A toxic-exposure expert spills her secrets on how to keep your home toxin-free


Photo: Getty Images/Per Magnus Persson

Want to detox your home? Watch the video.

Sophia Gushee is all about living a non-toxic lifestyle: The Well+Good Council member is a toxic-exposure expert and author of A to Z of D-Toxing: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Our Toxic Exposures. And in the latest installment of Self-Care Nation, the Well+Good YouTube series focused on different ways people prioritize—you guessed it—self care, Gushee shares how she keeps her home clean, comfortable, and free of household toxins.

“It wasn’t until I was about 34 years old, when I became a mother for the first time, that I started becoming concerned about the toxic chemicals and heavy metals in our everyday products,” Gushee says. “So as I tried to figure out all the simple things that I can control, I ended up with hundreds of tips. And then I realized I need to prioritize, strategize—what are the high-impact tips?”

It turns out they’re really simple. For one, Gushee uses carpet tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpets for a super-practical reason. “Carpets are tricky,” she says. “They’re a reservoir of dust and allergens, and if you have carpet that is wall-to-wall, or really large so it’s under heavy furniture, it’s really hard to clean properly.” That’s why carpet tiles are a great solution; you can take them outside to clean in the fresh air.

Another hack for banishing household toxins shes’s a huge fan of? Using plants as decor that pulls double duty by also detoxifying. And while she initially became a plant mom because the greens help keep the air clean, she eventually noticed that they made her feel more relaxed. “Having to take care of them—I think I have over 60 plants—it reminds me that I’m a living being also,” Gushee says. “Because as I walk around to check on the dryness of the soil or prune the dead leaves, it pulls me a way from my computer where I spend too much time; it does end up reminding me I need to go out and get some sunlight and fresh air and hydrate.”

Gushee also loves adding shungite to her water filter. “Shungite, which is a black rock, has been studied a lot for detoxing water,” Gushee says. “It’s comparable to carbon, which is used in most water filtration systems.”

Itching for more of Gushee’s tips? Click here to get all nine of them.

ICYMI, in other recent episodes of Self-Care Nation, Ladies Get Paid founder Claire Wasserman shares her morning routine, and wellness coach Brittany Gowan of Pause with Plants explains how caring for plants helps her care for herself.

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