20 Houseplants That Clear Toxins From Your Home

Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses (such as the common cold), remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more.

Indoor Plants That Clear Toxins

The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties.  And while an open window may feel like all the fresh air you need, did you know that everything from toilet paper to common household cleaners can contain chemicals and release toxins like formaldehyde? Or that VOCs like benzene can be released into the air by everything from the paint on your walls, to the printed material found in your home?

So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time! A warning for pet owners: some common plants can cause toxicity in pets. Please check this list of common poisonous plants before bringing home a house plant.

(All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.)

1. Golden pothos 


Golden Pothos (Scindapsus aures): clears formaldehyde and other VOCs.

2. Ficus alii 

Ficus Alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier.

3. Spider Plant

Spider Plant | 20 House Plants That Clear Toxins From Your Home

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

4. Lady Palm

Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier.

5. Snake plant

Snake Plant | 20 House Plants That Clear Toxins From the Air

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’): Clears formaldehyde.


6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera | 20 Houseplants That Clear Toxins From the Air

Aloe: Clears formaldehyde and benzene.


7. Moth Orchid

Orchid | 20 House Plants That Clear Out Toxins

Orchid (Phalaenopsis): Clears formaldehyde.

8. Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm

Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii): Clears formaldehyde and xylene.

9. Chinese evergreen

(Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’): Clears air pollutants and toxins.

10. Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthemums (Chrysantheium morifolium): Clears benzene.

11. Gerber daisy 

(Gerbera jamesonii): Clears trichloroethylene and benzene.

12. Red-edged dracaena

(Dracaena marginata): Clears xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

13. Weeping fig

Weeping Fig | 20 House Plants That Clear Toxins from the Air

Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina): Clears formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene

14. English ivy

(Hedera helix): Clears airborne fecal-matter particles.

15. Azalea

(Rhododendron simsii): Clears formaldehyde.

16. Heart leaf philodendron 


(Philodendron oxycardium): Clears formaldehyde and many other air pollutants.


17. Warneck dracaena

(Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’): Clears pollutants such as those associated with varnishes and oils.

18. Boston Fern

Boston Fern | 20 House Plants That Clear Toxins From the Air

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis): Clears formaldehyde.  |  Image credit: melissa b. via Flickr

19. Bamboo palm

(Chamaedorea sefritzii): Clears benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

20. Peace lily

Peace Lily

(Spathiphyllum): Clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

Related Stories:

24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets
An Experiment in Sharing: Seattle Food Forest
4 Unexpected Health Benefits of Basil
Upcycling: Portable Gardening Shade Structures


Science Daily
Mother Nature News
Sustainable Baby Steps


heather g.
heather g.about a month ago

Think I need to look for a Peace Lily - it's not too big, but does the trick

Cat L.
Cat L.about a month ago

Thanks for sharing!

Doris F.
Doris F.about a month ago

good tips with the houseplants

Christine J.
Christine J.1 months ago

Gorgeous and useful as well. I particularly like the Peace Lily but have sadly never had any luck getting it to grow.

Morgan Idso
Morgan Idso2 months ago

I live in California and plant my Chrysanthemum plants after the last bloom in my yard. They bloom every year!

DebbieSiteIssue S.
DebbieSiteIssue S.2 months ago

Just beware of the plants that are toxic to animals

Patrice Z.
Patrice Z.2 months ago

Good info. Thanks.

Valerie A.
Valerie A.3 months ago


Denise D.
Denise D.3 months ago

Really great info! I wish I had a green thumb! Thanks for sharing this article, Alisa!

Kerrie G.
Kerrie G.3 months ago

Shared, thanks.