Your home is a refuge. A shelter at the end of a busy day and a familiar place we long for while travelling. However, this refuge can have dangerous terrain. Many products we use in our home contain active compound chemicals that can put you and your family at risk.
Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to detox your home and eliminate harmful substances:
1. Avoid Toxic Cleaning Products
Use baking soda to scrub tiles, replace bleach with vinegar, and try hydrogen peroxide for removing stains. These products are cheap and can often easily be found at home.
2. No Shoes Allowed
Your shoes drag in dirt and, more worryingly, chemicals such as tar from asphalt roads, a known carcinogen. Make sure to remove your shoes before entering the house. Also, use doormats and vacuum often to remove dirt and dust.
3. Fresh Air Please
Freshen up your home! Go open your windows and doors and let fresh air in. The EPA says that indoor air can be 100x more toxic than outdoor air (read more in our blog, “The 5 Most Harmful Toxins Hiding in Your Home”). Use green plants, fresh flowers and herbs such as rosemary and sage to add chlorophyll and natural fragrances. Avoid synthetic air fresheners. These synthetic fragrances contain a host of chemicals. Use alternatives like Nature’s Mist, an organic air freshener.
4. Find Plastic Alternatives
Avoid storing your food in plastic. Many plastics contain BPA (Bisphenol A) a compound which is associated with various health problems such as cancer and phthalates — a group of chemicals that are harmful to the endocrine system. Toxic plastics can be found on shower curtains, children’s toys and cookware.
Hazardous plastics to look out for:
- #3 (PVC) is dangerous for kids
- #6 (polystyrene)
- #7 (other)
Use BPA free plastics, bottled-glass, glass containers, and ceramic bowls when packaging foods.
5. Filter Your Shower and Use a Drinking Water Filter
Skin pores widen while showering making dermal absorption of chlorine and other chemicals possible. In fact, more chlorine enters the body through showering than through drinking tap water! Shower and water filters can eliminate most chemicals found in tap water.
6. Avoid Toxic Pesticides and Herbicides in Your Garden
Pesticides are easily tracked inside by pets and children and can affect your lungs and skin. Use natural alternatives such as neem, onion and garlic spray, and salt spray.
7. Beware — the Price of Beauty
Cosmetics, toothpaste, deodorant and perfumes are full of toxins. Read labels carefully to avoid chemicals such as parabens, oxybenzone, and toluene.
8. Avoid Non-Stick Cookware
Teflon contains harmful PFC’s (perfluorinated chemicals), a carcinogenic group of chemicals.
9. Get Your House Tested
Make sure there are no carbon monoxide leaks from gas stoves, chimneys, and gas water heaters.
10. Use Organic Linens From Wise Towl
Most clothing, bedding and home fabrics contain formaldehyde and a host of other hazardous chemicals. When shopping for sheets and towels, make sure to choose Oeko-Tex certified fabrics. When stepping out of the shower, your skin pores are at their most vulnerable. Make sure you reach for Wise Towl’s non-toxic Enso bamboo towel.