As you contemplate spring cleaning this year, why not “detox” your home as well?

 

There are many everyday sources of toxins in our homes. Granted, the amounts from any one source may be small, but consider the fact that these toxins accumulate over time, and that there are multiple sources in most homes. In addition, most homes are tightly closed over the winter to conserve energy, so pollutants can build up.

 

Doesn’t sound like a healthy scenario, does it? Here are some ideas on how to minimize everyday toxins in your home.

 

• A doormat and a shoes-off rule keep street contaminants out of your home.
• Open windows at times that toxins are likely to be released.
• Cleaning products can be a source of toxins. Effective, homemade simple cleaning solutions with vinegar and baking soda are inexpensive and easy. Check online for recipes.
• If you buy cleaners, use gentle, naturally-derived products without a strong smell or colour, and no more than a “caution” warning.
• Personal products, such as soaps, shampoos, lotions and make-up, should also be naturally derived, so they are less likely to contain harmful additives.
• Don’t use bleach or products that contain chlorine. Also avoid paper products bleached with chlorine.
• Do not use air freshener sprays or plug-ins.
• In the laundry, avoid chemically treated fabric softener sheets. If you need, use a half-cup of vinegar in the rinse cycle instead.
• In the kitchen, avoid microwaving plastic. Store food in glass containers, and avoid PVC-based plastic wraps. Plastic ingredients may leach into food.
• Avoid using conventional dry cleaners that use toxic perchloroethyline to clean.
• Avoid stain and water repellants, as they may contain formaldehyde. Carpet and spot cleaners may also contain harmful chemicals.
• Don’t use mothballs as they are treated with toxic petrochemicals. Use cedar chips or balls, or sachets made of herbs like mint, rosemary, thyme or cloves.