Do you or anyone in your home suffer from allergies? Did you know that your home could be harboring harmful toxins and allergens?
Some of these pollutants in the home include everyday household products like cleaners and air fresheners, dust, smoke, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, mold, building materials like paint, pesticides and pet dander.
You may experience the following symptoms as a result of poor air quality in the home: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, fatigue, watery eyes, dizziness and headaches.
Certain indoor plants absorb harmful toxins in the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene trichloroethylene and carbon dioxide through tiny openings in their leaves.
17 plants that are effective in removing some household toxins include:
- Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii “Alii”) – grows up to 10 feet tall in indirect sunlight. Rotate the plant weekly so it maintains it’s shape. Water when the soil feels dry. Water enough so it drains out the holes at the bottom.
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”) – grows to about 3 feet. Store in a cool place with high humidity and indirect sunlight. Lightly mist one or two times a week to help with the humidity. Keep the soil damp.
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – grows up to 4 to 12 feet in indirect sunlight. Water when the soil feels dry. Do not over water or leave sitting in water.
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) – can grow anywhere between 8 inches and 4 feet tall. Can grow in areas with low light. Water when the soil feels dry. Fertilize once or twice a year.
- Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – grows around 7 feet tall in bright, indirect sunlight. Water enough to keep the soil moist in the spring and the summer. Allow the soil to dry out between watering in the fall. Fertilize in the spring.
- Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – grows 6 to 14 feet tall. Keep out of direct sunlight, water when the soil feels dry.
- English Ivy (Hedera helix) – prune regularly to keep the desired length. Keep in indirect sunlight, let the soil dry before watering.
- Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) – grows up to 2 feet tall. Keep in a bright area in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist. Empty the water from the drip tray to prevent rot.
- Marginata (Dracaena marginata) – grows to about 10 to 15 feet. Place in indirect sunlight, water when the soil feels dry.
- Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii) – grows to about 2 feet. Keep in a moderately bright area. This plant likes dry air and soil. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering. Water until it drains through the drip holes.
- Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis) – the ‘compacta’ variety grows to about 1 foot. Keep in a bright area with indirect sunlight. Water when the surface feel dry.
- Philodendron (Philodendron sp) – grows to about 6 to 8 feet in indirect sunlight. Allow the surface to dry before watering.
- Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) – grows to about 3 feet. Keep in indirect bright light. Check the soil moisture daily. Water when the top of the soil begins to dry. Water until it begins to drip through the holes. Remove the water from the drip tray.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”) – grows to about 16 inches. Keep in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but do not over water.
- Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta) – grows from 1 to 8 feet tall. Can grow in low light. Keep the soil moist but do not over water.
- Mass Cane/Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) – can grow over 6 feet tall in moderate light. Keep the soil moist, water one to two times a week.
- Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) – grows up to 6 feet tall in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Some plants may be harmful to pets, also some plants may cause an allergic reaction if handled by someone with sensitive skin. Do your research before getting a new houseplant.
Another way to get rid of pollutants and toxins in the home is to minimize your exposure to allergens:
· Do not smoke in the house
· Avoid carpeting or vacuum daily
· Avoid furniture that collects dust
· Clean air filters regular
· Keep pets out of the house and off of the furniture
For even more protection you may also want to consider investing in a mechanical air cleaner or an electronic air cleaner to remove particles from the air in your home.
Mechanical air cleaners trap particles passing through them with material like fiber glass. The most popular mechanical air cleaners are High Energy Particle Air Filters (HEPA).
The electrically charged filters of electronic air cleaners attract and trap particles and prevents recirculation in the home.
Have you tried any of these methods or do you have another method you use to reduce pollutants in your home? Share your methods in the comments.