6 Steps to Cleaner Indoor Air

by Amanda Hearn · 25 comments

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Having a healthier home does not have to be complicated, in fact it shouldn’t be! Simplicity is key, think basics. Check out the tips below and please feel free to add yours in the comments section!

#1 – Choose safe cleaning products.

Keeping the air in your home clean starts with what you bring into your space! While we can’t keep everything out, we can make better choices in the products we buy and choosing safe, non-toxic cleaners and detergents is an easy one that will provide a positive impact in more ways than one! Cleaning with vinegar and water is a simple step you can take to cut down on the chemicals – a few drops of your favorite essential oil can lighten the fragrance if you like. Try my 5 easy tips for choosing safe cleaning products to get you started.

#2 – Vacuum regularly.

I am awful about remembering to vacuum, but a quality vacuum with a HEPA filter cleaned regularly will reduce the amount of dust and other particulates in your home. Keeping your floor clean will reduce the amount of dirt that can be kicked up and it’ll help cut down on the amount of dusting you need to do too. If you are anything like me, remembering to do this with enough frequency can be an issue. To help combat my forgetfulness, I like to use my smartphone to set alarm reminders. It’s sad, but it works.

#3 – Keep an eye on your filter!

Thankfully my husband is good about checking our filter, but it’s one that I would easily overlook. Keeping your filter changed can help reduce everything from allergens to odors. If you have pets…. or kids, that can mean a lot. Last summer my allergies kicked into high gear so I ran down to my local home improvement store and bought a high-performance Filtrete filter (this is not a place to skimp – trust me it makes a difference! You can keep an eye out on their Facebook page for discounts.) It wasn’t long before I noticed a difference in my previously dry and itchy eyes.

#4 – Freshen & fragrance indoor air naturally.

Traditional air fragrance products often contain a variety of toxins and irritants, choosing a natural option can freshen your home with authentic fragrances without the toxic side-effects. Try:

  • Using products like baking soda in place of “fragrances powders”. Baking soda can even be left in small, vented containers around your home to help absorb odors.
  • DIY potpourri with dried herbs and flowers that you can grow yourself. Add quality essential oils to spice it up!
  • Placing citrus peels in a pot of water and heat to gently fill your home with a subtle fragrance from the natural oils. (Be sure to keep an eye on it, and never leave anything on the stovetop unattended.)
  • DIY your own air freshener with – Mix up a spray bottle with water, a splash of vodka and your favorite essential oil.

#5 – Groom your pets.

If you have pets, hair and dander can collect quickly. Brush your pet frequently and wash with a safe pet shampoo when needed. We adore our FURminator brush and derMagic pet shampoo bars.

#6 – Last, but not least! Open a window!

This might be surprising, but according to the EPA, “Air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” Opening a window to allow for an exchange of polluted indoor air for fresh air can drastically improve your indoor air quality. Even in colder months a few minutes can make a big difference.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy J March 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

We live in the city and opening the window is a bad idea, unless it just rained. We used to leave the windows open but the house and surfaces would collect a fine black dust. If you live in a city, or anywhere in SoCal, buy an airfilter. We have an Austin Air Healthmate Plus, “chosen by the Red Cross and FEMA to address the air quality concerns in post 9/11 New York.” Buy a machine much more powerful than you need, that way you can use setting 1 and reduce the noise. Yes, they are very very expensive, but with all the money you saved cloth diapering, you can afford it :)

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Amanda March 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

That is a great tip, perhaps I should add an air filter mention to that tip. I’ll look into the one you mentioned, thanks!

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Katie J March 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm

I love the common sense approach you have! Now, where’s spring so I can leave my windows open? :)

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Laura March 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Thanks for this! With spring coming I can’t wait to open the windows and freshen everything up!

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Samantha March 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I so wish I could open my windows – NONE of our windows in our whole house have screens on them!!!! We just bought the house in November and did not even realize that there were no window screens anywhere until about a week after we moved in, and we haven’t had the money to install any yet. We have two cats though so I can’t open the windows while there’s no screens on!

