Gaaah! Did you know the air inside your house can be like toxic soup — dust and bacteria from outside, formaldehyde, benzene, and other nasty chemicals can pollute the inside of your house.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indoor air pollution has been ranked among the top 5 greatest health risks, and indoor stagnant air will build up and stick to everything inside your home.

One easy way to zap the indoor air pollution: Plants that can help rid your living space of some of the worst chemicals. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry. It takes a lot of trying to kill these tough ten “NASA Approved” houseplants that clean the air:

1.) Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum) purifies air

Great for beginners. Once the spider plant gets established, it will send out shoots with new plants. Before long, you’ll start giving them to friends. And more friends. And friends of friends…

Spider plants remove: benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene.

2.) Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis ‘Warneckii’)


Warneck Dracaena (Dracaena Deremensis 'Warneckii') purifies air

Also sometimes called a corn plant or umbrella plant, dracenas do well in places with low light. Careful, though — they’re poisonous to cats and dogs however, you can choose from over 40 different species.

Dracaena removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

3.) Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Laurentii') purifies air

Years ago, people called these “grandmother plants” because old ladies kept them in their windows. They’re incredibly tough — a friend once had one she left unwatered on an unheated porch with minimal soil. A year later it was still alive and kicking.

Snake plant removes: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene.

4.) Boston or Ladder Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata)

Boston or Ladder Fern (Nephrolepis Exaltata) purifies air

Not only will these help keep your air clean, they make a dramatic decorating statement when centered in a window. They thrive in high humidity, but keep them out of direct light and hot rooms.

Boston Fern removes: xylene and formaldehyde.

5.) Aloe (Aloe Vera)


Aloe Vera purifies air and heels skin and burns

Aloes can be smooth or a little spiny, solid green or spotted, so consider getting several and displaying them together. Keep one in the kitchen — not only will it help clean the air, but the juice from the cut plant helps heal burns.

Aloe vera removes: formaldehyde.

6.) Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamina)

Weeping Fig (Ficus Benjamin) detoxes air

These are easy to start from a leaf or two, so beg a few from ficus-owning friends. They like to be outside during summer, but if you live in a small space, beware. They can grow as high as 10 feet and will need frequent repotting as they grow.

Ficus removes: benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

7.) Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) cleans air

Keep them moist but not wet, give them a little bit of shade, and don’t let them get cold, and peace lilies will reward you with dramatic flowers in summer and a graceful shape all year round, as well as cleaner air.

Peace lily removes: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

8.) Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Sefritzii)

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Sefritzii) purifies indoor air pollution

Unlike most of the other plants on this list, bamboo palms need full sun and bright light to thrive. Like the weeping fig (ficus), this plant needs space, because it can grow to be 12 feet tall.

Bamboo palm removes: formaldehyde.

9.) Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium Morifolium)

Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium Morifolium) purifies indoor air

The harbingers of fall, chrysanthemums are popular, inexpensive — and champs at air detox, according to NASA.

Mum removes: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.

10.) English Ivy (Hedera Helix)

English Ivy (Hedera Helix) detoxes indoor air

This plant can be contained in a pot and serve well as a house plant. It will grow best in moist still and with four or more hours of direct sunlight.

English ivy removes: fecal-matter particles and formaldehyde.


Do you keep house plants to improve air quality?

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