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5 Air Purifying Plants That Remove Pollutants From Your Home

5 Air Purifying Plants That Remove Pollutants From Your Home

Having plants in your home can provide numerous positive benefits - they can brighten up a space, make for beautiful decorations, help to increase your mood, and can effectively help you to feel more relaxed, calm and serene. But did you know that adding some plants to your home can also be a natural way to clean and purify the air? That’s right, houseplants are just great ways to liven up a space, they are also very effective in removing pollutants and toxins as well. Toxins that you may not even be aware of, that are lurking in your home! 

Many of the common household air pollutants are a result of manmade materials that can be found in our home. Toxic pollutants (also known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC’s), like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene, can be released into the air from a variety of manmade material sources. 

Sources for toxic air pollutants can include the following:

  • Your carpet or rug depending on the synthetic fibers they are made of
  • Gasoline, if you have a gas stove or a door that connects your garage directly to your home
  • Your furnace, which can release high levels of VOCs 
  • Burning candles, especially if they are made of toxic wax materials, like paraffin wax
  • Materials used to decorate, such as paint and wallpaper 
  • Adhesives and finishes, such as glue, varnish and lacquer
  • Laundry detergent (Switch to a non-toxic laundry detergent to reduce the amount of VOCs in your home)

These pollutants can become trapped in enclosed spaces and overtime can have negative effects on your health, if they are breathed in over a prolonged period. While eliminating the amount of toxic materials in your home is the best way to reduce VOCs and to clean the air, adding houseplants can also help to produce oxygen in your home and purify the air as well. NASA says that the number of plants you need to purity the air is dependent on the size of your home, their guideline is that you should have one houseplant per 100 square feet.

While there are so many types of houseplants, these are the 5 that are the most effective in purifying the air of your home! 

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

This tolerant succulent plant is considered the most effective plant in removing toxins from your home. According to NASA, Snake Plants are one of the top reducers of indoor air pollutants - removing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) like formaldehyde and benzene from your home. They also help to increase oxygen levels and provide lots of moisture in the air which helps to reduce the amount of airborne allergens commonly found in the home, such as dander and dust - making them a great home addition for those who have asthma and allergies! Snake plants require minimal watering and can thrive in varying lighting conditions, which means that they are the perfect plant if you are a beginner green thumb because they are easy to take care of! Place a snake plant in your bedroom, as they produce the most oxygen at night. The snake plant is considered mildly toxic to pets if ingested. If you have a household pet and wish to have a snake plant, it is recommended to place the plant somewhere that is out of your pets reach. 

Monstera Deliciosa

Monstera

Known for the unique hole formations in its leaves, the trendy Monstera is often compared to resembling swiss cheese! This beautiful, vining plant is not only a dramatic decoration for your home, but also does an effective job in reducing air pollution and minimizing the VOC levels from your home. The Monstera can tolerate low lighting conditions, however it grows best in a bright spot (out of the way from direct sunlight). A light misting of water once a week using a mister or a spray bottle with a misting setting will help to keep your Monstera thriving. Be mindful of dust collection on the Monstera's leaves, which can clog the plant’s pores and interfere with the plant’s ability to breathe oxygen into the air. This wild and lively tropical plant is known to grow dramatic vines. It is mildly toxic and should be placed on a high surface, such as a shelf, out of reach of small children and pets, to ensure the vines and leaves are not accessible or ingested. Trimming the vines regularly will also make them safer for pets and small children as well. 

Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a beautiful, flowering plant addition to add to your home. This pretty plant is also powerful at purifying the air in your home, by absorbing air pollutants and VOC’s such as Trichloroethylene, Benzene and Formaldehyde through their leaves. These pollutants are then sent down to their roots, where they are broken down by the microbes found in the soil. Pollutants can also be directly absorbed through the topsoil, so it is recommended to keep your Peace Lily well trimmed, so that this topsoil is always exposed, allowing it to work more effectively in absorbing more air pollutants. Trimming may pose to be a bit messy, having a mini-dust pan available to sweep up any soil, fallen leaves or debris is handy! Peace Lilies require indirect sunlight, and should not be placed in a dark space. As with the Monstera, misting your Peace Lily with water and gently wiping its leaves to remove any dust accumulation are both effective in keeping your Peace Lily thriving, so that it can effectively purify your home. Peace Lilies are not pet friendly and it is not recommended to have one in your home if you have pets.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera succulent is a great addition to your houseplant collection, not only for its health and medicinal benefits, but also disinfecting and purifying properties as well. The aloe vera plant is a natural air quality monitor, removing many of the common VOC’s, as well as carbon dioxide, from the home. The Aloe Vera plant is easy to take care, as it does not require frequent watering. Place your Aloe plant on a window sill or in a bright, sunny spot in your home, as the Aloe plant thrives in these conditions. If you are a pet-friendly household, ensure that your Aloe Plant is placed in a spot that your pet cannot reach, as it is moderately toxic to pets if ingested. Due to the size of the plant, you will need a few for it to be as effective as a larger houseplant, however the Aloe Vera plant has a tremendous amount of benefits, making it a plant that should be in every home! 

The Aloe Vera plant’s effective germ-killing antibacterial and antiviral properties also makes it a great natural cleaning source and is found in many natural home cleaning products. Some of our favourite cleaning products that contain aloe vera are Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap Lavender and method Daily Wood Cleaner Almond!

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

This popular, fast growing houseplant is easy to propagate which makes the Spider Plant a great addition if you are looking to add some air purifying plants to your home - as one plant can produce multiple plants. The Spider Plant is effective in removing formaldehyde from the air, which is the most common VOC, as well as toluene and hydrocarbons, such as natural gas. The Spider Plant is a common household plant, as the tropical plant it is non-toxic and safe for pets. Place your Spider Plant in a bright space, away from indirect sunlight, as this could cause the leaves to burn. The soil of the Spider Plant does not need to remain moist, in fact it should dry out between waterings. The spider plant is also great for those who have allergies or asthma!

Final Thoughts

Houseplants aren’t just beautiful decor that can help to liven up and add some colour to your space, they also can help to remove pollutants in the air and purify the air in your home. Having a variety of houseplants in different areas of your home, especially enclosed, smaller spaces or areas, such as your laundry room, where harmful VOCs may lurk can help to reduce the amount of pollutants in your home. Plants aren’t the only way to naturally purify the air in your home, check out our blog post for a full list of natural, non-toxic methods you can use to clean and deodorize your home!
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