We all want to keep our bodies healthy—but what’s in our homes matters, too.
No matter how clean you keep your house, toxins can be an issue—one that, over time, can seriously affect your health. Harsh cleaning products, paint, and synthetic building materials are just a few of the things that may contribute to less-than-healthy environments; these items and the chemicals they emit have been linked to headaches, nausea, and dizziness, along with longer-term ailments. If that sounds scary, don’t worry: Here are a few easy steps you can take to clear the air.
1. Transition to natural products.
Try to think pure and chemical-free with as many items as possible, from organic bedding, towels, rugs, and curtains to cleaning products and furniture.
2. Maintain a “no shoes indoors” policy.
Just going out to run a quick errand can mean tracking bacteria, pesticides, and even lead dust into your home. Organize your shoes by the door instead.
3. Add some plants.
They’re nature’s purifiers, gobbling up toxins as they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. A few varieties that are especially effective: Spider plants, snake plants, and Boston ferns.
4. Dust and vacuum regularly.
But don’t use a feather duster: This old-fashioned tool just kicks particles up and into the air. Try cleaning with microfiber cloths instead—they’re synthetic, but their long lifespan makes them eco-friendlier.
5. Cut down on plastic containers and bottles.
Some contain BPAs, chemicals that can seep into food and beverages. They’ve been linked to hormone disruption, so it’s smarter to store your leftovers and tote your H2O in glass or stainless steel instead. (For now, avoid BPA-free plastics: The jury’s out on how much safer these alternatives actually are.)
6. Keep doors and windows open as much as possible.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the air outdoors is often cleaner than what’s in your house—up to five times cleaner, according to some studies. So let the sunshine (and fresh air!) in.