And, we live in Louisiana. LOOOTTTSSSS of bugs. Haha!

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Kate March 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Plants! Certain plants work wonders when it comes to cleaning air for toxins and pollutants.

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Kelly March 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Making my own air freshener is definitely on my to-do list.

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K Thiruselvam March 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

For close to 9 years now, I have walked into so many houses and right into their bedrooms. I am no longer shocked, but before entry into the house, I already know what each family that i am visiting is about to experience. Within minutes of my arrival, I show them what exactly all of them at home, are breathing indoors. Within a basin of 2 litres water, they see what is afloat. DUST. In homes with indoor pets, FURS as well. They get to see what they breathe as well, through their hours of sleep in the bedroom. Off the mattress comes, dust. dust mites, dead skin cells, mites feces and all sorts of not visible dirt. All of these get trapped in a basin of water.
The above is just the surface of truth. Indoor pollution is bad in homes, offices, malls, within cars and in all places where people are in. The increase in respiratory disorders, skin disorders, child birth defects and more is in direct relation to inhaled pollutes within indoor environment. Ensure that your indoor air is clean and safe for all at home. http://airandyou.blogspot.com shares more.

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Chelsea May 17, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the reminder! My plan this weekend is to vacuum and Furminate and bathe the dogs then douse them in DE. They are a hot mess right now!

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Katrina January 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm

100% pure beeswax candles purify your air!

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Dave Whilock April 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm

I had no idea you can make your own air freshener. Fortunately, I don’t live in an overly polluted area, but with two dogs in the house it gets very messy and I can’t keep the windows open as much as I’d like to. Most air fresheners/fragrances make me sick to my stomach, so I guess I’ll have to look further than that.
Thanks for the tips!

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Amanda April 19, 2014 at 9:29 pm

So true – I used to think dusting was an (barely) necessary evil. Then I saw a lecture explaining that many of the dust particles are partially made up of whatever toxins are there. Makes sense, but wasn’t obvious to me initially!

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Samantha Cobos July 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Indoor air quality is so important. This are all great tips. I would like to add buying organic and eco-friendly furnishing when ever possible. I design modern organic fabric and eco-friendly furniture and so many people forget that everything in our homes contributes to the quality of our air.

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Jessica O November 30, 2014 at 2:49 am

Great tips! We recently got rid of our carpet and put in wood floors and it is amazing (and gross!) to see how much pet hair accumulates! We have had less allergies and sneezing w/out the carpets though!

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Katie M December 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

These are great tips. I’m going to look into getting all I need for the diy air freshener. I do have the FURminator and it works great, fortunately we have laminate floors so when our dog sheds it is just a quick sweep to clean up the floors.

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Julie August 9, 2015 at 2:06 am

Good tips. I have to remember to dust/vacuum more often. I live in a very polluted area. I was born and raised here, managed to escape for 8 years and then, sadly, landed back here again 6 years ago. My husband just went through a bad case of asthma. He was coughing like he was about to lose a lung. I always try to open windows despite the horrible brown/gray air outside, but recently construction has started up again behind us after over a year of it already going on. The building was finished and residents have moved in but now they’re building something else. We live in a heavy ag area so there are a lot of chemicals in the soil and there is black mold down there too. This mold is getting kicked up every day for 8 hours and our house, vehicles are cover in the dust. I want so badly to move but we can’t. I guess all I can do is keep everything as clean as possible.

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Melissa Brown October 2, 2015 at 11:36 pm

Houseplants are a must for helping to keep that air clean. English Ivy, pothos, and any others will do the trick. Also ditch the “air fresheners” you get at the store. Those things are bad news.

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Danielle January 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm

We asked our landlady to immediately switch the old crusty carpet before moving in and wow what a difference! In smell and presence. I’m all about plants, soy candles, and fire glass burning

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