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10 common houseplants that help 'clean' your home

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Cozy corner at home in the morning lights

Believe it or not, there are 10 common houseplants that can actually help "clean" your home!

Studies show many common, indoor plants serve as natural “air cleaners,” using their leaves, roots and bacteria from their soil to rid the indoor environment of toxins present in the air, including benzene (found in tobacco smoke) and formaldehyde (a common indoor chemical that may irritate your eyes, nose and throat), among others.  

Americans spend a lot of money each year on dehumidifiers, humidifiers and air filters to help relieve their allergies. But by simply adding some plants to your home décor, you can rev up your ability to remove indoor air pollutants from your home.

In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states on its website that the “levels of air pollutants inside homes can far exceed the levels outside,” as a result of household cleaning products, heating and cooling systems, and other indoor sources.  

The big 10 list of air-cleaning plants include:

  1. Peace Lily
  2. Dracena
  3. Bamboo Palm
  4. English Ivy
  5. Chinese Evergreen
  6. Gerbera Daisy
  7. Corn Plant
  8. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  9. Janet Craig Dracaena
  10. Pot Mum

Researchers recommend about 10-15 plants, or one plant for approximately every 100 square feet of space in your home.  

As much of the country moves into the fall season, now is the best time – especially if you have allergies or other respiratory conditions – to say yes to certain houseplants that help promote cleaner, perhaps even safer, air for your family to breathe inside your home.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomat of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY.  Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of Medicine and Otolaryngology at SUNY LICH. Follow him on Twitter.