We’re getting ready for a serious spring clean, but this year, we are taking it one step further. Instead of just scrubbing our house from top to bottom and cleaning out the closets, we’re getting rid of anything that could possibly bring in toxins and harmful chemicals. You’d be surprised what can actually bring in these unwelcome guests. So, because we love you and want you to live a healthy, happy spring, consider this your official, complete guide to detoxing your home.
Use natural, green cleaning products.
Go green with your cleaning products. So many of our household cleaners are full of toxic chemicals and harsh additives. Make your own with everyday ingredients, like vinegar, baking soda and lemon. We shared a few of our favorite easy DIY natural spring cleaning products here.
Have a “no shoes in the house” policy.
Repeat after me: No. Shoes. In. The. House. Most dirt, pesticides and germs come in on the bottom of your shoes, and it’s so much grosser than most people realize. Keep a lot of contaminants out of your home if your shoes never go in.
Let in all the fresh air
Recycling air is important. Indoor air can be five times as polluted as outdoor air, so open the windows whenever the weather permits.
Ditch the artificial air fresheners.
Essential oils diffused into the air are a great alternative to chemical-filled “air fresheners,” especially those in aerosol form.
Change your filters.
You should swap out the filters for your furnace and air conditioner often, and if possible, upgrade to an allergy reduction filter. Even the cleanest homes can contain dust, pet dander, pollen and fumes. Although it’s impossible to remove all of the particles, a portable air cleaner (also known an an air purifier) can help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.
Be on the lookout for mold.
Beware of areas in the home that may have too much moisture in the air. Mold can’t grow without moisture, so use a dehumidifier for any area that you aren’t able to keep the relative humidity below 60 percent. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store.
Invest in organic bedding.
Organic bedding is a healthier option manufactured without harmful chemicals. It takes less water to produce organic cotton compared to conventional, and organic cotton isn’t treated with the toxic chemical pesticides or harsh chemical cleaners and fabric treatments that conventional bedding can be exposed to.
Add Himalayan salt lamps to various rooms.
Combined with a light source inside the lamps, the chunks of salt produce negative ions, which have positive, healthy effects on indoor air. Adding a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of the home can promote several health and environmental benefits.
Greenify your space with air purifying plants.
Houseplants are a great way to improve the air quality in your home, while also beautifying your space. So now you don’t have to feel guilty about your spending spree at the local nursery. You can find our favorite air purifying plants here.
Replace your pillows.
You should be replacing your pillows every one to two years. While they might be comfy, pillows can absorb body oil, dead skin cells and hair, which can create the perfect environment for dust mites.
Flip and/or vacuum your mattress.
It’s a good idea to also vacuum the mattress at least once a month, but definitely before you spring clean. Dust, dander and dust mites build up in your mattress just like in your pillow. Vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If someone has allergies in your home, you may need to vacuum more frequently and/or make purchasing a mattress cover a necessity.
Detoxify your shower.
Trade your vinyl shower curtain for one made of cotton, nylon, polyester or EVA or PEVA plastic. In a 2008 study, vinyl curtains were found to release 108 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that become gaseous at room temperature, potentially triggering headaches, nausea, dizziness and irritated eyes and throat.
Even if your water smells and tastes fine, harmful chemicals could be lurking inside. Water pollutants fall into different categories, but the main ones of concern in your shower water are toxic metals, chlorine (used as a disinfectant) and the byproducts that chlorine creates with other chemicals in the water. Investing in a shower head filter can help make sure the water you’re using is as squeaky clean as you are.