Good furnishings and lighting readily come to mind when creating a comfortable home office. Still, there’s more to maintaining a healthy work environment at home than installing cozy furnishings and expensive equipment.
This article explains exactly how you can promote a healthy working environment at home by embracing non toxic laundry practices. This way, you ensure clean air in your work environment and reduce your risks of inhaling polluted air.
Conventional Laundry Detergent: Is it Safe for your Home Office?
Your home office might appear visibly clean, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a healthy work environment. The Environmental Protection Agency says the pollutants wafting through most indoor spaces can be up to five times higher than outdoor concentrations.
While it might not be obvious to many, one of the common factors contributing to poor indoor air quality is conventional laundry products. Many household cleaning supplies and regular laundry products contain ingredients that can cause various health problems or trigger existing health issues.
This is especially true for people with sensitive upper airways, as the fumes produced by harsh chemicals in conventional laundry products can easily irritate their respiratory tract. And even if you don’t have asthma or other respiratory problems, continuously inhaling polluted air ― given off by toxic and harmful chemicals ― increases your risk of developing health problems.
The following are common ingredients that can cause health issues, ranging from mild irritations to severe problems. We recommend keeping an eye out for them when shopping for laundry detergents and products.
- Nonylphenol ethoxylated
- Chlorine bleach
- Optical brighteners
- Artificial dyes
- Surfactants like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Potential Health Risks of Using Conventional Laundry Detergents
Here are some potential health risks of using traditional laundry products, especially options containing harsh chemicals:
- Increased risk of asthma attacks: Inhaling the fumes from conventional laundry products is not good for anyone with asthma. That’s because harsh chemicals in the products can worsen asthma symptoms or trigger an attack.
- Skin Irritation and allergies: Exposure to conventional laundry products can trigger allergic reactions due to the presence of harsh substances (think harsh chemicals and dyes). In addition to causing skin irritation, research shows that synthetic fragrance mixes in laundry and cleaning supplies can make breathing difficult for some people.
- Respiratory issues: Speaking of breathing difficulty, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in many laundry products can compromise indoor air quality and cause respiratory problems. One study found that many scented liquid detergents may emit hazardous air pollutants that can affect respiratory health.
- Hormonal disruption: Some ingredients like quaternary ammonium compounds ― or quats for short ― commonly found in fabric softeners can potentially cause serious problems in the reproductive system. Other chemicals and toxic ingredients used in many traditional laundry detergents may interfere with the balance of hormones in the body.
4 Benefits of Using Non-toxic Laundry Detergent
“Non-toxic,” “eco-friendly,” and “green products” aren’t mere buzzwords; choosing laundry products free from VOCs and other toxic chemicals can be very beneficial. And if you’re still unsure about embracing non-toxic laundry practices, perhaps the following important benefits will help make up your mind.
1. Safer for health
Using non-toxic laundry products to get rid of unwanted odor reduces your exposure to potential irritants. And because non-toxic products don’t give off harmful fumes, using them promotes a healthier home office environment and, by extension, your entire home.
2. Gentle on fabrics and surfaces
In addition to being safe for health, non-toxic laundry products are generally gentler on fabrics and surfaces. This means your clothes and other belongings have a higher chance of lasting longer.
3. Reduce environmental impact
In most cases, non-toxic laundry products contain environmentally friendly ingredients, and the manufacturing process doesn’t impact the environment too much. In other words, non-toxic detergents have little impact on the ecosystem when disposed of after use or washed down drains.
4. Reduce air pollution
Unlike traditional options, non-toxic odor and chemical removal products reduce VOC emissions, and this goes a long way in improving indoor air quality. And because most non-toxic alternatives don’t contain allergens like fragrances, they are less likely to trigger allergies.
Non-toxic Laundry Practices to Reduce Contaminants in Your Home Office
Now that we’ve covered the dangers of continuously inhaling fumes from conventional laundry products and the benefits of adopting non-toxic laundry practices, let’s shift our attention to practical ways to apply these practices in a home office setting.
Opt for Eco-Friendly Detergent
First things first, if you must keep your home office free of chemical fumes given off by laundry products, start by choosing non-toxic laundry detergents and cleaning products. You want to select laundry detergents that are free from harsh chemicals.
Remember, there’s a lot of greenwashing in the laundry detergent industry, making it difficult ― and even confusing ― to know which cleaning products are safe. However, you can avoid phony, green-sheen laundry products by reading the ingredient lists.
Don’t buy a so-called non-toxic detergent because a popular brand manufactures it or because the manufacturer slapped an “eco-friendly” or “natural” term on its packaging. Instead, pay attention to the ingredients on the label and avoid products containing the harmful ingredients listed earlier.
Use a Natural Stain Remover
Using conventional stain removal products can be tempting because they are marketed as “fast and effective.” However, the chemicals in many of these products can adversely affect human health and the environment. Besides, regular stain removal products may reduce the lifespan of your fabrics or outrightly damage them through fading or discoloration.
