Is your home affecting your health?

From dust to mould, our homes can actually have an effect on our health.

Your living space shouldn’t just look good, it should help you feel better, too. Here’s how to create a healthy home.

Considered kitchens

As any home chef can attest, no space demands more cleaning than the kitchen. Choosing the right appliances will help – a good-quality dishwasher with hygiene wash function is a given, and if you can stretch to it, a self-cleaning pyrolytic oven – but maintaining good air quality is key for a healthy home kitchen. Your space should be well ventilated, and that means good airflow and a hardworking extractor or exhaust fan to wick away smoke, steam and cooking fumes to stop them infiltrating the rest of your home (and your lungs).

Aim to reduce plastics in this zone too, by storing pantry goods in upcycled glass jars and banishing single use bags – try beeswax wrap as a natural alternative. Be wary of reusing plastic bottles – many contain BPAs (bisphenol A, an industrial chemical) and are not food-safe beyond their single use.

healthy home

Breathe easy bedrooms

Whether you leap out of bed and make it every morning, or prefer to prioritise other areas of the home, we’re all fighting the same battle: Up to a third of our lives are spent in darkness in this room, so it tends to host a lot of dust and other allergens.

Having a tidy space is great for mental health and wellbeing and is also said to improve your quality of sleep, but keeping the bed itself fresh and clean is the first step in setting this standard. According to sleep experts Snooze, a quarterly vacuum of your mattress, rotating the mattress regularly and checking that it receives good airflow are essential for its longevity and your comfort.

Fresh living rooms

Automated appliances that can work in the background to keep air and floors clean are great in these spaces. The latest generation of robot vacuum cleaners are effective at removing debris and relatively inexpensive (except if you choose one that mops, too!). The best thing about them is they can do their job while you’re not at home – you simply check on progress via an app.

Consider the eco footprint of your furniture. Natural fibres often last longer and have more breathability and stain resistance than human-made alternatives – nothing beats a wool rug for fighting errant spills while feeling cosy underfoot.

Paint is another big one. To avoid eye, ear and throat irritation, choose a product with low VOCs such as Wattyl’s I.D. Advanced Low Sheen. The formulation is also anti-mould and resists bacteria.

healthy home

Sparkling bathrooms & laundries

Achieving a clean and healthy home, particularly in the bathrooms and laundries starts with ventilation. With so much moisture and humidity from bathing, showering and laundering, mould and bacteria can thrive. Check that all windows and vents are properly working, and if not, consider adding a skylight that opens. The fresh air will flow, and sunlight is mould’s natural enemy.

Abrasive cleaning chemicals are often a go-to, but there are a few simple ways to boost your eco credentials and get a sparkling room, too. A mix of equal parts water and vinegar with a few teaspoons of bicarb soda makes a fab natural surface spray. In fact, you can use it to clean just about any surface, even floors – but be careful with stone, marble and hardwood floors. You can also clean with steam. Small, handheld steam cleaners are a hygienic way to make short work of soap and limescale build-up, and can even be used on toilets.

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