Eco-Clean Your Home

5 Tips for Detoxifying Your Home

When we think of our home, we want to think of a safe haven, a place to refresh and renew. But unbeknownst to many of us, our homes can be one of the most toxic places around. Home cleaning products, air fresheners and laundry detergents are just a few of the items most consumers use without understanding the effects they can have on our bodies and the planet.

Detoxifying your home can be a great opportunity for a big clean out, leaving your house not only free of toxins, but looking cleaner and feeling better as well. There are hundreds of things you can do to help reduce the chemical exposures in your home, but for the purpose of this article, we’ll keep it simple and give you the top 5 tips that have the biggest impact.

The main areas of focus in your detoxifying ‘home make over’ are to clean out your kitchen pantry, bathroom and laundry room.  Here are some easy green solutions that you can implement in the home – the simplest first steps to living a more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Surface Sprays / Cleaning Products 

One of the worst offenders, generic surface sprays contain a list of chemicals that could go on forever. The worst thing about them is that after you spray them, the particles don’t stop there. The waft into the air, into your lungs, onto your skin… you get the point! 

Our advice: Make your own wonderful and lovely smelling alternative. In a spray bottle combine a 50/50 Vinegar/water solution with a few drops of essential oil for a lovely smell. Add 1 teaspoon natural liquid soap or dishwashing liquid.

2. Plastics

Some plastic containers and bags (even glad wrap and plastic bottles!) can leach out a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA), which is known to tamper with our hormones. So avoid plastics marked with a 7, which may contain BPA, and never put BPA-containing plastics in the microwave or dishwasher; BPAs are more likely to leach out when heated.

Our advice: Use glass or cardboard packaging when possible (the lining of cans could contain BPA, too). Doing so is especially important when it comes to acidic and oily foods, which can allow more BPA to leach out. The good news: BPA passes out of the body quickly, so it doesn’t take long to reduce your exposure.

3. Linen and Clothing

Fabric is everywhere. We wear it, we sleep in it, we sit on it, we eat on it. It’s one of those unavoidable things, but synthetic fibers are laden with chemicals that are just not good for us. Most synthetic fabrics, from towels to dress shirts and bed linens, are treated with chemicals during and after processing. These chemicals not only leach into the environment, impacting groundwater, wildlife, air and soil, but they also may be absorbed or inhaled directly by us! Although non synthetic pieces can be expensive we would suggest buying a few key items to reduce your overall exposure to things like Teflon, flame retardants and water repellents.

Our advice: Splash out and buy one set of bamboo bed linen, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of underwear. It’s also more sustainable than cotton. Think about it: we spend 8 hours a day wrapped in those sheets then put clothes on – it will help a lot!

4. Body Care Products 

Best to look for whole food certified organic ingredients fresh from nature minimal processing. Our skin is our biggest organ, so being careful with what we put on it can be a great place to start. 

Our advice: Read the labelling on products that you buy and if they seem a little on the weird side, they probably are! Or simply choose certified organic skincare (like Miessence) for everyday products you can trust.

5. Food 

Just like most household products you find in the supermarket, most food products can contain dangerous chemicals too. Pesticides, fertilisers, additives and hormones all end up in our bodies through the foods we eat! Some of the side effects from ingesting these compounds can be headaches, hives, sinus problems, tummy pains and allergies. While 100% organic food can be expensive, it’s worth taking note on a few key ingredients: 

  • Artificial colours that are used to add or restore colour to foods. 
  • Preservatives that help protect against food deterioration caused by micro-organisms. 
  • Antioxidants that slow or prevent the oxidative deterioration of foods, such as when fats and oils go rancid. 
  • Artificial sweeteners that impart a sweet taste with fewer kilojoules / calories than sugar, but can have undesirable side effects.
  • Flavour enhancers that improve the flavour and/or aroma of food. 

Our advice: 

  • Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. 
  • Buy certified organic produce or, second best, spray-free where possible. 
  • Grow your own vegetables. 
  • Clean your vegetables thoroughly or remove the outer layer of leaves. 
  • Consume a variety of foods (including meat alternatives like legumes, tofu, nuts and eggs) to reduce your intake of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, hormones and pesticides.

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