You’ve vacuumed the floor, wiped down every surface and scattered the cushions just so. But does clean and tidy equal healthy? Not necessarily. These hacks will help make your home as good for you inside as it looks from the outside.
1. Increase ventilation
Toxins in the home can come from carpet, furniture, walls, air fresheners and myriad other sources. Keeping the windows open is an easy way to ensure your home is well ventilated, however if the air outside isn’t the best, a purifier could be the answer. Ceiling fans can also help to up the airflow, which is key to avoiding excess moisture, and in turn, mould and mildew.
2. Rethink floor furnishings
While freshly cleaned carpet looks great, the chemicals used are often heavily toxic and can leave harmful fumes and residue. Look to natural alternatives – this is particularly important if you have children who will be playing and crawling on the carpet. Implementing a ‘no shoes inside’ policy can be useful for avoiding external toxins being walked in from outside.
3. Add an air-purifying plant
A few carefully selected plants dotted around your living area will not only improve air quality, it can also reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. A NASA study named the most efficient plants for cleaning air space facilities and removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – include aloe, peace lily, spider plant, chrysanthemum and bamboo palm in your decorating for a healthier home.
4. Pick your cushions carefully
Natural is best when it comes to cushions. Look for organic cotton or wool, or natural latex, remembering to wash them occasionally to minimise allergens such as dust mites. To help kill mould and give your lounge cushions a freshen up, make the most of a sunny day by airing them outside while you throw the covers in the washing machine.
5. Use non-toxic (water based) paint
Synthetic paints, particularly oil-based paints, contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other harmful chemicals that are linked to negative effects on health. If you’re thinking about freshening up your living room with a new coat of paint, be sure to check that your chosen shade is VOC-free – as well as natural and biodegradable if possible –before purchasing.
6. Keep clutter at bay
Keeping your home tidy and fuss-free will make light work of vacuuming, not to mention do wonders for your headspace. Focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to furnishings and keep smaller items packed away into drawers or baskets where they won’t attract dust.
7. Opt for natural cleaning products
Carpet cleaners, stain removers, air fresheners… these commonly found items can mistakenly give the impression of a clean home, however most of doing the exact opposite. Replace these nasty, chemical-laden products with DIY natural cleaners to take a big step towards a toxin-free household.