Fast Fact: Indoor air can have as much as 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air!
Don’t stress, the upside is that these 10 indoor plants do an amazing job of purifying the air in your home, removing toxins and protecting your immune system.
The modern home is designed to be extremely energy efficient, with building materials designed to insulate our homes from the heat and cold. Unfortunately, building materials can release chemical toxins that contribute to indoor air pollution. In addition to building materials, the gases released by ovens, candles, cleaning products and even our new furniture and mattresses contribute to the toxic cocktail in the air.
The most notorious of these toxins are:
So how do we do battle with these toxins? Well, you could get those expensive electronic air purifiers. Or you can take nature’s air purifying soldiers into your home - plants!
Top 9 Purifying Indoor Plants
Plants have been known to improve mood and productivity while also reducing stress and fatigue. They’re also effective air purifiers, catching toxins and replacing that with clean oxygen.
NASA did some research back in 1989 and determined that some houseplants can absorb harmful toxins in the air through normal photosynthesis process. This was a breakthrough since these indoor plants can survive in small spaces with less maintenance required. Perfect for space station habitats.
If these plants are good enough for the brainy guys at NASA, then who are we to disagree.
Here are 9 indoor plants that make for efficient natural air purifiers:
1. Spider Plants
These plants are tough as nails and easy to maintain! They can survive neglect and reproduce quickly. NASA was able to determine that spider plants are able to get rid of toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. They are also known to absorb mould and allergens.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has long been used to treat cuts, bruises and burns, but this small plant is also an efficient air pollutant catcher, removing formaldehyde and benzene toxins.
3. Devil's Ivy (Golden Pothos)
Credit: Grow Gardener
Practically indestructible, this leafy plant has the ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. This toughy will rid the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Warning: Keep this plant away from pets as it can be toxic to them. Has the NASA seal of approval.
3. English Ivy
Commonly found outdoors, English Ivy can be placed inside the home to remove benzene and formaldehyde toxins. It's also effective in catching faecal-based particles in the air as well as mould spores. The leaves and berries can be poisonous though, so keep it well out of reach from pets and children.
Credit: Nursery Live
4. Areca Palm
Credit: Crocus UK
If you have a larger space, consider planting an areca palm. This non-toxic plant eliminates carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and more.
5. Peace Lilies
Like the Devil's Ivy, Peace lilies also earn NASA's seal of approval by making it to the top 3 plants for removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia. It is best placed in damp areas like bathrooms as it traps mould spores. Give it enough light for flowers to bloom, as those flowers are known to absorb harmful vapours from alcohol and acetone. The downside though is that Peace lilies are toxic to cats, dogs and children.
Credit: Phulero Dola
6. Boston Fern
Another ideal plant for humid bathrooms is the Boston fern. These thick ferns filter out irritating toxins such as xylene and formaldehyde.
7. Snake Plant
Also called the mother-in-law's tongue (go figure), the snake plant is tolerant of minimal light and watering and is often placed in corners of bedrooms. It absorbs nitrogen oxides, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, benzene, and formaldehyde. The snake converts carbon monoxide into oxygen during the night, which helps you sleep better. The perfect roommate!
Credit: My City Plants
8. Flamingo Lily
Credit: Flores y Plantas
This exotic flowering plant is a pretty addition to coffee tables. Just a bit of daily misting should prolong its flowers. They are known to be effective against formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.
Chrysanthemums have pretty flowers often used in bouquet arrangements or given as a token for special occasions. They are also used for medicinal purposes and have also found their way into the recipes of many chefs. Best of all, they are the top-ranked air purifying plant, effectively removing benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and ammonia. Did I mention they're pretty to look at?
If you care about air quality and minimising harmful bacteria and pollutants in your home, you may want to think about having your carpet and air conditioner cleaned. Both of these affect air quality in your home. Carpet acts as an air filter by trapping airborne contaminants, but this only works when the carpet is clean. Any filter gets clogged! And your air con isn't at its best when it's full of gunk. Contact Electrodry on 13 27 13 to discover the best options for cleaner air in your home.
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