At any given moment, your cozy apartment may be home to toxins and chemicals that are harmful to your health. Did you know the air indoors is often many times more polluted than the air outdoors? The four walls of a home can do a great job keeping chemicals and pollutants trapped, sometimes allowing it to build and build until it makes those in the home sick. Luckily, detoxifying your home is becoming easier as more people become aware of household toxins and more businesses offer green alternatives. Here are some tips on how to pull off an apartment detox:
Tips to Reduce Chemical Exposure in Your Home
Remove your shoes at the door:
This is a popular tradition among many cultures, and science backs it up. Taking your shoes off at the door helps considerably when it comes to keeping toxins out of your home and is therefore an essential apartment detox tip . While walking outdoors, your shoes pick up chemicals like pesticides and petroleum residue, and once you enter your home, those pesticides can migrate into the air inside. Shoes also track in most of the dirt found in our homes. Taking off your shoes also gives your feet a chance to air out, reducing your likelihood of developing foot fungus.
Invest in eco-friendly cleaning products:
When detoxifying your house, consider with the chemicals you use to clean it. Using green cleaning products reduces the likelihood of household members’ developing asthma. Using chemicals that don’t remain in the air or on surfaces helps maintain the purity of the air you breathe — and ensures that you don’t have to deal with a lingering chemical odor after you clean. Conventional cleaning products often come with lengthy warnings; most often they caution users to keep products away from eyes and off of skin, as they can cause chemical burns and loss of vision. Green products have to meet strict standards regarding skin absorption, combustibility, and inhalation toxicity.
Get a water filter:
It’s important to drink filtered water, as unfiltered water contains harmful substances that can potentially cause gastrointestinal illnesses. Buying bottled water is an option, though it can get pricey. Installing a water filter on your faucet at home is not only easy, it’s also less expensive than purchasing water bottles. Water filters remove chlorine and other bacteria from drinking water. At-home water filters are also convenient when water needs to be used for cooking. Drinking filtered water often leads to overall improved health.
Dust and vacuum regularly:
Allergens that are invisible to the naked eye can often cause trouble in homes. Your home or apartment may look and smell clean, but dust is always lurking. These microscopic contaminants can be a big issue for people with allergies or asthma. These bacteria-laden bits float from the air down to the carpet, then become trapped within the fibers. They must be removed by vacuuming — or simply walking on your carpets may stir the bacteria back up. Make sure you dust and vacuum frequently. Take your time with these chores, as being thorough is important.
Decorate with houseplants:
Not only do houseplants add a decorative touch to homes, they also increase the health of the home’s inhabitants. Plants can bring with them an expansive sense of the outdoors, which can help a small apartment feel less cramped. They also help to improve the air quality in your home. By taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the home, plants act as a natural air filter. They also please the senses. Smelling refreshing scents around the home can make people calmer and more productive. Strategically placed plants also can help dampen noise pollution, if there’s a busy apartment complex or construction site near your home.
Trade plastic for glass in the kitchen:
When it comes to food storage, knowing what material to use can be a little tricky. If you’re determined to use plastic, check the bottom of your storage containers for their resin identification code (a number inside a triangle). The best choices for storing food are resin codes 1, 2, 4, and 5. Also make sure your containers are BPA-free, as this chemical can be absorbed by food or drink within the containers, especially if the containers are heated. The best option for clean food storage is to use glass, as it’s safer for hot foods and liquids, and no chemicals will be transferred into your food.
Store your chemicals safely:
It’s important to keep the ones you love safe from the chemicals within your home. This includes your children and pets, as they can’t read labels and therefore rely on you to keep them safe. Make sure you store chemicals out of reach of your children and pets. Know what ingredients or additives to keep an eye out for (formaldehyde, chlorine, ammonia, bleach, etc.) and pay close attention to warning labels. Try to purchase pet-safe cleaning products, especially for floors.
Keep in contact with your landlord:
As always, keep in close contact with your landlord and let them know if you have any problems with mold, insects, mildew, or leaks in your home, as these can cause continuing health issues.
All in All
Keeping your home free of toxins and chemicals can seem nearly impossible, but with some hard work, you can certainly eradicate toxic chemicals from your home. If your place needs an apartment detox, there are many potential steps you can take. And keep in mind that changes don’t have to happen all at once. It’s often easier and more effective to make changes little by little, over a period of time.
Guest Post by Jackie Nunes, Wondermoms.org
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