Simple Swaps for a Home Detox

While you may not be able to see or smell them, harmful chemicals lurk in your home in unsuspecting places. Many household chemicals can affect your breathing, irritate your skin and eyes, and cause long term harm to your reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems. According to the Children’s Environmental Health Network, “Kids are especially vulnerable to toxic chemicals because their bodies and organs are still developing.” 

With a little effort, these simple swaps can totally transform your space into a safer, less toxic environment.

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Ditch this

Candles (both scented and unscented) and artificial air fresheners that may contain added fragrances and harmful chemicals

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Fresh flowers, an indoor herb garden, or sliced citrus simmered in hot water for natural fragrance

Tip: Choose “fragrance-free” products instead of “unscented” varieties that may contain fragrance to mask chemical smells.

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Chemically-laden household cleaners with ingredients like chlorine bleach, ammonia, triclosan, 2-butoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, and perchloroethylene (PERC)

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Peroxide-based bleach products, castile soap, baking soda, lemons, white vinegar

Check out the EPA Safer Choice for product recommendations.

DIY Natural Household Cleaner

  • Liquid castile soap + ¼ cup baking soda

Add enough liquid castile soap to the baking soda to make a creamy mixture. Use a sponge to clean the surface, then rinse well

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Personal care products with ingredients like phthalates, parabens, ethanolamine compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA, and others), formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers, coal tar, and artificial fragrance

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Natural personal care products. Look for labels like “fragrance-free”, organic, and non-toxic. Pay close attention to the ingredient list for green washing.

Check out the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to see how your products measure up to their safety standards.

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Plastic storage containers and bottles

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Glass baby bottles with silicone sleeves, glass or silicone food storage containers, and reusable glass or stainless steel water bottles and coffee mugs

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Shoes in the house

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A shoe storage system by the door

Did You Know?

Your shoes can bring pesticides, dirt, dust, and debris carrying harmful bacteria like E.coli and C.diff into your home. Going shoe-free indoors is especially important if you have little ones crawling on the floor.

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Chemical pesticides 

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Indoors: focus on cleaning up or cutting off the source attracting the pests
Outdoors: opt for natural repellents that you can plant like mint and marigold to ward off squash bugs and tomato worms

Prioritize Air Purity

The air inside your house can be 2–5 times more toxic than the air outside according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While you swap out unsafe products and habits, simple practices focused on cleaning the air indoor will make a big difference. 

  1. Let fresh air in. Open your windows and doors whenever you can.
  2. Purify with plants. Detoxify the air through photosynthesis. Start with a Chinese evergreen, which removes a variety of contaminants from the air.

Replace air filters every three months. And make sure your HVAC is working properly.