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Do Snake Plants Clean Air? [Clearing All Doubts]

Do Snake Plants clean the air? This is an understatement for a houseplant that tops NASA’s list of best purifying plants due to its superb air-refining properties.

Generally, Snake Plants clean the air by absorbing cancer-causing pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene and converting them into oxygen. Also, the Snake Plant releases oxygen even at night without light, while other plants release carbon dioxide. 

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Let’s learn from the article about the air-cleansing quirks of Snake Plant and how they use this superpower to offer breathable indoor air!  

Does Snake Plants Clean Air?

According to research by NASA, Snake Plant is one of the best air-purifying plants in a list of tested houseplants.

Our everyday items, such as plastics, books, appliances, fabrics, personal care products, paints, etc., can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

An article mentions that Snake Plants can effectively remove nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, and about 107 types of toxins from the air.

These gaseous toxins evaporate at average room temperature and are absorbed into our system.

A review hints that Snake Plants can remove benzene and filter xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it fresher.

This ability makes Snake Plants fit for indoor upkeep, as they can absorb the nasty toxins from the air.

Do Snake Plants Produce VOCs?

It’s not entirely true that Snake Plants remove harmful toxins only. They can release some VOCs as well!

In a study by the University of Georgia Department of Horticulture, four houseplants (Snake Plant, Areca Palm, Peace Lily, and Weeping Fig) were found to release VOCs in small quantities.

At the end of the experiment, the Snake Plant alone was found to emit 12 different VOCs in minimal concentration.

It was then discovered that the plants were not entirely responsible for inconclusive results.

Some of the VOCs were the pesticides used during the production of plants.

Additionally, plastic pots were yet another culprit for releasing most VOCs.

Do Snake Plants Produce Oxygen at Night?

Most plants release carbon dioxide at night and oxygen during the day.

However, Snake Plant is among the few indoor plants that can absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night. Such plants perform the CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) cycle and are CAM plants.

Technically speaking, they do not “produce” oxygen during the sleeping hours but rather “release it.”

Most CAM plants are succulents that thrive in deserts.

So, these plants can maximize the process of photosynthesis by closing their stomata (breathing pores) during the day to reduce water transpiration. 

As the sun goes down, the stomata open up, slowly releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide.

This makes them top contenders for placement in the low-light corners of your home. 

Image represents grouping Snake Plants
Maintain a balance between the light and humidity for Snake Plants by grouping them together in a shady place.

How Much Air Does a Snake Plant Clean?

Adding Snake Plant will reduce indoor air toxicity in our homes and workplaces.

Sources say they can absorb 0.49 ppm per cubic meter of carbon dioxide per second inside a closed room within 5 days.

Still, some experts also estimate they can produce around 1 liter of oxygen daily.

NASA’s Clean Air Studies also indicate that Snake Plants can clear away about 0.0097 grams of trichloroethylene, 0.028 grams of benzene, and 0.031 grams of formaldehyde from the air within 24 hours.

Since Snake Plants are tropical plants that need significantly less light, they can fit in any shady corner of your home.

These plants clean the air as a part of their normal food-making process.

They take in harmful gases from the air and let out oxygen.

Snake Plants Fight Allergies and Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a discomfort people experience after spending a substantial amount of time in closed rooms or buildings.

Moreover, the leading cause of SBS is improper indoor ventilation and accumulation of VOCs from various indoor objects.

The symptoms may include persistent headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, fatigue, itchiness, cough, odor sensitivity, and trouble concentrating.

So, many workplaces have started adding Snake Plants to promote the well-being of employees. Also, they can efficiently eliminate the VOCs from the air.

FAQs About Snake Plants

How many Snake Plants does it take to purify the air?

NASA’s Clean Air Study stipulates that you can survive in an air-tight room with just 6-8 Snake Plants.

Moreover, about 15-18 medium to large-sized Snake Plants can easily suit 1,800 square-foot homes.

Which variety of Snake Plants is best for air purification?

Studies show that Sansevieria trifasciata “Laurentii” is the best among the Snake Plant varieties to bless your home with fresh air.  

From Editorial Team

Snake Plant leaves act like oxygen-producing and toxin-processing factories. To boost their leaf health and growth, offer 5+ hours of daily indirect sunlight and balanced liquid feed every 3 months in spring and summer.

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