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Healthy Green Closet Redux

Healthy Green Closet Redux

For most of us, a host of toxic and often carcinogenic chemicals are wafting from our bedroom closets for us to breathe while we sleep. Yet for the deepest rest and relaxation, the bedroom is the most important room in our homes to keep free of unhealthy fumes. What might be wafting out of your closet? Take this quick quiz, find out, and make your nights more restful with the recommended solutions:

Take this quiz to find out if you have any of these fumes in your bedroom closet:

1. Do you dry clean your clothes at a dry cleaner that uses anything but liquid carbon dioxide, and then hang them in your bedroom closet?

2. Do you have naphthalene mothballs in your closet?

3. Do you have the smell of mothballs in your closet?

4. Do you wash your clothes with scented laundry detergent?

5. Do you dry your clothes with scented dryer sheets of any sort? Do you spray your clothes with any odor remover spray?

6. Do you use do-it-yourself dry cleaning kits?

7. Do you store freshly polished shoes in the closet?

8. Do you have clothes stored in the closet that have that old sour laundry smell, the smell of aged fragrances?

9. Do you have a non essential-oil-based air freshener in your closet?

10. Do you treat your shoes with an athletes foot spray?

11. Do you store toxic chemicals such as insect repellent on the shelves of your closet?

12. Do you have any clothes that are water- or stain- proofed in your closet?

13. Do you have any pesticide-impregnated clothes or hats in your closet?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have toxic chemicals polluting your sleeping environment.

Here are easy ways to keep your closet smelling fresh and clean and healthy:

1. Do you dry clean your clothes at a dry cleaner that uses anything but liquid carbon dioxide, and then hang them in your bedroom closet?

Answer: Switch to cleaners that use liquid carbon dioxide or use wet cleaning techniques, and remove the plastic bags of any clothes stored in the closet. Hang all other dry cleaning somewhere outside of a bedroom or bedroom closet.

2. Do you have napthalene mothballs (“normal” mothballs) in your closet?

Answer: Take them out, put them in a household hazardous waste pickup (they are recognized carcinogens), and substitute Herbal Moth Sachets.

3. Do you have the smell of naphthalene (“normal”) mothballs in your closet?

Answer: Air all your clothes in the sun as often as possible (truly, this is the only thing that really works). If the entire closet smells of moth balls I’d recommend sealing it off from the bedroom!

4. Do you wash your clothes with scented laundry detergent?

Answer: Simply switch to “Free and Clear” detergents. The best choice is to buy “green” laundry detergents from companies such as Seventh Generation, to avoid all fragrance blockers. “Free and Clear” means that there are no fragrances added, not that there are no fragrances.

5. Do you dry your clothes with scented dryer sheets of any sort? Do you spray your clothes with any odor remover spray?

Answer: Visit the health food store and buy unscented “green” dryer sheets. Avoid odor removing sprays.

6. Do you use do-it-yourself dry cleaning kits?

Answer: Avoid them in the future and learn to hand wash or find a green dry cleaner. Best yet, over time move to clothes that don’t require dry cleaning.

7. Do you store freshly polished shoes in the closet?

Answer: Shoe polishes are very neurotoxic, even those that use natural terpenes, so store your freshly polished shoes elsewhere.

8. Do you have clothes stored in the closet that have that old sour laundry smell, the smell of aged fragrences?

Answer: Wash everything with “Free and Clear” detergents.

9. Do you have a non essential-oil-based air freshener in your closet?

Answer: Take it out and substitute one made of 100 percent pure essential oils or use none at all.

10. Do you treat your shoes with an athletes foot spray?

Answer: Keep these shoes out of the bedroom closet.

11. Do you store toxic chemicals such as insect repellent on the shelves of your closet?

Answer: Keep all toxic products out of the bedroom (and preferably the house!).

12. Do you have any clothes that are water- or stain- proofed in your closet?

Answer: Remove the clothes from your closet and bedroom and store elsewhere. Better yet, throw them out due to their long-lasting chemical effects.

13. Do you have any pesticide-impregnated clothes or hats in your closet?

Answer: Yes, you can buy products impregnated with pesticides! My recommendation is to throw them out.

Read more: Home, Green Home Decor, Health & Safety, Household Hints, , ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

15 comments

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10:00AM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

ty

7:33AM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

11:56PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Well foot doctors in dallas tx might recommend this to read.

4:00AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Thanks

2:22PM PST on Feb 6, 2010

Don't like mothballs anyways, can't stand the 'smell' and I'll never use them. You can't beat good fresh air wafting in, of course in winter, drying your clothes may take longer but it is worth it. Cheers for l'infos.

1:10AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

thanks...
Kabin
Konteyner,Prefabrik
mega kabin
Konteyner

7:43PM PST on Jan 2, 2008

Naphthalene mothballs are of common use in India. Thanks for the Info! But where do we get Herbal Mothballs, in India ?

3:51PM PDT on Sep 21, 2007

Thanks for all your comments! It's given me a few things to work with. Where can I get these 'dryer sheets' and 'dryer balls'?

5:34AM PDT on Sep 21, 2007

Another suggestion is to use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets at all, since you buy less as the balls are reuseable.
Nina-- I've had this problem in student apartments. I took EVERYTHING out of the closet, cleaned anything that could be cleaned, threw out anything with mould already growing on it, and started over. I left the door open to the closet (and slept in the living room for a bit) and sprayed it down with lavender E.O.- then washed the whole closet out with vinegar and baking soda and started over again. I also used a dehumidifer. OH-- and I took the bedding and mattress out of the room before this so that any mould spores wouldn't go sit on my bed. :P
Good luck!

11:41AM PDT on Sep 20, 2007

I'm glad I didn't say yes to any of these!!

Nina, mold can cause more than just a little aggravation. You can develope some serious helath problems if you are exposed too long. I suggest geting a dehumidifier.

Here is alink about mold- http://healthandenergy.com/mold_dangers_&_remedies.htm

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