How can I purify my air naturally?

In this blog post, we will discuss “How can I purify my air naturally?” Firstly, we will discuss air pollution basics and describe indoor air pollution in detail. In the end, the article outlines solutions to purify the air naturally.

How can I purify my air naturally?

Indoor air pollution can mainly affect the respiratory system of the human body. Poor indoor air quality can cause mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and tiredness. You can purify the air naturally by doing the following things:

  • Have indoor plants
  • Clean your house frequently
  • Stop using Paraffin wax candles
  • Keep your shoes at bay
  • Use activated Charcoal Bags for purification
  • Purchase Plant Air Purifier
  • Use Salt Lamp
  • Keep your pets groomed
  • Reduce cooking pollution
  • Purchase low VOCs furnishing

Let’s first see the basics of air pollution.

What is air pollution?

The introduction of harmful agents into the atmosphere is known as air pollution. The toxic agents are known as pollutants. These pollutants are derived from natural and human activities, and they can be chemical or biological.

Major pollutants present in the air are particulate matter (PM), ground-level ozone (O3), NO2, SO2, and CO. Air also has lead, allergens, bacteria, viruses and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Besides climate change, air pollution has become a significant environmental risk to human health. 

Therefore, striving towards minimising air pollution can also help to improve climate change mitigation efforts. In addition, reducing emissions will enhance the quality of air.

What do you mean by indoor air pollution?

Air pollution created inside a closed environment is called indoor air pollution. Many household activities such as heating, cooking, cleaning and other miscellaneous activities significantly contribute to indoor air pollution. Therefore, indoor pollution contributes to ambient air pollution. In addition, many regular household products such as cleaning sprays, varnish, paints, solvent removers, perfumes, tobacco smoke and incense stick can pollute the air.

Formaldehydes group are colourless gas having a pungent smell. Even though its production has been banned in the United States since 1970, they are still found in paints, sealants and wooden floors. Carpets also use formaldehyde as permanent adhesives.

Tobacco smoke is also one of the neglected and concerning air pollutants. The study also revealed that pregnant women smoking cigarettes caused a potential threat to the fetus development; the smoke can cause molecular changes. In addition, the tobacco smoke exposure of the mothers caused hindrances in the lung development of the fetus. Researchers further analyzed that such children at early stages and later teens got asthma or experienced asthmatic problems.

You would like to keep fresh flowers keeping in your living room. You also would be having furry friends living with you. Though I am not very keen on plucking flowers or purchasing them to decorate my house, I love doggies and other furry pets. But they all come with one big drawback. They can produce biological pollutants such as pollens, mould, bacteria, viruses and animal dander, developing asthmatic symptoms in people.

Gas appliances such as heaters, wood stoves, space heaters, dryers, fireplaces and space heaters release hazardous pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates. Carbon monoxide and particulates, as mentioned earlier, causes many respiratory and heart-related ailments. High levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause a hazard to the human respiratory tract. It can increase the susceptibility to various respiratory infections and asthma. Prolonged exposure to elevated amounts of nitrogen dioxide can result in chronic lung disease. It can also affect the smelling ability of humans.

The fumes released from the paraffin wax candles causes air to pollute. Research done by South Carolina State University said that paraffin wax releases toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene indoors. Even the office stationeries such as copiers, laser printers, correction fluids, etc., release volatile organic compounds which deeply penetrate the lungs and inflame their linings.

Besides, dry cleaned laundry clothes contain highly toxic substances such as trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. All the pollutants, as mentioned earlier, can cause throat and nose irritation, flu, dizziness, anaemia and other allergic reactions. They can irritate your respiratory tract too. In addition, toxic chemicals can cause lung cancer and damage vital organs such as the liver, kidney and brain.

Air experts around the globe also suggest the use of beauty products can also contribute to air pollution. The majority of the cosmetics and perfumes available in the market contain toxic pollutants such as volatile organic compounds. These pollutants are released into the air when they are used. Thus, the fashion industry or the increased population using such products can significantly reduce air pollution.

Thus, it is essential to purify the indoor air. There are multiple solutions to clean the atmosphere of your house, such as purchasing an air purifier is one of the effective methods to clean the indoor air. However, you must wonder how to purify the air if you are tight on budget. Say no more. There are effective ways to purify the air, and that too, all by natural means. In the next section, I will provide those solutions.

Steps to purify my air naturally

Keep outdoor shoes at bay

First and foremost, keeping shoes outside your house on a shoe stand is essential. In this way, you can help cleanse your air without even purchasing any tech-savvy machine.

Before entering a room or house, you can place a doormat to wipe your shoes and feet. Your shoes and feet can carry dust particles into the house. It is also best to remove your shoes and wash them after entering the home.

