10 Indoor Plants That Clean The Air (Anti-Pollution Plants)

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These wonders of nature will munch up everyday pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, trichloroethylene, and toluene, which we bring into the home in everyday products such as laundry detergents, general-purpose cleaners, air fresheners, and personal hygiene products. 

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about creating a clean and healthy environment for you and your nearest and dearest.

Most of us like to be clean and live in fresh, sweet-smelling homes.  We love to have the smell of freshly laundered clothes rinsed in our favorite fabric conditioner, so they smell good when hanging in the closet. We also love to wear scented deodorants, body lotions, creams, hair products, etc.  I used to linger in the laundry soap aisle of the supermarket sniffing the different fabric conditioners to find the one I liked the most until I realized just how damaging they are!

So of course I started to rethink everything I used, but I couldn’t get rid of all of it, so I decided to find a way of combatting the toxins produced by the household and personal care items that I just had to keep in my life.  The answer – air-purifying plants! Genius! So I’ve done all the donkey work for you and compiled a list of the best 10 Indoor Plants That Clean The Air (Anti-Pollution Plants) so you can live in a cleaner and healthier environment AND bring some color and living joy into your home. 

You may be wondering just how a plant does all this?  Well, the leaves of the plant absorb toxins from the air and pull them down through the roots into the soil.  The toxins are then neutralized by the microbes in the soil. The leaves of the plant are then able to oxygenate the room via respiration, and we breathe in all that lovely oxygen that they have produced – working in harmony together.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily

The easy-to-grow, beautifully serene, and appropriately named Peace Lily is my number one choice of houseplant as it not only has big, lush, dark green leaves, but also a gorgeous white flower that unfurls from within the leaves.  This wonderful addition will rid your home of toxins such as benzene and trichloroethylene, both commonly found in detergents, nail polish and remover, glue, ink, and paint. 

Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)

Pothos Houseplant

This lovely plant has beautiful variegated, heart-shaped leaves, and it loves to look after the environment – and therefore you!  It’s sometimes called “pothos” or “golden pothos”.  This vine-like wonder will remove xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from your home.  It’s a good, hardy plant which can handle lower levels of light and a degree of neglect, but why would you neglect it when it does so much for you? Just sayin’!

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)

Photo by David Clode on Unsplash
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

This lush and leafy ornamental comes in many varieties with variegated, plain green, speckled, or even silver leaves. Another easy to care for plant as long as you don’t let it get too cold.  Ideally, it should be kept above 60F or between 65-80F is optimal.  The leaves of this evergreen will rid your home of formaldehyde and benzene.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum)

Photo by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash
Photo by Lucian Alexe on Unsplash

 This is a wonderful plant that just keeps giving by producing little babies which you can plant up in separate pots.  The leaves are long, striped green and white, and cascade over the edges of the pot.  As well as giving, this plant is great at taking too!  I’m talking about all the nasty toxins produced by us within the home such as carbon dioxide, ethyl benzene, and formaldehyde.  A great plant for the kitchen or bathroom as that’s where a lot of products containing toxins are used.

Mother In-Laws Tongue (Dracaena Trifasciata)

Despite the name, this is one plant you should have in the home for sure.  With its lovely long, vertical leaves this houseplant is really easy to look after but be sure not to let it stay too damp – slightly dryer is better.  This powerhouse of a plant will remove carbon dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.  Just don’t get on the wrong side of this plant, or you will feel the sharp pointed tip of your mother-in-law’s tongue!

Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)

Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash
Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

What is there not to love about the humble weeping fig?  With its beautiful bushy crown and tumbling leafy branches, it is a joy to behold and can grow up to 10ft tall!  But they are not always the easiest plant to keep.  The main thing is to make sure it isn’t exposed to drafts or temperatures below 60F. It loves light but not direct harsh sunlight. If you get it right with this plant you could well have an elegant and graceful tree in your lounge in no time at all. Plus it will mop up the usual suspects such as formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene.

Aloe Vera

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

This is one succulent that is a real must-have in the home.  It multiplies like a rabbit giving you lots of babies to place in every room, is super-easy to care for, AND aids good sleep! How? Well, most plants sleep at night and stop their photosynthesis due to lack of daylight, but succulents continue to convert carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night, therefore providing lovely fresh air as you sleep!  As is commonly known, aloe vera also has amazing healing properties for the skin and also the digestion, but it also does a great job of cleansing formaldehyde and benzene from the environment.  A must-have in every home!

Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

We LOVE this plant! It is so pretty with its delicate fern-like fronds and vibrant green color.   The areca palm adds a touch of class to any room but especially a living room, dining room, or hallway.  They can grow to around 7ft tall at an average rate of 8 inches per year. They like to be facing south or south-west with lots of light but not direct sunlight.  This pretty little plant is the best at clearing toluene and xylene from the atmosphere more than any other!

Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash
Photo by Igor Son on Unsplash

What’s not to love about the good old rubber plant? From an outdoor 50ft tall, sprawling, majestic thick-trunked tree to the humble indoor potted plant found in so many homes, this is a firm favorite.  Very easy to look after with bright but indirect light, a good misting with water, and a nice little leaf shine once in a while.  In return for your efforts, the rubber plant will remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene from your home.  It is also a great converter of carbon dioxide to oxygen leaving the air fresh and pure in your home.

Flamingo Lily (Anthurium Andraeanum)

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels
Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

Last, but by no means least, is the beautiful flamingo lily.  With its incredibly shiny, almost rubbery red or pink flower and protruding spadix, it’s a really exotic looking plant making it a beautiful addition to any home.  Not only is this plant a great looking specimen, but it is fantastic at removing the “big four” – formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and xylene.  So for a super elegant home purifier, this is the most eye-catching for sure!

So there you have it – 10 of the best and most beautiful of nature’s air purifiers.  Be sure to look after them and remember they are continuously working hard to look after you.  Enjoy

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