Toxic Chemicals in Your Home?!
No one wants to live in a toxic cesspool.
News flash: Your house is a toxic cesspool.
Well, at least more than you realize. We bring harmful chemicals—like formaldehyde, asbestos, flame retardants and BPA—into our homes every day in the form of paper products, cleaning products, paint and stuff on the bottom of our shoes.
Allergens and dust can also infiltrate our personal air space through our vents or grow in warm places like couches or mattresses.
It is impossible to eliminate every bad chemical, but we can do a lot if we try. Here are five ways to eliminate toxins from your home:
Take Off Your Shoes
We track in so much toxic stuff from outside on the bottom of our shoes—pesticides, herbicides, lead, dust and bacteria like E.Coli. When Mom yells at you to get your shoes off the couch, she’s not overreacting. It’s gross!
The low-tech solution? Take off your shoes before you come into the house. Leaving shoes outside is a way of life in places like Japan, China, South Korea and the Muslim world. Buy some house slippers for everyone and cordially asked everyone to remove their shoes before they breach your threshold.
Replace the carpet
Carpets are decorative pollutant traps. Everything gets stuck up in there—dust mites, pet dander, allergens left behind by cockroaches, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. Replacing the carpet can give you a fresh start. I more affordable option would be to have the carpets professionally cleaned by a reputabled carpet cleaning company. If you opt to have them replaced you’ll want them to have them cleaned at least ever 12 to 14 months or simply follow the instructions of your carpet warranty.
Oh, yeah, vacuum regularly (2-3 times per week) with a machine featuring a well-sealed HEPA filter. The fancy filter will more efficiently clean your carpet. Splurge on this. You won’t regret it.
Replace Your Mattress
You know what you do in bed. You know what sorts of “substances” can end up on your bed. Now think about how certain “substances” make your mattress a warm, humid place. That’s where bad stuff (bacteria) grows and bad stuff (toxins, allergens) likes to hang out.
If you’ve been sleeping and leaving “substances” on your mattress for seven years or more, then you’re sleeping on a thriving colony of dust mites, their feces, and bacteria. Please consider replacing it.
While you’re at it, get into the habit of airing out your bed for several hours each morning, changing your sheets every week, and washing bedding in hot water when you do wash it. Add a mattress protector for an extra layer of protection you and the mattress.
Vacuum and Dust Your House Every Week
So many things in our home shed chemicals we’re not thinking about—televisions, furniture, beauty products, cleaning products, and flooring materials. All of it ends up in the air or as dust on the floors.
We spend 90 percent of our lives indoors and 90 percent of indoor dust contains toxic chemicals according to the National Resources Defense Council. That is why vacuuming and dusting is so important. Also, damp mopping floors and using damp clothes for dusting is better method than a dry cloth, which may just kick the dust up into the air.
Educate Yourself on Toxic & Natural Cleaning Products
So many cleaning products contain toxic chemicals, and then so much of that comes in BPA-heavy plastic bottles. You can do so much by avoiding certain products. Follow these guidelines in the shopping aisles:
- No fragrances added
- Avoid aerosol spray cans
- Buy non-PVC paint
- Shop for plastics without PBA
There are several powerful natural ingredients you can use to clean to reduce the toxic chemicals in the home. You can find baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and lemon juice in so many cleaners anyway. That’s because they work. Take a look at these DIY suggestions to create cleaners, deodorizers and stain lifters of your own.
Brighter Image Carpet Care Guest Blogger: Lisa Smalls