This might sound weird, but how often do you think about toxins? They’re in the air we breathe. They’re in the food we eat. But, little do we know, toxins in our homes as well. We don’t realize there are so many bad chemicals in everyday products we have laying around the house. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of them. Let’s talk about it…
Should I remove all my plastic? What DIY cleaning supplies should I use? Wait, can you kill toxins just by opening your windows? We’re talking about all that AND more…
Yes, you can open your windows to start.
Don’t you just love that sudden feeling of relief when you feel that morning breeze? You may think that opening your window is only good on hot days. Well, you’re wrong. You can open your window all year-round, and for good reason.
Sometimes, the best way to kill off toxins in your home is to open the window and get some fresh air into the house. One of these toxins you need to watch out for is radon (ray-don). This is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas. While it’s mostly found outdoors, radon can slowly seep into your home if there are cracks or holes.
This is bad considering radon gas can increase your chances of lung cancer. What’s even scarier is that you can’t even see or smell it. This means radon may already be in your home without you noticing.
If you just open your window, it will allow the chemicals to break off and disperse. Not only does it save you from radon, cracking the window will also lower the risk of getting sick. The longer your windows are open, the more fresh air you’ll get. The oxygen will open up your lungs, repairing tissues and cells.
The best times to have your windows open are in the early morning or late evening. These are the hours when the temperature is at its coolest. This will give a lot of the toxins enough time to leave your home.
Are you smoking? Well, it’s time to quit!
Nicotine smoke is one of the worst things lingering in your home. Not only is this affecting you, it could also be hurting your kids. A large amount of children in the United States are exposed to secondhand smoke every day! This increases their risk of heart disease and lung cancer, as well as yours.
When you quit smoking, the traces from the nicotine chemical will slowly clear from the air. If you’re not up for quitting just yet, you can at least start smoking outdoors. This way, you’re not polluting your house with nicotine. There are so many ways to prevent harmful toxins from getting into your home.
One of them is taking your shoes off at the door.
We get it, wearing your shoes in the house is relaxing. If you’re an adult, it makes you feel you have control. “I don’t need to take my shoes off. This is my house!” The problem is we don’t realize just how much harm we’re doing to the air in our house.
There are so many toxins that stick to your shoes. Unfortunately, we take these toxins inside with us when we get into the house. These include things like synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Pesticides are anything used to kill off pests that could be destroying your garden area.
While they are efficient, the chemicals from these pesticides can be extremely harmful for your body. They circulate in the air when you bring them in through your sneakers. Much like cigarette smoke, research shows that pesticide exposure can harm your child, particularly their neurodevelopment.
So do you and your family a favor and take them off at the front door. We know you’re proud of your new Nikes, but it’s best to flash them off in public when you’re outdoors. There’s something else you can do to rid your floor of toxins. If you’re already nodding your head at ditching your shoes, you’re probably not going to like this…
Lose your carpets.
Yes, I know carpets add to the feng shui of your home. People spend tens of thousands of dollars in their lifetime just to get carpet flooring. It’s comfortable on our feet and looks nice in our house. The issue is that carpets hold toxins. You add your shoes to the mix, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
But, shoes are not the only threat to your carpet when it comes to chemicals. You also have to watch out for the particles leftover from synthetic products like sprays, repellants and dyes. The older the carpet the more of these toxins it will contain. Older carpets have things like Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s.
Breathing in VOCs can irritate your eyes, skin, nose and throat. They can also get into your lungs, making it harder to breathe. On top of that, VOCs can contribute to a bunch of different health issues such as damage to your nervous system and organs, as well as cancer. This is especially bad for young children and pets, who love playing on the floor.
Now I’m obviously not going to tell you to change the flooring in your home. Not everybody can afford to do that. But, if you’re able to roll your carpet up and remove it, that might be the smartest course of action. This way, you’ve reduced the amount of toxins you can be exposed to indoors.
Use safer cleaning products.
When you’re cleaning your house, what products are you using? Are you taking bleach to everything? Bleach is one of the worst things that can circulate in your home. The toxicity can hurt your eyes, nose, lungs and throat. If you already suffer from things like asthma, spraying any type of bleach into the air can make matters worse.
If you use bleach and ammonia together, the two products can create a form of toxic gas that can do even more harm to your lungs. It’s especially important to stop using these if you have young children or elderly people in your home.
Other products like air fresheners, fabric softeners and corrosive cleaners are also toxic. Even shampoo contains carcinogens like formaldehyde that are absorbed by the scalp and cause asthma. Some of these carcinogens have even been linked to cancer.
One of the things you can do instead is to use natural cleaning supplies. These should be made of common ingredients you have around the house. These are things like baking soda, vinegar and warm water. When used properly, they help you clean surfaces without releasing harmful toxins.
Clean the dust off your surfaces.
With all these natural cleaning products, you need to make sure you’re cleaning the right areas. Some of the most important areas you need to clean are the dusty parts. Dust isn’t just this thing that makes you sneeze. A lot of people don’t realize that dust contains toxins that can do serious damage to your health.
This is why so many people leave dust on almost every surface of their home. You walk in and it feels like their house has been abandoned for years. If you’re one of these people who leaves their home in this condition, you need to clean it ASAP. You’re hurting your health as well as the health of those around you.
Dust carries things like phthalates (tha-layts). These are chemicals that can damage your liver, lungs, kidneys and reproductive system.
Experts recommend you dust easy to reach areas once every month, and hard-to-reach areas once every three to six months. This will help get a lot of those toxins out, and make it a little easier to breathe.
Try not to use plastics.
I mean, this is one you hear about often. Plastics are terrible for the environment, but they can also be bad for your home.
Studies have shown that plastic food packaging contains genotoxic chemicals. Not only can this make eating dangerous, these chemicals can actually migrate to other parts of your home. Experts suggest these toxins can increase your risk of cancer. The more plastic your house contains, the more genotoxic chemicals there will be.
Since we’re all so used to having plastics in the home, it’s hard to picture a house with little to know plastic. Well, you’re probably going to have some plastic in your house from time to time. What we want to do is reduce the amount. For starters, stop keeping plastic bottles around, and replace them with a reusable container.
As for plastic bags, get rid of as many of those as you can. What you want to do is start bringing your own reusable bag on grocery runs. Not only are they good for the environment, they’re so much stronger than the weak plastic. Reusable containers for your lunch are also pretty popular.
You can also use microfiber cloths for your cleaning. This way you’re not purchasing a towel, which always comes in thick plastic packaging. If you can’t get rid of your plastic habits, try at least using recyclable plastic. This way you’re not always buying new plastic products to hoard in your house.
Change the filters for your air conditioner.
Remember, a lot of these toxins in your home come from things you can’t see. Just think about the air circulating in your home and all the pollutants you’re exposed to.
Cooling appliances such as your A/C or refrigerator can cause refrigerant poisoning. While it is rare, it is more likely to happen if you’re working next to these objects. Refrigerant poisoning can cause things like skin burns, asphyxiation and even fire!
It’s recommended you switch the filter every 90 days on appliances that emit air. If you’re not changing your filter, they won’t be able to produce as much air. As a result, the furnace or air conditioner needs to work much harder. Eventually, you’ll have to replace the appliance entirely.