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Living Green: Detoxifying Your Home

As a manufacturer of natural personal care products, we’re huge advocates of healthy living and all things green, and we’re always looking for ways to simplify our consumers’ lives and health. While most people tend to focus on their physiological health this time of year, it’s just as important to look at the environment in which we live: our homes. 

Did you know that the typical home contains 500 to 1,000 chemicals? What’s more, many of them are not noticeable by smell, sight or taste, but they can be dangerous if you’re exposed to them in combination or in large amounts. Many common household cleaning products, for example, are made with toxic chemicals that aren’t always listed on the label. Rather than letting the reality of toxins scare you, it’s important to rid your home of unhealthy substances that could have long-term effects on your health. Here are some ways to do so:

#1: Leave shoes at the door.
Shoes can track in dirt, pesticides, dust and lead, so it’s best to keep them on floor mats by your entryways to keep those particles from tracking through your home.

#2: Open your windows whenever possible.
Indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air, so bring in that fresh air when you can through open or cracked windows and doors. You can also use natural air detoxifiers like green plants and fresh herbs or get a portable air purifier.

#3: Replace your cleaning products with natural alternatives.
With the natural product industry growing like never before, these products are relatively easy to find. A few basic ingredients are also great natural cleaners, including distilled white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vegetable-based liquid soap and tea tree oil.

#4: Replace your skin and personal care products with less toxic options.
Take a close look at your deodorant, body wash, toothpaste, makeup, hair products, nail polish and perfumes. They could include toxins you’re not aware of, and using chemical-free products instead will cause your body to thank you later.

#5: Replace your lawn herbicides/pesticides with less harmful products.
It’s shocking that 19 of the 30 most popular lawn chemicals on the market today are linked to studies that associate them with cancer, and 15 can lead to nervous system poisoning. There are lots of suggestions out there for natural weed and pest killers, so try them out and stick with your favorite.

#6: Use plastics wisely.
Some contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is linked to cancer, so choose non-plastic food packaging when possible and avoid microwaving food in plastic containers. Also try to avoid toys marked with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), as well as plastic shower curtains.

#7: Keep house dust minimal.
More dust means more toxins, so mop your floors and vacuum your carpets at least once a week. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter vacuum tends to do the best job of grabbing the most particles and ridding surfaces of allergens.

#8: Prevent excess moisture.
Moisture can lead to mold and mildew, so check basements, sinks, showers and other water sources for leaks and moisture accumulation, being sure to keep them clean.

There are certainly additional steps you can take to detox your home, but trying these is a great place to begin. Besides, it’s a new year — the perfect time to start fresh and give yourself the opportunity to feel your best. Your home is where you spend the majority of your time, so investing in it means investing in you.

This is Part 1 in our Green Living Series, a collection of blog posts centered on simple, healthy ways to detoxify your life.