Apartment Detox

Lately I have been very interested in detoxifying our apartment, all the way from my beauty products to the air. However, it seems as though the more healthnut-y I become the more nerdy Aaron becomes. Let's face it, men can be quite skeptical, yet not very health-conscious. Sometimes he gets annoyed with how health-conscious I can be...

That being said, there is a definite line when it comes to health.

For example, I will not be buying a $3,000 alkalizing water purifier. I will not be buying organic bedding and clothing. I will not be getting rid of my microwave and cell phone. And finally, I will not stop wearing deodorant (thank goodness).

My personal philosophy is this: there are dangers EVERYWHERE; some that you can control and others that you cannot. The world is imperfect (it's meant to be that way) and it's useless to try and achieve perfect health in this life because it will stress you out and you won't enjoy life at all. 

There is no "perfect" way to live healthy, there is just good, better, and best.

With this in mind I went through my house and made note of things that I could improve upon, and this is what I found:

Candles/air fresheners
Cleaning products
BPA plastic containers

Air Quality
A few weeks ago, I did some research on the ingredients in smelly candles and afterwards I swiftly threw away all the candles in my house and made these. You can't escape air pollution (especially outside), but why add to the pollution in your own home?
About 25 years ago NASA conducted a study in which houseplants were used to absorb airborne toxins. They found that certain houseplants absorb and neutralize significant amounts of indoor toxins.
Plants are amazing; besides making your home cozy and happy, these plants help filter air and add oxygen.

Why are air-borne toxins so detrimental to your health?

Substances that are breathed in through your lungs enter right into your bloodstream. It's not like your digestive system where toxic substances are filtered and neutralized as much as possible. This is why people snuff hard drugs: it goes straight to your bloodstream and brain.
So be careful about what you sniff.

Benefits of improving air quality:
I have had less headaches and light-headedness since switching to beeswax candles
Some studies have linked air pollution (mainly smoking) to SIDS
Less asthma symptoms and respiratory irritation

Cleaning Products
Although I did spring cleaning a few months ago, I still have a few toxic cleaners in my home. It is hard to get rid of chemical cleaners like Clorox because, if you are like me, my mom and grandmas used it religiously and it's hard to imagine life without it.
However, I have found that there are less toxic alternatives out there and you shouldn't be afraid to take the leap of faith and make the switch.

Benefits of removing chemical cleaners:
You aren't inhaling toxins as you clean
Toxins are not left as residue on household surfaces
No risk of poisoning for children or pets
CHEAP! 1 gallon of vinegar ($2) and 10 lbs baking soda ($6) have lasted me over a year

For cleaning recipes check out this post.

Plastic products
BPA was discovered when a researcher was doing studies on rats. One day the rats just stopped reproducing; something was affecting their fertility. She couldn't figure why this happened; she changed everything about their environment and it wasn't until after removing them from their plastic cages that she realized the toxins in the plastic was affecting their health. After doing many studies, plastics with BPA were declared toxic. There are still plastics with this toxic ingredient, but most companies are making it without. How do you know if your plastic is safe? Look at the small number on the bottom of your container and remember this little rhyme:

keep 4, 5, 1 and 2, all the rest are bad for you.

Aaron and I are also working on not freezing or microwaving food in plastic containers.
"Working on" is the key phrase in that sentence :)

Air Purifying Houseplants
NASA Summary--Wiki
Whole Living--Cleaner, Safer Home
Sarah Wilson--How to Remove Toxins From Your Home


  1. yay!! i've been looking at getting some good houseplants and i was wondering which ones would be good for our house. so thanks for giving the link!
    i'll have to work on some of these, though i'm sure the non-plastics for microwaving/freezing wouldn't really fly with my husband...

    1. I completely know how you feel about the non-plastics. I found that Costco and other stores sell glass containers w/ lids that you can microwave and freeze, I really want to get some, I just keep forgetting to buy them haha.

  2. With 2 little ones in the house, I have changed how I do everything. Most of my cleaners are vinegar based after a scary call to poison control when my son got a hold of Comet. I love the all-natural way of doing things and I love reading about new ideas! :)

    1. That is so smart! Keeping chemical cleaners when there are kids around is risky. Plus, why do you need them? If natural cleaners work just as good, there is no reason to keep them around :)

  3. This is the first post of yours that I have read--and it seriously sounds like we have the same minds!!! And very similar husbands! :) Looking forward to reading more.

    1. I love making healthy friends! What is your blog address?

  4. I love keeping my apartment clean too. Great post :)