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31 May 2017

How to detox your home

Most of us are focused on living a healthy life whether it be exercising regularly, eating healthy foods or reducing internal toxins, however detoxing the home is an area that is commonly overlooked but can benefit your health and wellbeing greatly.

The average home contains between 500 to 1000 chemicals. From the cleaning products used weekly, to the physical walls and floors of the home, there are many toxic chemicals lurking in our possessions that surround us every day. Detoxing your home can seem overwhelming at first but if you start by making small changes, you are more likely to continue to reduce your chemical exposure over time. Changes can be as simple as swapping to natural alternatives or opening your windows more regularly to let in fresh air.

Chemical free cleaning
Cleaning is a daily household task that can significantly increase your exposure to chemicals. Most commercial cleaning products contain a concoction of harmful chemicals that are known carcinogens, skin irritants and hormone disruptors. To reduce your daily exposure to these chemicals, swap your chemical produced cleaning products to plant-based and palm oil free alternatives, or make your own.

Reducing plastic
Plastic kitchen products contain numerous toxic chemicals and when used, especially heated, can emit toxins and leach chemicals into the food or liquid contained inside. Reduce your use of plastic products in your kitchen, especially ones that contain Bisphenol A (BPA). Instead, use glass or stainless steel containers, and bamboo or wooden cooking and cleaning utensils.

Freshening the air
Reducing odours in your home is usually a top priority for every houseproud person, however commercial home fragrance products are commonly produced using a toxic concoction of synthetic fragrances. The self-regulated fragrance industry selects from over 4000 chemicals to produce their products and due to proprietary knowledge regulations, companies are not legally required to disclose the ingredients used in each product. Most of the chemicals used in this industry have previously never been tested and the ones that have been tested, are assigned a ‘safe dose’ that permits use in low quantities. This ‘safe dose’ is taken in isolation and does not account for a person’s daily exposure to other harmful chemicals. Instead of using synthetic home fragrance products, opt for 100% pure essential oils. They contain no harmful chemicals and will make your home smell fresh and inviting to any unexpected visitors. Another alternative is to regularly open your windows to refresh the air inside your home.

Creating ambiance 
Although they enhance the home’s atmosphere, most commercial scented candles contribute greatly to indoor air pollution. Most chemical produced candles are made from paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum. During the manufacturing process, the petroleum is chemically bleached and deodorised to turn it into wax. When candles containing paraffin wax are lit, they emit hazardous toxins including benzene and toluene which are both known carcinogens and comparative to the toxins in second-hand smoke. If you love the ambiance candles create, try to avoid purchasing candles that are made from chemicals and buy natural bees wax candles instead.

Detoxing your home can greatly benefit your health, the environment and save you money in the long term.

Related: Zero waste toxin free washing; Plastic free livingThe health impacts of synthetic fragrance

Author & Editor

Tracey Bailey is the founder of Biome Eco Stores and mother of two. After working in corporate communications and starting a family, she made a choice to be part of the solution to our planet's future and started Biome Eco Stores. Tracey is passionate about educating the community about living eco-friendly and sustainable lives through her extended product, chemical, health and environmental knowledge.


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