Six House Plants that Clean the Air we Breathe in Our Home

Six Air Purifying House Plants

I’ve always loved house plants and flowers in my home but while I was renting I never really took the green-finger leap. It’s silly really because there is no excuse not to delve into that gardening world. Because if you move house, your house plants can come along too.

Since becoming a homeowner, and becoming a mother to two little bundles of joy, I’ve been on a mission to transform our house into our home. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it takes time to transform a house into the home you want.

I strive for a home that is lovely and comfortable to look at, but also lovely and healthy to live in. Top of my priority list? A healthy home that is:

  • Safe and Secure.
  • Warm and Comfortable.
  • Free from clutter.
  • Breathable.
  • Sustainable.
  • Fun.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home


For now though I’d like to share with you some snapshots from behind the scenes of The Life of Stuff and six of my favourite House Plants that Clean the Air in Our Home. There’s no doubt in my mind that this list will grow over time as I educate myself and as our house transforms.

Having house plants like these in your home are beneficial not only because they look great and can cheer you up but they clean the air you breathe, naturally. A great peace of mind if like us you are painting and decorating.

House plants are also a great way to teach your children about nature. And by getting them to help you water and care for them. They can, in return learn why they should respect and care for them, and nature in general. But always play it safe. Although many house plants are non-toxic, they are not edible either so “better safe than sorry”.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Chlorophytum Comosum – Spider Plant

These plants are tough little cookies that not only survive without water for some time (if you’ve been away on holidays). But they also produce little spider plant babies, so you could have a plant in every room if you want to. I have one in our son’s room, our dining room and our living room. The one pictured is quite a young plant that was re-potted as a baby and it’s doing quite well.

The brown colour that occurs at the tips is from fluoride in our tap water. So my next mission to prevent this is to collect rainwater. Not just for this little fellow but for all our house plants. It is safe in their bedroom as it is non-toxic. But I always keep it out of reach until they both fully understand the difference between plants you eat and plants you don’t eat.

Spider Plants remove: formaldehyde, which is found in some glues, xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries and toluene, which is found in paints.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Non-toxic.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Aloe Vera Plant

I keep this gorgeous plant in the boys room too. It loves bright light so I often keep it on their window sill. It needs water but not too much as too much can cause root rot. As with the Spider Plant, this little beaut gives you little Aloe Vera babies that can be repotted. As well as purifying air, Aloe Vera can help with cuts or burns. You simply cut a leaf and rub the sap/gel on your skin to help it heal. I found this very informative article here that details other uses.

Aloe Vera Plants have numerous healing qualities and also remove: formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners and paints and found in plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, rubber lubricants, dyes and detergents.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Toxic.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Sansevieria Cylindrica – Snake Plant / Mother-in-law’s Tongue

How interesting looking is this little fella! At the moment our Snake Plant (I prefer to call it this name rather than the other). These plants are native to Angola, Southern Africa so they need little watering, once a week should do it, and lots of bright light. So they are perfect for green-finger novices like myself. Unlike most plants that absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day and do the opposite at night, these plants continue absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen at night too. So not only do they rid the air of loads of nasties they also give us air to breathe! Perfect for bedrooms!

Snake Plants remove: toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, touline and Trichloroethylene, which is found in some household cleaners.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Toxic.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Dracena Marginata – Madagascar Dragon Tree

This cute little tree with a big name has, like our Spider Plants been part of our household for some time now. It resembles a tree and has lovely red tipped leaves that add a splash of colour to its greenery. I change it’s home from time to time. Its home at the moment is on the windowsill in our hallway. Because although it gets light, it doesn’t get direct sunlight. Although I have been watering it with tap water for years, I will be changing to rain water because I recently read that it’s sensitive to flouride. It’ll be interesting to see if it transforms in any way from this change. Like the Snake Plant the Dragon Tree is tough on cleaning the air of lots of toxins.

Dragon Tree Plants remove: toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and Trichloroethylene.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Toxic.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Nephrolepis – Boston Fern

There are about 30 species of Nephrolepis and this one, although not identified by the sticker when I was buying it is, in my opinion is a Boston Fern. It’s beautiful and green. I love the fullness of its leaves and the wildness of the way they point in every direction. I keep our Boston Fern in our family bathroom because it loves humidity. This plant needs lots of water compared to the other house plants I have mentioned. It likes light but not direct light.

Boston Ferns remove: formaldehyde, xylene and toluene.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Non-toxic.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Phalaenopsis – Moth Orchid

The Moth Orchid is such a delicate looking plant but I’ve read that it’s the perfect orchid for beginners. Known as Phals, you can grow them on your window sill but we keep ours on the mantle of our fireplace. Here it gets lots of indirect light and is safe from direct sunlight that can cause sunburn. It won’t get too warm either because it’s far enough from our stove. These plants like humidity so spraying with water keeps them happy but over watering them can kill them. They usually bloom once a year so I’m happy to have this photo to share with you.

Moth Orchids remove: xylene and toluene.

Toxic to Dogs or Cats: Non-toxic.

Some people don’t believe with keeping house plants in babies nurseries, children’s rooms or indeed adult bedrooms but I have absolutely no issue with it. Those who don’t believe it’s right think that as most plants emit carbon dioxide at night, it could be a hazard. And that there’ll be struggle for oxygen. The way I see it, I have shared a bedroom with Patrick for nearly 13 years, and each time our sons were newborns the three of us shared a room. For 12 months, each time and we all slept soundly without any oxygen issues. Of course it is always important to have well ventilated bedrooms.

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home

Outside of non-edible house plants that clean our air, we grow herbs and edible plants at home. Thyme and Lavender grow in our garden. Coriander, Cress, and Basil grow on our window sills. Growing food at home can be easy and is an excellent way to teach your children about nature, the value of food and where it comes from.


Six House Plants that Clean the Air we Breathe in Our Home - The Life of

Six House Plants that Clean the Air in My Home


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