A collection of healthy house plants on top of a bookshelf

5 Popular Plants That Clean Air Indoors and Improve Air Quality

These days, we’ve all been spending more quality time indoors than ever before. Our homes have become much more than the places we rest our heads at night. They have become workspaces, gyms, and much more. And with so much of our days spent inside, it’s crucial to keep our living spaces clean and fresh.

Luckily, adding a few new leafy roommates are good for more than just bringing the outside in. With so many varieties of houseplants to choose from, consider picking up one of these five plants that clean air indoors to keep your space clean naturally.

5 Popular Plants that Clean Air Indoors and Improve Air Quality

  1. “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” (Sansevieria)
  2. Chrysanthemum
  3. Peace Lily
  4. Rubber Tree (Ficus robusta)
  5. Aloe Vera

1. “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” (Sansevieria)

This household succulent has grown in popularity due to its air-purifying benefits. With small varieties that sit on your window sill to large plants that can bring to life an entire corner of a room, the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a common, inexpensive option if you’re looking for plants that eliminate odor and purify the air.

Need more reason to pick up a sansevieria next time you’re at the store? It is also one of the easiest indoor plants to take care of! Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can thrive in shade or sunlight and rarely needs to be watered. Just be sure to keep it away from pets.

How does Mother-in-Law’s Tongue work to clean air indoors?

  • Unlike most plants, it purifies the air by absorbing common pollutants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene.
  • It helps fight allergies by releasing moisture into the air.

2. Chrysanthemum

More commonly known as “Mums,” florists and plant lovers alike rank this seasonal bloom as the most effective among plants that clean air indoors. Most popular during fall and winter months, keeping Mums in your home to improve air quality lines up perfectly with peak cold and flu season. Be sure to keep soil damp for long-lasting air purification! Just note: without their flowers bloomed, Mums are ineffective.

How do Mums work to clean air indoors?

  • They eliminate ammonia (a colorless gas that can damage your lungs) as well as other common household toxins.

3. Peace Lily

These fresh, white blooms aren’t just for visual appeal — they also work hard to improve air quality and absorb odor. Peace Lilies can thrive in shade or sunlight, but need consistently moist soil, so don’t “sleep” on these beauties.

How do Peace Lilies work to clean air indoors?

  • They absorb Benzene from the air, which is a chemical emitted by gasoline, paint, smoke, and other synthetic fibers.
  • They remove Trichloroethylene from the air, a chemical commonly given off by varnished furniture.
  • They release quite a bit of moisture into the air and can be even more effective as an odor-absorbing indoor plant if the pot’s topsoil is exposed.

Peace Lilies aren’t just a great plant for cleaning air indoors — their scent also brings a sense of calm to any home. For more natural air freshening, check out Fresh Wave’s line of Lavender Odor Eliminators.

4. Rubber Tree ( Ficus Robus ta )

Air purifying plant? Check. Easy to care for? Check.

Rubber Trees can grow up to 8 feet tall, and the plant’s size is part of the reason it’s such a great option for cleaning air indoors. The Rubber Tree’s large leaves use their size to absorb harmful chemicals in the air and break them down.

How do Rubber Trees work to clean air indoors?

  • They absorb carbon dioxide and emit breathable oxygen.
  • Its leaves absorb mold spores and bacteria in the air.
  • Air contaminants absorbed through its leaves are deposited into its soil and broken down into nutrients for the plant to continue thriving. The more contaminants absorbed, the longer the Rubber Tree will exist to help improve the air quality in your home.

5. Aloe Vera

One of the most widely-used succulents in the world, Aloe Vera has your back (and your lungs!) when it comes to improving the air quality in your home or office. It is a very low-maintenance plant that ranges in size, making it perfect for any room in your home.

How does Aloe Vera work to clean air indoors?

  • It absorbs carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants and returns fresh, abundant oxygen back into the air.
  • It removes Benzene and Formaldehyde from the air.
  • It eliminates odors from Xylene, which is commonly found in paint thinners, leather, and rubber materials.

While plants can certainly help filter and purify your air, sometimes indoor odors call for a tougher, more immediate solution. Unfortunately, some air fresheners contain chemicals that can be harmful to your houseplants. To keep your greenery lively and your home smelling fresh, opt for a safe, plant-based option like Fresh Wave’s lines of odor absorbing Gels, Sprays, and Candles to get the job done.

To learn more about natural ways to keep your home clean and smelling fresh, visit the Fresh Wave blog.