Indoor Plants are your saviours

Yes, you read it right. Indoor plants purify the indoor air and act as a natural air purifier. According to the American Society for Horticultural Science, houseplants or indoor plants help to improve indoor air quality. Firstly, due to the photosynthesis process, they inhale all carbon dioxide and, in return, supply fresh oxygen indoors. Many scientists have observed that these plants remove toxins too. In addition, these plants can absorb all cancer-causing volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene and carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. One of the plus points of these plants is they are easy to maintain.

The indoor plants which I recommend are as follows:

Snake plant

English Ivy

Peace Lily

Red-Edged Dracaena

Boston Fern

Spider Plant

Weeping fig

Bamboo Palm

Rubber Plant

Invest in Plant Air Purifier

This solution may be expensive than the other provided ones in the list. Still, plant air purifiers can help boost the air purification process of indoor plants—a NASA scientist, Dr B.C Wolverton, crafts these purifiers. The Plant Air Purifier is an air filtration system comprised of a planter. It is a specially developed ceramic media having active carbon and runs on a low voltage power supply. It uses a common houseplant in horticulture to purify the air. A fan is utilized to aggravate the air circulation through this media. Activated carbon present in the media acts as a pollutant removal. This device has a cleaning capacity of more than 100 houseplants. There is also a smaller version of this device that cleans a room in about an hour. It is priced in the range of $99.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is also known as activated carbon. The activated charcoal air filters are also effective ways to purify indoor air naturally. The charcoal has the property to absorb toxins without releasing any odour. Since ancient times, charcoal has been used to purify water too. Now, they are gaining attention in the beauty sector. These are also known as chemical absorbent as it binds toxins and chemicals and neutralize them.

You can also quickly get these carbon air filters in the stores or purchase them online. Same with the activated charcoal, you can get it anywhere. Belle Air 100% Activated Charcoal Air Purifying Bags is one of the most excellent products I have seen online. It removes excess moisture, toxins and nasty odours and is easy to use. Nowadays, bamboo and coconut shell charcoals are also used to purify the air naturally. The porous structure of these charcoals helps to eliminate bacteria, toxic pollutants and allergens. Its absorbing technique also helps to reduce moisture. Thus, moulds and mildews are prevented. You can get bamboo and coconut shell charcoal purifying bags on Amazon.

Don’t buy paraffin candles

Paraffin wax degrades the air quality and can contribute to allergic symptoms. The pollutants released by the paraffin wax are benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, toluene and soot. But don’t worry, there are other good alternatives for paraffin candles. I am providing its details below.

Candles from Vegan Waxes

Soy Wax Candles

Soy wax is an authentic natural wax that is derived from these beans. Soybeans are widely cultivated in the United States after corn. I will tell you how this wax is created. Firstly, these soybeans are harvested and then cleaned properly. Then, they are cracked, de-hulled and rolled into flakes. Soybean oil is then extracted from the flakes. Further, the leftover flakes are given to the animals as food. This soybean oil is then used to make soy wax.

Soy wax is safe to use as it is environmentally friendly and made from renewable resources. Soy wax also burns way slower than paraffin wax. Thus, if you purchase soy wax candles, they will last longer. Moreover, these candles burn clean and give less amount of soot. It also doesn’t produce any toxins or carcinogenic pollutants while burning.

Another reason to choose these candles is that they retain fragrance and don’t require chemical amplifiers. The wax pool surrounding the wick is responsible for a candle’s scent. In the case of soy wax candles, the melting point of this wax is lower than paraffin. Thus, a larger pool is created around the wick, resulting in a stronger aroma. In addition, since soy wax is a plant-based product, it is naturally biodegradable. Thus, you can easily clean the accidental spills.

I am providing some of the good soy wax candles

Soy Wax CandlesWhy do I like them?
Wax and Oils Soy Wax Aromatherapy Scented Candles (Lavender) Eco-friendly, no pesticidePackaging is recyclableUsed for indoor purposes
Natural Jasmine Soy Wax Scented Candles Paraben-free40 hours of smellRich scent
JXDLSQ Soy Wax CandlesFour fragrances in one set: Fresh spring, lemon, lavender and fig.Lead-free wickLong-lasting candle (30 hours)

Coconut wax candles

Coconut wax candles are also fantastic options instead of paraffin wax. The coconut wax is produced from the high-melt coconut oil. Further, it can also be blended with other natural harder waxes to create another fusion version of the candles. Some of the coconut wax candles are made from around 90% coconut wax, which is it is then stimulated with soy to create a more good composite structure of the candle. The aroma produced by the coconut wax candles is soothing. Just like soy wax candles, this type of candle also lasts longer. These candles also hold the fragrance. Thus if naturally extracted scents are added to these candles, they can smell longer.

