Improve indoor air quality

There are many actions you can take to improve the quality of the air in and around your home by considering the following suggestions and taking certain action:

  • if you need to use toxic substances around the home, do so sparingly and follow the directions for careful use
  • keep your house well ventilated
  • it is preferrable to look for non-toxic alternatives, especially for home cleaning and renovating
  • use indoor plants to help clean the air


  • vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are all-purpose cleaning agents
  • lemon or vanilla make good natural air fresheners
  • use door mats to remove dust from shoes
  • maintain your vacuum cleaner properly
  • always wash new clothes before you wear them
  • clean carpets regularly
  • control dampness to minimise mould, fungi and dust mites


  • be alert for asbestos and old lead paints
  • use low-volatile paint, varnish and solvents
  • use plant-based hard oils or waxes for wood finishing
  • choose untreated wood products
  • use sustainably-grown solid wood or plywood
  • cover all surfaces of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) with laminate or seal with low emitting paint or varnish

Pest control

  • try traps, herbal controls or low toxic pesticides such as those based on pyrethrum
  • use termite barriers made from granite or stainless steel instead of chemical barriers


  • look for low-formaldehyde furniture and low-emission carpet
  • use sisal, coir or jute flooring instead of carpet
  • use jute or recycled textile underlay instead of synthetic carpet underlay
  • ask for mechanical carpet fixing. If glue is needed, ask for water based adhesive

Heating and cooking

  • choose a clean, energy efficient alternative such as reverse-cycle air conditioning
  • position your air conditioner air intake away from the road or any other source of pollutants
  • make sure gas appliances, such as heaters and stoves, are flued correctly to the outside of the house, away from open windows
  • keep wood heaters well maintained and brightly burn properly seasoned, untreated wood
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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.