Indoor plants make beautiful accessories to your décor. They’re colorful and easy to care for. But did you know that indoor plants are also natural air cleaners? Indoor plants help keep your home healthy by turning harmful carbon dioxide into oxygen, but that’s not all they do. The average home today is filled with a variety of toxins including benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. In fact, indoor air is often more polluted than the air outside. Houseplants can remove many indoor toxins and help you breathe easier.

Get the Greenest Benefits

There is actually a science behind purifying the indoor environment with houseplants. Any amount or type of plant is a step in the right direction, but follow these tips for the best benefits:

  • Have your air quality tested. Different plants are more effective on different pollutants. For example, if your home is heavily polluted with benzene, English ivy and mother-in-law’s tongue are most effective, while peace lily and bamboo palm are best for treating trichloroethylene

  • Place one medium-sized plant (6- to 8-inches in diameter) in each 100 square feet of space for the maximum results. That equals about 18 plants for a 1,800-square foot home. (People who are highly allergic to plant molds should be aware that keeping the recommended amount of plants indoors will raise the humidity level inside. Using a dehumidifier will remedy this issue)

  • Avoid using plastic pots which may emit more toxins into the air. Opt for containers made from natural materials like clay or wood instead

  • Use only organic plant fertilizers indoors

Some plants like pothos and philodendrons are extremely easy to care for and will thrive under almost any conditions, so even those with a “brown thumb” can enjoy cleaner air. Want to spring clean your indoor environment? Buy a houseplant!