7 Plants that Improve Indoor Air Quality by Removing Chemicals

Indoor air quality can be up to seven times more polluted than outdoor air!

This is due to toxic chemicals in household cleaning products, air “fresheners” (a very ironic misnomer since they do nothing but pollute the air!), carpeting, furniture varnishes and glues, products treated with fire retardants, and personal care products.

Since we spend most of our time indoors — ahem, 90% for the average person! — it’s so important for us to look for ways to improve indoor air quality. This of cou

Fortunately, there exists a cheap, easy, and visually appealing way to cleanse indoor air: houseplants!

NASA even conducted a study on the effectiveness of certain houseplants to purify indoor air.

While all plants produce oxygen, NASA found that these particular plants drastically improve indoor air quality by removing the most common indoor air pollutants.

 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.27.44 AM Peace Lilly Great at removing formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene (the three most common VOCs found in a home).
Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.27.34 AM Lady Palm Great at removing formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.27.18 AM Golden Pothos/ Money Plant Great at removing formaldehyde, monoxide, and benzene.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.26.55 AM Bamboo Palm Great at removing formaldehyde and benzene. It also acts as a natural humidifier.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.26.23 AM Snake Plant Great at removing nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde. Referred to as the “bedroom plant” since it very efficiently converts carbon dioxide to oxygen at night.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.26.02 AM Spider Plant Great at removing formaldehyde and benzene.
 Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 11.25.52 AM Aloe Plant Great at clearing formaldehyde and benzene.

To learn more about these plants and others that improve indoor air quality, check out Kamal’s TED Talk.


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  1. Great for us, but be sure that you understand these plant’s possible toxicity for the animals with whom you share your home. Pothos and Mother-in-law’s tongue are toxic to both dogs and cats.

  2. I love my Peace lily. It was actually this NASA study that pushed me into the purchase for the wide range of toxins it absorbs. You can really see the effects on the plant when air quality is bad…it’s a little frightening.

  3. Do you know of any plants that are good in bathroom with steam etc…I really would love to get some in there.

  4. I’d think tropical plants would love steam! Your bathroom would just need to have a window so they can get sun.

  5. It would be nice to read your blog but the right side ads blocks half the words and I’m tired of trying to piece it together. Can you illuminate the ads blocking your writing? Even on safari it’s blocked.

  6. I must say that i have become your fan Nadia 🙂 I am too a DIY kinda person and one who promotes natural ways of beauty and wellness. I will share your thoughts and information here in India. It is amazing!