10 Quick Ways to Detox Your House


Your new carpet, toasty towels, or freshly painted bedroom are among a few things that could make you sick.

Here’s a quick look at 10 of the more common household toxins, and what you can do to get rid them.

1. Dare to Bare

You can start by removing shoes before entering your home. Toxicologists have proved that leaving shoes at the door will help keep out toxins such as lawn pesticides and factory chemicals, that travel as minute particles.

2. Toss the Teflon

Sure, Teflon certainly helps make cleaning up easier, but when subjected to high heat the non-stick coatings create toxic fumes that pollute the air. The Environmental Working Group published a report that found at least six toxic gases are emitted including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA (a chemical lethal to humans at low doses) were found. Another reason to go back to grandma’s cast iron.

If you shop Amazon.com through the Environmental Working Group, they will receive a percentage of the proceeds.

3. Ditch the Weed Killers

When caring for your lawn, opt for companies such as EarthEasy and check out Safelawns.org.

4. Clean and Green Laundry

Choose natural laundry detergents such as Soap Nuts or Seventh Generation, and avoid chemical laden dryer sheets that spew toxins onto your clothing and into your home.

5. Avoid VOC’s

According to the United States Geological Survey, a federal source for science about the Earth, its natural and living resources, natural hazards, and the environment, many volatile organic compounds are man-made compounds, typically industrial solvents or by-products often in petroleum fuels, paint, paint thinners and dry cleaning agents. They’re also common ground-water contaminants. If you’re planning of some home renovation, look for low VOC paint for better air quality.

6. Go Natural with Furniture

Opt out of stain-guards as they contain Perfluorinated (PFCs) which are toxic to wildlife, producing reproductive, developmental and systemic effects in laboratory tests.

7. Filter Drinking Water

While the majority of our water does meet safety standards, the EPA provides a list of common contaminants, and information on home water treatment units to improve taste and remove heavy metals. Pitcher filters that stay in the refrigerator are also a good, and less expensive, option. Be sure to change filters as suggested by the manufacturer.

8. Rid the Radon

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon, a radioactive gas, comes from a natural breakdown of the earth, and can infiltrate any home that is situated in an area that contains it. One of the most important precautionary measures that you can take is purchasing a home radon test kit.

9. Check for Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide kills hundreds of Americans every year. Not only can it be a result of automobile exhaust, but also from gas furnaces. To reduce your risk of exposure the EPA recommends:

– Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
– Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an un-vented one.
– Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
– Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
– Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
– Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
– Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks promptly.
– Do not idle the car inside garage.

10. Home Air Quality 101

Air pollution is responsible for everything from allergies to serious illnesses. A few ways to rid your home of particles that can include pesticides and chemicals is to:

– Kill off dust bunnies, which can contain microscopic toxins
– Replace wall to wall carpeting with area rugs
– Look for HEPA filter vacuum cleaners (High Efficiency Particle Absorption) which keep debris sealed tightly a multilayer filter bag and exhausts through a filter before re-entering into your home.
– Consider purchasing a home HEPA filter. HEPA filters, by definition, remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometers (µm) in diameter.

Each week here at EcoSalon, the editors choose a post from the archives that we think you’ll love. The original post can be found here.

Image: thekitchendesigner