A clean house is more than just a matter of a spick-and-span appearance – it goes way deeper than that.
Winter is here, and you likely (and quite understandably) have the windows shut, the doors locked and the heater on full blast. While you may feel more comfortable in the warmth of the cozy indoors, you are actually locking yourself into a chamber of toxins and bringing yourself ever the more closer to sickness. So while your home may look clean for all intents and purposes, it likely could use a little help. Here are 5 low-effort, high-impact ways to make sure your hibernation shell of a home is as toxin-free as possible.
In the winter, the air holds less moisture, which makes it lighter and thus easier for bacteria to travel and sickness to migrate quicker and more easily. So, simply being in cooler air during the winter makes you more vulnerable to sickness. Even though it may be warm inside, your heater’s ventilation is often full of dust and debris that is ventilated throughout the house. Meanwhile, the average home contains as much as 1,000 chemicals and 10-times more electrical pollution than it did 40 years ago – to say nothing of the mold, mites, fungi, spores, pollen and aerosols that commonly hold to surface areas around the house.
Here are 5 ways to detox your home and contribute to your 2015 goals to cleanse your mind, body and soul!
1. Take Off the Shoes
A clean house starts with the obvious. Think about where you’ve been today (especially if you live in a busy city), and imagine the kinds of things you must have stepped on, both knowingly and inadvertently. If you often walk into your home with your shoes still on, be aware that you are bringing the streets into your personal quarters. Shoes account for 80 percent of the muck that is brought into the house and they carry some pretty gross stuff, like road sealant, pesticides and lead dust.
2. Open the Window
But only just a little bit. Indoor air can be as much as 5-times more polluted than outdoor air. Closed windows and doors make indoor air relatively flat and full of bacteria, dust and other debris that circulate without proper ventilation. Even in the winter, consider keeping one central window slightly cracked to let in some fresh air. If it gets too cold throughout the day and night, instead pick a 5-minute time frame everyday to open the window completely, letting in as much fresh air as possible. You may want to throw on a jacket or scarf or head out to run an errand during this time. Once at least 5 minutes is up, close the window and warm up. This small amount of time is all you need to improve air quality in the house and, of course, your health.
3. Clean Green
This is often the first step to decreasing toxins in the household, simply because you are in complete control of it at all stages. Simply don’t introduce harsh cleaning products. Instead of using pungent and powerful chemicals as well as the average kitchen, bathroom and laundry cleaners you find at just about every store, go green for a clean house! There are a bevy of brands that have emerged in recent years offering you incredible clean without all the harmful chemicals. Or, you can make your own!
4. Toss the Silent Culprits
Did you know that your vinyl shower curtain releases some 108 volatile organic compounds that become gaseous at room temperature, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness and eye and throat irritation? Swap vinyl for cotton, nylon, polyester or EVA or PEVA plastic.
Meanwhile, your kitchen situation is likely in danger. Plastic containers, albeit practical, often contain a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA can mess with hormones as well as contribute to obesity, cardiovascular disease and other conditions. Avoid plastics marked with a “7”, which may imply it contains BPA. Look for PET-1 plastics, which are safer, or use glass instead. If you continue to use BPA products, relegate them to cold food and beverages only, as heat accelerates the leaching of BPA into whatever with which it comes in contact.
5. Dust Smartly
Dusting sprays add to the chemical load while feathers just kick up more dust. Use a dry, unscented microfiber cloth for all your dusting needs. Such cloths attract and capture dust as opposed to scattering them.
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Photo Credit: Nikki