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In any home, office or building there are inside air pollutants. Some of those air pollutants can be seen and some cannot be seen or even smelled that are floating in the air.

From articles to my own knowledge, there are things like formaldehyde leeching from product finishes and construction materials to benzene, molds and mildew, odd chemicals of various kinds, pollen, dust mites, spores, dust, fine particles of cloth and paper that float in the air coming from things around the house.

CricketDiane2018 Sky Photo DSC00729 small _cr

So what ways are there right now that take toxic chemicals out of the air in a home or office? I looked it up online to see and found that there are lots of air purifiers available with an average price (by my scientific wild ass guess and observation) of about $200 each. There are articles about which ones are the best and then I looked up the search terms, purifying the air in your home and found this –

9 Air-Cleaning Houseplants That Are Almost Impossible to Kill


Garden Mum – 

In the NASA research, this plant was an air-purifying champion, removing ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from indoor air. Popular and inexpensive at garden stores, they can be planted outside after they’re finished blooming.

Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene


Not only was garden mum at the top of the list, there are a couple others on the list that I noticed specifically for purifying the air including the snake plant / mother in law’s tongue house plant that I used to have and lots of people in our family keep in their homes too.

Snake Plant/Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This is one of the hardest houseplants to kill. Although it does need to be watered occasionally, it generally prefers drier conditions and some sun.

Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene

from –




These two articles are great and cover several things like decreasing the air pollutants by not introducing them in the first place which is very unlikely by the time I’d want to do something to fix it and increasing ventilation which in our house would bring far more fine yellow dusty pollen into the house among other things.

But, these articles about purifying the air did have some useful ideas to note, including stopping drips and moisture under sinks and places where mold and mildew can develop. And, this first article described Himalayan pink salt lamps that I want to find out more about as well as, that beeswax candles ionize the air as a way they take pollutants from the air which is interesting and worth checking out.

It also lists some other plants to use to purify air in the home naturally, and one thing I can say about plants after living near an airbase with constant airplanes landing overhead and very near large trafficked roadways with eight lanes across plus a freeway nearby, is that my plants never needed fertilizer or plant food because of the amount of excess nitrogen in the air they were getting and cleaning from those exhausts coming in the windows.

So, it does work to have plants, but it would have taken a virtual forest of plants in my little garden apartment to have really cleaned all of that to any appreciable extent and I had a lot of plants which still weren’t enough to do all of it.

8 Ways To Purify Home Air Naturally


Before you begin to improve indoor air quality, you may want to invest in an indoor air quality monitor – such as this popular Multi Tester Indoor Air Quality Monitor. Consistently measuring air quality is the best way to ensure the changes you make are yielding improvements.


When I clicked on the link for this particular air quality tester, it says that it is currently unavailable so it would be worth finding what other testers for air quality are available and maybe this one from some other source. It says in the description that this tester has an entry for formaldehyde / HCHO also, and looking at the other testers that Amazon lists for me, I noticed that each of them cover a number of different things including radon.

It would take some shopping skills to figure out which monitors would offer the exact match for this house, but they all seem to cost from $60 to $100 each depending on a lot of different things. There’s even one that is wearable.

This one is about a hundred dollars – looks like it does a lot.

Air Quality Pollution Monitor, Detector, Meter, Sensor, Tester; Detect PM2.5 Dust, 2.5 Micron Particulate Matter, Test Indoor Formaldehyde, TVOC Volatile Organic Compound Gas; Water Test Strips, eBook



This one is wearable – for around $80 –

Wynd Wearable Air Quality Tracker, Black Matte



This one is $60 but only tests for particulates in the air at what concentration it seems – which is also important to know.

Temtop Air Quality Laser Paticle Detector Professional Meter Accurate Testing for PM2.5/PM10 LCD Display P200



And the second article from Apartment Therapy is this one –

Is Your House Making You Sick? 5 Ways to Purify Home Air Naturally


Would it shock you to know that the air you’re breathing indoors can be up to 5 times worse than the air outside? Neglecting the quality of the air you breathe on a daily basis can result in illness, allergies, asthma, frequent headaches and it can even be harmful to your digestive system!


