7 easy ways to detox your house from within!
Since the confinement started, we spent a lot more time indoor. For those who do not have gardens or balcony to relax outside, all you can do is open your windows. Whatever your situation is, whether you live in a city or the countryside, in a house or an apartment, indoor air quality is something that should be taken seriously. We tend to forget that the quality of the air in our home is as important as the one outside. There is currently a lot of focus on outside air pollution because the media tend to talk about it a lot more, however indoor pollution is a real thing and it can have a negative impact on our health.
Our homes, are full of chemical particles floating around in the air. They are invisible to us, but they are present nevertheless. Indoor pollution can come from the cleaning products that you use, the furnitures that you bought, the curtains or even the fact that you might have a smoker around the house. Toxic chemicals such as benzene, radon, or carbon monoxide have been found in houses. Cigarettes’ smoke particles or things such as mould also have a direct effect on indoor air quality. A report from the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Paediatric and Child Heath estimated that indoor pollution contributed to 99 000 death across Europe in 2012. Now, we are in 2020, and indoor pollution has not disappeared. It is creeping in our homes and a lot of us are completely unaware of it.
While it will be difficult to reduce the level of radon if you live in an area with a lot of it, I am going to talk to you about 7 different new habits that you can implement in your house to detoxify your living space.
Numéro 1: Cigarettes: whatever you do, make sure that smokers are smoking outside your house. Cigarettes’ toxic particles will stick to furnitures, curtains, all kind of fabric and they will stay there. Whoever live in the house with you, will be breathing in these particles. It is particularly bad for young children and pregnant women, but it will affect everyone in the household. Smoking with the window open is also to be avoided if you can. It is best to go outside and far from the house to avoid any smoke getting in. By the way, did you know that pets are also affected by passive smoking? They have lungs too and they are not immune to tar and all the other toxic particles coming from cigarette’s smoke.
Numéro 2: Your cleaning products: choose them wisely. If you are reading this and if you are following us on Instagram or Facebook, then you know that we are strongly in favour of using natural cleaning products in our homes. It is partly because it is good for the planet, but also because it is much better for you and your health. Supermarket cleaners can contain chemicals that are carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors or even neurotoxins. The worse products for your indoor air quality are air fresheners, fabric softeners, corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners or toilet cleaners and last but not least bleach. You can easily switch these products with natural alternatives that will cost you less and are super easy to use. Check our free recipe section. It will give you some ideas.
Numero 3: The garage: If you are lucky enough to live in the UK and have a garage, then you need to reconsider the way you park your car. I learnt recently that when you stop you car after having driven for a while, your engine releases a lot more toxic fumes in the air. These toxic fumes are very dangerous for your health and if your garage is directly attached to the house, some of these fumes will end up indoor. It might sound exaggerated, but it would be best to let your car cool down for 30 minutes, outside on the drive way, and then park it in the garage.
Numéro 4: Ban all your artificially scented candles. Yes, candles are actually really bad for the air quality. It’s not only the candles, but also the scented sticks, the air freshener sprays from supermarkets, and the plugged-in fragrance diffuser. Some of these products will release carcinogenic chemicals such as benzene or formaldehyde. You always have the possibility to replace them with essential oils, but be careful if you are pregnant or have a toddler around the house. I wrote a good article about essential oils last week. Click HERE if you want to read it.
Numéro 5: Choose furnitures in solid wood or second hand. The new trend of cheap and lightweight modern furnitures can actually be a curse. These furnitures are full of glue, lacquer and solvents. These compounds will release toxic particles in the air for years and you will be the one breathing them. You should be extra careful with your baby room. It is normal to want to buy new things for our babies, but it would actually be better to buy second hand or in charity shops. When you buy second hand, you are more likely to buy a piece of furniture that has already released all the toxic particles in the air. By the way, the same apply to new baby clothes, curtains and muslins. Always wash them before you start using them.
Numéro 6: Ventilate your house. A healthy home is a home that has been aired every single day for about 15 min, no matter the season. Make sure you do it. It can be more difficult during the winter because it is cold and you don’t want to lose the heat, but make sure you air your house everyday. Ventilating your house is by far the best way to improve your indoor air quality, and it will also help with winter viruses. If someone is ill in the house, airing their room will help avoiding that someone else catches it.
Numéro 7: I could not finish this article without mentioning indoor plants. Green plants can detox your home a little bit, but they won’t be as efficient as the points mentioned above. Let’s have a look at three plants:
- the chlorophytum or “spider plant”: this is a very common plant. You can find it anywhere. Great to have in your kitchen, it will absorb some of the carbon monoxide from your kitchen stove, but also the benzene.
- Dracanea or “corn plant”: another great plant that will fight toxic particles from cigarette smoke, paint and air fresheners.
- Aglaonema or “chinese evergreen": very similar to Dracaena in term of air pollution, but with a different look.
Of course, it does not matter how many plants you add to your house, it will never be as efficient as airing your house, avoiding indoor smoking and using eco-friendly cleaning products. However, having plants inside your home has a double effect: it cleans your air and it will make you more relaxed. Having green colours and green plants has an effect on our nervous system and it relaxes us.
Take care of yourself during the confinement and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or Instagram. We need your support!
La French Maison