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How to detox your home in an afternoon

Here are our top tips to significantly reduce the environmental toxins in / detox your home quickly.

It may be a New Year’s resolution, a desire to conceive, wanting to kick some ill health or bringing a sick loved one or new baby home. Whatever the reason, sometimes we just desperately want to detox our home and create the healthiest home environment possible – and the quicker the better.

I don’t believe you can live a completely toxin-free modern life. However, I do personally try to find a balance, by mainly focusing on minimising my family’s exposure to toxins in our home. I think that if we have a healthy home, then it doesn’t matter when we are faced with external things beyond our control.

Luckily, we can accomplish a huge amount in a short period of time – even just an afternoon! Here are our top tips to significantly reduce the environmental toxins in / detox your home quickly.

Open your windows

Indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from paints, dry cleaned clothes, pressed wood, printers, cleaning products, photocopiers and glues.

By opening the windows as much as possible, you increase ventilation and so breathe in less VOCs.

Swap shoes for bare feet

Shoes are a common way that we bring outdoor pollutants into our homes. These can include pesticides from lawns, coal tar from asphalt roads and potentially even faecal matter from public toilets!

As babies and young children have so much floor time, they are particularly vulnerable to being exposed to these walked-in pollutants.

Choose ‘fragrance free’

This is a long term project to refine, however you can definitely limit some of the worst offenders quickly.

In your afternoon, prioritise removing any product in your home which exists just for ‘smell’, unless the fragrance is from essential oils only – air fresheners, scented candles, toilet odour sprays and diffuser reeds.

Any ‘fragrance’ listed on an ingredients panel can contain endocrine disrupting parabens, phthalates and hundreds of other chemicals, all which don’t have to be declared. So when choosing home and personal care products in the future, choose ‘fragrance-free’ options or ones with scented with essential oils only.

Vacuum and dust regularly

Not my favourite in practise, but very effective! Our furniture and electronics are filled with flame retardants which shed over time and accumulate to create some of the dust in our homes.

Unfortunately, continued exposure to these toxins have been shown to have potentially detrimental side effects. Young children and babies have a lot of floor time and so are particularly vulnerable to inhaling these chemicals.

Vacuum regularly and don’t forget to dust your television and electronic devices with a damp cloth as well (so you’re not sending it into the air as you go!)

Wash all fruit and vegetables

Rinsing fruit and vegetables reduces the amount of microorganisms on them from dirt and also may wash away some chemical and pesticide residues.

Always rinse fruit and vegetables before cutting them, even if you won’t eat the peel (melon, avocado) as otherwise the knife will carry bacteria from the outside skin to the fruit inside.

Washing Fruits and Vegetables to remove pesticides

Soak your fruit and vegetables for 15 minutes with either:

  1. Vinegar (as the EWG recommend) – 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.
  2. Bicarb (Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry as reducing the pesticide content on apples by 80%) – 2 tablespoons of bicarb soda to 1 cup of water.
How to Detox Your Home in an Afternoon, Eat more clean fifteen and less dirty dozen fruits and vegetables, Clean + Conscious

Eat more clean fifteen and less dirty dozen fruits and vegetables

Buying all organic produce can be eye-wateringly expensive and unrealistic for many. Instead, you could choose to intentionally select fresh produce which gets sprayed less with pesticides anyway.

It has been estimated that you can reduce your pesticide exposure by up to 92% by eating your five a day vegetables and fruit from the clean fifteen list, rather than the dirty dozen list.

If you are buying organic – to get the most bang for your buck, choose to buy organic those fruit and vegetables where you eat the skin eg. berries, leafy greens, apples and peaches. These are the produce most heavily sprayed with pesticides, as insects like them too!

Save your money and buy conventional melon, avocados, pineapple, sweetcorn, cauliflower and kiwi… these are the least sprayed produce.

Swap canned for bottled, fresh or frozen

The plastic lining the inside of many food cans contains BPA. BPA can easily leach into the food inside, especially if it is acidic like tomatoes.

This afternoon, throw away / donate to a food charity your tins of tomatoes and food in tomato sauce. From then on, opt for bottled, fresh or frozen food instead.

Choose plastic – free microwave options

Microwave in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic dish or on a plate instead of plastic. Some plastics leach unwanted chemicals into food when heated.

To cover food in the microwave, use a glass lid, an upside down bowl, another plate or piece of paper towel rather than plastic wrap.

Clean your handbag of receipts!

 Thermal receipts are dusted with BPA. Clear out your handbag this afternoon and if you must keep and accept further receipts, keep them in a zip lock bag. This way, you’re at least not being dusted with BPA every time you reach for your keys!

If you follow these tips, you will have drastically reduced your environmental toxin exposure in your home – a detox of your home all in an afternoon! If you’d like to do more, check out 8 Easy Steps To Detox Your Personal Care Products .

To read more about Endocrine Disruptors, read What Are Endocrine Disruptors & Why They Matter and Everyday Environmental Toxins A Cause Of Infertility.

I find it helpful to remind myself that every little change that I make has a substantial impact, when I look at the big picture of cumulative exposure over the years. Any extra change you can make or healthy habit you can form is all worth it!

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