Detox Your Home In 7 Quick Steps

detox your home tips

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to set about gutting your home of the ick and germs that settled over the long, harsh winter. To help you spruce up your space in an easy and eco-conscious manner, we nabbed a few tips from Maureen Dennis, a spokesperson for Seventh Generation (one of my favourite home brands). Here are some of her trusted home detox tips.

Open The Windows
Air inside is often more polluted than outdoor air. Monitor the quality of the air inside your home by opening the windows daily to ventilate, and avoid room fresheners or sprays that contain synthetic ingredients and fragrances. Remember, the term ‘fragrance’ can represent hundreds of unknown chemicals. Look for products that use 100 per cent natural fragrance or offer fragrance-free formulations.

Leave Shoes At The Door
Roughly 70 per cent of household dust, pests, pollutants and dirt (which often contains lead and other chemicals) are tracked indoors on the bottom of shoes. Ask guests to remove their shoes before entering your home or place welcome mats around doors to encourage them to wipe their shoes, and make sure to clean mats regularly. Keep a cloth at the door to wipe down your pets’ paws after walks.

Plant More Indoor Plants
Plants don’t just add décor to your home; they can also help absorb impurities in the air. Choose a bright orchid or lily to reduce harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene. Keep them hydrated by watering with an ice cube once a week. For some added freshness, fill a mason jar with boiling water and fresh orange or lemon slices, cloves, or other herbs for a zesty, natural air freshener.

Clean With Plant-Based or DIY Cleaners
Choose household cleaning products that are free of chemicals like VOC’s, harsh solvents, and dyes. From floors to dishes to the air inside your home, clean the surfaces kids play on and the things that can end up in little mouths with toxin-free products. Go with cleaners that don’t create harsh fumes or solvents; plant-based products and natural oils get the job done just as well. Pick a brand like Seventh Generation that voluntarily gives full ingredient disclosure so you are fully informed of what you’re bringing into your home, or mix your own cleaning solution by combining baking soda and hot water.

Sleep On Organic And/Or Natural Fibres
When purchasing blankets or bedding for your family, aim for certified organic and/or natural fibres that are lighter in colour (less harsh dying) and avoid those marked as permanent press, easy care or no iron — all of which can contain formaldehyde. Refresh your mattress regularly by sprinkling baking soda directly around the mattress (remove the fitted sheet first). This helps to reduce dust, cut lingering smells and more.

Detox Your Home From The Outside In
Tackle weeds and pests without chemicals. Spray your lawn with white vinegar or spread natural mulch over affected areas. To prevent ants and fleas from coming inside, mix 30 grams of a biodegradable soap in a litre of water and spray around your home’s foundation.

Choose Toys Made From Natural Materials
Purchase toys, cribs and bedding made from natural materials, like solid woods with non-toxic finishes and natural textiles like organic cotton or wool. The familiar “new smell” that plastic toys emit can be a sign that toxic softeners or finishes were used to make the product. As with food, always check the label on toys before purchasing: though there is no labelling requirement for toys to be ‘non-toxic,’ some brands will specify it. When it comes to cribs, choose solid wood that is made with a non-toxic, water-based finish. Crib rails can be an unexpected teething spot for toddlers. Clean grimy toys like Lego and other small items regularly by putting them in a mesh bag and tossing them in the washing machine for a thorough wash.

{This post originally appeared on iVillage Canada.}