It’s easy to see the pollution outside. Dust particles from the road, smoke from cars and smog cloud our vision, making it difficult for us to breathe. When we finally step back into our homes again, we heave a sigh of relief because we think we’re finally free from all the pollution. However, your home might be housing more pollutants than you think. Common household items release toxic gases into the air we breathe, silently harming us. Pollutants can also cling to our clothing and enter the house with us. To keep your home truly free from all pollutants, here are six things you should do.
1. Use A HEPA Vacuum
A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaner sucks up every particle from your surfaces. Investing in one is especially important for houses with pets, where pet fur can cover every surface. Even if you don’t have pets, pet dander can still enter your home through other pet owners and your neighbors who might have pets. A HEPA vacuum will also help you get rid of pollen and dust mites, two common allergens. If you have severe allergies, then vacuuming every few days with a HEPA cleaner can give you some relief at least in your own home. Don’t just vacuum your floors, but also your walls, upholstery and furniture, where dust can accumulate.
2. Implement A ‘Shoes-Outside’ Policy
Many Asian countries have strict rules against entering with your shoes on. This habit is also something a lot of us should consider adopting because it helps your house stay clean. Your shoes come into contact with all kinds of dirt, germs, pet dander and other allergens. When you walk in with your shoes, you’re leaving footprints with these germs all around your home. Most dangerously of all, you can spread lead dust inside your home if you don’t remove your shoes. Asking people to remove their shoes before they enter will not only keep your home germ-free but will also help you put off vacuuming for much longer.
3. Invest In A Dehumidifier
If you live in a warm, humid area, then your house might be at a risk for developing mold infestations. There’s nothing mold likes better than a dark, damp place to call home. Once a little patch of mold sets in, they can start breeding and spread very quickly. Apart from looking unsightly, mold is dangerous because it disperses spores into the air. If you are prone to respiratory infections, then breathing in these spores can aggravate it. A dehumidifier keeps your humidity levels in check and controls the growth of mold in your home. Turning on the AC every once in a while can also purify your home by filtering out the spores.
4. Don’t Let Anyone Smoke Inside
Cigarette smoke can be the biggest and most dangerous pollutant you can have in your home. Every time you exhale cigarette smoke, you’re releasing 4,000 dangerous toxins into the air. Passive smoking can be as dangerous as active smoking, especially for young children. Exposure to cigarette smoke has been linked to asthma, cancer, respiratory infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It goes without saying that smoking comes with massive health risks for the smoker as well. So if you want to keep your home truly pure, don’t let anyone light a cigarette indoors.
5. Grow Indoor Plants
Indoor plants don’t just beautify your space, they’re also nature’s own air purifiers. Common household products can leave toxic residue like formaldehyde. In a study conducted by NASA, the leaves and roots of indoor plants can absorb harmful chemicals in the air. Some of the best indoor plants to purify your home identified by NASA include snake plant, ficus and garden mum. These plants aren’t poisonous either, making them perfectly safe for homes with small children and animals.
6. Avoid Synthetic Room Fresheners
Room fresheners might make your home smell fresh and pure, but in reality, they do anything but. These fragrances are made up of a cocktail of different chemicals, some which are very toxic. The most dangerous part about synthetic fragrances is that manufacturers aren’t required to list out all the toxic substances in their product. Plug-in air fresheners release volatile compounds and toxic, unregulated chemicals in the air, but on the label, you won’t find anything listed. The safest way to fragrance your home naturally, is to use an air diffuser along with a few drops of an essential oil.