Sarah Humphreys Shares Tips for a Healthy Home


Did you know that dry cleaning bags are filling our homes with deadly toxins … as we speak? Well, neither did we until Real Simple Magazine‘s Sarah Humphreys stopped by The Queen Latifah Show to share some tips with us on how to make sure our homes are healthy and safe this new year.

Bedroom Pillows

  • Problem: Most pillows should be replaced every 12-14 months. Research has found that pillows can double their weight in three years due to dust from you, plus dust mites and their remains.
  • Solution: There’s a simple test that will tell if your pillow is due for replacement. Fold it in half – if the pillow bounces back you are good, if not throw it away immediately. All of this applies to your mattress too, they should be replaced every 10 years.

Electronics in the Bedroom

  • Problem: The light that comes off the electronics (alarm clock, tablets, phones) makes us not sleep very well.
  • Solution: If you take the products out, that would be the best, but if you can’t do that you can simply block the light. Turn your phone over, and move your alarm clock the other way. This will help you have a deeper sleep.

Dry Cleaning Bags

  • Problem: Everyone probably has this next scary danger in their homes right now. You know when you go to the dry cleaners and they have that plastic bag over the clean clothes and you typically just put the whole thing in your closet until you are ready to wear that item of clothing? Well, those bags trap the chemical perchloroethylene, which according to the EPA causes cancer in lab animals.
  • Solution: Take the bags off outside before bringing your clothes into your home so they don’t release chemicals into the air.

BONUS TIP: Bathroom Air Freshners 

  • Problem: A lot of people use aerosol or plug in air fresheners but the truth is 86% of them contain chemicals called phthalates, which can aggravate asthma, allergies and according to the State of California “can cause birth defects or reproductive harm.”
  • Solution: Buy a 100% soy candle which can make your room smell great, but is safe and doesn’t release any of these toxins, says Sarah.

Prevention Tip: Have Two Doormats: Most people have one doormat outside of their house, but 80% of the dirt and bacteria that is on your family’s shoes is missed and ends up in your house. By simply adding a doormat inside your front door you can cut that dirt in half. To be completely safe you can have a no shoes policy in the house.

Prevention Tip: Indoor Plants: If you don’t have plants inside your house, you should get some now. Areca palm and peace lily are great options because they can freshen the air by absorbing household toxins, such as the formaldehyde found in dry-cleaned clothes and benzene in tobacco smoke. Both of these plants are widely available and absorb most common pollutants.