Is Your Home Safe?
The Simplest Ways to Detox Your Home by WhatToExpect.com
Populate with plants
Bring nature indoors and your baby’s lungs will thank you. Air-cleaning plants don’t just make your rooms look pretty, they detox your home by removing pollutants like ammonia (found in cleaning products) and formaldehyde (found in furniture).
How to detox your home: An assortment of 15 to 20 plants should do the trick in a 2,000-square-foot house. Rather than scattering single plants around, create group displays in each room for maximum air-cleaning effect. Best antitoxin (and nontoxic) choices according to NASA: spider plants, philodendrons, and rubber plants. To keep your baby safe from leaves that she can nibble on or pots she can topple, put plants out of reach or block them with a child’s safety gate.
Ditch the fragrance
Nothing smells sweeter than the natural scent of newborn skin, so bypass stuff with added fragrance. Baby shampoos and soaps that list fragrance as an ingredient tend to contain phthalates, chemicals used in all sorts of products from kids’ toys to air fresheners. Sure, those products smell nice, but studies have shown that exposure to phthalates may cause health problems (like allergies) and affect reproductive development. Easy choice, right?
How to detox your home: Whenever possible, buy fragrance-free baby-care products (and look for the words “no phthalates” on the label). And instead of covering up dirty-diaper odors with commercial air fresheners, get a spray bottle and spritz away the smell with a mixture of one teaspoon baking soda dissolved in one cup of water.
Practice natural pest control
While chemical pesticides protect your home from insects and fungi, they’re really not good for your baby. If your curious crawler or cruiser comes across an ant trap, the chemicals can irritate her skin if she plays with it (or worse, puts it in her mouth). If you use sprays or gels to rid your home of bugs, pesticides can nestle deep in carpets and other fabrics, releasing harmful toxins into the air.
How to detox your home:Try these natural methods of pest control:
- Instead of a chemical pesticide, try spraying a mixture of water, alcohol, and dish soap throughout your house and garden to keep bugs out.
- In the garden, plant a variety of veggies and flowers to discourage any one type of pest from multiplying. Consider introducing ladybugs (if they’re not already there) since they are natural pest eaters, and opt for natural pest repellants and plant food if you’re spraying your produce.
Use natural cleaning products
Every time you wipe down the changing table, bathroom, or kitchen counter with a product that contains harmful chemicals, you leave a little bit of toxic residue behind. A much safer option is switching to natural cleaning methods and nontoxic cleansers — they’ll get the job done and keep your baby safe.
How to detox your home: Look for products with these terms on their labels: biodegradable; plant-based; hypoallergenic; formulated without dye or synthetic fragrance; nonflammable; does not contain chlorine, phosphate, petroleum, ammonia, acids, alkalized solvents, nitrates, or borates. A few widely available brands that fit the bill: Citra-Solve, Seventh Generation, and Earth Friendly. Or make your own all-purpose, all-natural cleaner by mixing vegetable-based liquid soap with a few drops of lavender essential oil.
Swap plastic for glass
Chances are your new-mom research steered you toward BPA-free baby bottles, but are you still using plastic containers in your kitchen? If so, your little one is still at risk of consuming BPA, a toxic ingredient added to plastic. Eating or drinking food from plastic containers or utensils is one means of ingesting BPA, but infants can also be exposed from hand-to-mouth contact with items like plastic cups or jar lids.
How to detox your home: Invest in stainless-steel and glass food-storage containers or buy safer types of plastic containers. How can you tell the plastic is safe? Check the recycle number on the bottom: If it’s a 7, assume the container contains BPA and opt for something else. Microwave only in microwave-safe containers and don’t let plastic wrap touch food when microwaving (or use paper towels instead).
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