5 First Steps to Creating a Nontoxic Home

Welcome to your guide to a healthier home! In this series, we’ll explore simple yet effective tips to start your journey to a nontoxic home. 

No overwhelming to-do lists here! Just simple changes for a safer, more sustainable environment.

Starting your journey toward a non-toxic home doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  You truly don’t need to do all.the.things.  

Begin with simple changes and add additional changes as you become more comfortable.  

Let’s explore five easy tips for significantly reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals.

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Shoe-Free Zone for a Nontoxic Home

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Do you invite the outdoors into your home with every step you take inside?

Think about where your shoes travel during the day.  From public restrooms to dirty sidewalks, they can pick up a lot of harmful toxins.

Yet, many people continue to wear their outdoor shoes indoors. They unknowingly introduce harmful toxins into their living environment.

Why It Matters?

Think about what your outdoor shoes may be carrying.  Yuck!

Studies show they’re contaminated with pesticides, E. Coli, C. Difficile bacteria, allergens, and even fecal matter.  Yep, poop.

Shockingly, 90-99% of bacteria can transfer from shoes to clean floors. 

Wearing outdoor shoes indoors brings contaminants inside, transferring them to floors and surfaces. This poses a risk for young children and pets who spend time on the floor.  

It also contributes to indoor air pollution and potential health hazards. This is especially concerning for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies.  

Leaving outdoor shoes outside or at the door prevents harmful substances from entering. This promotes a healthier environment for you and your family.

Alternatives for a More Nontoxic Home

  1. Get into the habit of taking off your outdoor shoes before entering your house.  Whether you leave them outside or on a doormat just inside the door, it’s a positive step forward. This is a super cute doormat for this purpose.

  2. Invest in a shoe rack or designated shoe storage area near the entrance.  This simple setup encourages family and guests to store their shoes upon arrival.

  3. Consider investing in indoor shoes, slippers, or slipper socks for comfortable and hygienic indoor wear. Choose options made from breathable materials that are easy to clean.

Purify Your Indoor Air

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Americans spend approximately 90% of their time inside. 

The level of air pollutants indoors can be 2 to 5 times higher than that of outdoor air. (source:  EPA)

Common indoor pollutants include dust, pet dander, mold spores, tobacco smoke, and VOCs.  Learn more about VOCs (volatile organic compounds) here.

Why It Matters?

Poor indoor air quality can cause respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.

These pollutants aggravate asthma and allergies and cause respiratory infections. They may also lead to long-term health issues.  

Find out more about how your house may be affecting your health in my post, Is Your House Making You Sick?

Alternatives for a More Nontoxic Home

  1. Air Purifier: Invest in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove airborne particles and allergens. Look for an air purifier with activated carbon filters to absorb VOCs and odors. This is the one I use in my home: Medify MA-50 Air Purifier V3.0 with True HEPA H13 Filter.

  1. Ventilation: Increase ventilation by opening windows regularly, especially when cleaning.

  1. Houseplants: Incorporate indoor plants known for their air-purifying properties. Some examples are peace lilies, spider plants, and snake plants. They can help naturally filter toxins and improve air quality.  

Implementing these alternatives can improve air quality for a more nontoxic home.

Clear the Air: Eliminate Artificial Fragrances 

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Many household products contain artificial fragrances.

Air fresheners, candles, plug-ins, and many cleaning supplies can contain “fragrance” as an ingredient.

“Fragrance” can be a mix of hundreds of synthetic or chemical ingredients.

Why It Matters?

There are many reasons to remove fragrance from your home.  

Fragrance ingredients can release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.  

These fragrance ingredients worsen indoor air quality. They may also lead to respiratory issues, allergies, and other health problems.

Many ‘fragrances’ contain phthalates, which can disrupt hormones and cause health issues. Read more about phthalates in my post about skincare ingredients to avoid.

There are many other reasons to remove fragrance from your home.  Read more about the hidden dangers of fragrance in my post.

