Is your living space making you sick? Follow these 10 steps to detox your home and cultivate a clean living space.
Ten years ago, I became highly sensitive to fragrances in my cleaning products, paints and certain rugs around our home. The smell would trigger debilitating physical symptoms such as: dizziness, migraine headaches, heart palpitations, nausea and shortness of breath.
A few years ago, I took my son to a hockey tournament on Cape Cod. We checked into a newly renovated room and as soon as I walked into the room, I was overwhelmed with the smell of the brand-new carpet. I woke up in the middle of the night barely able to breath and immediately called the front desk to ask us to move us to a room that had not been renovated.
I was perplexed as to why I was experiencing such severe symptoms, while my children and husband didn’t seem to be affected at all. I had to ask myself, “how will the exposure to these toxins affect my kids in the long-run and what can I do to protect them?”
According to Johns Hopkins University, “It is known that chemicals cause many human diseases. Exposure to certain chemicals may cause reactions similar to those experienced with allergies.”
Did you know that the synthetic and natural substances found in carpeting, perfumes, paint and cleaning products could be making you sick?
Many of our household cleaners, furniture and carpeting contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
What are VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)?
VOCs are gases that are emitted into the air from many of the products in our home. These are harmful chemicals that cause cancer, asthma, birth defects, infertility and autoimmune disease. VOCs can be found in:
- Paint and varnishes
- Flooring and carpeting
- Cleaners and disinfectants
- Air fresheners
- Cosmetics and deodorants
- Dry-cleaned clothing
- Office printers and copiers
“VOCs can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, can cause difficulty breathing and can damage the central nervous system can cause cancer.” – American Lung Association
There are so many ways that you can make the most of your home environment by minimizing harmful chemicals and energizing the space. The Environmental Working Group website is a wonderful resource when searching for non-toxic products for your home.
In many cases, manufacturers don’t even have to list their ingredients on their packages or websites. The Environmental Working Group tracks chemical safety, and is a go-to resource for people looking for products that are safe.
You can also follow these 12 steps to help you get started.
10 steps to detox your home and cultivate a clean living space.
- Buy an inexpensive air monitor to help you keep track of airborne chemicals, mold growth and humidity.
- Invest in high quality air purifiers, such as Molekule and place them in your bedrooms. Air purifiers can filter out germs, dust, smoke and mold in your home.
- Avoid heavily scented candles. Use fresh flowers or large leaf plants that clean the air for you.
- Choose plant-based unscented products.
- Air out your home frequently. Open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate through each room in your home.
- Ask about off-gassing from furniture companies if you are buying a new carpet/rug. Water-proofing produces a lot of off-gassing as well.
- Opt for VOC-free or low-VOC when using paints or varnishes.
- Let your dry-cleaning air-dry outside before you put it in your closet.
- Use unscented liquid laundry soap and avoid dryer sheets. Use wool dryer balls with a drop of your favorite essential oil instead.
- Invest in a good vacuum with hose attachment when dusting. This prevents the dust particles filled with household products and contaminants from being inhaled while cleaning. You can read about the top 10 chemicals in our dust here.
By introducing low or non-toxic products into your home and following these 10 steps, you are creating a home environment that supports your well-being.
If you would like to learn how to make your own safe cleaning products for your home, check out my blog about Homemade Non-Toxic Cleaning Products.
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