The air in our homes is important. We spend so much times in our homes, even if we are just home to sleep, that is 1/3 of our life. A clean-smelling home can play a large part in our emotional and physical health. Did you know that the air quality in our homes can be even worse than the air quality outdoors? It is true!
One reason is that 75% of homes use commercial air fresheners, it is a $2 billion dollar industry afterall! When the Natural Resources Defense Council tested 14 different common air fresheners, 12 were found to contain chemicals that disrupt hormones and cause birth defects. Stop using those nasty chemical air fresheners and work towards purifying and cleaning your air naturally!
Natural Air Fresheners:
Make your own earth-friendly freshener spray by mixing equal parts lemon juice and water and storing it in a spray bottle you’ve salvaged from some of your old cleaning products (make sure to rinse it out well first). Use it a couple of times a week to make your home smell nice and fresh.
As I mentioned previously you can simmer some lemon peels on your stove to also achieve a fresh, clean smell. You can also change it up a bit and simmer a little cinnamon, cloves, fresh ginger, and the herbs of your choice in a bit of water on your stove-top. If you are in a minty mood, try adding a handful of mint leaves to 8 cups water. Bring the mixtures to a boil first and then turn down to a simmer.
To make an instant fresh smell, simple take a few cotton balls and soak them in your favorite essential oil or even vanilla. Place them into a decorative jar and you can enjoy the fragrance right away.
What about purifying our air? It is so important to have clean air. Did you know that NASA did a study and found the 10 most effective houseplants that you can use to purify your air?
NASA studied three common indoor pollutants — trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene — and concluded that the average home could benefit from keeping about 15 plants around (in a 2,000 square foot home). Plants work to gently remove these toxins from your indoor air by producing oxygen, adding moisture to the air, and absorbing the bad stuff through their leaves. Consider them nature’s filter! Here are their recommendations:
1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium’, heartleaf philodendron
2. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
3. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana’, cornstalk dracaena
4. Hedera helix, English ivy
5. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
6. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig’, Janet Craig dracaena
7. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii’, Warneck dracaena
8. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
9. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa’, peace lily
11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena
Why not try to add a few of these common houseplants to your home? They are not difficult to care for and will offer such great benefits in return!
Also be sure to change out your air handler filter frequently to help your efficiency and air quality!
To catch up on the other posts in my “Green Your Cleaning” Series, click here.