Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home

These common products are poisoning you. Here are easy, healthy alternatives.



Candles can be super-toxic because by far the most common waxes used are petroleum-based (since it’s a by-product of the oil industry, it’s cheap) which releases the same toxins as diesel fuel into the air, including multiple documented carcinogens. It’s basically like running your car and breathing the exhaust indoors.

On top of that, the dyes and fragrances are usually made using cheap, toxic chemicals that you breathe in when you burn it, and the wicks are sometimes made using lead (yup, lead!)

Chemical Detox Tips: 10 Toxic Products in Your Home

Ditch toxic petroleum and lead candles in favor of 100% vegetable wax versions.

Chemical Detox Tip:

Stop using candles that are scented with chemical fragrances and buy candles that are 100% vegetable wax (like soy wax) and scented using essential oils, and have cotton wicks. Make sure that the candles say 100% soy, as many manufacturers say that their candles are soy or “soy blend” when they’re only 5% soy. #sneaky!

To test if your wick is lead, take a piece of notebook paper and rub it at the top of the unburned wick (cut the wick if you’ve already burned it). If it makes a mark resembling that of a graphite pencil, it’s likely has lead. And if it makes black smoke, it’s toxic. Non-toxic candles produce white smoke.

Candles are also easy to make yourself, and then you can scent them however you like, and put them in containers that perfectly match your home. Here is a great DIY candle tutorial.

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 171 Comments

  1. Avatar of Edith Glover

    Edith Glover

    *sigh* I’m guilty of having a good basketful of these toxic products you said we all should AVOID!

  2. Avatar of Angie Becker

    Angie Becker

    Interesting article! Sadly, our sheets, pillows, mattresses and blankets are full of chemicals and flame retardants that can interfere with our health.

  3. Avatar of Muriel Vargas

    Muriel Vargas

    Baking soda has “magic.” It cleans, deodorizes, and scours.

  4. Avatar of Amy Watson

    Amy Watson

    Chemical detox of home takes time and patience. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Avatar of Dianne Copeland

    Dianne Copeland

    I inhale and exhale toxic chemicals even in my own home 🙁

  6. Avatar of Shawna Henry

    Shawna Henry

    Oh no! I’m surrounded by awful synthetic chemicals everyday!!!! BAD!

  7. Avatar of Melba Harrington

    Melba Harrington

    Such an eye opener! I did not realize how much I’m surrounded by toxins on a daily basis!

  8. Avatar of Sheri Chapman

    Sheri Chapman

    Thanks for this informative article.

  9. Avatar of Brandy Warner

    Brandy Warner

    Simple ways like keeping my bathroom fan on for 15 minutes after showering help.

    • Avatar of Lillian Arnold

      Lillian Arnold

      Nice one! This reduces condensation, limiting the risk of mold growth.

  10. Avatar of Margaret Palmer

    Margaret Palmer

    If I have new furniture, I let them “off-gas” for one week in the garage before bringing it into the house. Can you imagine that even “carpets” can have VOCs?

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