In our quest for optimal health, we can’t neglect the place we spend most of our time: our Home!
After long winters of tightly closed windows, non-stop humidifiers and our recent Spring cleaning frenzies and dusty de-cluttering, our homes deserve a much needed cleanse.
Taking care to reduce exposure to chemicals, debris and pollutants by detoxing our living space allows our body’s own detoxification system to function more efficiently; this means that when the toxins do come (and they will) we’re ready and healthy enough to fight them off!
A home detox is not nearly as daunting as it may seem, particularly when taken one step at a time. A few small but intentional changes can have a dramatic impact on your home’s health, eliminating existing toxins and preventing new ones from forming.
- Wearing shoes indoors: As Canadians, this is probably not as common — but still worth mentioning; most household toxins sneak in via footwear. Go barefoot of wear slippers at home.
- Plastics: Plastics can contain BPA that eventually leak. Start your war on plastic by banishing the most common culprits first: food containers, plastic wrap and single use water bottles.
- Dust: Dust can mean more toxins. Wipe surfaces frequently, mop floors and vacuum carpeted surfaces weekly.
- Excess moisture: This allows mold and bacteria to grow. As a general rule, keep humidity levels at 50% in the Summer and around 40% during the Winter to avoid condensation. Always use fans when cooking or showering and wipe down excess water when done.
- Dirty Air: Keep windows and doors open to allow air to circulate, utilize plants to help you fight the good fight and avoid artificial air fresheners. Instead, try baking soda, fresh flowers and rosemary, sage or lavender. Also clean your air ducts frequently with non-toxic cleaners and consider an air purifier in the bedrooms.
- Dry cleaning: When unavoidable, allow your clothes to air out before bringing them inside or putting them in your closet. Ask your dry cleaner not to wrap your clothes in plastic afterwards, which can seal in the chemicals in the first place!
- Non-stick bakeware: These coatings can often have toxins and leak into your food!
- Treated fabric and fabric sprays: As tempting as it is to stain guard furniture and shoes or buy ‘wrinkle-free’ clothing, these coatings are often chock-full of lingering chemicals. Instead, opt for darker colours where possible and choose items that can be easily cleaned.
- Cleaning products: Thankfully in 2019, there is no shortage of natural cleaning options available (often at a similar price to their non-toxic competitor). You may even try making your own using the au naturel trifecta: baking soda, vinegar and vegetable-based soap. For fragrance, use essential oils like lemon or citrus and always store pre-made concoctions in glass containers.
- Skin care and toiletries: Deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics and perfumes are loaded with toxins. It can be a daunting task to consider making a full switch, so start slow with the most important: deodorant, which is absorbed quickly through the skin and used daily.
- Pesticides and herbicides: Look for natural options that are far less harmful, or try using no pesticides at all in your hobby or vegetable gardens. You may lose some produce, for example, to creepy crawlers but the food you consume will be chemical free and the spoiled produce make a great fertilizer!
- A water filter: Unfiltered drinking water can be full of chemicals. Opt for a tap water filter which will ensure all water you use, even for washing your hands, is toxin free.
- A shower filter: Don’t forget about the water in your shower! Many contaminants become gasses during showers that enter the air and spread through your home. YUCK!
- Natural fiber carpets: Like wool and cotton, which eliminate the possible toxins in synthetic material, especially since a nice rug or carpet will be in your life for years to come!
DIY TOXIN-FREE FLOOR CLEANER RECIPE
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 10 drops lemon oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 4 drops melaleuca oil
- Place in a glass spray bottle. Spray onto floors and mop. Alternatively, double or triple the recipe amount (depending on the area you need to mop) and place in a bucket and mop floor.
- Do not use on polished wood floors as the essential oils and vinegar can dull the shine/strip the varnish- omit essential oils and vinegar and use the following instead: 2 cups water and 2 cups liquid Castile.
Happy healthy-home to you!