Keep Your Indoor Air Clean with House Plants

Posted on March 31, 2015. Filed under: Household Tips | Tags: , |

Modern, well-insulated homes are energy efficient but they also can concentrate indoor air pollutants. Chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia can come from household furnishings and cleaners and pollute your home’s atmosphere.

closeup of a Zantedeschia aethiopica or Lily of the Nile

During the late 1980’s, NASA began studying houseplants as a way to purity the recycled air in space stations. They found that many commonly available house plants filter out certain harmful air pollutants and significantly improve indoor air quality. For those of us without green thumbs, here are the top five easiest houseplants plants to use:

  1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The Peace Lily is not only beautiful but also helps to reduce mold spores. In bathrooms, the Peace Lily can help to keep shower tiles and curtains free from mildew and the plant can absorb harmful vapors from alcohol and acetone. This plant does well in moderate to low light but does not like to dry out.

  1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

This easy to grow hanging plant can remove up to 90 percent of the mold and other allergens typically found in homes. It also helps to absorb small traces of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.  Start new plants by cutting off and planting the “babies” that sprout from the parent plant.

  1. Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis)

The long striped leaves of this plant can easily thrive with only small amounts of sunlight and moderate watering. It’s an excellent way to eliminate trichloroethylene that comes from solvents and varnishes. A single plant can grow over ten feet tall, but pruning will keep it short if you prefer.

  1. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum)

The lovely and extremely hard-to-kill hanging plant is one of the most effective choices for eliminating carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It does well in bright indirect light as well as low light.

  1. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and removes more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.

While these are considered to be some of the most care-free houseplants, there are many other varieties to choose from. Enhance your home’s air quality (and visual appeal too) with plants and you’ll be breathing easier!


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About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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