Design Room

Detox Your Dream Home

The average American home contains dozens of hidden toxins. According to the American Lung Association, the air inside your home can be up to ten times more toxic than the air outside! But why?


The biggest culprit is traditional cleaning products. According to Green America, only 7% of the 3,000 most popular chemicals produced each year have been fully tested for their safety. Floor and furniture polish contain chemicals like phenol, diethylene glycol and and other toxic compounds. Most oven cleaners contain lye. Drain cleaners have hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, toilet cleaners contain paradichlorobenzene, and even air fresheners, which are designed to "clean" the air, contain phenol, cresol and formaldehyde.

In addition to detrimental environmental impacts, these chemicals expose us to many known and unknown health risks in our homes. The Center for Disease Control reported that toxic cleaning products are responsible for between 5-10 million household poisonings per year, most of which are fatal and involve children. Despite this fact, manufacturers of cleaning compounds are not legally required to disclose their ingredient list.

Toxic cleaning agents have also been linked to allergies, asthma, cancer, liver failure, migraines, dizziness, nausea, eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation are just a few of the potential symptoms. On top of that, after use, these chemicals are not unable to break down naturally, so when rinsed down the drain, they can be tremendously harmful to natural ecosystems.


So what can you do to protect you and your family from toxic chemicals in your living space?

  • Choose More Natural, Biodegradable Cleaning Products. Every cup of chemical-laden dish or laundry detergent you use kills one cubic foot of photoplankton, a tiny ocean organism that helps prevent global warming through the process of photosynthesis, which allows them to replenish the planet with oxygen and absorb ozone-destroying CO2 from the atmosphere

    There's no point in cleaning with tools that will beautify your home but dirty up the planet. Instead, spif up your space with eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products, die-free natural sponges, and all-natural enzyme-based air fresheners. Or, make your own all-natural cleaning products right at home with lemon, vinegar and baking soda and anti-bacterial essential oils like lemon, tea tree, and lavender.

  • Clean out your medicine cabinet: Most personal care products contain toxins that are not good for your health, like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), a chemical ingredient commonly found in toothpastes, soaps and shampoos. SLS acts as a cheap foaming agent, but most consumers are not aware that it is also used as a heavy industrial cleaner (most mechanics use it to clean set-in oil and grime off of their garage floors). SLS has been linked to skin irritation, canker sores, and even cancer. Avoid coming into contact with these toxins, especially on your skin, which is the largest and most absorbent organ in your body. Instead, choose more natural soaps, deodorants, lotions and toothpaste.

  • Switch to Organic Linens, Fabrics and Bedding. It takes ½ of a pound of pesticides just to produce a single cotton shirt. To avoid coming into contact with these toxins on your skin and in your home, purchase clothing, linens and bedding made from sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp. Avoid purchasing plastic shower curtains made from PVC, a chemical that never biodegrades and also emits gaseous toxins in your home. Instead, purchase a curtain or liner made from organic cotton that can be washed and reused over and over again.

  • Install a Water Filter. Using a water filter will not only keep you from digesting toxins and give you better-tasting water, it will also reduce your dependence on plastic water bottles. Installing a standard point-of-use water filter in your home can eliminate up to two tractor trailers full of plastic bottles in our landfills per year, and the energy (and CO2) required to manufacture those bottles.

  • Give Yourself a Green Dream Home Makeover: When you’re ready to spruce up your home, choose low-voc (volatile organic compound) paint, carpet, and cabinetry. Fortunately, due to rising consumer demand, many of these items can be purchased at big box stores in your local neighborhood.

For more fun tips on creating a toxin-free home, check out “Toxin-Free Home Cleaning” on

Remember, reducing your personal carbon footprint by just 2% each year can help minimize global warming by the year 2050.

If overhauling your entire life to “go green” still feels a little overwhelming, be willing to ask yourself powerful questions and take the time to find out what level of “green” on the continuum works best for your lifestyle, then commit to making a conscious change for the better.

Incorporating just one of these tips on an ongoing basis can actually make a world of difference, so experiment and have fun making your conscious lifestyle work for you!

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