How to Clean the Lungs: Main Methods, Risks, Warnings and Overview

Although most of us don’t think of lung cleansing as something we can do, steps can be taken to help them work better.

Our lungs do a lot for us.

The air we breathe can be polluted with many types of pollutants. Everything from pollen to chemicals to secondhand smoke can get trapped in the air and enter our lungs.

What is a lung cleanse?

Our lungs are primarily a self-cleaning organ, but there are certain things you can do to help them function at their optimal level.

A lung cleanse can be helpful for people who have a health problem that causes breathing difficulties , such as asthma , COPD, or cystic fibrosis. You may also benefit from a lung cleanse if you are a heavy smoker or have to use certain inhaled medications.

Main methods

There are many ways you can practice a lung cleanse, including making lifestyle changes and exercising to help drain fluids from your lungs.

Get an Air Purifier: Start cleaning your lungs by improving the air quality in your home. You can buy an air purifier that can be placed in individual rooms or invest in a whole-home purifier.

Change the filters in your house: In  addition to getting an air purifier, you should change all the filters in your home and clean all the vents, such as those in the bathroom or in the air conditioning or heating vents. Make sure to replace your furnace filter at least every six months.

Eliminate Artificial Scents – You may think you are helping the air in your home by making it smell good with air fresheners, candles, or the famous wax candle warmers.

However, these fragrances can be full of harmful chemicals that can irritate your lungs. Even household cleaning products can be irritating, so check your cabinets and replace your cleaning products with all-natural products if possible.

Spend more time outside – Getting enough fresh air can help expand the tissues in your lungs and keep them working properly. Check the pollution forecasts in your area.

Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high, and avoid burning trash, wood, or other types of smoke. If you are concerned about pollution or live in an area with strong pollutants, you can wear an air purifying mask.

Try breathing exercises: Studies have shown that certain breathing exercises can improve lung function, especially for people who smoke, have smoked in the past, or have lung damage from chronic lung diseases.

There are tools that can help you practice your breathing, such as a spirometer .

This type of device is often used after surgery to help with the recovery process. Other breathing exercises do not require the use of assistive devices. These techniques include:

  • Pursed-lip breathing.
  • Abdominal breathing (also known as diaphragmatic breathing).

You should talk to your doctor about the options that are available to you if you are a smoker or have lung damage. They should be able to refer you to a respiratory clinic, where therapists can put you on a special program to help you.

Practice Percussion –  Percussion is a technique that can help drain your lungs. It involves lying down with your head down and lightly tapping your back, working from top to bottom.

Many people with cystic fibrosis or pneumonia use percussion and postural drainage. The back of the patient is struck firmly with cupped hands, loosening secretions, and the tilted position helps secretions move up and out of the lungs.

Risks and Warnings

There is not much research to support the use of products that claim to clean the lungs. It is best to avoid lung damage by avoiding smoking, pollution, and other lung irritants.

Some lung cleaners may make certain lung conditions worse, so be sure to speak with your doctor before attempting a specific lung cleanse.


For better lung health, you’ll want to start with prevention and make healthy choices. For example, quitting smoking, exercising regularly that is appropriate for your activity level, and eating a nutritious diet will help your lungs.

You should also talk with your doctor about other steps you can take to improve your lung health.