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Do Spider Plants Clean The Air?

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Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 01:05 pm

Gardening these days is a technical job. We tend to want to grow only plants that can serve multiple purposes. When choosing an indoor plant, the aim is to have a plant that can clean the air and still be aesthetically appealing. The latter is checked for spider plants as they’re very beautiful, but can they clean the air?

Spider plants can clean the air. They filter out harmful toxins in the air. The moisture given off by spider plants can boost a room’s humidity by 5%. Spider plants clean the air by absorbing these toxins and transporting them to their roots, where microbes feed on and detoxify them.

Are Spider Plants Good for the Air?

Spider plants are good for the air. Because of their excellent ability to clean the air, they are called “champion purifiers.” Spider plants are good for the air because they remove about 95 percent of toxins in the air.

In fact, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), spider plants are the best plants to clean the air.

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Spider plants are good for the air because they increase the humidity in our environment or space.

This is true! I remember when I saw water droplets on the window close to my spider plant, I thought the water was poured deliberately. But I realized it was my spider plant doing the job.

When spider plants are watered, the water droplets left behind provide humidity for about 12 hours when evaporation occurs. Its many leaves provide shade when placed over hot surfaces.

This helps to reduce moisture loss during summer days. Indeed, spider plants are good for the air.

What Toxins Do Spider Plants Remove?

Spider plants remove toxins like benzene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene. These toxins result from our daily activities, such as the use of adhesives, fuel, tiles, aerosols, paints, and many more.

1. Benzene

Exposure to benzene leads to dizziness, headaches, and rapid heart rates. You can also find it in smokes from cigarettes and gasoline. Benzene can be very dangerous as it may cause the cells in the body to malfunction.

Too much exposure can lead to the failure of the immune system. Chronic inhalation of benzene may lead to memory loss and vascular congestion in the brain. It could also damage your nerves, make your ovaries smaller for women and cause irregular periods.

In plants, too much benzene in the air will inhibit photosynthesis and stop plant cell division. This gas displaces carbon dioxide, which is very important to plants and needed for metabolism.

In the air, benzene reacts with other chemicals to form smog. This could be carried by rain to the soil to contaminate water and soil. When this happens, plants begin to have stunted growth. However, spider plants convert this toxin into carbon dioxide.

2. Carbon Monoxide

Unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, clogged chimneys, wood fires and gas stoves affect the quality of air in our homes. Excess gas intake reduces the amount of oxygen that should be transported to vital organs like the heart and brain.

This gas poses high risks to babies and adults. It causes severe dizziness, nausea, heart problems and death.

3. Formaldehyde

This is a smelling gas used in making building materials and household products. Glues, adhesives, wood products, soaps, cleaning products release formaldehyde.

This gas release causes burning sensations in the eyes, nose and throat. In addition, it triggers an asthma attack, and excess inhalation of this gas causes cancer. Luckily, spider plants help to get rid of the gas.

4. Toluene

Adhesives, dyes, nail polish, gasoline, paints, and paint thinner release toluene into the atmosphere in an indoor space. Toluene affects the central nervous system leading to headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness.

Long exposure to toluene leads to euphoria, kidney and liver damage and loss of vision and hearing. Thus, it is even crucial to have spider plants to help to clean out toluene from the air.

5. Xylene

This gas is present in adhesives, nail paint, and gasoline. It affects the central nervous system if it is inhaled. It causes loss of muscle coordination, dizziness and confusion. Continuous exposure will cause adverse effects.

Luckily, it is one of the gases that spider plants help to get rid of. It is important to know which toxins to what extent spider plants are able to get rid of and with the information provided so far, we are sure you will be able to eliminate toxins efficiently through your spider plants.

How Many Spider Plants Do I Need to Purify the Air?

It is okay to have two well-sized spider plants in an average room. In a very small room, one potted spider plant is totally fine. A larger and spacious room would need at least three potted spider plants to purify the air.

Knowing the exact number of spider plants needed to purify the air is quite challenging. Sometimes, one, two, three potted spider plants could do. It might also seem unusual that three spider plants might not be enough for air purification.

This is because the surface area of the leaves presents influences it, the room’s size, and the space available in the room. Placing one plant in a small room increases air quality by 25 percent.

Adding two plants increases air quality by 75 percent and a 45 Percent boost in mental wellbeing. This means, for a small room, two potted spider plants aren’t bad. Rather, they increase the quality of air indoors.

In recommending the number of spider plants needed indoors for air purification, at least two good-sized spider plants for 100 square feet would do. However, don’t be scared of overcrowding. There’s no harm in having as many spider plants as possible.

The standard measurement for a very small room is 70 square feet. In this room, one potted spider plant would do. A small room is about 100-130 square feet. Here, 2-3 potted spider plants are okay.

A medium-sized room is 216 square feet; three to four potted spider plants is more than enough. Finally, a very large room is about 300 square feet, so 4-6 potted spider plants will do just fine.

It is good to know that plants with more leaf surface area and large pots will produce the best results. This is because the more the leaves, the more the rate of air purification as these leaves are used to photosynthesize and produce more oxygen, absorbing the toxins for food making.

Bigger pots mean more plants to purify the air. Finally, if your pot is very big, one potted spider plant is okay for a medium-sized room because it contains enough leaves.

The mathematics is simple! If there are smaller pots, then it contains fewer leaves. So, smaller pots should be more in the room, and larger pots can be few. That’s the trick!


Spider plants are special. They purify the air we breathe and get rid of harmful toxins that could cause really bad health challenges. It is, therefore, advisable for everyone to have at least two spider plants in rooms.

Sometimes the littlest things we do could be very dangerous to our health. The littlest spider plant in our room could also increase our life span. All the more reason to get a spider plant!


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