Texas Living

How to Reduce Toxins in Your Home

By Jillian Kring 2.15.23

Is your New Year’s resolution to keep your home healthier and safer? Here’s a look at how to reduce toxins in your home.

Toxin-Free Cookware

Many manufacturers use toxic substances to produce their cookware, including chemicals that negatively affect multiple organ systems. Educating yourself on these manufacturing practices will help keep you and your family safe. Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives to this dangerous cookware.

What to avoid: Teflon (PTFE), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polystyrene, BPA, and lead are a handful of the most harmful chemicals used in cookware and should always be avoided. Production of these chemicals also has a massively dangerous impact on the environment when manufactures discard the waste. An easy way to determine if something is safe is to see if it passes California’s Proposition 65 standards.

What’s safe: Glass, wood, bamboo, stainless steel, stoneware, and cast iron are among the safest cookware materials. Using beeswax wraps for food storage, wooden or bamboo cooking utensils, glass or bamboo food containers, stainless steel or glass water bottles, cast iron pans, stainless steel pots, stainless steel utensils, and stoneware, unglazed ceramic, or glass bakeware will all help you reduce toxins in your home and stay environmentally friendly.

Toxin-Free Cleaning

Many prefer to avoid using harsh chemicals to clean their living space in favor of more natural alternatives. It is not only better for your housekeeping but is also quite economical. You can safely make most cleaning products and cosmetics with simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils (tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon are best). Note that you should never combine hydrogen peroxide and vinegar.

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Hydrogen peroxide, water, essential oil.
  • Bathroom Cleaner: 2 cups distilled water, 3 tablespoons liquid castile soap, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 30 drops tea tree essential oil, 30 drops orange essential oil.
  • Furniture Polish: ¾ cup olive oil, ¼ cup white distilled vinegar, 40 drops essential oil.
  • Floor Cleaner: 4 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap, 15 drops essential oil of your choice.
  • Glass Cleaner: ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
  • Bleach Alternative: 1 ½ cups hydrogen peroxide, ½ cup lemon juice, 1 gallon distilled water, 30 drops essential oil (may add 1 tablespoon of citric acid if you have hard water and are using to wash clothing).
  • Dish Soap: ½ cup distilled water, 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar, ½ cup Sal’s suds, 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Laundry Detergent: 7 ounces super washing soda, 4 cups boiling water, ½ cup Sal’s suds.
  • Air Freshener: 1 cup distilled water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 3 drops essential oil.

Improved Air Quality

One of the most common and overlooked ways that toxins enter our bodies is not through what we clean with or consume but through the air we breathe. Minding the air quality in your home is the most crucial step in how to reduce toxins in your home.

  • Clean regularly: Cleaning regularly with toxin-free household products and using a HEPA-filter vacuum is very important for air quality.
  • Change air filters: Keep a schedule to change furnace and HVAC filters every 90 days. Consider buying an air purifier for added air filtration in your home and change those filters on the same schedule.
  • Avoid water damage: Try to protect your home from water damage to avoid mold. If you notice mold, have a professional address the issue immediately.
  • Mindful décor: If you use candles, switch to beeswax; they are the cleanest burning material. Houseplants are also fantastic natural air purifiers and can add a wonderful ambiance to your home.
  • Fresh air: Perhaps the best way to improve air quality in your home is the simplest — open the windows to let some fresh air inside!

Now that you know how to reduce toxins in your home, consider creating an annual home cleaning schedule to ensure no area of your home gets overlooked.

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