We are bombarded by toxins in every aspect of our lives. It is almost impossible to avoid all of them. However, there are simple and easy ways you can limit the exposure and make a healthier, cleaner home.
You can start by being more mindful about what you might be bringing in when you walk through your front door. Always remove your shoes when you enter, and if possible, remove your outer clothing. Shoes and clothes are great vehicles for all types of toxins. The very next thing you should do is wash your hands to get rid of bacteria, germs, and any other substances you may have touched throughout the day.
A hardy cleaning of the bathroom should be done at least once a week, if not more often. It’s important to remember to use the fan in the bathroom even if the noise is annoying. This will prevent moisture from condensing on cold surfaces and will lessen the chance of mold growth. Even though it might seem easier to use a spray or tablet to clean the toilet, use a brush to scrub the surfaces, especially under the rim. Putting vinegar in the toilet the night before will help to break down bacteria and fungus while you sleep and make cleaning easier in the morning.
Just like in the bathroom, running your fan in the oven hood in the kitchen is important. It helps to eliminate smoke, steam, and carbon monoxide caused by gas cooktops. Cooking on rear burners is best as that area tends to draft up into the fan more quickly. Don’t allow dirty dishes to pile up over days. It’s a great way to attract bugs. If you can’t wash them right away, at least give them a good rinse with really hot water. Make sure to wipe down all your surfaces with a disinfectant daily, and don’t forget the refrigerator handle.
Although not exactly “green”, paper towels are best to use when wiping down surfaces in any room. You can buy reusable paper towels made from bamboo, that are washable and inexpensive. Sponges have so many holes and crevices that are perfect breeding grounds for germs. If you are set on using a sponge, pop it into the microwave or dishwasher daily.
Think about covering your mattress and pillows to prevent dust mites from moving in. Sheets can make or break how comfortable your rest is. Did you know that bamboo sheets are the best? They are natural and sustainable as well as being hypoallergenic. Make sure they are 100% bamboo and not a cotton blend. Don’t forget to launder or dry clean your comforter and pillows once a month as well.
You should not use any type of air fresheners in any room, not even the ones that say they are all-natural. Air fresheners emit hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates. These chemicals have been linked to several medical conditions including obesity. A safer way to freshen your rooms is to use natural potpourris such as lemon peels and baking soda. There are plenty of choices that you can find online.
If you really want to be “greener”, decorate with a lot of plants. Houseplants can pull harmful toxins out of the air. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of easy to maintain plants you can get.
Every little change you make in your environment can help. Find more natural ways to clean and you might be surprised at how much better you feel over time.