Your Journey to a Toxin Free Home – Part 2

Date: 09/24/2021

I have heard from so many of you after posting Part 1, and am thrilled at the positive feedback and progress you are all making on your journey to a toxin free home.  

Now that you have made the first steps ridding your homes of toxins, chemicals, and artificial fragrance, it is time to start thinking about digging in a bit deeper.  As I mentioned in  Part 1, this is truly a process that requires continuous improvement and learning.  I am always learning as I go, tweaking and trying new things!

Let’s start with an easy one.  No shoes in the house. The soles of our shoes (even gorgeous red soles) are exposed to a litany of chemicals, toxins, mold, and just plain gross stuff (think gum and cigarette butts).  From asphalt to weed killers, you do not want any of this inside your home.  It is an easy one to implement if you haven’t already.  Don’t forget to wipe your furry friends paws too – Faro gets a wipe and foot massage before heading inside! 

Next one up is making sure the air inside our homes is as clean as possible.  Having a no-shoes policy helps with air quality inside your home so you are already off to a great start!  Obviously, the air we breathe is critical to our health and wellness.  I plan to do an in- depth article on the topic of air quality but here are a few great tips to get you started:

  • Open your windows and let fresh air inside (if you are not having wildfires nearby or live in a busy city).  Promote healthy air circulation by using your heat/cooling systems in “fan” mode and be sure to change air filters inside the units as often as possible.  In addition to promoting circulation in my home, I use portable HEPA air filter from IQ Air.  I have been using a HealthPro Plus model for over twenty years and the quality and effectiveness is unmatched.  I even have their Atem model in my car.  
  • Always use the fan when cooking.  This is not just for folks with gas stoves.  When food is cooked, toxins and smoke are released.  Best to get in the habit of using the fan and moving that air out of your house. 
  • No houseplants.  This is controversial and I will be doing another in-depth article for additional information.  Houseplants are notorious for breading mold and thereby contaminating the air with mold spores and particles.  As I mentioned, more to come on this because I know many of you love your indoor plants! 
  • Invest in the highest quality vacuum with HEPA filtration you can afford.  I recommend Miele and use this canister style vacuum.  Check the user instructions on how and how often to clean your cleaner  
  • Dust often and with a wet cloth or Swiffer to attract and grab the dust versus moving dust around.  Dust accumulates on fabrics such as drapes and rugs.  Be sure to wash window coverings and vacuum rugs often.

Mold is another culprit we all have to deal with at home. It will flourish in wet, damp places that are seen and unseen.  It is critical to use exhaust fans in bathroom and to diligently check under sinks and other areas that are prone to wet/damp.  If you live in a humid climate invest in dehumidifier. The ideal humidity should be 50% or less – there are affordable humidity monitors that can be used around your home to monitor moisture levels. Check your local area for mold inspectors that can thoroughly check your home for potential growth.  I recommend hiring a professional to complete a thorough check prior to purchasing or signing a lease on a rental home.  Mold can be very expensive to mitigate, and it is important to know up front what you are buying or leasing!  

If you have not already heard of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), it is time to get up to speed. As noted on the EPA’s website, VOC’s are in many of the household products we use – including furniture.  I am a huge fan of antiques and pre-loved furniture.  One reason, is that the furniture has had time to sit and “off gas” all of the harmful VOC’s that are present in new manufacturing.  You may have seen in some of my stories on Instagram which show some of my favorite furniture pieces getting a new life by reupholstering with organic fabrics. This is one of my favorite kinds of projects – taking something I love and refreshing.  This is both fun and a great way to avoid purchasing new VOC’s filled furniture. If you are purchasing new items, be sure to unpackage and leave in an open space such as your garage or under cover outside to allow for off-gassing before bringing inside.  Please also check out my recent article on “How to avoid toxins in clothing” that walks through washing and dry cleaning clothing which are also notorious for VOC’s. 

I am impressed with all the clean options available for mattresses these days. Sleep is one of the most critical things to our health and wellbeing.  We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping and I encourage all of you to invest not just a comfortable mattress but a clean, toxin free mattress and bedding. 

Today, we have another intrusive toxic culprit to be on the look-out for; electro-magnetic frequencies or EMF’s for short.  This is another complicated topic that I will be doing a deep-dive into and plan to share with you all.  There are a few easy things to remember about mitigating EMF’s – leave your phone in your office before heading to bed or turn it off completely if you are keeping on your nightstand!  Avoid Airpods, Apple watch and other blue tooth enabled “trackers” as best you can.

Each of these important topics deserves an article of their own which I will be working on over the winter!  Stay tuned for more in-depth information and ideas to rid your home of dangerous toxins. As always, please keep me updated on your detox journey via @panthere_instyle   

In good health, 

Lena

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