, but also save money and have knowledge and peace of mind of what is actually in your household cleaners. It’s fun, easy and fast! Start saving old containers and bottles such as spray bottles or you can purchase new ones for very little at the dollar store.

The main ingredients you’ll need to start making your own cleaning products are: essential oils (but you already have those because you’ve been making your own air fresheners, right?), white vinegar, baking soda, fresh lemon and natural household soap such as castile soap.

DIY All-purpose Cleaner

(Adapted recipe from Metro News Toronto)

In a spray bottle (approx. 1 litre) add:

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp essential oil (try cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon or a mix)

Top of up bottle with hot water to dissolve mixture

Close lid and shake.

How easy was that?!

Tidy up!

As simple and obvious as this step is, it can be overlooked. We try so hard (and often spend a lot of money) on masking odours or making our homes smells good and disinfecting our home when really a good cleaning is often what is needed! With the change of season, it’s the perfect time for decluttering and tidying up. Does the term “spring cleaning” ring a bell? Here are some easy steps to do so.

Vacuum

Give your house a good vacuum every week to avoid build of dust which is a common allergen. This is especially important if you have pets in the home.

Declutter

Donate any excess furniture, clothing, appliances, decor, or books that you may have. Having excess stuff in your home not only clutters your mind, but can be a spot for dust or mold to build up.

Pack it away

Invest in some bins to store any winter equipment or clothing away for the season.

Clean out your pantry and fridge

Anyone else guilty of pulling out a jar from the fridge and not knowing what on earth it is? This is the perfect time to get rid of any old, inedible food from your house. Studies say that those who cook in a cluttered kitchen are more prone to overeat.


Anna Hennigs, Certified Nutritional Practitioner

References

https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/safe-product-guides/air-fresheners/

http://greatist.com/connect/houseplants-that-clean-air

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf

wellnessmama.com/4629/clean-indoor-air/http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf