Five ways to reduce toxins in your home now. Tips to reduce your toxic load and begin your natural living journey.
I am so passionate about doing whatever I can to reduce my toxic load, and helping others do the same. While we can’t remove every toxin we are exposed to on a day to day basis, we can make a big impact by being aware. I have spent the past 10 years hyper aware of my exposure to toxins, and looking for ways to reduce it. This journey can be overwhelming. It can be costly and time consuming when starting out on a natural living journey, so I put together a list of inexpensive ways you can reduce the toxins in your home.
Every day we are exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals from things like the paint in our homes, chemicals in personal care products, fragrance, groceries, and so much more. It can be overwhelming! Stressing over the toxins we are exposed to is likely as harmful as the toxins themselves. Making slow and steady changes will have a big impact.
Luckily, we can control what we bring into our homes. Becoming aware of the different places we are being exposed to chemicals is the very first step.
So, how can you begin to reduce toxins in your home? These are some easy ways to get started.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Did you know it has been shown in a study completed by the EPA that indoor air is up to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air? You can find the details of that study here. Luckily, there is a ton we can do about that! Some of which will actually save you money!
An easy way to start out by indoor air quality is by ditching candles and air fresheners. These things are loaded with synthetic fragrance that is polluting the air inside your home, plus they can be expensive. Fragrance is a blanket statement for hundreds of chemicals that don’t have to be listed, as they are considered trade secret. It’s an ingredient you will want to avoid on all cleaning products and personal care products, but getting rid of candles is a great place to start. Alternatively, opt for beeswax candles which are naturally toxin free and will make your home smell delicious.
Plants are another affordable way to improve the air quality in your home. As a bonus, they double as decor! In the 1980’s NASA did a study on plants abilities to purify the air. Many plants are effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from the air. Bamboo palm, spider plants, and peace lily are all great options. If you have pets, make sure to check which plants could be potentially toxic before bringing them into your home.
Lastly, get some windows open! Allowing your house to breathe and get in some fresh air will help let indoor air pollutants out. In the spring, I love to keep our front door open, with the screen door shut, to allow fresh air in throughout the day. Even through the winter we like to sleep with our bedroom window open.
If you want to scent your home, do so naturally with some high quality essential oils.
Swap Your Cleaning Products To Reduce Toxins In Your Home
These days you have plenty of options when it comes to natural cleaning products. I love to keep a few ingredients stocked so I can make all of our own cleaning products, from all purpose cleaners to laundry detergent. I love to DIY my own products because it is so affordable and I know exactly what ends up in them.
If you’re not a DIY kind of person – that’s okay! There are tons of great options available now in terms of non-toxic cleaning products. Keep a close eye on the label, because green washing is a real issue with products on grocery store shelves.
Get familiar with the EWG database. You can use it for your current products, or the natural ones you would like to try. This will give you an idea of just how clean or how harmful they are. It is such a great tool to utilize as you work to reduce toxins in your home.
Clean Up Your Laundry Routine
This in particular needs it’s own category, because laundry products can be some of the worst offenders when it comes to toxins in your home! Of course we all love our laundry to smell fresh and clean, but not at the expense of our health.
Think through your laundry routine. It likely includes a detergent, fabric softener, followed by dryer sheets. Maybe you use some bleach, stain remover, or scent booster on occasion as well. These are all loaded with toxic synthetic fragrance! You then wear your clothes all day, switch to pajamas at night, and sleep in your laundered sheets. That is a ton of fragrance, not to mention all the other chemicals, to be exposed to all day long. These can contribute greatly to chronic health issues.here
Switching to a non-toxic laundry routine is pretty simple, especially if you want to try DIY-ing it! I make my own laundry detergent with 4 ingredients in less than 5 minutes, fabric softener and scent booster with 2 ingredients plus essential oils, and use wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets.
Ditch The Non-Stick Cookware
Please, please, if you have not yet ditched the teflon and non-stick cookware, do it now! It is so scary toxic, and known to be carcinogenic and linked to reproductive health issues. This can be such an easy switch to make, and it’s something you are using on a daily basis. Stainless steel or cast iron will be your best bet. Yes, these can be an investment, but the will last a lifetime. I bought my first cast iron pan 6 years ago, and only purchased another two in the past year. For under $50 you can purchase a cast iron pan that will last a lifetime, to be passed down to future generations.
If you’re on a tight budget, check out thrift stores. Every time I have been in one I see plenty of options when it comes to stainless steel or cast iron cookware, for super affordable prices. Facebook marketplace and yard sales are also great options to check out!
Focus On Switching Your Most Used Products
I have a tendency to be an all or nothing person. What that means, is when switching to a cleaner lifestyle, it was tempting to go all in at once. The problem is, if you are cleaning up your entire home, it can get expensive really quickly.
Start by switching out the products you use on a daily basis. If you wear makeup once a month, maybe that isn’t the first thing you want to go non-toxic with! The day to day things like cleaning products are a great place to start. This goes for groceries as well! If you are trying to buy more organic, start with something like cream that you might use daily in your coffee, instead of a spice that you will use once a year.
Just start by swapping out one item at a time, instead of going all in. It will be less of a financial and time burden, plus, it won’t be as overwhelming!
By making small changes daily, we can drastically decrease our toxic load and improve our health!