5 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Home Detox
It may come as a surprise that indoor air generally contains more toxins than outdoor air. In fact, one study conducted by researchers at George Washington University reported that up to 45 toxic chemicals are commonly found in house dust.
It seems that most of us have a multitude of allergens in our homes, as well as toxins lurking in many items, including vinyl flooring, baby products, cosmetics, and furniture polish. If you aren’t a germaphobe, you may think these toxins sound harmless, but they can include serious problems like viruses and bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and PVC, mold, and dioxins.
It would be impossible to avoid indoor toxins altogether, but there are ways to zero in on a few of them and take measures to reduce them. Here are five steps you can activate in your spring cleaning this year to start tackling the toxins in your home.
Lose the Feather Duster
Dusting is more than just a spring cleaning to-do, but maybe it’s time to up the ante on how you dust. Dusting with a feather duster or a cloth dampened with furniture polish (a toxin) ultimately just stirs the dust around your home. Instead, it’s more effective to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter so that toxins are actually sucked out of the air. And remember to always wear a mask when eliminating dust.
Go Au Naturel
Switching from standard cleaners, soaps, and detergents is something you can begin to do this spring until you have replaced as many chemical-laden products as possible. Some products containing hazardous chemicals that can be eliminated or replaced include:
- Drain Cleaner
- Furniture Polish
- Oven Cleaner
- Disinfecting Wipes
- And More
And, here are some more natural and non-toxic replacements:
- Any Seventh Generation Cleaning, Laundry, or Baby Products
- Baking Soda
- Fresh Lemons
- Castile Soap
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Essential Oils (especially Tea Tree Oil)
Thoroughly Clean or Replace Your Mattress
It’s a little scary, but your beloved place of comfort harbors many allergens such as dead skin cells, dust mites, and sometimes mold. This spring might be a good time to mercilessly rid your mattress of allergens. You can do this by vacuuming the surface to suck out dust mites and cleaning the surface with a spray cleaner. However, if your mattress is 7 years old or older, it’s probably time you consider replacing it. Taking either of these approaches is especially important if you or a family member suffers from a respiratory condition or allergies.
Scrub Your Floors
Scrubbing floors is rarely a favorite activity or something you’d do for fun. However, it is spring, and you want this to be a thorough home detox, so it’s time to break out the dreaded sponge for nooks and crannies. Then, mop the rest of hard floor surfaces with a microfiber mop. These types of mops work with any kind of cleaning solution, and they actually pick up dust and dirt, rather than just moving it around. This will save you the extra step of rinse-mopping, and you can toss the mop head in the washer after use.
Deep Clean Your Bathroom
The deep cleaning of your bathroom is always a dreaded (but necessary) task. Knock out the hard work in an afternoon and save yourself some time with weekly run through’s.
Aside from a deep spring cleaning of your bathroom consisting of using natural products to thoroughly scrub all corners, baseboards, and surfaces, there are other things you can do to keep your bathrooms detoxed for years to come.
- Install a Showerhead Filter to reduce exposure to heavy metals.
- Eliminate Chemical Air Fresheners containing phthalates and immunotoxins.
- Get Rid of Toxic Products containing toluene, sulfates, or parabens.
A thorough spring home detox will take a while, but it’s worth it to know that you and your family will be surrounded by fewer toxins and allergens. This is especially true if you have little ones. While you’re busy cleaning, you can find some educational activities for your kiddos here. Happy spring and happy cleaning!
Guest Post Author: Laurie is a freelance writer based in NC. She enjoys writing on home, health, and lifestyle topics.