This may come as a bit of a shock. But I’m just going to come right out and say it.
The air you’re breathing in every single day is toxic.
And I’m not talking about the bad air-quality outside your window, either. Because while THAT’S a huge problem too, it’s a topic for another day.
No, today I’m focusing on INDOOR air.
Indoor air is full of pollutants too
Unless you have asthma or major allergies, chances are you don’t give much thought to the air quality inside your home.
But that’s a big mistake because you spend a lot of time there. And the quality of the air you’re breathing can have a HUGE impact on your health.
Plus this time of year with everything sealed up against the cold it’s even MORE important to pay attention to what you’re breathing in.
Now you’re probably wondering what you’re supposed to do about it. After all, you can scour your kitchen or bathroom. But you can’t do that for the air you breathe, right?
Wrong. It turns out you CAN scrub the air inside your home to help remove dangerous pollutants. And it’s likely FAR easier than you’d imagine.
7 ways to scrub toxic pollutants from your air
Following are seven simple steps you can take to clean up your indoor air act…
1. Use your entryway:
Microscopic pollution particles hitch a ride inside on coats, hats, scarves, and shoes. To minimize the number of toxins that enter your home put your entryway to good use. Take off all your outerwear… INCLUDING your shoes… as soon as you walk in the door.
Even if you don’t have a separate mudroom or foyer, designate a spot to drop your stuff. A couple hooks on the wall and a basket will work fine. And institute a shoes-off policy for the rest of the family too.
2. Dust more often:
Dust can make respiratory illnesses last longer. And it can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. So it’s a good idea to make regular dusting a part of your routine.
During the summer months, dusting once a week might cut it. But during the winter with your windows and doors closed up tight dust can build up faster. So, dust with a damp cloth at least twice a week until things warm up again.
3. Air it out:
When the weather is a bit warmer, throw open the windows to allow air to circulate. And if it’s too cold for wide open windows, cracking a few to let the toxins out can help.
4. Try a HEPA filter:
HEPA filters are your best bet for scrubbing your air clean of even the smallest particles, including dust, pet dander, and pollen. You can get HEPA filters for your HVAC unit as well as portable air purifying machines and vacuum cleaners which use the technology.
5. Go green when you clean:
Some commercial cleaning products actually make the air in your home MORE toxic. In one disturbing study, researchers found cleaning with chemical household cleansers as little as once a week was enough to damage lung function.
To avoid the pollutants try some all-natural cleaners instead such as…
- baking soda to battle odors and absorb grease
- lemons to cut through grease and dirt
- salt to scour surfaces and absorb grease
- white vinegar to dissolve soap scum and remove mildew
- essential oils to deodorize
Or check the Environmental Working Group website for their EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning for advice on safer products you can use.
6. Stick to beeswax:
If you’re a fan of candles, you don’t have to give them up. But you DO need to make a change.
Most paraffin candles are made from literal toxic waste. First, leftover petroleum byproducts are bleached. Then a carcinogenic chemical called acrolyn is added to form the solid white blocks used to make the candles. When you burn them, they release toxic benzene and toluene into the air.
Swap out your regular candles for safer beeswax instead. They burn cleaner with almost no smoke. Plus they scrub your air by releasing negative ions which bind with pollutants and irritants, so you don’t end up breathing them in.
7. Bring nature inside:
Potted plants can do wonders for your air quality. And NASA has even done all the legwork for you by figuring out which ones do the job best. Apply your green thumb to spider plants, English ivy, variegated snake plants, peace lilies, and chrysanthemums for the freshest air.