Adding houseplants to improve air quality in the home

Lately, I have been thinking about how to improve the air quality in our house.

Though hubby thinks we live in a place where the air quality is much better than Asia but with the cold sniffles and allergies at bay, I am finding other ways to help my tween breathe better.

Since last year, I have added some indoor plants to the house. Besides the aesthetic aspect and adding a touch to home decoration, they are definitely great in improving indoor air quality in the most natural way.


Image result for snake plant photo

Here’s some great indoor house plants that you may like to consider if you are like me:

1. English Ivy

This charming evergreen vine grows happily in low or indirect light conditions. The leaves are poisonous, so keep them away from pets and kids. Fortunately, English Ivy enjoys containers and hanging baskets, and brightens up shelves and dark corners beautifully. Studies have shown that English Ivy is effective at removing benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, as well as other allergens such as mold and airborne fecal matter. Hang one near your pet’s letterbox, or in the bathroom.

2. Peace Lily

The beautiful broad green leaves and cupped white blooms of the peace lily is a favorite in the NASA study for removing the three most common pollutants: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Peace lilies will thrive and flower in bright light. They can handle lowlight conditions, though they may not produce blooms. Keep the foliage and flowers clear of dust to maximize their detoxifying power. The plant is poisonous as well, so keep it out of reach of kids and pets.

3. Bamboo Palm

This sturdy palm can grow tall, between 3 to 6 feet, and is an elegant plant in any room. It’s effective at removing the formaldehyde often used in furniture, so arrange it next to chairs, couches, and end tables, in indirect light. During dryer winter months, the bamboo palm can also add a bit of welcome moisture to the air.

4. Ficus

Ficus is a tropical looking evergreen with twisting roots and bright green, shiny leaves. It’s effective at removing pollutants from furniture and carpets, though it can be a bit temperamental to grow. Keep the leaves clear of dust and water moderately.

5. Dracaena

The sword shaped leaves of the Dracena plant can come in a variety of colors and variations, and can easily reach ceiling height when cared for properly. This plant is best for ridding the air of chemicals found in lacquers, varnishes, and gasoline.  Also known as a Corn Plant, the Dracena is a dramatic, but fairly easy plant to maintain.

6. Chrysanthemum

You’re probably already familiar with these colorful flowers. Mums are popular in bouquets, but as a potted plant, they are excellent at filtering out chemicals found in glues, paints, detergents, and plastics. Chrysanthemums love bright light, and add a gorgeous pop of color to any room.

7. Golden Pothos

Pothos are excellent for filtering out formaldehyde and stays green, even if kept in the dark, which makes it ideal for basements and garages.  A proficient grower, Pothos is great in containers and hanging pots where its trailing vines can tumble over the pot’s edge.

8. Snake Plant

A common, if not slightly offensive, nickname for this blade-like plant is mother-in-law’s-tongue. It’s awesome at filtering out chemicals found in toilet paper, tissues, and other toiletry products.  It enjoys low light and humid conditions, which makes it ideal for bathrooms.

9. Spider Plant

Often considered a gift plant, since the Spider Plant produces runners with ‘babies’ that can easily be transplanted. Spider Plants filter out chemicals emitted from leather and rubber. This resilient plant takes very little maintenance, and can get by happily without water.  It will tell you it’s thirsty when the green of the long, skinny, striped leaves fade. A little water will perk it right back up!

10. Aloe

Aloe is an excellent low maintenance plant for sunny locations. It’s great at removing chemicals from paints and chemical cleaning products, and the gel inside the succulent spiked leaves can be used to relieve cuts and burns. Aloe is a slow grower, but it can get quite large.


Natural Fruit Enzyme Household Cleaner

I was having a family gathering last week and during the lunch conversation, my cousin was sharing with us about her new found natural household cleaner using fruit enzyme. Previously, I had tried some enzyme from a local health store but didn’t adore the smell so I was really suspicious when she kept raving about how nice her natural household enzyme cleaner was.

After a little web research on cleaners and Anilox roll cleaner, I found out that many eco homes are jumping onto the fruit enzyme bandwagon too. Some call it ‘The Garbage Enzyme’ but the term ‘garbage’ makes your nose sniff a little. And after sampling a bottle of my cousin’s fruit enzyme cleaner, I don’t think the nice smelling ‘citrus waste’ deserves to be called ‘garbage’ at all. It does smell good and most importantly, it works well as a natural household cleaner. For those who are building an eco home, here are some wonderful uses of this natural and environmental friendly fruit enzyme:

1) Use it for your dishes and laundry. Dilution is necessary.

2) Use for washing bathrooms and getting rid of stubborn stains in the toilet bowl. Use it concentrated on the stain, leave it for 10 minutes then flush.

3) Mix a tablespoon with water to clean vegetables and fruits

5) Use the concentrate as a natural insect repellent (use undiluted) for ants, cockroaches..

7) Great as a floor cleaner – living your floors oil and grime free! (My favourite)

8 ) The residue from the enzyme works well as a fertiliser for vegetables, flowering and non-flowering plants

9) Use the citrus residue as a facial mask!

Here’s the recipe for the natural fruit enzyme household cleaner:

300 gms of lemon and orange scraps
1 litre of water
100 gms of brown sugar or molasses

Mix them up in a 2L jar or container (plastic or glass). Cover loosely to allow fermentation to take place. Make sure it’s covered tight or the container may ‘explode’! Label the bottle for reference. The natural enzyme cleaner requires three months to ferment. Once ready, just filter the enzyme with a piece of muslin cloth or fine sieve and store it in a bottle or container. The remaining ‘waste’ or residue can be used as a plant fertilizer or a natural body rub!

create a healthy home today with natural products

These days, I try, as much as I can, to use non-toxic household cleaning products in our home. I must admit that all these practices started ever since our little boy came along. If you have little ones at home, you tend to be careful in what you use in and around the house, starting from household cleaning detergents to the paint on your walls to the air quality in your house.

Whether it’s cleaning the kitchen tabletops, kitchen sinks or your toilet, there are many natural products for home care available in the web. Perhaps you are suffering health problems from headaches, allergies, eczema and other skin disorders, asthma and other respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of co-ordination, liver damage, suppressed immune system, parasites and/or other diseases. Many of the chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis are carcinogens and can have both acute and long term health affects. There can also be significant stress and anxiety in dealing not only with health problems but also with trying to fix the house’s problems.

Is Your Home or Office Making You Sick? Click Here to see products and information to help you create a HEALTHY HOME TODAY!!