15 Ways to Detox Your Home


My April blog post has to do with a lot of things that I know little about.  My area of expertise really involves managing type 1 diabetes without the use of medication. I realize there are countless factors that affect my blood sugar, but keeping my blood sugars low predominantly has to do with what I eat. Based on this and the limited amount of free time I have in a day, I have focused most of my health improvement research on diet.

It’s Funny How Life Works Out

I definitely have an open mind towards anything that can improve my overall health, which is where my wife comes in. Amanda has done a great job supplementing my knowledge base with other ideas of how to keep my body functioning at an optimal level. In fact, Amanda has recently begun coursework to become a Holistic Health Coach.

It never ceases to amaze me how life has a funny way of working out. When I first met Amanda, I did not have type 1 diabetes, but we always have been relatively healthy people. After my diagnosis, Amanda has done a great job at cooking me interesting vegan dinners and also improving my health in other areas. If I had a wife that was less health focused, staying off of medication for the past 4 years would have been much more difficult. The remaining part of this post was actually written by my wife which focuses on ways to detox your home and improve your overall health.

Amanda’s Thoughts on how to Detox Your Home

While diet is so important, many people overlook how the toxicity in their home is negatively impacting their health. The average home contains 500-1000 chemicals, many of which we cannot see, smell or taste. Indoor air is usually 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Here are some of my tips on how to detox your home:

  1. Reduce or eliminate plastics. Even if your plastics don’t contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), most manufacturers replace it with toxic ingredients that are equally damaging. Plastic increases estrogen in the body causing hormone imbalances which are linked to cancer and birth defects and can damage the immune system. Avoid wrapping and microwaving food in plastic as much as possible. Switch to glass or stainless steel for storage containers, water bottles and other household items.
  2. Upgrade your cookware. Teflon non-stick coatings contain perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) that are linked to developmental problems and cancer. Aluminum pots and pans can also leach into your food. Safe options are glass, stainless steel, and cast iron such as le crueset.
  3. Get rid of air fresheners. Most commercial candles, plug-ins, or freshening sprays contain cancer causing phthalates, acetone, liquefied petroleum gas and an array of other toxic ingredients. Using a diffuser with essential oils of your choice is a safe alternative that actually has health benefits.
  4. Use non-toxic cleaning products. Distilled white vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, borax, lemons and essential oils such as tea tree oil are great alternatives to standard commercial products. Wool dryer balls are also an excellent alternative to dryer sheets and you can even add your favorite essential oils to them!
  5. Take off your shoes before entering your house. Shoes have a variety of pesticides, contaminants and dirt, so put on some slippers or go barefoot.
  6. Filter your water. More than 700 chemicals have been identified in tap water.  Filtering is better than buying plastic water bottles. We use the Berkey system with a fluoride filter, but more expensive household systems can be installed such as a reverse osmosis system. Also, the chemicals in your shower water vaporize and are absorbed into your body, so it is best to use a shower filter.
  7. Turn wifi off at night. Many routers can be programmed to switch on and off at certain times throughout the day or you can buy a wifi timer. If this is not an option for you, putting your phone on airplane mode before bed is another alternative to reduce EMF exposure.
  8. Choose the right personal care products. Cosmetics, perfumes, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste and nail polish are one of the biggest sources of toxins especially for women. It can be tough understanding so many ingredients listed on labels, so I prefer using ewg.org to look up ratings on these products before purchasing. They also have an app that is easy to use on your phone.
  9. Use indoor plants to help purify your air. Some examples are english ivy, gerbera daisy, peace lily, weeping fig, chinese evergreen, bamboo plants, parlor palm, mother in laws tongue and goldern pothos.
  10. Open doors and windows as much as possible.
  11. Use natural pest control methods inside the home. You can research different methods specific to the pest you are trying to get rid of, but here is a recipe for a general insect repellent spray that will last a few months in the fridge:
    1. 8 oz of apple cider vinegar, vodka or witch hazel
    2. 30 drops of peppermint oil
    3. 15 drops of lemon or wild orange oil
  12. Purify Indoor Air. Use HEPA filters in your home. There is a product called Molekule that is pricey that actually kills mold, viruses and bacteria. At minimum change your heater and air conditioner filters often.
  13. Go organic where you can. Organic mattresses, mattress covers, sheets and clothing are best that don’t contain synthetic chemicals, flame retardants and pesticides that can contribute to allergies, asthma and fertility problems. At minimum try to use organic sheets since we spend 1/3 of our lives on average sleeping in our beds.
  14. Use caution when remodeling. Use low VOC, low odor latex (water based) paint and opt for hardwood floors or tile over carpeting where possible and use natural fiber wool and cotton rugs. Also use nontoxic adhesives and sealers during installation.
  15. Be smart about dry cleaning. Remove the plastic wrap as soon as possible and let dry cleaning air out outdoors if possible before storing. Use “wet cleaning” if available.

Remember not to get stressed out about making all of these changes and even if you incorporate one of these items you are taking a step in the right direction to improving your health!

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