Five ways to keep your home healthy and free of toxins

Your home is your sanctuary, so it needs to be somewhere you can truly relax – and feel content and well. Here are five ways to banish toxins and other nasties.

We all want our homes to be healthy, and free of toxins and other nasties.

There are several things you can do to boost the health of your living spaces – and the wellbeing of those living in it.

Breath of fresh air

Maximising air quality is key to creating a healthy home, says interior designer Melissa Wittig, owner of Healthy Interiors.

Melissa recommends minimising the presence of airborne pollutants by choosing furnishing products made from natural fibres where possible, and taking care with your choice of consumables.

“By minimising environmental pollutants you’re reducing the chances of an occupant inhaling, absorbing or ingesting a pollutant,” Melissa says.

“I like to opt for natural fibres such as wools, hemp, cotton, jute for soft furnishings, such as carpets, window furnishings, upholstery. Also consider if any of the materials have been chemically treated with pesticides, stain-resistant treatments, or fire retardants. Topical chemical treatments can find their way into household dust.”

Clean your air – benefit from the invisible

Opening windows regularly to encourage good air circulation will flush out built-up indoor pollutants, known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Use extraction fans to remove combustion pollutants when cooking. Use exhaust fans when showering or using the laundry dryer to remove excess moisture that can lead to mould growth.

Green space

Inject some life and energy into your home with lots of indoor plants. They not only look amazing, but the impact of plants on air quality is well documented.

A NASA study found house plants can reduce the levels of a range of chemical pollutants found in the home.

NASA’s list of the top-performing plants included:

  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Bamboo palm
  • Green spider plant
  • Gerbera daisy
  • English ivy
  • Janet Craig
  • Marginata

But Melissa highlights it’s still important to ensure soil is maintained well so there isn’t a build-up of mould, bacteria and bugs in plant pots.

A new Australian initiative, Plant Life Balance, aims to inspire more people to enjoy the health benefits of greening their home and is supported by a virtual greening app.

Bust the dust

Melissa says it’s important to keep dust down, as dust mites can trigger an allergic response in some people.

Do this by dusting surfaces with a damp cloth, using a vacuum with a HEPA filter and reducing clutter in the home where dust likes to settle and collect.

Lots of light can help with a healthy home

Light and colour

Another key element in creating a happy and healthy home is making sure the space is relaxing, and somewhere you and your family can unwind.

Melissa recommends decorating with colours inspired by nature and allowing as much natural light into the home as possible.

“Natural lighting is one of the big contributors to wellbeing in the home,” she says.

More tips and tricks for a healthy home and family:

Written by Claire Burke