Detox Your Home, The Pretty Way

Ten ways to create a toxin-free, beautiful home.

Our homes are dirty, toxic places. In fact the average home contains over 500 chemicals, indoor air tends to be up to five times more polluted than outside air, and if you have a chemically treated lawn, 19 of the 30 most commonly used chemicals are linked to cancer –making the typical American filthy.

What’s a home dweller to do? Detox. And it needn’t involve bulky air purifiers and filtration systems. Here are a dozen ways to filter out toxins while keeping your space pretty and livable.


This geometric modular hanging greenhouse from University of Toronto researchers is meant to filter toxins out of the home by hydroponically feeding household plants, while allowing their roots to remain exposed.


Establish a No-Shoe Rule

Given that most household dirt, pesticides and other toxins are transported around the house on shoes, enact a no shoes rule. Opt instead for bare feet or slippers. Go the grown up route with a portable stepper from self-start upstart Quirky:

Or live a little with a cute Japanese version from My Sweet Muffin.


Bring the Welcome Mat In

Bring the welcome mat inside by placing them vertically in all entryways. Here’s a nice one from VivaTerra made, appropriately enough, from recycled flip-flops.

Clean Green

Dump the chemical cleaners and opt for cleaner and greener ones. Either DIY naturally or purchase with caution. We recommend the eco-cleaning kit from the Laundress.

Remember: “The future” is not in plastics

Certain plastics contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is linked to cancer, endocrine and developmental problems. Avoid plastic food packaging whenever possible and opt for unzipped glass containers instead. This one being a highly literal version, of course.

Go Teflon Free

Rid yourself of non stick pans, pots, bakeware and utensils. Teflon harbors perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s), which have also been linked to cancer. The Thermolon nonstick “GreenPan” on the other hand is made from a polymer ceramic nanocomposite and during manufacture emits 50 percent less greenhouse-gases than other non-stick cookware.

Dust Up

Dust = more toxins. Get yourself a pretty duster like the hand-crafted artisan example above from Objects of Use or duo of pear wood dusters.

Get natural

Synthetic carpeting is rife with toxins. As such, outfit your home in natural fiber wool & cotton rugs.

Use low VOC, low odor latex (water based) paint

All the majors feature a range, including Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams and YOLO Colorhouse. When painting, be sure to aerate.

Be kind. Go slow.

A home lacking in compassion and love is not only ugly, it’s toxic. Keep your home resentment free — and by all means slow down and revel in the dust bunnies.


Image: Marijke Annema

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.