If your body is a temple, then what does that make your actual home? Eat all the plants you want, but if you’re living in an environment filled with toxins, your efforts could be falling short. Fortunately, there are many ways to detox your home that are easy to implement and will have a major impact on your overall wellbeing. Honestly, there are a few ideas here that are challenging too. We’re all working together to do what we can to be more aware and take actions we can handle.
Christine Dimmick is the founder and CEO of eco-friendly, natural home cleaning line The Good Home Co. Her latest book, Detox Your Home is all about how a toxic home environment can wreak havoc on our health, skin and happiness. Easy adjustments like plugging in an air filter and mixing your own eco- (and cost-) friendly cleaning products can turn your temple’s abode into a true wellness paradise…
Detox Your Home:
What To Use, Toss + Substitute
furniture | Flame retardants are sprayed on mattresses, couches, chairs and also most office furniture. You cannot smell it, and the exposure to these chemicals is harmful to the endocrine system. Vintage furniture is even worse — a couch from the 60s could contain the chemical (which was eventually banned). When buying, make sure it is flame-retardant free. Most foam is sprayed with these chemicals, which decrease your fertility and are harmful to your thyroid over time. When buying a mattress make absolutely sure it was not sprayed with flame retardant chemicals.
Air Quality | Unfortunately even our air is filled with toxins — there are microplastics in the air in the French alps, which means no air is toxic-free. However, the worst air you are exposed to might be in your own home. There usually isn’t enough circulation, so dust gathers. Along with off-gassing from your furniture’s flame retardants and the cleaning products you use all pollute the air. Monitor yours at home with an air quality detector. If the air is bad, get a good air filter, and if you can only afford one, use it in the bedroom. When possible, open windows to circulate air. And buy plants — plants clean 80% of the air in a 24-hour time period. Big ones with big leaves are the best.
Electronics | Do not sleep with your phone or any electronics in the bedroom. But if you must, put it on airplane mode. Electronics affect sleep, and sleep is how we heal and detox our bodies. Guard sleep like you would your health — they are the same.
Cleaners | Switch to simple cleaning products: vinegar, water, baking soda, castile soap. These are all you need. If you purchase store-bought products, make sure they are plant-based and dye-free. Bleaches, antibacterial and germ-killing products do not make your living space healthier, in fact they do the opposite — they reduce your immune system and increase respiratory illnesses.
PLASTIC | Storing in plastic is harmful to your health and to our planet. Reduce all usage involving food to help detox your home. If it came in plastic, store it in glass. Buy in bulk and store in your own glass container. Do not store your food or reheat leftovers in plastic.
candles + Perfumes | Get rid of candles, air sprays and diffusers that do not utilize essential oils. They off-gas and reduce the quality of the air in your home. Use natural perfumes only. Perfumes are not regulated and companies are not upfront and entirely truthful about the natural nature of their fragrance. Unless you are in the industry and know who is making your fragrance first hand or have established trust with a clean brand – stick with essential oils only.
Re-useable containers | Carry your own stainless steel canteen for water and coffee. Disposable coffee cups are lined with a waterproof wax that contains PFAs — these are prevalent in all of our water and are not biodegradable. PFAs are endocrine disruptors, which impact thyroid function, fertility and hormones. And if you are like me and buy a coffee every day — your stainless steel canteen saves 365 cups a year. That is huge.
Clothing | Buy resale, not retail. Fast fashion is a top polluter of our environment, which affects our health. By purchasing clothing for resale, you are not contributing to more clothing, waste and dyes dumped into the planet’s water systems. Cheap clothing also can be coated with chemicals and sprays from the manufacturer that are completely unknown when they come from a factory that does not have good manufacturing practices. Also, ditch the synthetics — including the yoga pants. All that synthetic material you wash is going into our oceans and water — it is too small for the treatment plants to catch — and we now have microplastics in our bodies from drinking it. The only way to reduce is to stop buying it. Use a guppy bag to wash the synthetic clothing you already have.
Makeup + Body | Ditch any makeup, hair care and lotions that are not non-toxic or natural. So many products – including your mascara – are still preserved with parabens which are known endocrine disruptors harmful to your fertility. Everything you put on is absorbed and this matters over a lifetime – especially all years 30 and before.