9 Houseplants That Clean The Air And Are Virtually Impossible To Kill

Scientists say the world could use some serious cleanup. Despite this, it seems like some of the population isn’t ready to give lifestyle choices that contribute to the mess. The good news is, when it comes to the quality of your living space, there are small changes that let you work together with nature to clean up the air toxins in your home you never knew you were breathing in.

That’s right. The air in your home is likely more toxic than the air outside of it, especially if there is any stagnancy. There can be toxic chemicals like formaldehyde (yes, that’s basically embalming fluid), benzene, and a host of other nasty inhalants. There are even some natural elements that can cause illness when they build up in a home, like pollen, bacteria, mold, and various outdoor contaminants.

Not to worry, nature has provided some green friends that will not only lighten up the mood of the house but also clean the very air you breathe while adding oxygen to it. Not only that, but these plants are near impossible to kill. For those of you whose thumb is less green, and more like black spotted grey, this is a major bonus.

Garden Mum

Apparently, NASA is into studying more than space travel. They found out that Garden Mum removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your home’s air. Plus, it’s fun to see the looks on your friend’s faces when you point to it and say, “This, is me Mum!”

d0e0c597edf77377a5bd818c2bbc5376

Spider Plant

Not too sure if this plant cleans up a lot of toxins, but it is a quick way to up your oxygen count. Spider plants multiply like, well, spiders! With bright, indirect light, this plant will send out shoots that grow baby plants on the ends, of which you can propagate. Give some to your friends when your house starts to burst at the seams.

17806ed45b6df203b86175b32a1a7984

Dracaena

With over 40 varieties, there’s bound to be one that fits your home. They are also great for removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. Be aware that they are toxic to cats and dogs. If you have pets, might want to just leave this one to cleansing the outdoors.

1a226ae033ca717dae16a6fdb214d86e

Ficus

Ficus trees can grow between two and ten feet tall, depending on the pot they are in. They are very proficient at cleaning the air, specializing in removing benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.

6281861fc7a628fc2b918056fd724da0

Peace Lily

This plant has a pleasant, hippy sounding name, produces beautiful flowers, but make no mistake, it’s as resilient as John McClane in the movie, Die Hard. They flower through most of the summer and prefer shady spots with moist but not soggy soil. You can also trust the peace lily to remove ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.

4b160819d00b9959966717d359b4b77a

Boston Fern

Cleaning the air since 90,000,000 years BC (possibly even further back)! These old dogs clean up the pollutants xylene and formaldehyde. It is recommended that you place these in bathrooms. Why? Not only do they like cool, humid environments and indirect light, but it lets you feel like you’re in a prehistoric jungle when answering nature’s call.

7a1b294ae45225c00bed34501fb261da

Snake Plant

Preferring dry conditions (which means it only needs watering once per month) and very little direct light, these plants have become office favorites. They are great for removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from your breathing space.

1a4e7cf18ea3e3ef9ca5c9c50962c4b4

Bamboo Palm

These trees thrive in full sunlight and can grow up to 12 feet tall. They are great for high, indoor spaces with large windows and/or skylights. Like the others, Bamboo Palms also remove benzene and trichloroethylene but are most effective at removing formaldehyde from the air.

2a7c4a6b0506d01985ae02aa648a867c


Aloe

Not only is the liquid of this plant amazing for rubbing on burns, rashes, and internal health, but it also removes (surprise!) formaldehyde from indoor air. It’s worth doing a little studying on the various things Aloe is good for. Once you learn how beneficial it is, it’ll be tough not to want it in your place.

2bbfc0eeffaa556da20f69dac27e7c6c

Use This Spring Clean Up Guide To Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Spring has sprung, which means it’s the perfect time to get the outside of your home in top shape before the summer months. A little sprucing can go a long way with enhancing your home’s curb appeal. In fact, a property’s outdoor appeal can dictate people’s home buying decision. And while it’s not always necessary to keep a perfectly manicured lawn and flawlessly trimmed trees and bushes, little updates and refreshers, such as washing the windows and re-painting the front door, can make a positive impact. Plus, yearly maintenance can prevent big, costly overhauls down the road.

Use this infographic from The Grass People to hit all the bases—from the lawn and gardens to outdoor lighting and walkways.

Use This Spring Clean-Up Guide To Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

12 Must-Do Home Maintenance Tips For Spring

Ah, spring! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the windows are finally open! Now is definitely the time to take a realistic look at your home’s exterior (and all that goes with it), and do the necessary cleaning, or make repairs or replacements. Winter can be harsh, but springtime is all about renewal!