This article describes the Himalayan salt lamp that helps to purify the air in your home with how it works too which heats the salt to release negative ions into the air.

It also describes this – which is very interesting –

Bamboo Charcoal: Charcoal has long been used in our filters to purify water, and it’s also popping up in beauty products everywhere. And charcoal can have the same toxin-removing effects on air. Moso air purifying bags are bags made of linen and filled with high-density bamboo charcoal. The porous structure of the charcoal helps remove bacteria, harmful pollutants and allergens from the air and absorbs moisture, preventing mold and mildew by trapping the impurities inside each pore. Rejuvenate the bamboo charcoal by simply placing the bag in the sun once a month. Amazon carries a variety of Moso bags.

from –



It also describes a Plant Air Purifier that costs about $100 created by a NASA scientist that gives the air purifying power of about a hundred plants by circulating with a fan, all the air in the room into an encased plant being cultured in activated charcoal growing medium. Very interesting idea for cleaning the air more effectively.

At one time, there was a product on the market to use for artist studios where a lot of chemicals and fumes from paints, thinners and other things are a constant source of air pollution in a space where art is being done, even with good ventilation that is also necessary. I’m going to look it up and see if I can find that too.


This is an $800 air cleaner that looks really good and possibly takes everything out of the air that is a pollutant. It is called the Molekule Air Purifier –



Also found an LA Times article about the ionizing air filters that purify the air that way, from 2008. It does describe how these ionizing air purifying systems work –

Ionic air purifiers’ dirty little secret: They don’t get rid of dust


If you’ve ever shopped for an air cleaner — or if you’ve ever idly flipped through a SkyMall catalog — you’ve undoubtedly seen ads for ionic air purifiers, devices that take an unusual approach to clearing the air. Instead of relying on fans to move air through filters, the machines release a steady stream of negatively charged ions that electrify the bits of dust, dander or other flotsam. The airborne particles pick up the negative charge and become strongly attracted to positively charged collection plates inside the machine. (In many cases, they also become attracted to other charged surfaces such as walls, table tops and TV screens.)


There’s another thing that separates ionic air purifiers from other technologies: To varying degrees, all ionic air purifiers release ozone, a potential pollutant. A 2006 study by researchers at UC Davis found that one popular brand, the Ionic Breeze Quadra, released about 2.2 milligrams of ozone per hour, or about as much as a constantly running photocopier. (Ionic purifiers shouldn’t be confused with ozone generators that are marketed as “air cleaners.” By design, these devices can release 50 to 200 milligrams of ozone per hour.)


This article shows a number of products to do air cleaning and air purifying plus several that are perfect for removing smells out of the air and cleaning the air that way. It includes the ozone generator and air purifier that I included here – this article is from 2016 but the price of this is $90 – note that ozone generators can only be used in areas with no one there including no people, no kids, no babies, no elderly people, no animals, no pets – and then after the area is aired out, they can come back and the air is clean.

9 Odor Eliminators For Your Home That Reddit Users Swear By


Ozone Power OP5000 Commercial Air Ozone Generator & Air Purifier, $90,Amazon

Did you just buy a used car? Or did someone borrow your car and smoke in it when you asked them not to? Or maybe you were eating on the go and dropped food, and now your car has a bad scent in it. Whatever it is, an Ozone machine will actually remove those odors from the air. Reddit user Lizardlikesaid, “Ozone itself attaches to most volatile compounds (organic stuff, most things that cause smells) and breaks them down by oxidation. It doesn’t last more than a day on its own generally, so as long as you air it out, it’s safe.” So make sure you air out your car before driving for hours in it after using the Ozone purifier. (You can also use this in your home, too)!

also listed this one –

Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Household Odor Eliminator Spray (Two Pack), $25,Amazon

Spray this around your garbage can, on your drapes, on your couch, on musty clothes, and more. The spray eliminates strong, pesky odors that wont seem to leave. The air will be left smelling fresh and clean. The formula actually seeks out odorous molecules when you spray it. Instead of masking them, it turns them into non-odor molecules. It doesn’t mask smells — it gets rid of them. Shshshannon said they used this on a mattress that smelled like cigarettes, and it was successful.


