We finally moved into our just-built house, and it still has the ‘new home’ smell from the fresh paint and new carpet. And lots and lots of dust. None of which are awesome to breathe, but especially not for eight hours a night while sleeping. Getting clean air plants was my first step to less toxic air (and I haven’t killed them, hurrah!) Now it’s time to deep clean the mattress and detox the bedroom, so we can all rest easy.
Your body needs rest to detox internally so it’s important to have a safe, healthy environment that promotes a good night’s sleep. Allergens and dust mites can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep and get up in the morning. Chemicals like phthalates, fire retardants, VOCs and BPA can disrupt hormones and lead to other major health problems. If you’re congested, groggy or have persistent skin issues, check out our easy guide to a complete bedroom detox.
Detox your bed
1. Detox your bedding
Even if you’re diligent about washing your sheets, you might be forgetting blankets and duvets. Wash all bedding, including your mattress cover, once a month. Launder in hot water to kill dust mites. Better yet, treat yourself to a new set of 100% organic cotton sheets not treated with pesticides or formaldehyde.
2. Detox your mattress
I’ll admit I had never even attempted to clean my mattress before. But a simple combination of baking soda and essential oils will deodorize, eliminate moisture and kill dust mites in your mattress. This study recommends eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or wintergreen essential oils to safely and effectively remove dust mites.
To use, combine 1/2 cup baking soda with a dozen drops of essential oils. It’s another way to recycle my International Delight creamer bottles. (They make perfect snack holders too!) Sprinkle the baking soda mixture onto the mattress and let it sit for at least an hour, but the longer the better! Then vacuum up the baking powder and replace mattress cover. For the ultimate mattress detox, replace it with an organic cotton or natural latex version.
3. Detox your pillows
Can’t remember the last time you washed your pillow? Chances are it’s been too long. Dead skin cells, dust mites and all kinds of allergens collect on pillows. Martha Stewart recommends washing pillows twice a year. Check the label, but most pillows can be machine washed so balance the load by washing two together and doing an extra rinse cycle. Dry on low heat and apply a couple of drops of lavender, if desired. Using a pillow case cover can help ease allergies as well.
Detox the air
4. Open windows and circulate the air
Won’t that just bring in more pollution? No, in fact, the EPA estimates that indoor pollution level are 2 to 5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoors. I’m a die-hard ceiling fan lover, and getting the air moving, especially if your windows are open, is a great way to remove indoor toxins.
5. Get an air filter
HEPA filters do an awesome job of removing dust, pollen, pet dander. I use this Honeywell filter, which captures 99% of airborne allergens. It’s definitely an investment if buying for everyone’s bedrooms, but you can also vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter to eliminate fine dust particles.
6. Grow houseplants
The natural air purifiers that get the NASA stamp of approval. Try a pothos plant, a palm or an aloe plant for the bedroom. Here’s our 10 favorite fuss-free plants that clean the air.
Detox the environment
7. Remove phones and computers
I recently noticed that my laptop was emitting a noticeable (and annoying) glow at night. According to The Chalkboard, the Sleep Foundation now warns that the light given off by electronics can delay the release of melatonin. So break the habit of keeping phones and computers bedside.
8. Detox your room sprays and candles
9. Detox your cleaners
The fewer toxins you bring into your bedroom the fewer you need to filter out. Start by eliminating the source with safe, effective cleaners. Wash windows with homemade glass cleaner, trade in insecticides for nontoxic remedies, and clean carpets with natural stain removers.