Detox for Your Home

Eliminating toxins from your home is a big job, but certainly a doable one. Begin slowly and follow these six steps. You will find it well worth the effort.

1. Blow the stink out.
That’s how my mom refers to the first step, which is to just open your windows. After this past winter, the outside air is ever so much cleaner than what’s indoors. Be gone, stale smells!

2. Eliminate the poisons.
Take the time to read your labels, and you will be surprised at the amount of toxins in your cleaning supplies, batteries, pesticides, old paints, thinners and personal products. If you don’t recognize ingredients, they probably aren’t healthy. Find out what waste is hazardous on the Illinois EPA Web site.

3. Declutter.
“Stuff” harbors dust, mold and bacteria. If you don’t wear it, enjoy it or use it on a regular basis, sell it or give it away. There are tons of organizations just waiting for your stuff.

4. Use green to clean.
Mais bien sûr, you will be using only natural products that you have purchased or made yourself to clean your newly de-stinked and de-cluttered home. Organic, non-toxic cleaners are readily available throughout the North Shore and are as close as your nearest Whole Foods (locations in Deerfield, Northbrook and Evanston) or Trader Joe’s (locations in Glenview and Northbrook). Restoration Hardware (locations in Highland Park and Skokie) is another good source.

5. Change filters and clean where the sun don’t shine.
Regularly change the filters on furnaces and air-conditioners and clean your rotating fan blades. Get down and dirty and vacuum your refrigerator condenser and check any and all drip pans to make sure there is no trace of stagnant water (a notorious breeding ground for microbes). Clean your lint traps regularly.

You may also want to install a water filtration system in your kitchen or in the whole house. Find comparisons of the major systems here.

6. Green your landscaping.
Do you know if your landscapers are using toxic chemicals on your property? Is there standing water anywhere around your house? There’s no better time than the present to educate yourself.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once … just have to start somewhere!

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