The last place you want to worry about toxins is your bedroom, right? After all, you spend a lot of time sleeping. You’d like to think it’s a clean spot.
So what’s the best way to get a clean, healthy bedroom?
Here’s a valuable list of seven simple ways to get a clean, toxic-free bedroom. Try one or two of them.
How to Get a Toxic Free Bedroom
1. Open Your Windows
One of the simplest things you can do to make your bedroom healthier is to open your windows.
Why? Because indoor air is dirtier than outdoor air. Airing out your bedroom periodically will improve the air you breathe. EPA studies confirm that indoor air pollutants are typically 2-5 times higher than outdoor air.
How does indoor air get so polluted? It’s pretty simple. Your household furnishings and daily activities release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). And then to make matters worse, most of the time you’ve got your windows closed trapping pollutants inside.
So, what is to blame for all the VOCs in your bedroom?
Here’s a partial list: carpets, paint, wall coverings, fabrics, scented candles, air fresheners, perfumes, pressed wood furniture, polyurethane foam furniture, adhesives, and showering.
One of the main indoor air polluting culprits is formaldehyde. Tests show formaldehyde in homes is 20-200 times higher than outdoor suburban air.
If it’s not practical to open your windows, then get an air cleaner that will purr gently, cleaning your air while you sleep. The top rated air cleaner is ideal for removing 99.97% of airborne dust, mold, formaldehyde, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, and pollens.
2. Live with Plants
Living with plants can improve your health especially the ones that absorb VOCs. Scientific studies show that certain plants clean your indoor air. Dr. Bill Wolverton an Environmental Scientist provides detailed information on how to use plants to cut VOCs in his book “Plants: Why You Can’t Live Without Them”.
You’ll need two plants in 10-12” pots per 100 sq. ft. The top air cleaning plants are: Boston Ferns, English Ivy, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Spider plants.
Start with a Boston Fern or two which according to HortScience is the best formaldehyde purifying plant.
3. Reduce Dry Cleaning Chemicals in Your Closet
Most dry cleaners use Perchloroethylene (PERC). Did you know that PERC is a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin?
It’s true. And to make matters worse, a Georgetown University study proved PERC is not only retained in dry-cleaned clothes, but it also builds up with repeat cleanings.
You can get PERC out of your bedroom by following a few quick tips.
- Remove the dry cleaning bags and air out your clothes before hanging in your closet.
- Reduce dry cleanings by opting for the “press only” option.
- Find a green alternative like a wet or CO2 cleaners.
4. Replace Dryer Sheets with Dryer Balls
Dryer sheets have two strikes against them. They contain harmful chemicals that adhere to your sheets and towels AND filter into your air.
What should you use instead?
Try dryer balls. You can either make your own or buy them. Dryer balls made of 100% wool naturally soften your laundry in the dryer.
Add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to the dryer balls so when you slip into bed at night, your sheets will smell great.
5. Opt for Non-Toxic Pest Solutions
Be honest. You hate the sight of bugs and would do anything to keep them out of your bedroom.
Using an exterminator seems like the only solution, but what about the harmful chemicals?
The good news is that you can control pests using safe methods. Your bug-killing arsenal should include food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.
Sprinkle DE under bathroom sinks. When any bug with an exoskeleton comes into contact with DE, it gets under the shell, punctures the body, and kills the bug.
DE performs these miraculous feats while being non-toxic to humans.
You can find this healthy pest solution at your natural gardening store.
Safety tips: Remember to use food grade and never pool grade DE. And, while food grade DE is perfectly non-toxic, it is harmful to your lungs if inhaled. So, wear a mask while sprinkling.
6. Choose an Organic Mattress
Due to strict fire safety standards, conventional mattress makers use large amounts of flame retardants to meet safety regulations. While it is generally accepted that these fire-retardant chemicals are toxic at a certain level, the debate continues to wage about safe levels.
If you prefer to be safe and healthy, then choose an all natural mattress without harmful chemical flame retardants.
All natural and organic mattresses use naturally flame retardant wool coverings to comply with safety regulations. Or, for 100% Organic Cotton mattresses, you can avoid chemical flame retardants by getting a prescription from your doctor. With organic mattresses, you don’t have to worry about inhaling or absorbing harmful chemicals.
Some may think that an older mattress is healthier because it is no longer emitting fire retardant chemicals, but that's not the case. Studies prove that chemical exposure continues throughout the life of the mattress.
7. Dust More
After reading this, you may want to move dusting and vacuuming closer to the top of your housekeeping list especially in your bedroom where you spend eight hours of your day.
Many products in your home contain flame retardants including:
- Electronic devices – computers, TVs, and clocks
- Polyurethane foam – mattresses and pillows
So what do flame retardants have to do with dusting and vacuuming?
Chemical flame retardants escape from your home products and become household dust. You can inhale flame retardant dust or ingest it. Ingestion happens primarily with small children who put everything into their mouths.
The EPA “is concerned that certain flame retardants are persistent, bio accumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment.”
It’s scary, right?
Just think, all this time you’ve been focused on eradicating germs when you probably should have devoted just a bit more time to cleaning up flame retardant dust.
For a toxic-free bedroom, dust often and sweep with a HEPA filter vacuum.
Were you surprised by some of the information?