12 Ways to Detox Your Home

Jul 16, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Image: Adél Békefi/Getty Images. Design: Kenzie Mastroe/SheKnows.

You've probably heard about detoxing your body (which we're not convinced is such a good idea), but have you ever wished you could detox your home? We spend so much time there, but it often becomes a dumping ground of clutter and chemicals. It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to making your home space healthier and more positive. We found a few tasks to move to the top of your to-do list if you want to detox your home. They're going to make a big difference.

1. Clean your upholstery

How long has it been since your couch got a nice deep clean? It’s probably been a while. Take the time to find an upholstery-cleaning method that works for you, whether it’s hiring a professional (who hopefully uses green practices), sudsing up yourself or trying that baking soda couch cleaning hack that took the internet by storm. Whatever you decide, we promise that nothing makes a room feel fresh quite like a clean couch.

2. Switch to green cleaning products

You’ve probably been hearing this advice for years, and, well, there’s no time like the present. That’s especially true because if you don’t feel like putting together your own DIY vinegar spray, there are tons of green cleaning products on the market these days. It’s as simple as putting something new in your cart the next time you’re at the store.

More: 8 Ways to Transform Your Porch Into a Bohemian Escape

3. Decorate with houseplants

An inexpensive game-changer, houseplants add a whole lot of warmth and freshness to a room. Check your local hardware store or nursery. Go small if you have a black thumb like me, and take a peek at the best houseplants for improving air quality

4. Dust

Another cleaning habit that tends to fall down to the bottom of our to-do list, dusting is important for making surfaces look shiny and new again (seriously, it’s the secret extra touch to making a room look nice) but it’s also key to keeping the air clean and fresh-smelling.

5. Declutter

You may not think of clutter as toxic, but as it turns out, it could be stressing us out a lot. UCLA's Center of Everyday Lives and Families did a study in 2012 in which participants — particularly mothers — showed higher levels of cortisol in cluttered spaces. But we probably didn’t need to tell you that. Set aside a few hours and go through the closet that’s been spinning out of control.

More: These Shower Curtains Are the Easiest Way to Transform Your Bathroom

6. Change your AC/heating air filters

Just like flat spaces collect dust, your AC and/or heating consoles collect dust on their filters too, which means rather than blowing fresh air into the room, they’re blowing particulates that make rooms feel stuffy. If you’re not sure when the last time you swapped your filter is, do it now, and then put a reminder to replace it based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

7. Swap plastic for glass

There’s no doubt that plastic has been a life-changing and even lifesaving invention for modern humans. It’s also infiltrated its way into every part of our lives and has a questionable effect on our health, particularly when we’re using it to store or heat food. Consider swapping your plastic storage containers out for a glassware alternative.

8. Switch to stainless steel

Still using Teflon? It’s hard to give up since it’s so easy to clean — but if yours is getting chipped or scratched, it’s time to replace it. Stainless steel is a good option, or you could give ceramic nonstick pans a shot. Just be on the lookout for harmful chemicals like polytetrafluoroethylene.

More: 16 Bathroom Essentials You Should Have Your Home

9.  Try essential oils

Freshen up your air by using a diffuser and essential oils. In a 1996 study by the Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India, lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against 22 different types of bacterial strains. That oil wasn’t being diffused into the air, but hey, it’s worth giving a shot. 

10. Paint with eco-paints

Wanting to redecorate? Opt for eco-paints. There isn’t currently a cut-and-dried definition of what standards eco-paints must meet, so you’ll need to do your own research. But there are several available that are just as vibrant and gorgeous as typical paint but with fewer of the chemicals you don’t want, like formaldehyde, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.

11. Swap your sheets for an organic set

Time for a new pair of sheets? Invest in an organic cotton or hemp set, which means the sheets have been grown and processed without chemicals and typically have a lower carbon footprint than nonorganic sheets

12. Clean out your pantry

We’re all guilty of letting our pantry fill up with endless amounts of pasta, spices and canned goods we never use. Clean out your pantry, donate your unexpired foods to a local food bank, and marvel at all the space you’ve just created for future nourishing goods.

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