At this time of year, many of us embark on detox programs to eliminate internal toxins from our bodies, but the often-overlooked aspect is detoxing our own homes. Detoxifying your home is a crucial step in maintaining overall well-being, especially considering the amount of time we spend indoors. Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to issues related to the nervous, immune, reproductive, endocrine, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Surprisingly, indoor air quality is often 2-5 times worse than outdoor air, with various sources contributing to pollution, such as furnishings, synthetic materials, and cleaning products.
To embark on a home detox, consider the following practical steps:
- No Shoes in the House: Minimise the entry of household dirt, pesticides, and lead by adopting a no-shoes policy indoors. Go barefoot or wear slippers.
- Vertical Floor Mats: Place floor mats vertically near entryways to capture more dirt and residue from shoes outside.
- Embrace House Plants: Incorporate plants into every room to naturally purify indoor air. Certain plants, like Garden Mum, Spider Plant, and Peace Lily, efficiently remove toxins.
- Switch to Non-Toxic Products: Replace skincare and personal products with less toxic and chemical-free alternatives, including deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics, hair products, nail polish, and perfumes. Familiarise yourself with identifying and avoiding toxic ingredients.
- Limit EMF Radiation Exposure: Be mindful of electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) emitted by devices like phones and wireless systems. Reduce exposure by maintaining a distance from wireless devices, using speaker mode during calls, and turning off unnecessary networks, especially at night.
- Keep the Air Clean: Open windows, use fans, and empty smelly bins and recycling bags to freshen indoor air instead of relying on air fragrances.
- Choose Carpets Wisely: Carpets can harbour toxins and allergens. Opt for natural fibre rugs or hardwood floors, and vacuum regularly to minimise dust accumulation.
- Combat Dust: Dusting and mopping with damp cloths are essential to prevent airborne particles. Regularly hoover to maintain a dust-free environment.
- Use Safe Cookware: Avoid non-stick cookware with Teflon (PTFE) coating, which may release harmful chemicals when heated. Opt for glass or ceramic pans to ensure safer cooking.
- Filter Your Water: Use a filter jug like Phox or Brita to eliminate harmful chemicals present in drinking water, or install a quality water filter for taps and showerheads.
- Guard Against Mould: Control indoor humidity, fix plumbing leaks promptly, and invest in a dehumidifier if needed. Clean mould naturally using substances like vinegar and tea tree oil.
- Declutter and Simplify: Maintain an organized living space by decluttering regularly. A clutter-free environment positively impacts mental well-being, reducing stress and promoting a sense of control.
- Natural Odour-Busters: Turn to natural odour-busters like fresh flowers on the kitchen counter, citrus peels in the bin, or an open box of baking soda in the fridge, wash basket or washing machine.
- Fragrance-Free Products: Avoid products with the label "fragrance," as it often signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients. Be aware of phthalates, commonly found in fragrances, as they can disrupt hormones. Opt for products that are free of phthalates and other harmful chemicals. Choose fragrance-free creams, cleaning products, and laundry detergents.
- Check Ingredient Labels: Examine ingredient labels to identify hidden fragrances in unexpected places, such as nappies, tissues or cloths.
- Transition to cleaner and greener household cleaning products that are less damaging to health and the environment. Alternatively, use basic household ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning.
While it's impossible to live in a toxin-free bubble, implementing these measures can significantly reduce exposure to internal and external toxins, promoting a healthier and happier life. Don't forget – ditching fragrance and perfume in skincare and body care products is a pivotal step in supporting hormonal health during this detoxification process.