Found the air cleaning beads but this looks like they are only available to industry –

Purafil Chemical Media


PURAFIL, INC. is a publicly held environmental company owned by the Kaydon Corporation (NYSE:KDN) and headquartered in Doraville, Georgia, United States of America. Purafil revolutionized the gas-phase air filtration industry in the early 1960’s with the development of the world’s first active oxidant-impregnated, air cleaning pellet — “Purafil.” Almost fifty years later, Purafil remains a world leader in the development of innovative gas-phase air filtration technologies designed to eliminate, control and provide real-time monitoring of toxic, corrosive, odorous and hazardous gases.


Purafil® SP Media shall meet the following removal capacities:
• HYDROGEN SULFIDE: 14% minimum by weight
• SULFUR DIOXIDE: 7.0% minimum by weight
• NITROGEN DIOXIDE: 15.0% minimum by weight
• NITRIC OXIDE: 6.0% minimum by weight
• FORMALDEHYDE: 4.0% minimum by weight



The product I had seen used some kinds of bead-like pellets to remove chemicals from the air in art studios. Well, the ones above look like that’s what they do though. And, also found this nifty thing that an artist made to clean air in a larger way as a public sculpture.

Innovative design: the world’s largest air purifier


A piece of public design that eats smog. Perfect! Just what metropolitan cities need with busy traffic and industry. Designer Daan Roosegaarde developed the idea of a gigantic air purifier for problematic cities in China. Yet the prototype was developed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where the air is clear like a still lake compared to Beijing. Nevertheless, the Dutch air feeds the purifier with CO2 providing it with black powder, proving how much pollution there is even in smaller cities.


The air purifier is about seven meters high and opens up during the day. It has a silver color and looks like large shutters. It works more or less the same as small purifiers for the home, but then without ozone. It works with an ion technology that Daan Roosegaarde Studio patented. Put simply, ions are atoms that are not magnetic, but they work in a similar way. Ion can be charged positive or negative. They attract the opposite and that way, ions can be made to attract materials like CO2.


And, here is how the astronauts in space get the air cleaned from a NASA discussion about it on pdf –

Closing the Loop: Recycling Water and Air in Space


Carbon dioxide removal, or CO2 scrubbing, involves the use of heterogeneous granules of a synthetic rock called zeolite (also known as a molecular sieve). When the cabin fans blow air through the bed of rocks, CO2 and water stick to the zeolite, while everything else passes through. The zeolite is regenerated by heating it and exposing it to the vacuum of space. A similar process can be used in hospitals to provide portable oxygen for patients. In this case, a molecular sieve (zeolite) is used as an oxygen concentrator. The zeolite filters nitrogen from the air, providing high concentration oxygen to the patient. This process is much safer than having a tank of high pressure oxygen next to one’s bed.


I did not look up the UV-C light systems that also destroy a lot of the muck in the air including dust mites, germs, bacteria and spores. It must be contained in a thing such that no one is exposed to see its light because it can blind. Some systems for cleaning the air using the UV-C light also use other technologies in combinations with it including the ionizing systems and hepa filtration types of approaches.

There was another air purifying gizmo I’ve seen recently, if I can find it again which involves some new materials science. It is probably too new to be available inside of any products or air cleaners yet.



Also found this great search page of info on Inhabitat with air cleaners and air purifiers with lots of great articles so I’m putting here too.



Here is another air purifier of the get rid of cigar smoke variety that uses the ozone generator approach for about $350. It is very important to only use these when nobody and no pets will be in the area where it is being used –