What You Need to Know About Off-Gassing in Your Home

If you live in a large city, then youíre not new to the sight of smog over downtown from a distance. Air pollution can increase respiratory problems among other things. But what about air pollution in your home?

Pollution in your home comes from many things but one of the biggest sources of home air pollution is off-gassing.

Related: 10 Things That Destroy Indoor Air Quality

What You Need to Know

You know that ďnewĒ smell? Like a†new car, new carpet, new furniture or new coat of paint? Thatís off-gassing. Off-gassing occurs when gas is released into the air as a byproduct of a chemical process. These chemicals are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They release into the air as the paint, glue, finishes and whatever else settles into place.

New furniture or other new items arenít the only things that off-gas. You can be certain that your home cleaning products and air fresheners arenít so clean or good for your health. Most products made from synthetic chemical compounds will off-gas. These fumes can be detrimental to your health and need to be controlled for a healthy, happy home.

How to Eliminate Off-Gassing Fumes

You canít avoid getting new furniture and generally living life. Thatís what we humans do. We buy new things when old things break or wear out. We create. We use. We live. Overtime maybe weíll learn how to create furniture and other things without noxious chemicals but still maintain a high-quality product. For now, what we can do is handle the consequences of using such materials.

There are three primary ways to manage off-gassing. You can deodorize, which means you can eliminate or cover up the smell as best you can. Ventilation is another effective way to move the VOCs out of your home and cleanse the air. Or, you can just avoid buying new furniture or other things that off-gas.

Deodorize

  1. Baking soda – This classic ingredient works wonders in homes all over the world. Most people use baking soda as a deodorizer in the refrigerator. But you can also put baking soda in several bowls and place them around the area you want to deodorize. Over time the baking soda will capture the off-gassing chemicals. You can then easily dispose of the used baking soda.
  2. Candles – The use of candles is not what you think it is. While the scent offered by a candle can be helpful, itís the burning wick that does the work. The flame can cause any unstable and combustible chemicals to breakdown. Donít worry, it wonít cause a fireball in your living room. Of course, donít sit the candle next to a the wall or a recently painted piece of furniture. Put it in a safe place to eliminate the VOCs in the air. When possible use candles that are safe: vegetable or beeswax based with a cotton (non-lead core) wick.
  3. Vinegar – You can easily find recipes for vinegar cleaning solution online. It works like baking soda in eliminating odors. Similarly, you can fill a few bowls with vinegar and sit in the area you wish to cleanse. Dispose of the vinegar after 24 hours or so. Be sure to use glass or metal bowls so the chemicals donít inadvertently seep into the plastic.
  4. Water/salt/lemon – Fill a bowl halfway with water. Add salt and lemon. You can do slices of lemon to help wick the chemicals from the air.

Vent

  1. Open windows – Itís simple, and super refreshing on a breezy spring day. Fresh air will waft through your home and dilute the chemicals in the air and pull them outside.
  2. High-quality air purifier – Not every air purifier will work. Most air purifiers are meant only to eliminate particles in the air. What you need to find is a high-powered air purifier that states it eliminates VOCs and other harmful substances from the air. Otherwise, youíre using a good air filter without making much of a difference.

Itís difficult to avoid off-gassing products. Itís the nature of consumerism today.†We have the power to†make greener decisions, and that makes all the difference. Good luck and happy deodorizing!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

51 comments

Chad A
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Paulo Reeson
Paulo Reeson2 months ago

ty

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Angela G
Angela G3 months ago

k

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson3 months ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson3 months ago

ty

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Danii P
Danii P3 months ago

Thank you

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heather g
heather g3 months ago

Most of my problems arise from the love of large vehicles - mostly diesel - that spend their time driven by environmentally unconscious people. They don't even hear their noise pollution, nor are they concerned about the particulate they're creating.

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall3 months ago

thank you

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Nita L
Nita L3 months ago

Thank you. Shared

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K M
K M3 months ago

Oops, that is offgas. Sorry for typo.

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