5 Tips for Cleaning Out the Hidden Toxins in Your Home

If you keep your home relatively clean, you might blanch at the suggestion that there are toxins hiding in the woodwork, so to speak. And yet, you may be surprised to learn that literally every home on the planet plays host to all manner of potentially hazardous toxins, some of which you actually introduce into your interior spaces, perhaps without realizing the hidden dangers lurking within. However, when you become aware of potential toxins in your home you can take the necessary steps to combat them and make sure that they don’t adversely affect your structure or the inhabitants. So here are just a few tips that should help you to pinpoint problem areas and clean up the toxins hiding in your home.

  1. Test for mold. Every home has mold. This is not conjecture; it is a fact. Luckily, it is neither toxic nor harmful in most cases. However, that’s not to say that under ideal conditions for growth (heat and humidity) it can’t become toxic. In order to ensure that it doesn’t reach toxic levels, you should consider annual testing to track the mold levels in your home. If you see an appreciable increase over time or a defined spike, it might be time to consider decisive action to clean up the problem.
  2. Switch to green cleaners. Chemical cleaning solvents are found in many homes, so you might not immediately view them as hidden toxins. But there’s no reason to risk the health of your family when there are so many green cleaning alternatives on the market. Instead of risking the asthma and allergies that can result from breathing in fumes, not to mention the possibility of poisoning if a child or a pet accidentally ingests these toxins, switch to products from Green Works or Seventh Generation. Or better yet, make your own with common household ingredients (vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, olive oil, etc.) and recipes found online.
  3. Eradicate chemical pesticides. Sure you want to get rid of ants in the kitchen, spiders in the shower, and aphids on your rose bushes, but chemical pesticides could pose a major health risk in your home. Of course, you probably already realize that they’re toxic, and you hide them away on purpose. But you should know that they’re easy to get rid of and replace with less harmful alternatives. There are all kinds of natural ways to ward off pests both inside and outside your home, such as plants that target specific critters (onions, garlic, and mint tend to be the most offensive to the widest range of pests), as well as products like cat urine that are meant to keep outdoor pests at bay, and diatomaceous earth, which kills insects like ants, fleas, and bed bugs but is safe enough for mammals to eat (so you don’t have to worry about what will happen if your dog or your infant accidentally ingests some – unlike chemical pesticides).
  4. Skip VOCs. Commonly found in paint, stain, and lacquer, volatile organic compounds have been linked to all kinds of ailments, such as headaches and nausea, not to mention cancer and neurological disorders. And worse, they can linger long after the smell of paint has faded. While you might not want to get rid of old paint on the walls, you can definitely use non-VOC products in the future. And look for furnishings that eschew the use of toxic lacquers and other sealants.
  5. Plastics and plasticizers. You’ve probably heard of substances like BPA (bisphenol-a) and phthalates, at least enough to know that they’re undesirable. And yet, if you have plastics in your home and you use products with plasticizers (most cosmetics and beauty products for hair and body care), you might as well be huffing the stuff. Instead, fill your cupboards with glass or metal products, give up bottled water, and look for organic beauty products. Common sense tells you that commercial refrigeration is unnecessary for a private home, and you should listen to that same voice when it comes to finding ways to clear out the chemical toxins that hide in the average household.

Related posts:

  1. 5 Tips for Reducing Dust and Toxins in Your Home
  2. Top 5 Home Pests Prevention Tips and Tricks
  3. 5 Backyard Plant Pest and Insect Prevention Tips
  4. Top 5 Cleaning Tips for Mold and Mildew Prevention
  5. How to Clean Your Home Without Using Harsh Chemicals
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