To prevent a build-up of toxic chemicals in the air around your home office, consider using a natural, non-toxic laundry detergent to remove even the toughest stains from garments. Natural, fabric-friendly stain removal alternatives are safer and gentler on clothes and more effective than chemical-based options.
Choose Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent
Laundry soap products containing synthetic fragrances can cause allergies and increase the risk of asthma attacks. This is especially true if you or someone in your household is susceptible to respiratory issues.
Also, some laundry products formulated with artificial fragrances can cause skin irritation. We recommend looking for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free detergents to avoid triggering respiratory and other health issues.
Look for Sustainable Packaging
Non-biodegradable waste ― materials that don’t naturally break down over time ― can significantly impact the environment.
Consider purchasing an environmentally friendly, non-toxic laundry detergent that comes in sustainable packaging (for example, a refillable option or container made from recycled materials). In addition, make sure to dispose of empty detergent containers properly.
The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Productivity
By now, you already know that poor indoor air quality can affect your health. But there’s more to breathing contaminated air than physical health problems.
Research shows continuous exposure to polluted indoor air can significantly affect cognitive function. In other words, in addition to the discomfort caused by breathing in polluted air in your home office, you are likely to have difficulty concentrating, ultimately leading to decreased productivity.
Excessive pollutants in your home office can make you experience one or more of the following:
- Frequent mental blocks, slowing down productivity
- Making too many mistakes or errors in your work
- Difficulty solving problems or thinking clearly, leading to slow decision-making
Creating a healthy work environment is important, whether you work in a large office building or a corner of your home. And while it may be impossible to completely eradicate pollutants from your home office, you can take steps to reduce the presence of harmful contaminants.
Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Your Home Office
Here are four effective ways to improve the air quality in your home office and your home as a whole.
1. Ensure Proper Ventilation
As mentioned, many traditional laundry detergents give off fumes that may be harmful to human health. To avoid inhaling potentially toxic fumes, it is best to open the windows in your laundry area when using laundry products.
If you can’t open a window due to bad weather outside, consider using exhaust fans to circulate fresh air in the laundry area and remove any toxic fumes from your home.
2. Install an Air Purification System
While opening windows can let in fresh air, doing so may pave the way for outdoor pollutants to enter your home. If you’re looking to keep the air in your home office clean at all times, we recommend installing air purification systems throughout your home to trap and eradicate contaminants.
For best results, make sure to choose air purification systems with top-of-the-line air cartridges, industry-standard HEPA filters, and UV-C bulbs. These features ensure the air purifier will capture and eliminate toxic gases and allergy triggers in your home.
With clean air in your home office, you maintain your well-being and boost your overall productivity.
3. Use HEPA Filters in Your HVAC Systems
In addition to running regular maintenance on your HVAC systems, we recommend using High-Efficient Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters in your HVAC systems and replacing them when due.
While HEPA filters won’t get rid of VOCs and other gases wafting through your home, they are great at capturing tiny particles of dust, pollen, and dander. They can also filter some airborne bacteria, making them an excellent option for improving the air quality in your home office.
4. Install Indoor Air Quality Monitors
Installing a good air quality monitor is an affordable way to ensure a healthy home office. Typically, these devices are simple yet effective for detecting significant shifts in pollution concentration in the air in indoor spaces.
Why Choose EnviroKlenz Laundry Products?
EnviroKlenz is a trusted name when it comes to providing non-toxic laundry products, as well as solutions for improving indoor air quality.
Using our earth-based odor-eliminating technology, we formulate a wide range of safe laundry detergents that are highly effective at removing stains and fighting odors without compromising indoor air quality.
Unlike conventional options, our laundry products do not mask odors nor contain synthetic fragrance or artificial scents. Many of our customers rate our products very highly, and the reason is simple: our laundry products do not contain harmful chemicals or toxic ingredients.
One of our many satisfied customers with chemical sensitivities says our laundry products “make living in a toxic world possible.” Another happy customer says our laundry enhancer liquid detergent “is the ONLY thing that took the raunchy dye smell out of black Jeans.” And the outstanding result was just after the first wash!
If you’re looking to create a healthier home office environment free of fumes from laundry products, check out our laundry supplies.
Say hello to healthy
Rethink laundry day with a routine that is good for your clothes, and even better for you and the planet
Say hello to healthy laundry
Rethink laundry day with a routine that is good for your clothes, and even better for you and the planet
EnviroKlenz® Medical Disclaimer:
“Any information that is provided on this website is not for the use by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated within this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Nor does the author in any way guarantee or validate the validity, totality, or efficacy of any claims and will therefore not be held responsible for the content of any claims. Always consult your medical physician for any specific medical advice or recommendations.”