The wax colour derived from the coconut generally ranges from cream to pure white. You might feel that the coconut wax candles will spread all the coconuty smell in the air. But don’t worry, this candle wax is entirely odourless, and there are no traces of burning coconut. In comparison to paraffin wax and soybean, coconut wax burns the cleanest. Thus, the lowest soot particles are produced after burning coconut wax candles. These candles are also environmental friendly.

Unlike soy wax and beeswax candles, it’s not necessary for you to pre-heat the jar; coconut wax candles have the most fantastic jar adhesion. You just need to place your candle into the jar at any temperature. Many companies in the market produce coconut wax candles using wooden wicks. I will provide some of the good products of coconut wax candles.

Coconut Wax CandlesWhy do I like them?
Hemlock Park Coconut wax candle and essential oilsNatural productWooden WickQuality Guaranteed
Via Wellness Coconut Wax CandlesThree fragrance is available30 hours of smellLead-free, cotton wickNatural DyesToxic-free
JHYOOLA Pure Natural Jar Candles 100% coconut wax candleWhite candleUnscented candleCotton wickCan be used indoors and outdoors 

Candles from Animal Produce

Beeswax Candles

Many theories claim that beeswax candles help to clean the air. Some of the anecdotal evidence found that beeswax candles work as air purifiers. When the beeswax is burned, it emits negative ions into the atmosphere and helps to purify the air. The allergens and pollutants present in the air possess positive ions. Thus, when the candles produce negative ions, they bind with those positive ones. This fusion gets drawn into the candle or is burned down and falls to the ground. Thus, beeswax candles help to lessen allergens.

However, little research has been done on this theory, and researchers are curious to find out the benefits of beeswax candles on air pollution.

Such negative ions are found in running water, beach waves, and thunderstorms. Maybe, that would be why you feel energized after going to the beach or escaping in the nature trials. What else? Several studies have stated that these negative ions benefit people with asthmatic conditions. These ions also help to improve serotonin levels and improve mood. The positive effects are essential when anyone suffers from depression and anxiety issues.

Another positive effect of beeswax candles is that it helps to eliminate foul odour. Thus, most people prefer such candles with natural essence in the bathroom to eliminate the unwanted smell. In addition, these candles will also help in drawing gasses such as methane into the flame.

However, beeswax is produced by honey bees. The bees have beeswax to build comb, which is then used by the other worker bees to store honey. This beeswax is essential for the bees to harvest honey properly. Many researchers have warned that this practice of consuming beeswax will weaken the bees’ immune system and make them vulnerable to illnesses and death. Thus, I will recommend using plant-based natural or vegan waxes rather than this one.

Use an Electric Diffuser and Essentials Oils

You can use electric diffusers to purify the air naturally. You can club it with essential oils. To reduce the foul odour of the house, some beneficial oils like tea tree oil have antibacterial properties. You can use this oil to reduce airborne bacteria. You require good quality electric diffuser to lessen the filthy pollutants. I will give you a list of some of the essential oils below:

The commercial candles contain paraffin wax which releases toluene and benzene, carcinogenic. In addition, the wicks of these candles have lead.

Install a Salt Lamp

Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps are gaining popularity in the house décor business as it looks classique and gives a soothing effect to the ambience. Moreover, these lamps are good enough to purchase as they can pull toxins from the atmosphere. This natural air purifier can also act as a night light and be placed in any corner of your house.

This Himalayan Pink Salt is about 200-million-year old crystallized substance. It gets heated when the bulb inside it is turned on. Further, it releases negative ions to neutralize the pollutants present in the house. You can get it in many shapes and sizes in the market.

Dust away the dust

There’s a simple yet powerful saying- ‘cleanliness starts at home.’ Reducing indoor air pollution, the ones created due to indoor activities, can also significantly improve ambient air pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3.8 million deaths happen every year due to household exposure to smoke from improper cookstoves and fuels. In addition, indoor air pollution is produced due to the combustion of fossil fuels.

You can decrease poor air quality by adequately maintaining indoor hygiene. For example, you can frequently clean your cupboards and open decks to avoid an accumulation of dust particles. In addition, I would strongly recommend carpeting a minimum floor area.

You can also paint your home walls with a brush rather than a sprayer. In addition, you can store solvents in air-tight containers so that VOCs don’t escape in the air. For lawn mowing, you can use push or electric lawnmowers. Ensure that you are frequently cleaning the air filters to avoid impurities in the air.