1. Roof and Shingles

159098017ff901325b63329c05103295

Winter storms, snow, and wind can take a toll on your roof shingles, and the summer sun doesn’t do your roof any favors, either. If you can, get up on a ladder and really take a good look at the condition of your shingles. Are they loose? Do you see any cracks or wearing? If so, you may want to begin to budget for a replacement roof by next winter. While you’re up there, make sure you check any skylights, and clear away debris. Examine the flashing around your plumbing vents and chimney to see if they should be repaired or replaced (by a qualified roofer, of course).

2. Gutters

944a966dabb86a4345d5a49b874ea4b6

Make sure your gutters are intact, and there aren’t any loose, unconnected ends. Check for leaks, and again, getting up on a ladder, use a pair of rubber gloves to clean out leaves and debris. Perhaps invest in some gutter protectors to cut back on cleaning altogether. Also, make sure your downspouts are draining away from your foundation. Purchase downspout extensions if you need to.

3. Yard

05a4e527593ada8c2020eff71b998bd8

Check for low areas in your yard, and around your foundation. If you find areas that are lower than the rest of your yard, they can and should be leveled up with compacted soil to avoid having water pool in areas next to your foundation. When water pools, it’ll not only lead to damage, but it’s a perfect place for insects like mosquitos to breed, and no one needs more mosquitos in the summer.

4. Chimney

3d6fc069e762edf01006410240e33a59

While you’re up on that ladder, check your chimney exterior for any signs of over-winter damage. Now would be the time to hire a chimney sweep for a good cleaning and inspection, to avoid a chimney fire next autumn or winter.

5. Concrete

0fd60f8b74c28d56f5f0af319b5974da

Ice heaving during the winter can cause cracks and movement within your concrete sidewalks and walkways. Also, be sure to check garage floors and parking pads for signs of cracking. These can be easily filled with a concrete crack filler. If you know you’ll have a few nice sunny days in a row, power-wash the concrete, fill the cracks, and re-seal it.

6. Firewood

5b6f2082ef59186122f8dbf0b8b95006

Firewood can be a home for bugs and vermin during the warmer months, so if you have firewood near your home, move it to a different location in the spring when you’re done with it for the season. Try to store firewood at least a foot off the ground, and away from any structure by a couple of feet, to avoid it becoming a nice haven for squirrels, mice, and rats.

7. Outside Faucets

8693756879465f407fca224a8b70d97e

First, turn on the water, and cover the opening of the faucet with your finger or thumb. You shouldn’t be able to stop the flow of water, and if you can, you’ll need to check the interior pipes for leaks that could cause big damage. Now is also a great time to inspect your garden hose for spots of dry rot. Don’t wait until you’re ready to wash the car or water the garden to realize your hose needs replacing.

8. Air Conditioning

24c74604e7b22aa90a29ebca77abf6e8

Hire an HVAC professional to pay a visit. Have them clean and service your a/c unit. This will increase the energy efficiency of your unit, and will keep it working smoothly. Check interior filters, and purchase replacements if they are worn or dirty. Finally, make sure you test the unit well before you’ll need to use it, instead of waiting for that first hot day.

9. Lawn Equipment

3101ea6e96419e3b49e5548ef070ed30

Get your lawnmower out and make sure it starts up. Change the oil, replace the spark plug, and clean up the air filter, if necessary. Clean the blades and take them in for sharpening if necessary. This will enable the mower to do the most efficient cutting job on your lawn. Also check out your leaf-blower, edge trimmer, and any other lawn equipment you use to make sure everything is working properly, and purchase anything you’ll need – such as trimmer string or 2-stroke oil. Check batteries in cordless items to make sure those batteries are charged when you need to use them.

10. Trees

79140a4b90fcf64a998dd04d804de1a3

If trees near your home have branches that are broken from snow weight, trim those before they fall on your roof. Trim back any other branches from your siding or windows. You can do this yourself, if you’re comfortable with it, or hire a professional.

11. Snow Blower

ab834f79d9b658ddfd6eeedcd0d0e6dc

If you live in a seasonal “winter wonderland”, you might use a snow blower to help keep your place from turning into a fancy igloo. Now that Spring has come, you’ll be ready to give your snow blower a rest. Before storing your snow blower away for the season, drain the fuel and run it until the gas line is clear. Remove the spark plug and store it. Cover the snow blower up for the season.

12. Deck

5314ca4498faa6e3a7956dd60453993a

Check your deck for any boards that need to be replaced. Power wash it and reseal if necessary. After all, you have a long summer of use to look forward to!