Alternatives for a More Nontoxic Home

  1. Go Natural:  Opt for fragrance-free or naturally scented products to reduce exposure to artificial fragrances. 

  2. Simmering Pot: Make a simmering pot with citrus fruits and aromatic spices to naturally freshen the air.

  3. Homemade Air Freshener Spray:  Mix distilled water with a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or rose, in a glass spray bottle. Spritz the mixture in any room for a delightful and chemical-free fragrance.

  4. Fresh Flowers: Place bouquets of fresh flowers in your home to add a pleasant scent and vibrant touch to your decor. 

  5. Diffusing Essential Oils: Use an essential oil diffuser to disperse pure essential oils throughout your home.

Purify Your Tap Water

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Many households use tap water for drinking and cooking without realizing it may contain harmful substances.

These can include heavy metals, disinfectants, pharmaceutical residues, and additives like fluoride.

Why It Matters?

Drinking contaminated tap water can pose significant health risks. 

Lead in drinking water can lead to developmental delays in children and cardiovascular issues in adults. (source: US EPA

Chlorine can form harmful byproducts when combined with organic matter. (source: Washington State Dept of Health

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products can also end up in drinking water sources. These can potentially affect hormonal balance and other biological processes. (source: USGS).

Check the quality of your tap water with EWG’s Tap Water Database.

Alternatives for a More Nontoxic Home

  1. Invest in a quality water filter to remove impurities and ensure that your tap water is safe to drink. The Berkey Gravity-Fed Countertop Water Filter System is effective in removing a wide range of contaminants.

  2. Other options include pitcher filters, faucet-mounted filters, reverse osmosis filters, and under-sink filtration systems. Here are some highly recommended options:
  3. If it fits in your budget, add a whole-house water filtration system.  That way all the water coming into your house gets filtered.

  4. Research and choose the filtration method that best suits your needs and budget. And be sure to check the quality of your tap water here: EWG’s Tap Water Database.

Combat Dust and Mold for a Nontoxic Home

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Many homes are susceptible to dust accumulation and mold growth.

Inadequate ventilation, high humidity levels, and insufficient cleaning routines contribute to these issues.

Why It Matters?

Dust and mold can pose significant health risks. This is particularly true for those with sensitivities or existing respiratory conditions.

  • Mold: Mold thrives in damp environments and can exacerbate respiratory problems. It can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, and other respiratory issues.
  • Dust Mites: These microscopic pests thrive in warm, humid conditions. Dust mites feed on skin flakes. Their fecal matter can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms.

Alternatives for a More Nontoxic Home

  1. Improve Ventilation: Ensure proper airflow by opening windows regularly. This reduces moisture buildup and promotes fresh air circulation.

  2. Use Dehumidifiers: Maintain indoor humidity levels between 30-50%. This will help to inhibit mold growth and minimize dust mite activity. This is the Moiswell Dehumidier we use in our basement.

  3. Regular Cleaning: Establish a consistent schedule using non-toxic products. This removes dust and mold from surfaces, ensuring a cleaner environment. These dusting mitts make dusting faster and there’s less waste than using paper towels.

  4. Invest in Air Purifiers: Consider HEPA air purifiers with activated carbon filters. These capture airborne allergens, including dust particles and mold spores. This is the air purifier I use in my home.

  5. Address Moisture Issues: Promptly fix water leaks or plumbing issues. This prevents moisture buildup, crucial in preventing mold growth in areas like bathrooms and kitchens.

Wrapping Up: Your Non-Toxic Home Begins Here

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Congratulations on taking the first steps toward creating a healthier, non-toxic home environment! 

By making these simple changes, you’re creating a safer and more sustainable living space for you and your family.

Remember, even small changes can make a big difference in creating a nontoxic home.

Don’t forget to pin the image below to save these tips for later reference! Share them with friends and family who are also on the journey to creating a non toxic home.

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Hi, I'm Tina!

A precancer diagnosis, the resulting surgery, and autoimmune diseases sparked my journey to a toxin-free life.

Through countless hours of research and trial and error, I learned about toxins, clean beauty, and the power of small consistent choices.

Now, I’m here to guide you on your path to wellness and clean beauty.

LET’S REWRITE YOUR STORY TOGETHER! LET’S CHAT and see how we can work together to move you forward.

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