Home accessories like carpets attract many allergens and pollens. These pollutants get stuck to the rug and degrade indoor air quality. You can vacuum these carpets and furniture such as sofas at least twice a week. Avoid using strong hair sprays. In this way, you can also clean the air naturally.

Open Windows and Doors

Always make sure that you are keeping your house well ventilated. It would be best if you keep the doors of your balconies and windows open whenever the weather permits. In addition, I would strongly recommend you to use ventilators in the bathrooms and toilets to remove foul odour and accumulation of viruses and bacteria, if any. While cooking, make sure you keep the exhaust fans and chimneys on to eliminate any smoke produced while cooking. You can also try using fans for milder seasons as it will help to circulate the airflow.

Choose Low VOC Furnishings

Certain fabrics and housing materials generate volatile organic compounds and make the air quality poor. Some of the sources are flooring, paints, room sprays and cleaners. VOCs can lead to headaches, cancer, and dizziness, as per the EPA. Thus, always make sure that the building materials and furnishing products have a low content of VOC. Also, if you bring any new one, make sure you keep it in your garage or open space to get rid of the VOCs from it.

Use Natural Cleansers

You can use safer products such as baking soda instead of harsh chemicals to clean the surfaces. In addition, you can prefer choosing more air-friendly products to clean indoors. For example, you can select water-based products or have a low presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Kitchen Management

Apart from using kitchen chimneys and exhauster fans to reduce the kitchen air pollution, you can also try using different types of cooking oils which create less smoke. Cooking oils at lower temperatures or low smoke points will generate pollution in the kitchen, and you will experience the smell of burnt oil. For instance, extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point. The cooking oils having comparatively high smoking points are as follows:

If you only like olive oil, try switching to light olive oil, which is refined. According to the North American Olive Oil Association, light olive oil has a smoke point between 390 F and 470 F.

Above all, whenever the weather permits, always open windows to circulate fresh air. In addition, keep food items closed and appropriately sealed because this will keep pests away.

Pet Care

It’s essential to keep your furry friends clean and happy. Regular bathing will help their skin breathe. Unfortunately, the pet fur and dander can float inside the room and settle on the carpets, clothing, furniture and other open decks. These can cause an allergic reaction and asthmatic symptoms. Besides, pet allergies can have various symptoms such as runny nose, shortness of breath and coughing.

For instance, give your doggies a nice bath with hypoallergenic shampoo and conditioner. These products can keep them safe from indoor air pollution and help keep the room clean of pet fur and dander. Pollens and allergens might get stuck in their hair and further absorbed by the skin. This can result in various infections and can prevent air pollution too. Keep them well-groomed.

Other FAQs about Air Quality that you may be interested in.

How does air pollution affect our lungs?

How can we clean the air?

How can we improve air quality?

Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed “How can I purify my air naturally?” Firstly, we discussed air pollution basics and described indoor air pollution in detail. In the end, the article outlined solutions to purify the air naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How can I purify my air naturally?

How does the air get polluted?

Air pollution can occur in multiple ways. Human activities such as the transportation sector, industrial processes, and combustion of fossil fuels generate particulates and other toxic gases such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides. Natural events also create air pollution. Some of the instances are volcanic eruptions and dust storms.

What are the causes of air pollution?

The causes of air pollution are as follows:

  • The burning of fossil fuels
  • Indoor Air pollution
  • Wildfires
  • Decomposition
  • Vehicular pollution
  • Construction and demolition activities

Which candles purify the air?

Candles made from plants and beeswax candles purify the air and improve indoor air quality.

How to purify the air?

These are the steps to purify the air:

  • Keep your house well-ventilated
  • Keep indoor plants in the house
  • Plant trees
  • Buy an air purifier
  • Use Public Transport

How can I purify my air naturally?

Here are the steps to purify the air naturally:

  • Buy indoor plants
  • Plant more trees
  • Use natural wax candles
  • Use an electric diffuser with essential oils
  • Clean filters
  • Open windows

Which country is carbon negative?

Bhutan country is the only country in the world to become carbon negative.

References

Kirschner, C., 12 ways to get Clean Air Without Chemicals. Treehugger. Available at: https://www.treehugger.com/ways-get-clean-air-without-chemicals-4864310

Olson, A., 2021. Air Quality at home: 10 ways to purify your indoor environment naturally. Emagazine.com. Available at: https://emagazine.com/air-quality-at-home/

Plant Air Purifier. Product benefits cleaner greener solution. Available at: https://www.plantairpurifier.com/product_details_-_overview

Watson, K., 2019. Is your house making you sick? 5 ways to Purify Home Air Naturally. Apartment Therapy. Available at: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/is-your-house-making-you-sick-5-ways-to-purify-home-air-naturally-214726

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