Detox your home & purify the air you breathe
Research by the American Society for Horticultural Science has shown that ozone is a main component of not only outside air pollution but also inside our homes and offices. As we spend nearly 80 to 90 per cent of our time inside it is imperative to our health to find ways to eliminate ozone. So we thought we’d look into the best indoor house plants to help purify the air and detox your home.
Research into house plants & air purification
The toxic effects of ozone on our health include lung capacity reduction, inflammation and pulmonary edema.
University researchers have found that common house plants can reduce the concentration of ozone and improve the quality of air indoors.
Other studies show that our homes contain harmful VOCs like formaldehyde and xylene.
Dr. B. C. Wolverton who researched the creation of a breathable environment for the NASA lunar habitat discovered that pollutants like ammonia, benzene and formaldehyde can be filtered out of the air by house plants.
Volatile organic compounds
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that become vapors and gases. Widely used household products that are sources of VOCs in our living areas are:
- Moth repellents
- Air fresheners
- Paints and paint stripper
- Dry-cleaned clothing
- Wood preservers
- Aerosol sprays
A great reason to try to make your own DIY Cleaning products!
Symptoms of toxins in the air
The five main toxins that can be found in the list of products above and the symptoms that can be experienced are outlined below:
- Xylene – The cause of throat and mouth infection, headache, dizziness and heart complications. This toxin is found in paint, vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke.
- Benzene – To be found in plastic, detergents, furniture wax, pesticide, vehicle exhaust, glue and paint. This toxin can cause headaches, eye irritation, drowsiness and dizziness.
- Ammonia– This toxin can cause eye and throat irritations and is to be found in window cleaner, floor wax fertilizer and scented salts.
- Formaldehyde – Can be found in paper bags, tissue, waxed paper and synthetic fibers. This toxin causes nose, mouth and throat irritation.
- Trichloroethylene – Found in varnishes, paint and paint remover as well as adhesives and lacquers. It causes symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Pollutants 10 times higher indoors
VOC concentrations are up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors and are emitted by a variety of products numbering in the thousands.
Studies have found that concentrated pollutant levels can remain in the air way after product use.
Exposure to VOCs can result in the following symptoms, although not too much is known about the amount of VOCs used in the home that can affect our health but short-term exposure of the listed toxins can cause:
- Allergic skin reactions
- Conjunctival irritation
- Discomfort of the nose and throat
Air purifying house plants can help counteract these harmful VOCs from our home environment plus they are a good-looking, help make you feel good, reasonably priced and powerful filters, purifying the air in our homes.
A study by N.A.S.A
The study that NASA carried out shows that common household plants can filter and purify the air in our homes and offices and remove the harmful toxins.
NASA suggests that every home should have 15 to 18 plants to purify the air you live in and breath.
If you live by a busy road have lots of plants to counteract the exhaust fumes.
Several studies have shown that 89% of harmful VOCSs can be eliminated by certain plants.
The 18 best indoor house plants to detox your home….
These truly beautiful plants are remarkably easy to look after despite their reputation for being difficult to grow.
They remove xylene, found in paints and glue, from the air. So after decorating buy an orchid for decoration and to clean the air around.
Also removes alcohols, chloroform, acetone and formaldehyde from the air.
Orchids can also be used in the bedroom as they give off oxygen at night.
Another beautiful flowering plant which will thrive in a shady corner whist removing harmful toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, trichloroethylene and xylene from the air in your home.
This plant can survive low temperatures and being water deprived.
The large dark green leaves of this plant clean the air of toluene, xylene, ammonia and formaldehyde.
But this house plant has exotic looking flowers so good-looking as well as hard working.
Rid your environment of xylene with a Philodendron. One of the best indoor house plants if you have a small amount of time on your hands as it requires very little care but is an attractive addition to any room.
Bring a bit of the prehistoric into the home, survivors from prehistoric times the large fronds of a fern suck up the pollutants found in paint, nail polish and glue which are toluene and xylene.
A natural air purifier the fern restores moisture to the air.
Palms are easy to grow and brighten a drab area so this make them a popular choice of house-plant.
A natural air purifier, as well as removing benzene and formaldehyde it removes carbon monoxide so if there is a smoker in the house the addition of a palm to the home is a must.
Another good choice of plant if there is a smoker in the house, the waxy oval leaves of the Schefflera removes the nasty toxins of benzene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air.
The plant is hardy and long-lasting, as long as the leaves are kept dust free. Wipe the leaves to keep them looking glossy.
Well known for its health benefits its ability to heal wounds and reduce inflammation Aloe Vera can remove toxins like benzene and formaldehyde and purify the air in your home.
At night this plant absorbs carbon monoxide and releases oxygen so it’s one of the best indoor house plants for the bedroom.
Easy to grow Spider plants are good for removing formaldehyde, xylene and carbon monoxide. So a great plant for sheds and garages as they help to eliminate the pollutants from exhaust fumes and DIY products.
A very decorative plant that removes formaldehyde in the air they can live with little water and sun but they do need lots of light to bloom.
Also a great plant to repel mosquitoes.
With so many varieties to choose from you are sure to find one for you. Azalea’s remove toxins like formaldehyde from the air.
Golden Pothos (also known as Devils Ivy)
Golden Pothos removes carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air so improves the quality of the air you breath. Can tolerate shady areas and little water but this plant is toxic so needs to be kept out of the reach of children and pets.
Sun loving plants that brighten any room these plants help to combat benzene and remove ammonia from the air indoors.
Effective in cleaning formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia from the air this lovely looking plant comes in a large variety of colours and types so beautiful and a hard worker.
A great air purifier, with a sweet smell that soothes and calms. Lavender cleanses bad smells and lowers carbon dioxide levels.
Easy and slow to grow as it can tolerate low and bright light areas it absorbs toluene, xylene and formaldehyde.
A low maintenance and popular plant, that tolerates indirect sunlight.
Pollutants like xylene, toluene and formaldehyde are filtered out of the air by this plant.
Perfect for the bedroom a Gerbera Daisy, which loves direct sunlight removes trichloroethylene a chemical that is released from dry cleaning, adhesives and varnishes.
Best indoor house plants – Infographic
We’ve put together an infographic featuring 18 of the best indoor house plants for purifying the air in your home.
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Worried about looking after your new house plants?
Fear not, there are some wonderful books guiding you through all of the essentials such as soil, watering, placement, food and more…. (please note these are amazon affiliate links BUT do not affect the price you pay in any way)
Let us Know
We’d love to know which houseplants you have in your house. Do you have a view on the best indoor house plants?
Let us know in the comments below…