7 Houseplants That can Clean Indoor Air

These plants can purify and improve air quality indoors.

Houseplants can clean the air in your home.

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If you haven’t been cooking fish or partaking in smelly habits, the air in your home should smell clean and fresh.  But if it doesn’t, most people’s go-to solution is to open windows, especially when the weather is still warm.

But what about when the windows are closed? The air in your home may not be as clean as you think, according to Almanac. Indoor air contains pollutants like dust and mold as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are released from carpets, paint, fabrics, and cleaning products. You can use electric air cleaners or you can clean the air naturally using air-purifying houseplants.

There’s real science behind this. In 1989 a NASA study tested 19 species of plants to see which ones could effectively clean indoor air. The researchers found that in just one day, 87 percent of benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene was removed by  some of the species tested. It turns out that common houseplants that require low-light absorbed the toxic materials and cleaned the indoor air. Here are seven plants that can purify and beautify your home at the same time:

Snake Plant

Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, this houseplant was ranked the best air cleaner by NASA. That’s because this plant continues to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen even after the sun goes down, according to RACV. The snake plant needs minimal light and care, plus it  is also extremely hard-to-kill  so that even people who do not have a green thumb can keep it alive.

Snake plants can clean the air of harmful chemicals.

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Peace Lily

Another of NASA’s top ranked houseplants for removing indoor pollution is the peace lily. This forest green houseplant has beautiful white flowers and makes a perfect addition to any decor. Peace lilies thrive in indirect light and require minimal watering and care. That makes it a perfect plant for people who are novice plant parents. On a cautious note, peace lilies are toxic to pets and children.

Use the peace lily to beautify and clean your home.

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Bamboo Palm

This hearty houseplant is also called the butterfly palm and the areca palm and is also a top pick from the NASA study. That’s because it does an excellent job of cleaning CO2 and VOCs out of indoor air. The bamboo plant is also a natural humidifier, according to Conscious Living, producing a liter of water every day. These plants can grow very large but you can limit its height by keeping it in a small pot. Palms need  a lot of filtered light and frequent watering during its growing season (but not as much during the cold weather months).

Palm plants can clean the air in your home.

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Money Plant

This plant is native to Australia and Asia and gets its name because it is used in Feng Shui as a prosperity booster. While it may not bring you riches, the money plant will effectively clean your indoor air; especially VOCs. This plant needs indirect sunlight and requires regular watering. The money plant has long wandering vines so it does need to be trimmed back and make sure to keep it out of the reach of pets and children.

The money plant must be watered frequently.

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This popular houseplant is also an excellent air purifier, according to Almanac. Two varieties, the heart-leaf and elephant ear philodendrons are the best choices for removing formaldehyde from the air. These hardy plants can take full sun – or shade —  if they are regularly watered. This plant is also harmful to pets.

Philodendrons remove toxins from indoor air.

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Spider plants

This pet-safe plant is also a natural air cleaner. In fact, according to RACV, the NASA study found them to be the most effective houseplant in removing formaldehyde from indoor air. Spider plants are really easy to grow, just place them in a bright, indirect sunlight location and water them occasionally.

Spider plants clean indoor air from pollutants.

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Rubber Plant

This plant isn’t actually made of rubber but it is a very effective indoor air cleaner. VOCs are absorbed into the plant’s leaves and work their way through the plant into the soil to be converted into oxygen. These plants are also almost impossible to kill as they thrive even in dim light and actually prefer to be underwatered. Rubber plants have to be kept away from cats

Rubber plants are hardy indoor air cleaners.

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