Have you been reluctant about growing plants due to your ability to kill just about anything that comes and lives in a pot? You may have a reason to reconsider. Apart from looking beautiful, plants have the amazing ability to improve indoor air quality. In addition, certain plants don’t require serious gardening abilities (just water them every now and then and they’ll be happy).
Want to make your home or office greener? Interested in improving the air quality? If so, you may consider adding the following plants to your indoor garden.
This is a NASA-approved plant that’s virtually impossible to kill. Its natural habitat tends to be quite harsh so no matter how hard you try, chances are that you can’t bring about the demise of your aloe vera.
Aloe vera has the power to remove a pollutant known as formaldehyde from the air. It also keeps the home free from benzene – a substance that’s commonly found in chemical household cleaners.
There’s more, if you need an additional reason to grow aloe vera. The juice or gel found inside the leaves has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities. Aloe vera is often used in detox recipes and it’s widely incorporated in the formulas of cosmetics. Growing your own plant will give you access to clean, fresh and organic gel that you can use to treat wounds, keep your skin younger or even make detox smoothies. This plant can be toxic for cats and dogs.
The peace lily is another little toughy that’s great for people who don’t have the time to care for more whimsical plants. In addition, it reduces the amounts of mold spores found in the air significantly.
The peace lily is so beneficial that studies suggest it improves air quality by nearly 60 percent.
Some of the most common air pollutants that peace lilies can get rid of include ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene.
This is a flowering plant that produces aromatic and beautiful white blossoms. If you’re allergic to pollen, you may want to avoid growing this plant. Just like all other flowering plants, the peace lily could contribute to seasonal allergies and hay fever.
If you’re looking for something extra-tough and extra hard to kill, the snake plant is the ideal one for you. It only requires occasional watering and that’s it!
On top of being such a good sport, the snake plant gets rid of formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and several other air pollutant varieties.
Recognized as a medicinal plant and famous for the essential oil that’s derived from the plant, eucalyptus is also included among the NASA-approved plants that can improve indoor air quality.
On top of improving indoor air quality, eucalyptus is great for the people that suffer from frequent colds or air passage congestions. The scent of the eucalyptus leaves will be sufficient to improve breathing.
The only problem with this plant is that it can be a bit difficult to find. Most often, eucalyptus grows outdoors. Still, if you look around, you may find a potted plant for your home or office. This plant can be toxic for cats.
This plant prefers indirect sunlight and it has to be watered more frequently than the other green beauties included in the list. Once you choose the right spot for it, however, you’ll find the Boston fern to be rather unpretentious.
The fern removes formaldehyde and xylene from the air. Xylene is a potent solvent that is used in the production of rubber, as well as in the printing industry.
In addition, the fern is considered a humidifier plant. This means that it’s capable of restoring air moisture. People that want to reduce their breathing problems should most definitely consider getting a beautiful fern in their home.
Spider plant or chlorophytum comosum is very resilient and it produces beautiful striped leaves. In addition, the spider plant is safe for households that have pets since the leaves are non-poisonous.
On top of getting rid from carbon dioxide, the spider plant can also clean the air from formaldehyde and xylene.
All that you have to do to grow the spider plant is keep it away from direct sunlight. With time, it will produce shoots that will turn into baby plants.
Beautiful to look at, the chrysanthemum is very colorful and you’ll find at least one variety to fall in love with. On top of being a beautiful houseplant, the chrysanthemum is also capable of improving air quality significantly.
Chrysanthemums get rid of benzene in the air. The chemical is used in so many detergents and household items that you’re probably breathing it in without realizing.
This flowering plant isn’t exceptionally difficult to care for. In order to encourage flowering, you’ll need to find a sunny and warm spot for your chrysanthemum pot.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
To Be Announced
What’s that smell? Have you ever happened to visit a place that definitely has a bad odor but the owners seem to be oblivious about it? This happens – the olfactory senses of people living in the house get overwhelmed and sooner or later, they become immune to the smell.
Houses and offices can have a bad odor because of several common reasons. It could be mold, it could be a plumbing issue or indoor smoking. It could be a range of things that cause people to scrunch their noses upon entering.
Lighting scented candles will lead solely to a temporary improvement or it will create an olfactory mishmash of bad and pleasant odors (not cute!). To get rid of bad smell forever, you’ll have to do a couple of things that go beyond masking the stench.
Identify the Source of the Bad Smell
All of your improvement efforts will fail until you identify the thing that’s making your home smelly. Stale fridge smell? A stinky garbage can? Your pets? Mildew?
Use your nose to get these questions answered. It’s very rare for a house or an office to simply smell bad throughout with no particular reason. Most often, there will be some highly specific cause of bad odor.
Upon identifying the culprit, you’ll get to attack the issue with the right weapons of stench destruction. So take some time to find out what’s going on. This step is somewhat yucky but it’s of key importance for restoring the clean and fresh scent of your interior space.
Tackling a Stinky Trash Bin
No matter how often you throw it away, trash can become stinky very fast. This is particularly true for the people living in warm climates. Sometimes, a few hours will be all that it takes for the garbage bin to start smelling as if something has died inside of it.
Scrubbing the bin itself with a disinfecting cleaner every now and then will be a particularly good idea, especially if liquids have spilled inside. You may also want to disinfect the bin if the smell persists after you put a clean garbage bag inside.
Leaving used fabric softener sheets inside the trash bin can also give it a much nicer smell than its “natural” one. Good, old baking soda is another excellent possibility for deodorizing the trash bin.
That Wet Dog Stench
Whether you own a puppy or a kitten, you know what we’re talking about. The pet smell seems to always be there – it’s in the carpets, it’s in the furniture. It’s everywhere that you find pet hair (which means all over the house).
Air out all removable furniture parts and accessories like pillows, cushions, rugs and carpets. Keeping those outside and into the sun can have a rather positive impact on the nasty pet smell. Get in the habit of doing that on a weekly basis.
Next, buy a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. It’s a must for pet owners and individuals suffering from allergies. HEPA filters are capable of capturing small particles that regular vacuum cleaners can’t deal with – pollen, pet dander, tobacco smoke and dust mites can all be captured and thrown out of your home.
Finally, you may want to get the carpets washed professionally. The stench of urine could have gotten trapped inside, even if you’ve dealt with those pet puddles in a timely manner.
Can Smokers Live in a Stench-Free Home?
The first and the most obvious thing to do is to stop smoking inside. Every item in the house will absorb the smell and the more you keep smoking indoor, the more difficult it’s going to be to get rid of the stench.
To effectively get rid of cigarette smell that has accumulated through the years, you’ll have to do a thorough house cleaning. Scrub the walls and the ceiling. The ceiling is actually the one that retains most of the smell, which is why you may want to pay special attention to it. Ammonia-based cleaning products are the best ones.
The bad smell is caused by the tar and resin buildup left behind. Want to know what gets rid of those buildups in the best possible way? Vinegar! Everything that’s made of fabric and that can absorb the smell – upholstery, curtains, pillows, carpets, rugs, etc – can be rinsed with vinegar to get rid of the tobacco smell forever.
A Few Additional Smart Home Deodorizing Hacks
Regardless of where bad smell is coming from, it can be neutralized using one of the following smart hacks:
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial