We’ve all taken steps to improve our health and detoxify ourselves. We go to the gym, cut back or eliminate sugar from our diets, stop eating processed foods, and invest in purchasing organic foods, such as produce, milk, and eggs. While we think about our bodies, though, how many of us take a step back and think about our homes? There are toxins lurking everywhere, from flooring to cleaning products.
If you want to take your health initiatives another step forward, why not lessen your exposure to the toxins and chemicals so often found throughout the home? Granted, if you live in an apartment, you won’t have control over certain things such as flooring, but there are plenty of things you can take command of to improve your quality of living. Here are five easy ways to detoxify your apartment.
1. Remove shoes at the door
This is the easiest of steps. Simply take off your shoes when you get home. When you think about the fact you really have no idea who or what has passed through an area before you walked through it — and how many areas you walk through in a single day — there is a certain “ick factor” to consider in these situations:
- Public bathrooms contain biological waste, paper waste, and chemicals.
- The curb is where people walk their dogs (and, we hope, pick up after them).
- Many apartment buildings, homeowners, and HOA organizations use pesticides in public spaces.
- Who knows what else?!
You don’t want to track any nasty stuff into your home. According to one study published earlier this year, 40 percent of shoes tested had Clostridium difficile (aka “C.diff”) on the soles, a very serious and nasty bacterium.
2. Use water filters
The bottled beverage industry tends to promote fresh water collected from idyllic mountain streams in beautifully clean environments. The reality is that there could be pollutants in bottled water, including microplastics and other pollutants. Water utilities are required to routinely test their water and show more transparency, but the bottled water industry is under no such requirements. Ditch the bottle and use filters instead. Your health, wallet, and the environment will thank you.
3. Eliminate dust mites
Dust mites are microscopic pests that nestle in beds, pillows, carpets, and furniture. Dust mite allergens are a big problem for many people, especially those with asthma. You’ll want to eliminate this trigger because it can affect anyone. Solutions include:
- Putting dust mite-certified and zipped covers on mattresses and pillows
- Washing bedding in hot water once a week
- Routinely vacuuming carpets and furniture
- Getting rid of clutter
- Mopping floors often
- Reducing humidity in the home
4. Use green cleaning products
Many cleaning products may smell pretty, but they are full of toxins, such as VOCs. These are harmful to both people and the environment. By making the transition to green cleaning products made with alternative and non-chemical ingredients — and knowing the correct ways to store them safely — you’ll keep your family and pets safer and healthier.
5. Open windows frequently
Did you know the air inside your home is five times more polluted than the air outside? According to at least one source, poor air quality is linked to many illnesses and diseases. Apartment living often includes shared ventilation, which brings additional challenges because you have no control over your neighbors’ living habits. Yet by simply opening your windows on a regular basis, you can significantly reduce these health risks. Even 15 minutes a day can do wonders for indoor air quality.
Other easy healthy habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle include:
- Replacing plastic food containers with glass
- Avoiding scented candles and plugins
- Using plants as decoration (they help purify the air!)
- Removing plastic wrap from dry cleaning before bringing it inside
- Installing carbon monoxide detectors
- Immediately notifying your landlord of any mold, moisture, or insects found in your apartment
By incorporating these suggestions and more into your daily routines, you’ll make big strides in detoxing your apartment and taking your healthy living habits to a whole new level.
By Jackie Nunes, Wondermoms.org